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spontaneous generation

noun, Biology
Origin of spontaneous generation
1650-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for spontaneous-generation

spontaneous generation

a theory, widely held in the 19th century and earlier but now discredited, stating that living organisms could arise directly and rapidly from nonliving material Also called abiogenesis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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spontaneous-generation in Science
spontaneous generation  
The supposed development of living organisms from nonliving matter, as maggots from rotting meat. The theory of spontaneous generation for larger organisms was easily shown to be false, but the theory was not fully discredited until the mid-19th century with the demonstration of the existence and reproduction of microorganisms, most notably by Louis Pasteur. Also called abiogenesis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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