Spontaneous generation also stands for Abiogenesis. In Greek the word means non biological origins. In its most common sense it means generation of life from non-living matter. Today the term is mainly used as the hypotheses about the chemical origin of life, such as from primordial sea or in the vicinity of the hydrothermal vents, this mostly happens through a number of intermediate steps.
The classical notions of abiogenesis, this term is now days more commonly known as spontaneous generation. In this the living organisms are generated by the decaying of organic substances. For example, maggots spontaneously appear near meat or mice appearing in stored grain.
Aristotle, a great thinker and keen observer, felt that the theory of special creation did not explain all the observed facts, e.g. appearance of maggots in uncovered meat within a few days and tadpoles swimming in a puddle all of a sudden. He proposed that living organisms, at least the lower forms, arose spontaneously from non-living matter. This view is known as the theory of spontaneous generation.
Because of the reputation enjoyed by Aristotle, the theory received widespread support for nearly 2000 years. During the 17th century, however, Francesco Redi decided to test the validity of the theory. He set up a simple experiment having samples of meat kept in two separate containers, one covered and the other left open. He reported in 1968 that maggots appeared only in the container left open but not in the covered one suggesting that life did not originate spontaneously. Nevertheless, adherents of the theory of spontaneous generation did not agree with him until the final death blow to the theory came from the ingenious experiments of Louis Pasteur (1802 – 1895), the famous French bacteriologist.
Did not occur in most cases, they did not disprove it entirely.
The theory of spontaneous generation states that life originated from inanimate objects like stone , soil, air ,water etc