Ferdinand Cohn started his higher studies at the University of Breslau where, as a Jew, he could not be admitted to the candidacy for the doctor’s degree. So instead he received his Ph.D. from the University of Berlin, at the young age of 19. In 1850 Cohn was named lecturer at the University of Breslau. He became extraordinary professor there in 1859 and finally became ordinary professor of botany at the university in 1871.
In 1866 Cohn founded and in 1872 became the director of the Institute of Plant Physiology at the University of Breslau; this was the first institute of plant physiology in the world. Cohn’s early research centred on the unicellular algae, the simplest forms of plant life. He applied to these organisms the principle that the phases of growth of microscopic plants could be learned only by observing every stage of their development under the microscope.
Just as differences in the youthful and adult appearance of an oak or a fern are traced by direct observation, so he studied the growth patterns of unicellular algae. His accounts of the life histories of a number of algae species were of permanent value, and in 1855 he helped to establish the existence of sexual processes in algae, specifically in Sphaeroplea. He also instituted marked reforms in the classification of algae.
About 1868 Cohn started to study bacteria. From his accurate studies of their bodily form he was among the first to arrange the different varieties of bacteria into genera and species on a systematic basis. In 1870 Cohn founded a new journal entitled Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen (“Contributions to the Biology of Plants”), in which he played such a large part that it came to be known as “Cohn’s Beiträge.” Many of the founding papers of bacteriology were to be published in this journal.
Among Cohn’s most striking contributions was his discovery of the formation and germination of spores (called endospores) in certain bacteria, particularly in Bacillus subtilis. He was also the first to note endospores’ resistance to high temperatures, and by his observations he was able to refute contemporary experiments that seemed to lend support to the theory of “spontaneous generation”.
Spontaneous Generation as defined at the time meant the ideas both that; life could generate from non-living matter (eg: primordial soup), or that life could generated from dead organic matter, (eg: random protein strings or dead DNA matter). Cohn explained the quick reappearance of bacteria in thoroughly boiled flasks of hay and turnip–cheese infusions by speculating that the bacteria within them had thermo-resistant spores and were thus able to survive the boiling intact, after which they reverted to their normal reproductive stages. This theory was later proved to be correct. He was thus able to refute other bacteriologists’ assumptions that all the bacteria in the boiled infusions had been killed by the heat, and he showed the fallacy of their reliance on abiogenesis & heterogenesis as the only remaining explanations.
Ferdinand Cohn’s testable and repeatable experiment proved that abiogenesis (as proposed in the primordial soup theory) does not work. Furthermore his experiment also proved that heterogenesis (self generating life from proteins like those in the Urey/Miller experiment) also does not work. It may be possible to get some useless assorted proteins (and toxic bi-products) but they won’t come to life.
This same principle is employed every day by companies in packaging food products in cans. Canned meat or vegetables are packed into tin cans and heated up enough to kill off even the thermo resistant bacteria. Irradiation is sometimes used also. These cans of veritable “primordial” soup contain lots of proteins, amino acids, DNA, & chromosomes, but when you open it up there is no life. This is because neither abiogenesis nor heterogenesis work. Open a can of tinned soup and see for yourself. There is no life in the can because evolutionary theory cannot explain the existence of life.
Here is a definition of Abiogenesis from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/abiogenesis
"the now discredited theory that living organisms can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter; spontaneous generation."
To put it simply, life was created, and created with such intelligence that it is adaptable to survive.
Christians agree that changes within species occur. Christian and Jews have been selectively breeding animals for thousands of years to get particular desirable traits. This speciation is fact, but there is not evidence at all to support wild theories like Darwin's claim that all life came from some primordial soup.
Let us not forget the sound science of Ferdinand Cohn that disproves abiogenesis each time we open a can of food.