Q:

What is the difference between spontaneous generation and biogenesis?

A:

Quick Answer

Spontaneous generation is the belief that life can be formed from nonliving things, whereas biogenesis is the creation of life from other living things. Several experiments have proved that spontaneous generation is an illogical body of thought.

Continue Reading
What is the difference between spontaneous generation and biogenesis?
Credit: Sally Anscombe Taxi Getty Images

Full Answer

Developed in the 17th century, the concept of spontaneous generation became popular during the 19th century. Experiments by Francesco Redi, Lazzaro Spallanzani and Louis Pasteur helped prove that spontaneous generation was impossible. A non-living thing cannot create a living thing even in a life-sustaining environment such as an incubator. Life forms, either in air or liquid, need to be present for life to thrive.

Biogenesis is a body of thought derived from the experiments conducted by the scientists that studied spontaneous generation. The term was coined by Henry Charlton Bastian in response to Pasteur's findings, which made evident that organic life cannot come from a non-living source. Biogeneis is also used as a term to describe the chemical reactions that take place in living organisms. Also known as biosynthesis, it is the process by which different compounds combine to form complex molecules such as amino acids, proteins and DNA molecules. Unlike spontaneous generation, biogenesis is widely accepted as valid in the scientific community.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the six characteristics of life?

    A:

    Living things have the following six characteristics that define life: they are made of cells, they use energy, they grow, they reproduce, they respond to their environment and they self-regulate. A seventh characteristic is often added to the list, which is that living things have biological organization.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do scientists classify living things?

    A:

    Scientists classify living things to make it easier to study and understand the behaviors, lives and evolutionary progression of millions of life forms. They use a system known as taxonomy to classify living things into kingdoms, phyla, classes, orders, families, genera and species according to their characteristics.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did Pasteur disprove the theory of biogenesis?

    A:

    Louis Pasteur did not disprove the theory of biogenesis; he disproved spontaneous generation. The theory of biogenesis was what Louis Pasteur developed after his experiments showed that spontaneous generation did not occur.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who disproved spontaneous generation?

    A:

    Francesco Redi disproved spontaneous generation in 1668. He did so by creating an experiment that showed that maggots were not generated from meat but instead came from fly eggs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore