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The Year-Book of Facts in Science and Art, 1871

Excerpt from The Year-Book of Facts in Science and Art, 1871: Exhibiting the Most Important Discoveries and Improvements of the Past Year It is interesting to observe that Redi did not escape the cus tomary tax upon a discoverer of having to defend himself against the charge of impugning the authority of the Scriptures; for his adversaries declared that the generation of bees out of the car cass of a dead lion is affirmed in the Book of Judges to have been the origin of the riddle with which Samson perplexed the Philistines. Against all odds, however, the philosopher did splendid battle in the cause of biogenesis; but he held the doc trine in a sense which, if he had lived in these times, would have caused him to be classed among the defenders of spontaneous generation. Omne vivum ea: viva (no life without antecedent life) aphoristically sums up his doctrine; but he went no further. He had speculatively anticipated the manner in which grubs are deposited in fruits and in the galls of plants, but he admitted that he had not sufficient evidence to bear him out, and he there fore preferred the supposition that they are generated by a modification of the living substance of the plants themselves. Indeed, he regarded these vegetable growths as organs by which a plant gives rise to an animal, and he looked upon this produc tion of animals as the final cause of galls and of some fruits. He proposed also to explain in the same way the production of parasites within the animal body. It is of great importance to apprehend Redi's position rightly; for naturalists have ever since been working upon the lines of thought he laid down. Clearly he held biogenesis as against abiogenesis; and I shall immediately proceed to inquire how far subsequent investigations have borne him out in so doing. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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