University of Wisconsin-Madison: Timothy Paustian's "The Microbial World: Spontaneous Generation"
Read this page. The origin of life has always been fascinating, and the discovery of microbes was also followed by a debate on their origins. Prominent scientists of the time performed experiments to prove or disprove the spontaneous generation of microbes from non-living matter. The debate was going on for about 200 years, when finally Pasteur put off the spontaneous generation theory with a set of smartly designed and carefully performed experiments.