Biogenesis refers to the production of life from life. The production of life from non-living matter is abiogenesis. Abiogenesis has never happened naturally and there are no accepted models for how it could happen in a laboratory or elsewhere. Biogenesis occurs constantly, from the division of bacteria, to trees shedding seeds, to cows calving.
Neither term describes the process of God forming life out of nothing (Genesis 1:1) which is referred to as creation ex nihilo. Biogenesis is also distinct from creation ex materia, where God forms existing materials into something totally different. God's creation of Adam out of dust (Genesis 2:7) is an example of life from creation ex materia.
Biogenesis is a relatively new understanding of how life reproduces, as people as late as 150 years ago believed that life came from inanimate materials. For example, because mice and flies were abundant near straw and meat, people thought they came from straw or meat. Louis Pasteur proved spontaneous generation was false in the 1860s. Now, scientists see biogenesis is the only natural source of living things.
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