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Spontaneous generation   /spɑntˈeɪniəs dʒˌɛnərˈeɪʃən/   Listen
Spontaneous generation

A hypothetical organic phenomenon by which living organisms are created from nonliving matter.  Synonyms: abiogenesis, autogenesis, autogeny.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Spontaneous generation" Quotes from Famous Books

... existence of things, as can never be presented in any experience. This sceptical philosopher did not distinguish these two kinds of judgements, as he ought to have done, but regarded this augmentation of conceptions, and, if we may so express ourselves, the spontaneous generation of understanding and reason, independently of the impregnation of experience, as altogether impossible. The so-called a priori principles of these faculties he consequently held to be invalid and imaginary, and regarded them as nothing but subjective habits of thought originating ...
— The Critique of Pure Reason • Immanuel Kant

... as much offended in taste by the turgid mystical bombast of Geoffroy as I am disgusted by his cold and irrational materialism. When men of his school talk of the elective affinity of organic types, I hear a jargon I cannot comprehend, and I turn from it in disgust; and when they talk of spontaneous generation and transmutation of species, they seem to me to try nature by an hypothesis, and not to try their hypothesis by nature. Where are their facts on which to form an inductive truth? I deny their starting condition. "Oh! but" they reply, "we have progressive development in geology." Now, I ...
— Louis Agassiz: His Life and Correspondence • Louis Agassiz

Words linked to "Spontaneous generation" :   autogeny, organic phenomenon

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