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What is the difference between spontaneous generation and biogenesis?

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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.

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What is the difference between spontaneous generation and biogenesis?
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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.

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