"q: what was vital force theory [...a:] organic chemistry is defined as the chemistry of carbon compounds [...] Berzelius indicated [in 1815] that the organic compounds can only be synthesized in nature by living organisms under the influence of a mysterious force known as vital force, i.e., life force [...aka] vital force theory [...but] Wohler synthesized the first organic compound [in 1828...it was] a serious blow to the vital force theory [in hindsight, not the the death blow!] and this theory was subsequently discarded [ decades ago!; p.1529]."
Note: historically speaking, the next two nails in the coffin for vitalism were thermodynamics and genetics. But, this science-ejected concept has refused to peacefully rest. E.g.: naturopathy claims the that such 'profoundly science-discarded' woo heartily survives scientific scrutiny...today. They are 'the education robbers'.