Medicine: Virgin Birth

Prime advocate of the theory that living creatures are no more than highly coordinated systems of chemical and physical reactions was German-born Biologist Jacques Loeb. In 1899, by fertilizing sea-urchin eggs with chemicals and producing young larvae, he struck a heavy blow at the popular vitalistic theory which maintained that some intangible "vital spirit" or "entelechy" was necessary to life. Sixteen years later, he grew healthy tadpoles from frog eggs fertilized by a needle prick, showed his scientific opponents that no vital spirit from a male frog was necessary for creation of new...

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