Question

Spontaneous generation vs biogenesis?

alright so here is the terms in which I understand each (just so there is no confusion)

Spontaneous Generation- the theory that living things can come from non-living things

Biogenesis - Living things come from other living things (but where did it start)

sooooo I understand that recently a bacteria or life-form was made (by humans obviously) from non-living matter

Now my questions

Does this prove that spontaneous generation is a valid fact instead of a theory (even though the bacteria was not a spontaneous creation)?

How do you feel about the creation of the bacteria? (its effects on our world, etc)

Answer

First, spontaneous generation is an outdated and refuted idea, which has been replaced by abiogenesis.

Spontaneous generation: an outdated and refuted idea which involved:

1) very complex life (such as mice and flies) forming

2) in only a few days or weeks

3) and forming repeatedly and regularly under a wide variety of conditions

4) and ongoing throughout history

Abiogenesis: a modern and unrefuted view which involves:

1) the first life being extremely simple (simpler than a bacterium. It could have been a molecule that could replicate itself)

2) and arising over a prolonged period (millions, tens of millions, or hundreds of millions of years)

3) and arising only once

4) about 3.5 to 4 billion years ago, under conditions no longer present

Second, the so-called "law of biogenesis" is a mere inductive conclusion based on a limited number of observations of extant organisms. Inductive conclusions cannot be considered absolute - they are tentative. Further, because it was derived from observations of modern conditions and modern organisms it cannot be said to apply to abiogenesis.

Third, the production of a living cell was not all that great of an achievement: the media have a way of sensationalizing stories to make them seem more important than they really are. It was basically the combining of human-synthesized DNA with a preexisting cell, which then went on to divide. A huge amount of the work had already been done by nature in the form of the preexisting cell used, and then the DNA sequence was not synthesized from scratch but from nature's blueprint too.

Aug 3 at 9:36

Well, we need to be a little more specific here. The theory of "spontaneous generation" as it was understood a few centuries ago was that animals and bacteria would literally spontaneously pop into existence from nonliving matter. For example, in the old days you'd often find mice living under haystacks, so it was thought that if you left hay in a room long enough, it would eventually turn into mice! People didn't realize that these animals and bacteria were coming from other animals and bacteria that got into the hay.

The theory of abiogenesis that is accepted by most scientists today is quite different. This theory is that living organisms can arise from nonliving matter--but only very simple forms of living matter. It's thought that the first cells that emerged from nonliving matter were far simpler than the simplest cell alive today. This is quite different from mice materializing out of haystacks!

Also, I'm afraid there has been a lot of misconceptions about the first living cell. The truth is that the whole cell was not made from nonliving matter--only its genome was. The genome was indeed made of nonliving matter, and then placed inside a former ecoli cell that had had its own DNA removed. The empty ecoli cell had the cell membrane and other material necessary to transcribe the man-made genome, and once that genome was transcribed the cell became a completely new species of life never before seen on this planet.

We have not yet managed to make a new cell -entirely- from scratch. It may be many years before we learn to produce and balance the right proteins, lipids, and ribosomes in the right proportions to make a cell that can transcribe a genome from scratch!

Hope this helps!

Aug 3 at 13:22

Humans are living matter. And intelligent. And because of life (a great catalyst) and intelligence (another) a life form was created in the same way that life is created all the time. Intelligent life creates life. That's what I see. Louis Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation. Humans forming a living thing is like humans inventing the television. Does inventing the television mean that televisions could be created on their own spontaneously? People see what they want to see! And the book mentioned above should be very interesting.

Aug 3 at 17:31

When I think of biogenesis, I think of the spontaneous formation of neurons. This has been proven. I consider spontaneous generation a valid theory, but still a theory. Bacteria are spread by many means and vectors including humans, insects, water, etc., and they mutate; they don't form spontaneously. I don't see how bacteria fits into your hypothesis, but it is interesting. I'm presently reading Germs, Genes & Civilization and I recommend you read it also. Bacteria and viruses have made some incredible impacts on our history, our world, religion, and civilization.

From all I've read, bacteria was not made from non-living matter. Bacteria was originally created from living cells. It's the old "which came first, the chicken or the egg" thing. But bacteria is and always has been living (until it dies)

Aug 3 at 22:3