December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895
Outstanding scientist and opponent of evolutionby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
Within the 60 to 70 year period of a human life, only so much can be accomplished. Far too many lives end in a feeling of despair and insignificance. Throughout their lives, people attempt to fulfill themselves with good and bad things, but without God, even the best people will fall short of their potential. Louis Pasteur, a scientist that followed God with all his heart, made many amazing discoveries and inventions during his life. People state that he could do in a few years what took some men a lifetime. More importantly, however, he trusted the Lord and was fulfilled in the fact that he did the Lord’s work. No man can live a sinless life, but Pasteur is a prime example of a man that lived by God’s commands and accomplished great things for the Lord.
Born in France in 1822, Louis Pasteur grew up in the town of Arbois. Louis did not do exceptionally well in school at first, but his father desired for him to have a good education, and kept him in school. In his ninth year of school, he came to better respect his father and worked harder at his studies. After beginning college he decided to become a chemist. Until 1857, he worked successfully with crystals, and made some helpful discoveries, such as the differences between similar acids. Always willing to help someone, often Pasteur’s greatest discoveries came when he was working on some project for a friend.
One of his first discoveries, concerning fermentation and yeasts came when a friend asked for Pasteur’s help with some problems he was experiencing with his distilling vats. While working with these distills, Pasteur found that Yeast was alive and actively reproduced. However, the yeast, which produced the alcohol in the vats, was sometimes overrun by little rods which reproduced and created lactic acid. This was Pasteur’s first run-in with microbes. Scientists of the time generally believed that fermentation was a chemical process and that yeast was a byproduct or a non-important factor. They also believed in spontaneous generation – the idea that microscopic life just grew out of the stuff it feeds on. Pasteur went on to disprove both of these ideas. By a complex series of experiments, he disproved spontaneous generation; the most famous of these experiments was that of the swan-neck flask, used to prevent germs from entering a solution in a bottle while still allowing airflow. By disproving spontaneous generation, Pasteur struck a blow to the heart of evolution, which is still based on a similar belief in order to have the "first cause".
Pasteur became convinced, while working with diseased silk worms for a friend, that microbes caused disease. By this time in his life, he’d successfully helped several friends and their industries – the distilling industry and the silk industry. After proclaiming the germ theory (after working with silk worms), Pasteur began studying various diseases. He was intrigued by the smallpox vaccine that had been developed from cowpox, a lesser, yet similar disease. First, Pasteur developed a vaccine for chicken cholera – the bacteria could be weakened by exposure to air. Next, he discovered a vaccine for anthrax in sheep by heating the bacteria. Finally, Pasteur created a cure for rabies. By administering different potency levels of virus in sequential injections, he could successfully “vaccinate” a person in the time between when they were bitten and when they became sick.
Perhaps what Pasteur is known best for is pasteurization. This process involves gently heating foods (such as milk) to temperatures in the low 100’s. It successfully kills bacteria without harming the taste of the food. This process prevents milk from going sour for a longer time and prevents deadly diseases. The process was named after him because it was considered his greatest achievement. However, Pasteur never patented it, considering it more glorious to God to distribute it freely than to profit from it personally. Pasteur never did anything for praise or financial gain. He worked for the glory of God and for the benefit of others.
Lauber, Patricia. The Quest of Louis Pasteur. Garden City Books, 1960
Lamont, Ann. 21 Great Scientists who believed the Bible. Creation Science Foundation, 1995
Parker, Steve. Louis Pasteur and Germs Chelsea House Pub. 1995