In the 19th century, it was widely believed that the spontaneous generation of life from non-life was common and unremarkable.
Without foresight to solve heterochiral incidents, a primordial cell would quickly perish even if, against all odds, it began homochiral.
Louis Pasteur showed that what appeared to be life springing forth from nonliving matter was actually life emerging from exceedingly small living organisms.
In the 17th century, medical pioneer Sir William Harvey and Italian scientist Francesco Redi both proved the untenability of spontaneous generation.
At the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Charles Darwin dominates almost every exhibit.