Abiogenesis Conflict Over Spontaneous Generation

Spontaneous Generation (Abiogenesis)

John Needham (1713–1781), the English priest in 1745 published experiments purporting the spontaneous generation (abiogenesis) of microorganisms in putrescible fluids. Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729–1799), an Italian priest and naturalist opposed this view who boiled beef broth for an hour, sealed the flasks, and observed no formation of microbes. 

Franz Schulze (1815–1873),  Theodore Schwann (1810–1882), Georg Friedrich Schroder and Theodor von Dusch attempted to counter such arguments. Louis Pasteur of proved conclusively that all forms of life, even microbes, arose only from their like and not de novo. 

John Tyndall (1820–1893), the English physicist finally in 1877 proved and was able to explain satisfactorily the need for prolonged heating to eliminate microbial life from infusions. Intermittent heating, now called tyndallization, killed both heat-stable form and a heat-sensitive form of bacteria.

History of the Abiogenesis Theory

Abiogenesis or biopoiesis is a science that studies how biological life arises from natural inorganic materials. This theory refers to the process when the formation of Planet Earth. It is estimated that abiogenesis occurred at the beginning of the Eoarchean period or approximately 4 to 3.5 billion years ago on a relative time scale.    This theory is classified as the oldest theory that discusses the origin of living things. It can be said if the theory of abiogenesis is a theory that explains if living things come from inanimate matter. This opinion arises from the simple thought of seeing frogs or worms that emerge from the mud or the ground.
Abiogenesis or biopoiesis is a science that studies how biological life arises from natural inorganic materials. This theory refers to the process when the formation of Planet Earth. It is estimated that abiogenesis occurred at the beginning of the Eoarchean period or approximately 4 to 3.5 billion years ago on a relative time scale.

This theory is classified as the oldest theory that discusses the origin of living things. It can be said if the theory of abiogenesis is a theory that explains if living things come from inanimate matter. This opinion arises from the simple thought of seeing frogs or worms that emerge from the mud or the ground.

The theory of abiogenesis 

The theory of abiogenesis was first coined by Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) who was a scientist from Greece. The theory of abiogenesis or the theory of spontaneous generation is based on the observation made by Aristotle that the fish in the river originated from mud. Not only that, he also conducted experiments on the soil soaked in water and the results came worms from the soil. Based on that experiment, the theory of abiogenesis became strong that living things came from inanimate matter. Spontaneous generation or classical abiogenesis theory has been recorded in Aristotle's book "Historia Animalium".

This theory is still believed until the end of the 17th century and one of its supporters, a British scientist named Nedham. Nedham conducted an experiment by boiling the stock into a container for a few minutes then closing it with cork. Within a few days in the broth found bacteria, so Nedham concluded that bacteria came from the broth.

Proof of the theory of abiogenesis 

Proof of the theory of abiogenesis does not stop here. Other supporters came from Antonie van Leeuwenhoek when he discovered microorganisms in straw soaking water using a microscope. These findings reinforce the theory of abiogenesis and its supporters state if the microorganism comes from rotten straw. However, Leeuwenhoek denied it and argued if the microorganisms came from the air.

The development of the theory of abiogenesis

The development of the theory of abiogenesis continued to develop until the modern abiogenesis theory emerged which was first coined by Oparin and Haldane in the 1920s. There is a difference between spontaneous generatio or classical abiogenesis. This difference can be seen if modern abiogenesis explains the origin of life phenomena. Whereas classical abiogenesis emphasizes more about how certain animals or plants routinely emerge without going through the process of reproduction. The difference between the two theories can also be seen from the side of the mechanism, for modern abiogenesis is based on modern biochemical knowledge while classical abiogenesis is based on the classic concept of material principles, the principle of movement and the principle of spirit. At present the concept of classical abiogenesis theory is no longer used among biologists, instead modern abiogenesis is still being used, especially in studying the world of RNA.

The broken Theory of Abiogenesis

Not a few who want to break and do not believe about the basic theory of abiogenesis since this theory was created. The attempt to refute the theory of abiogenesis has been started by Francesco Redi by conducting experiments using meat. The meat is put into a jar where one of the jars is left open while the other is not. After a few days the larvae appear on the meat in the jar uncovered. Redi concluded that the larvae found in the meat came from flies entering the jar. Not only that, he also conducted the same experiment, only to modify the jar cover by using gauze so that air can get into the jar while the other jar is tightly closed. The result is the meat remains rotted but no larvae are found in the meat.

Against abiogenesis

In 1768 Lazzar Spallanzani repeated the experiments carried out by John Needham. He heated the broth and then placed it in 2 places. One place he left open while the other place was closed tightly. After a few days the broth in the open space becomes more turbid and gives off an unpleasant odor, while the broth in the closed container remains clear. From this experiment proves that organisms do not originate from inanimate objects but come from other living things.

Nevertheless the theory of abiogenesis 

Nevertheless the theory of abiogenesis persisted, until finally Louis Pasteur, a biochemist from France, tried to perfect the experiments conducted by Spallanzani. Pasteur modified the container using a long-necked pumpkin tube. This was done in order to find out other indicators relating to pumpkin tubes with air outside. After waiting a few days the results were obtained that the broth water remained in clear condition, but at the end of the pumpkin tube's neck a lot of dust and dirt gathered and in the open tube the broth contained lots of microorganisms.

The new theory after abiogenesis theory is destroyed

From the results of experiments conducted by Louis Pasteur, the abiogenesis theory was broken even produced a new theory, namely:
  • Omne vivum ex ovo which means that all living things come from eggs.
  • Omne ovum ex vivo which means all eggs come from living things.
  • Omne vivum ex vivo which means that all living things come from other living things.

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