Confused and have questions? We’ve got answers. With Chegg Study, you can get step-by-step solutions to your questions from an expert in the field. If you rather get 1:1 study help, try 30 minutes of free online tutoring with Chegg Tutors.

Spontaneous generation

From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Definition

The previously popular notion that living organisms arise or develop from nonliving matter.


Supplement

The theory of spontaneous generation held that complex, living organisms may be produced from nonliving matter. It was a popular belief that mice occur spontaneously from stored grain, or maggots spontaneously appear in meat.


Related phrases: theory of spontaneous generation.
Synonym: autogenesis, autogeny, abiogenesis.
Compare: biogenesis.