from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. See abiogenesis.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the fancied production of living organisms without previously existing parents from inorganic matter, or from decomposing organic matter, a notion which at one time had many supporters; abiogenesis
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. the fancied production of living organisms without previously existing parents from inorganic matter, or from decomposing organic matter, a notion which at one time had many supporters; abiogenesis.
- adj. See under Generation.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a hypothetical organic phenomenon by which living organisms are created from nonliving matter
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Notwithstanding such exceptions to the rule, Redi's rejection of spontaneous generation won rapid approval and brought about a general reversal of scientific opinion on the subject — an outcome that was owing not only to the value of his experimental proofs, but also to the fact that, at the time he adduced them, the traditional belief had already become, under the impact of revolutionary advances in natural sci - ence, an obvious anachronism.
Owing to this impasse, biologists remained at odds concerning the spontaneous generation of microzoa until around 1860, when Pasteur came to the problem from his interest in the biochemistry of fermentation, which could not be properly investigated without first understanding the origin and role of the varieties of micro-organism present in fermenting liquids.
Among those who, subsequently, contributed to the further discrediting of spontaneous generation was the great entomologist, Jan Swammerdam (1637-80).
The doctrine of spontaneous generation exercising a vestigial influence over his mind, he hesitated to con - clude from his discoveries that it must represent in fact something biologically impossible.
In the Augustinian synthesis, there was thus no essential conflict between an original spontaneous generation of all species and the biblical teaching of their creation by God; on the contrary, the divine fiat, in the absence of pre-existing parents, was the equiva - lent of a spontaneous origin.
He reasoned that Needham's infusoria were the result less of spontaneous generation than of imperfect sterilization.
Since then, whenever new experimental claims have been made contrary to the law of bio - genesis, such as those of H.C. Bastian in the 1870's, it has always been possible to show, simply by improv - ing upon Pasteur's classic methods, that spontaneous generation does not in fact occur.
But if Pasteur and his followers disposed finally of heterogenesis, this did not really check the career in the modern age of another version of spontaneous generation — that connected with the problem of archebiosis, or the first origins of life on our planet.
In the perspective of this natural theologizing about the basic problems of biology, the ancient idea of spontaneous generation took on, for the first time, unorthodox implications and became charged with a naturalistic and impious potential — a fact that will explain its special role in the Enlightenment.
Although spontaneous generation did not square well with his doctrine of causality, Aristotle preferred not to ques - tion its factualness, but rather to view it as an