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June 1958

Modern Ideas on Spontaneous Generation.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;101(6):1175-1176. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260180165026

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Man has always been a probing, exploring creature, whether it be as a traveler or a visitor of strange new lands or in the realm of ideas. Perhaps that is what made him man. A puzzle second only to the one which deals with the significance and mechanism of life itself concerns the origin of life as we know it. Man looks backward into antiquity to find origins. When this antiquity is measured by millions of years, he immediately confronts the need of full extrapolation. What he can judge as he studies the properties of life today must be used to test the circumstances under which life may have arisen on earth. This symposium deals with the beginnings of life and not the now defunct heresy of spontaneous generation occurring continually. Since the days of Spallanzani and Pasteur, no sensible man has believed that repeated acts of spontaneous generation occur

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