Pasteur's Experiment

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Pasteur's Experiment

Post by galileon » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:51 am

Hi everyone,

I'm a 3rd year Undergrad Physics student, but I love all sciences. I always wanted to learn biology, but O and A Level biology textbooks put me off, but recently I got myself "Biological Science" by Scott Freeman, and I've been following the MIT Lectures on Biology at ... ourseHome/.

In "Biological Science" Chapter one, it discusses Louis Pasteur's Experiment. At the end of the chapter, in the exercises section, there is this question:

"Suppose the proponents of spontaneous generation claimed that if Louis Pasteur had waited long enough, the organisms would have spontaneously appeared. Respond to this."

Is anyone familiar with this argument?



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Post by Cat » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:59 pm

I am not familiar with the argument, but I suppose if they waited "long enough", spontaneous generation would have been more difficult to disprove. It is a fact that sometimes contamination does not become apparent for a long time, sealed autoclaved media in Petri dishes stored in the fridge for 6 month spontaneously sprout fungus and bacterial colonies almost overnight. Another example, plant is growing in the culture media (sealed), no apparent contamination for 2 months, then all of a sudden fungus appears growing in the media as well. Where did contamination came from or why was it dormant for so long is unclear.

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