What is history of Organic compounds and vital force theory

Organic compounds
The two characteristic features seen in carbon, that is, tetravalency and catenation, put together give rise to a large number of compounds. Many have the same non-carbon atom or group of atoms attached to different carbon chains. These compounds were initially extracted from natural substances and it was thought that these carbon
compounds or organic compounds could only be formed within a living system.

That is, it was postulated that a ‘vital force’ was necessary for their synthesis.

In 1809, Berzilius presented the theory. This theory contends that a vital force, rather than inorganic compounds, is what creates organic living substances. God is the name for this life-giving or spiritual force.


In 1815, Berzelius gave this theory a definition and outlined three guiding principles:


i) It is impossible to synthesise organic compounds in a lab from inorganic ones.
ii) Organic compound synthesis needs a vital force.
iii) This life force is only found in living things, which are gifts from God.

Friedrich Wöhler disproved this in 1828 by preparing urea from ammonium cyanate. But carbon compounds, except for carbides, oxides of carbon, carbonate and hydrogen carbonate salts continue to be studied under organic chemistry.

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