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the principle that a living organism must originate from a parent organism similar to itself
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



theories denying the appearance of life on earth as the result of the origin of living organisms from nonliving matter. The basis of the concept of biogenesis lies in the contrast between the living and the nonliving and in the idea of the eternalness of life. Proponents of biogenesis assumed that the embryos of living organisms were carried to the earth from other, older celestial bodies—the theory of panspermia. This theory was supported by the German chemist J. von Liebig, the physicist and physiologist H. Helmholtz, the Swedish chemist S. A. Arrhenius, and others who opposed the theory of panspermia to the notion that was prevalent in the mid-19th century of the spontaneous generation of complex animals (worms, flies, and others) from spoiled meat, dirt, and such. The authors of the theory of biogenesis argued that the transfer of embryos was theoretically possible, since given the absence of oxygen and given the low temperature of cosmic space they could remain in a state of anabiosis. However, it was later ascertained that cosmic rays exert a destructive effect even on extremely hardy bacterial spores. F. Engels pointed out the mistaken nature of the theory; he felt that the notion of the hardiness of the life-bearing material (protein) required by the theory of biogenesis contradicted the data on its chemical properties and that the notion of the eternalness of the primal carriers of life was incompatible with the historical outlook on living nature (see Dialektika prirody, 1969, pp. 263–64).


Oparin, A. I. Zhizn’, ee priroda, proiskhozhdenie i razvitie, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Development of a living organism from a similar living organism.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Analysis of the structural features of ambuic acid and its analogs implied their biosynthesis originated from polyketide-terpene hybrid, and the biogenetic pathway was suggested for the first time, which is helpful in its further biosynthesis research, because ambuic acid derivatives were unique to the genus Pestalotiopsis, which suggest their contributions as diagnostic metabolites in the chemical taxonomy of Pestalotiopsis sp.
Many experimental studies have explored the influence of biogenetic explanations on stereotype (e.g., Aspinwall, Brown, & Tabery, 2012; Boysen, 2011; Boysen & Gabreski, 2012; Mehta & Farina, 1997).
No matter of etiology: Biogenetic, psychosocial and vulnerability-stress causal explanations fail to improve attitudes towards schizophrenia.
Homans clarifies: "Adoption can seem like a difficult choice for some, requiring family ties to be deliberately made rather than taken for granted, yet perhaps that difficulty arises from the embeddedness of adoptive families in a society that so overvalues biogenetic and racial sameness and so undervalues diversity."
Resources for mental health within the total health budget are much lower because the psychiatric establishment is looked down upon by other doctors--in some cases, rightly so because their biogenetic account of mental illness is being disproven.
Psychological factors influence the onset, course, exacerbation or outcome of an illness through a complex interaction that is fundamentally dependent on pre-existing biogenetic factors that render the person predisposed to disease.
In this case the risk-assessment frame promotes pronatalist values and privileges biogenetic kinship in a way that subtly communicates the hierarchical superiority of families with genetically related children to either childfree families or families raising nonbiogenetically related children.
Located near the village of Llanbedr in Gwynedd, the parcel of land is within a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the wider area is recognised as a Special Area of Conservation and a Biogenetic Reserve.
Kuwait,Dec.5(Petra)-Jordanian researcher Yusuf Hannun won Kuwait's prize for scientific advancement in the field of basic Biogenetic category for the year 2012.
Altogether, it is important to mention too, that this is a concept that emerges from those who feel the need to protect their biogenetic resources from third parties to exploit them.
It is inconceivable that any government would license a private commercial company to carry out biogenetic warfare on our environment.