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Spontaneous generation

Spontaneous generation was once believed to be the mechanism by which organisms could originate directly from non-living matter. The process is also known as abiogenesis, from the Greek roots a-, not, bio-, life, and genesis, origin.

Early examples of this theory included the generation of maggots[?] from rotting meat, mice from dirty hay, and lice from sweat. The first of these was debunked by an Italian scientist with some cheesecloth and a flask.

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