DefinedMeaning talk:abiogenesis (1018004)
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The given definition "The study of how life on Earth emerged from inanimate organic and inorganic molecules." must have come Wikipedia but I am actually surprised by this definition. In fact, the next sentence in Wikipedia is what I learned at school and what is generally understood in the scientific literature, "In particular, the term usually refers to the processes by which life on Earth may have arisen." Biogenesis is a term analogous to nucleogenesis or embryogenesis, all of which refer to natural processes. The first sentence may have been inserted by somebody with an ideological point of view, the article in Wikipedia is undergoing active revision right now. Just to confirm my point of view, I looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary, which lists a number of quotations for its usage:
- The original evolution of life or living organisms from inorganic or inanimate substances; archebiosis; = biogenesis n. 1b. Also more widely: the production of organic carbon compounds by processes other than the agency of living organisms.
- [1875 Encycl. Brit. I. 50 Haeckel expressly embraces Abiogenesis as [an] integral part of the theory of universal evolution; and Huxley‥confesses that if it were given to him to look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time to the still more remote period when the earth was passing through physical and chemical conditions, he should expect to be a witness of the evolution of living protoplasm from not-living matter.]
- 1884 Science 16 May 601/1 The impossibility of abiogenesis now is, therefore, no argument against an abiogenesis once in the early history of the earth.
- 1957 A. Synge tr. A. I. Oparin Origin Life on Earth (ed. 3) 491 (Index), Abiogenesis of organic compounds.
- 1976 A. J. Toynbee & D. Ikeda Choose Life III. x. 249 Regarding the origin of life, modern scientists seem to support the concept of abiogenesis.
- 1988 Nature 18 Feb. 612/1 Many of the constraints on the mode, environment and timing of abiogenesis are derived from laboratory simulations or from theoretical extrapolations to early terrestrial conditions.
- 2005 Sydney Morning Herald (Nexis) 26 Oct. 16 Evolutionary theory does not deal with how life originally came into existence, a process called abiogenesis.
So I suggest that the definition be changed to "The process of how life on Earth emerged from inanimate organic and inorganic molecules". --InfoCan 23:46, 31 March 2012 (CEST)
- I had a similar doubt when translating the definition. Your suggestion is probably better. --Kip 09:51, 1 April 2012 (CEST)