Origin of Life

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Origin of Life
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Several theories have been put forward about the origin of life.

Theory of Spontaneous Generation or Abiogenesis held that life originated repeatedly from non – living materials by spontaneous generation.

Van Helmont and William Harvey supported it.

The above theory was disapproved by Spallanzani, Redi and Louis Pasteur.

The 1st scientific account of the origin of life was given by Russian scientist A.I. Oparin in his book ‘Origin of Life’.

This was proved by Miller and Urey in 1953.


He gave his theory of evolution in the form of 4 Laws :

  • The internal forces are fully responsible for increase or decrease in size.
  • Formation of a new organ or disappearance of an existing organ is the result need.
  • The development and degeneration of organs is based on the continuous ‘use’ and ‘disuse’.
  • The characters acquired by an organism during its life time are transmitted to their offspring by the process of inheritance.

Fathers of Biology :

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Darwinism :
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The theory of natural selection was given by him.

He, in his book ‘Origin of species’ mentioned the following factors for the formation of species by natural selection.

  • The over – production is shown by every organism.
  • The organisms show struggle for existence.
  • This struggle for existence leads to ‘Appearance of Variation’.
  • The advantageous variations in organisms results in ‘Survival of the Fittest’.
  • The advantageous variations are inherited through the fittest and then accumulation for a period gives rise to a new species.

Mutations :

  • Darwin in his theory explained the origin of species due to some changes.
  • Mutation is a process which produces a heritable alteration.
  • Hugo de Vries was the I to give much importance to these discontinuous variations.

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