Topics: Abiogenesis, Spontaneous generation, Francesco Redi Pages: 3 (1171 words) Published: August 27, 2008

Omne vivum ex ovo. This is a Latin phrase meaning “Life comes from life”; or, more literally, every living thing comes from an egg. That was the phrase used to challenge the theory of Spontaneous Generation, or Abiogenesis. The doctrine of Abiogenesis holds that organic life could and does arise from inorganic matter. This was the accepted theory of the origin of life from as far back as history tells us until the middle of the eighteenth century. It was, however, always a source of controversy among scientists looking for the answer to all of life’s questions. Abiogenesis as a theory for the origin of life has had a long and interesting history…

It is said that the more observations a theory can predict is a testament to its strength. Well, since this is the case, it’s no wonder that Spontaneous Generation was so widely accepted. Ever since the beginning of time, mankind has seen small, unexplainable acts of nature that, unable or unwilling to find the real answer, they needed a theory in order to explain why such happenings occurred. That was where Abiogenesis came in. Why else would hundreds of frogs always appear after a heavy rain? Or why mice would always tend to turn up wherever rotting hay is to be found? At the time, it seemed that the only answer to such mysteries was Spontaneous Generation. In fact, at the time of the early sixteenth century, mankind had begun making “recipes” on how to create life, so to speak. For example, it was said that if you wrapped sweaty rags around some wheat and then placed it in an open jar, you would create mice within 21 days. Another recipe was throwing garbage into the street and then waiting a day or so until rats would just form from the massive heaps of trash littering the streets. While at the time, these may have seemed correct, we can take a logical look at these recipes and see that in both of those cases they unknowingly used something that attracted the animal that they were attempting to...
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