The concept of orthogenesis is similar to a concept that I wrote about in a previous post, the concept of Directed Mutagenesis. Basically, orthogenesis is a hypothesis that organisms have an innate ability to evolve in a certain direction, towards a certain goal (teleology). While this theory was popular at the end of the nineteenth century among biologists like Jean-Baptist Lamarck, nowadays though, the consensus is that evolution is not guided in any way, that mutations occur randomly.
However, the evolution of some features is indeed facilitated by genes (theory of facilitated variation), for example, different species of the Heliconius butterfly independently evolved similar wing patterns.
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