What is atavism?

kurlatik
kurlatik
February 27, 2015
What is atavism?

The term "atavism" is commonly understood as the manifestation of signs characteristic of some ancestors distant in the temporal context and absent from more intimate ones.

  • The term is mainly used in medicine and the science of man - anthropology. What is atavism in man? There are several signs by which it is determined. First, it is a solid hair on the body. Also - caudal appendage, popularly referred to as "tail". There may be additional pairs of mammary glands. All these clear signs and indicate the presence of atavism.
  • There are also internal atavisms of the human body. They, for example, can serve as cleavage of partitions of some organs (heart, stomach, kidneys) leading to the development of the pathology of the organism as a whole and in particular cases.
  • Erroneously, such phenomena as “cleft lip” or “microcephaly”, which have a different medical clinical nature, are sometimes referred to as atavism.

In the figurative sense of the word, atavism means something obsolete, unnecessary, subject to eradication and early forgetting (often the erroneous opinion of some cultural figures).So, for example, “Budetlyan” (Russian futurists of the early 20th century) considered Pushkin and Tolstoy as atavisms of world culture.