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Spontaneous generation

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Illustration of swan-necked flask experiment used by Louis Pasteur to test the hypothesis of spontaneous generation.

Spontaneous generation is the early evolutionary idea that living organisms arise from non-living matter on their own, (i.e., with no outside influence) by natural causes alone. It is synonymous with abiogenesis. According to some authors, in history two different concepts were termed "spontaneous generation": abiogenesis, the idea that life came from inorganic matter and heterogenesis, the idea that life arises from dead organic matter.[1]

The proofs for spontaneous generation were that flies arose spontaneously from rotting meat and that microbes arose spontaneously from soup. Creation scientist Francesco Redi provided the refutation of flies from meat[2]; fellow creationists Lazzaro Spallanzani and Louis Pasteur proved that microbes do not arise spontaneously from soup. Regarding his spontaneous generation experiments and the results he obtained Pasteur stated: "La génération spontanée est une chimère" ("Spontaneous generation is a dream"). A central tenet in biology today is now 'Omne vivum ex vivo', Latin for "all life [is] from life." A related statement is Omnis cellula e cellula, "all cells [are] from cells;".

While Pasteur was convinced that his research had once and for all killed the myth of spontaneous generation, the myth survived him and is now a very prominent presupposed philosophical assumption held by many evolutionary scientists, they simply changed the name to abiogenesis. This can be witnessed by the oxford dictionaries definition of abiogenesis- 'technical term for spontaneous generation.' [1]


  1. Thaxton, Charles B.; Bradley, Walter L.; Olsen, Roger L (1984). The Mistery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories. New York: Philosophical Library. p. 11. ISBN 0-8022-2447-4. 
  2. Werner, Carl (2007). Evolution: The Grand Experiment. Green Forest, AR: New leaf Publishing Group. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-89221-681-9. 

Related References

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