Theory of Alprehost

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Theory of Alprehost by Eugen K. Balon expresses his integrated idea of how so called Epigenesis might influence the development of living organisms. It is based on well-known model of epigenetic landscape by Conrad H. Waddington that delineates the possible motion of ball in the terrain with multiple alternative pathways. The model represents the fate of biological cell, i.e. possible pathways of differentiation, in the course of ontogenesis. Balon's theory is based on assumption that such ontogenesis, i.e. forming an adult individual of every multicellular organism, requires two sources of information:

  • Genetic source, represented by genotype, provides a developing organism with a programming information. The programming information contains basic attributes of an individual and detailed plan what kind of organism should be formed during ontogenesis.
  • Epigenetic source, provided by fenotype, delivers developmental information to the same developing individual. The developmental information provides an individual with a feedback - based on interactions between developing structures or interactions of organism with surrounding environment, called in theory as epigenetic processes. Owing to this feedback, the program (alias "Sofware") can canalize the course of ontogenesis in such way that the overall process results in creation of vital individual. The significant implication of the feedback principle is that all modifications of organs or any developmental trends can be understood within the scope of feedback actions already present in organism itself, what further implies that environmental conditions cannot directly introduce the information into the genome.

The important aspect of theory is that both of these information sources exhibit vast variability of states, ranging from extremely generic to vastly specified while this variability is subject of Gaussian adaptation within the population. According to Balon's Theory of Alprehost, the living systems in essence function based on similar principle as computers, i.e. based on dichotomy and bifurcation.[1]


  1. Edward John Larson (2006). Evolúcia: neobyčajná história jednej vedeckej teórie (in Slovak). Slovart. “..Jeho teória vychádza zo známeho modelu epigenetickej krajiny Conrada H.Waddngtona. (Actual quote is from Epilogue by Vladimír Kováč, professor of Biology who translated the book by E.J.Larson)”