Catholic Dictionary




The theory that all life has its source only in pre-existing life. Organisms, even the minutest, arise from similar organisms, never from inorganic matter. It is reasonable to affirm, and experience offers proof that "what is without life cannot generate life." Life in its origin is due to God's creative act. Opposing this theory is abiogenesis, which is without scientific basis. (Etym. Greek bios, life + genesis, origin, source.)