Companion Scenario: Spontaneous Generation


The quintessential precedent to help us see the differences between Psychics and Scientists is the “idea” of Spontaneous Generation. This “idea”, dating from the 4th Century BC, was one of the oldest accepted thoughts regarding the generation of life, and was mostly perpetuated through innuendo and inductive reasoning. This idea, that life was able to spontaneously erupt from existing non-living goo, provided reason to people regarding the mystery’s of the universe where there otherwise were none. 


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Every year in the spring, the Nile River flooded areas of Egypt along the river, leaving behind nutrient-rich mud that enabled the people to grow that year’s crop of food. However, along with the muddy soil, large numbers of frogs appeared that weren’t around in drier times.


It was perfectly obvious to people back then that muddy soil gave rise to the frogs.


Since there were no refrigerators, the mandatory, daily trip to the butcher shop, especially in summer, meant battling the flies around the carcasses. Typically, carcasses were “hung by their heels,” and customers selected which chunk the butcher would carve off for them.


Obviously, the rotting meat that had been hanging in the sun all day was the source of the flies.

Psychics and Scientists

Deduction kills off 2500 years of answers

In opposition to the idea of Spontaneous Generation, the last 200 years of it’s consideration, both by the general public and by professional Scientists, saw  the ideas of Spontaneous Generation slowly chipped away by an old but still developing technology. The Scientific method, based on a deductive rationale, supports conclusions not by the most plausible argument, but by the most compelling evidence based on collected data. Via the Scientific Method, Spontaneous Generation was dealt its most decisive and final blow. In 1860, the Paris Academy of Sciences offered a prize for any experiments that would help resolve conflict separating the seemingly overwhelming evidence that had arisen in the last 200 years refuting Spontaneous Generation, versus the  1000 years of accepted reasoning. Louis Pasteur, in 1864, was awarded the prize for his work  using the now famous Goose Neck Flask.

Further Reading

  1. -Spontaneous Generation

  2. -Pg 332  .21.4.1 Can you Relate

  3. -Figure 16-1 Goose Neck Flask