American Minute with Bill Federer SEPT. 28 - 'The world may be more than a mere combination of events.' - Louis Pasteur
American Minute with Bill Federer
SEPT. 28 - 'The world may be more than a mere combination of events.' - Louis Pasteur
Ignaz Semmelweis recommended in 1844 that doctors at Vienna General
Hospital wash their hands after doing autopsies and before delivering
babies to prevent mothers from dying of puerperal fever.
early 1800's, nearly 25 percent of all mothers giving birth in hospital
maternity wards were dying of puerperal fever, with epidemics sometimes
reaching 100 percent.
Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was so ridiculed for his 'hand-washing' suggestion
that he had to leave Vienna and eventually died in a mental asylum.
In America, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., made the same suggestion and was similarly criticized by medical professionals.
was not until Louis Pasteur confirmed the existence of microscopic
germs that hand-washing became an accepted medical practice to prevent
Jospeh Lister in Scotland applied Louis Pasteur's studies of infectious
microbiology to the pioneering of sterile surgery. "Listerine"
antiseptic mouthwash was name for him.
Dr. Joseph Lister stated: "I am a believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity," and told a graduating class:
is our proud office to tend the fleshly tabernacle of the immortal
spirit, and our path, if rightly followed, will be guided by unfettered
truth and love unfeigned. In pursuit of this noble and holy calling I
wish you all God-speed."
Pasteur became a professor of chemistry at the University of
Strasbourg, where in 1849 he married Marie Laurent, daughter of the
Tragically, three of their five children died of typhoid, which led him to research the causes and preventions of diseases.
Louis Pasteur's study of micro-organisms and his germ theory revolutionized medicine.
developed vaccines for rabies and anthrax, drawing on Edward Jenner's
1796 method of inoculating people from smallpox by "vaccinating" them
with cowpox - ("vaca" being Latin for cow).
Pasteur laid the foundation for the control of tuberculosis, cholera,
diphtheria and tetanus - diseases which had killed millions.
Louis Pasteur along with Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch are considered the fathers of the science of microbiology.
Describing anaerobic (without oxygen) bacteria, Louis Pasteur commented:
more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the
Creator. Into his tiniest creatures, God has placed extraordinary
properties that turn them into agents of destruction of dead matter."
In The Life of Louis Pasteur,
written by Rene' Vallery-Radot, translated by Mrs. R.L. Devonshire,
(McClure, Phillips & Co., 1902, Vol. 1, p. 260-262), Louis Pasteur
wrote in a notebook, 1871:
"Life is in the germ, that it has been but in a state of transmission since the origin of creation."
In an interview with the Mayor and the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Orleans, France, Louis Pasteur talked of:
"Science, which brings man nearer to God."
Pasteur, as Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at Lille University in
France, researched how micro-organisms spoiled beverages, such as beer,
wine and milk.
In January, 1860, Louis Pasteur wrote to Chappuis (Vallery-Radot, Life of Louis Pasteur):
am pursuing as best I can these studies on fermentation which are of
great interest, connected as they are with the impenetrable mystery of
Life and Death."
Pasteur developed the process of heating the liquids to kill most
bacteria and molds, which became called "pasteurization."
President Eisenhower wrote January 8, 1954:
"Pasteurization of milk has prevented countless epidemics and saved thousands of lives."
As a young man, Louis Pasteur wrote to his sisters, November 1, 1840 (Rene' Vallery-Radot, The Life of Louis Pasteur, translated by Mrs. R.L. Devonshire, Vol. I, NY: McClure, Phillips & Co., 1902):
three things, Will, Work, Success, fill human existence. Will opens the
door to success both brilliant and happy; Work passes these doors, and
at the end of the journey Success comes to crown one's efforts.
so, my dear sisters, if your resolution is firm, your task...is already
begun; You have but to walk forward... If perchance you should falter
during the journey, a hand would be there to support you.
If that should be wanting, God, who alone could take that hand from you, would Himself accomplish its work."
his formal inauguration to the Faculty of Letters of Douai and the
Faculty of Sciences of Lille, Louis Pasteur remarked, December 7, 1854:
les champs de l'observation, le hasard ne favorise que les esprits
préparés" (In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared
President George H.W. Bush referred to this statement, February 13, 1989:
know, Louis Pasteur once said: 'Chance favors only the prepared
mind.'...For America to be prepared for the future, our children must be
In a letter to his father, February 7, 1860, Louis Pasteur wrote (Vallery-Radot, Life of Louis Pasteur):
grant that by my persevering labors I may bring a little stone to the
frail and ill-assured edifice of our knowledge of those deep mysteries
of Life and Death where all our intellects have so lamentably failed."
Upon his father's death, Louis Pasteur wrote (Vallery-Radot, Life of Louis Pasteur):
children, the dear grandfather is no more...Until the last moment I
hoped I should see him again, embrace him for the last time...He died on
the day of your first communion, dear Cécile; those two memories will
remain in your heart...
I was asking you to pray for the
grandfather at Arbois College. Your prayers will have been acceptable
unto God, and perhaps the dear grandfather himself knew of them and
rejoiced with dear little Jeanne over Cécile's piety."
The Life of Louis Pasteur, written by Rene' Vallery-Radot, translated
by Mrs. R.L. Devonshire, (Vol. I, NY: McClure, Phillips & Co.,
1902, p. 257), Louis Pasteur wrote:
discoveries...introduce into the whole of Society that philosophical or
scientific spirit, that spirit of discernment, which submits everything
to severe reasoning, condemns ignorance and scatters errors and
They raise the intellectual level and the moral
sense, and through them the Divine idea itself is spread abroad and
In the book, Louis Pasteur by Patrice Debre', translated by Eblorg Forster (John Hopkins University Press, 1998), Louis Pasteur is quoted as saying:
each one of us there are two men, the scientist and the man of faith
or of doubt. These two spheres are separate, and woe to those who want
to make them encroach upon one another in the present state of our
President Lyndon B. Johnson stated April 7, 1966:
ago Louis Pasteur said, 'I hold the unconquerable belief that science
and peace will triumph over ignorance and war; that nations will come
together not to destroy, but to construct; and that the future belongs
to those who accomplish most for humanity.'"
Catholic, though sometimes described as a free thinker, Louis Pastuer
died on SEPTEMBER 28, 1895 while listening to the story of St. Vincent
de Paul, a French priest who escaped Muslim slavery in 1605 and helped
found religious orders to care for suffering humanity in hospitals.
Shortly after his death, Louis Pasteur was attributed with the quotation:
more I know, the more does my faith approach that of the Breton
peasant. Could I but know all, I would have the faith of a Breton
His son-in-law described him, as recorded in The Life of Louis Pasteur (Rene' Vallery-Radot, 1911, vol. 2, p. 240):
faith in God and in Eternity, and a conviction that the power for
good given to us in this world will be continued beyond it, were
feelings which pervaded his whole life; the virtues of the gospel had
ever been present to him.
Full of respect for the form of
religion which had been that of his forefathers, he came simply to it
and naturally for spiritual help in these last weeks of his life."
one of the first European scientists to reject the evolutionary
theory of spontaneous generation, Louis Pasteur insisted that life
only arises from life, stating:
"Microscopic beings must come
into the world from parents similar to themselves...There is something
in the depths of our souls which tells us that the world may be more
than a mere combination of events."