abiogenesis

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

An 1870 wood engraving of English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, produced in the year that he coined the words biogenesis and abiogenesis
The Champagne vent at the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, a type of hydrothermal vent called a “white smoker”. Some scientists believe that abiogenesis occurred at such deep sea vents.

From a- (not, the alpha privative) +‎ biogenesis (principle that living organisms are produced only from other living organisms), from Ancient Greek α- (a-, the alpha privative, indicating the lack of something) + βῐ́ος (bíos, life) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *gʷeyh₃- (to live)) + γένεσις (génesis, origin, source; manner of birth; creation) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ǵénh₁tis (birth; production)). The words biogenesis and abiogenesis were both coined by English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895) in 1870 (see the quotation).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

abiogenesis (plural abiogeneses)

  1. (evolutionary theory) The origination of living organisms from lifeless matter; such genesis as does not involve the action of living parents; spontaneous generation. [from 1870]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Compare “abiogenesis” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2017.

Further reading[edit]