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Louis Pasteur on life, matter, and spontaneous generation

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File:Albert Edelfelt - Louis Pasteur - 1885.jpg
Louis Pasteur, by Albert Edelfelt, 1885

From the BBC:

Few people have saved more lives than Louis Pasteur. The vaccines he developed have protected millions. His insight that germs cause disease revolutionised healthcare. He found new ways to make our food safe to eat.

Pasteur was the chemist who fundamentally changed our understanding of biology. By looking closely at the building blocks of life, he was at the forefront of a new branch of science: microbiology.

Here, from a letter to an atheist:

Science brings men nearer to God.

Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.

The Greeks understood the mysterious power of the below things. They are the ones who gave us one of the most beautiful words in our language, the word enthusiasm: a God within.

I have been looking for spontaneous generation for twenty years without discovering it. No, I do not judge it impossible. But what allows you to make it the origin of life? You place matter before life and you decide that matter has existed for all eternity. How do you know that the incessant progress of science will not compel scientists to consider that life has existed during eternity, and not matter? You pass from matter to life because your intelligence of today cannot conceive things otherwise. How do you know that in ten thousand years, one will not consider it more likely that matter has emerged from life? You move from matter to life because your current intelligence, so limited compared to what will be the future intelligence of the naturalist, tells you that things cannot be understand otherwise. If you want to be among the scientific minds, what only counts is that you will have to get rid of a priori reasoning and ideas, and you will have to do necessary deductions not giving more confidence than we should to deductions from wild speculation. [en francais, Pasteur et la philosophie, Patrice Pinet, Editions L’Harmattan, p. 63.]

Pasteur, it is true, saved countless people. We still use the term “pasteurized” for safe dairy products.

Darwin saved nobody; indeed, applications of his theory condemned many to death or forced sterilization.

Notice how Darwin is a cultural artifact but not Pasteur.  Wonder why that is?

Solution: Stop our subscriptions to Airhead News. Change the dial or channel on Airhead Media products, Inc. (the big hair and faux concerned looks). We shouldn’t advertise in/on any of them.

We can find out what is (really) going on when we shut off their firehose of false news and genuine noise, at least in our own lives.

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7 Replies to “Louis Pasteur on life, matter, and spontaneous generation

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    Atheist Scientists have a blind spot that puts them at a disadvantage. There have not been that many great Atheist scientists due to this handicap. Mocking them for their handicap is not right though.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    related notes:

    smallpox: Edward Jenner was an English physician and scientist who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine,,,, His father was the Reverend Stephen Jenner,,,
    “The most famous champion of vaccination was a Christian doctor, *Edward Jenner* who did his work against fierce opposition and in the teeth of threats against himself. In effect he wiped out smallpox from among the diseases that terrify mankind. He died from a cold caught carrying firewood to an impoverished woman.”
    http://www.rae.org/pdf/influsci.pdf

    polio and measles: John Enders, MD
    Death Bed: “On a September evening at their water front home in Connecticut, in 1985, Enders was reading T.S. Eliot aloud to his wife, Carolyn. He finished and went to bed, then quietly died. He was eighty-eight. At his memorial service his friend, the Bishop F.C. Laurence, said, “John Enders never lost his sense of wonder – wonder at the great mystery that exists and surrounds all of God’s creation. This awareness is what gave him his wide vision and open mindedness, his continued interest in all things new, his ability to listen, his humility in the presence of this great mystery, and his never-ending search for the truth.” His widow said that John briefly revealed his heart when he told her, concerning how creation ran, “There must be a mind behind it all.”
    http://www.scienceheroes.com/i.....Itemid=117
    of note:
    T.S. Eliot’s extraordinary journey of faith
    http://www.abc.net.au/religion.....972229.htm

    Ernst Chain: Antibiotics Pioneer
    Excerpt: In 1938, Chain stumbled across Alexander Fleming’s 1929 paper on penicillin in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology, which he brought to the attention of his colleague Florey.7 During their research, Chain isolated and purified penicillin. It was largely this work that earned him his numerous honors and awards, including a fellow of the Royal Society and numerous honorary degrees,8 the Pasteur Medal, the Paul Ehrlich Centenary Prize, the Berzelius Medal, and a knighthood.9,,,
    Chain concluded that he “would rather believe in fairies than in such wild speculation” as Darwinism.,,,
    Chain made it very clear what he believed about the Creator and our relationship to Him. He wrote that scientists “looking for ultimate guidance in questions of moral responsibility” would do well to “turn, or return, to the fundamental and lasting values of the code of ethical behaviour forming part of the divine message which man was uniquely privileged to receive through the intermediation of a few chosen individuals.”19
    http://www.icr.org/article/ern.....s-pioneer/

    Supplemental quote:

    “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.,,, In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2816

  3. 3
    Axel says:

    Loved the ‘Buddhism and Aztec cosmology’ substitutions, BA77!

  4. 4
    Blue_Savannah says:

    “Darwin Day” needs to be changed to “Pasteur Day”

  5. 5
    tjguy says:

    “Darwin Day” needs to be changed to “Pasteur Day”

    Now there’s an idea!

    Darwin or Pasteur: Who Deserves a Day?


    http://crev.info/2014/02/darwin-or-pasteur/

    Excerpt from the article:

    Jerry Bergman has unmasked the scientific follies of this great pretender in his book The Dark Side of Charles Darwin (an eye-opening read). By contrast, Pasteur was well known as honest, dignified, sober-minded, careful, courageous, merciful, and committed to doing all he could for the suffering and the cause of science. He is the man who deserves a day of celebration. He is the one who truly revolutionized biology in the late 19th century with his germ theory of disease, vaccines, and pasteurization process – successes in real laboratory science that have made our lives incomparably better, bringing health and wealth to billions of people. A lover of truth, Pasteur was adamantly against evolution, materialism, and spontaneous generation. He testified that he stood amazed at the wonder of creation, and wished to emulate the faith of a peasant woman. Celebrate Pasteur Day (Dec 27) instead of rollicking with the drunkards on Darwine Day (Feb 12).

  6. 6
    Eugen says:

    Darwin Day should be celebrated on April 1st 🙂

  7. 7
    goodusername says:

    tjguy,

    By contrast, Pasteur was well known as honest, dignified, sober-minded, careful, courageous, merciful, and committed to doing all he could for the suffering and the cause of science.

    According to who? Pasteur was involved in a number of pretty ugly controversies where he doesn’t come out looking too good:
    “If called before a congressional committee investigating scientific misconduct, Louis Pasteur, one of the luminaries in the history of science, would not pass muster by current ethical standards or even by the standards of his own day, according to a leading Pasteur scholar.”

    A lover of truth, Pasteur was adamantly against evolution…

    Really? He was “adamantly against evolution? Where did he ever say anything against evolution?

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