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Louis Pasteur

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French Chemist and Microbiologist.

Louis Pasteur (December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895) was a French chemist and microbiologist who was one of the most important founders of medical microbiology. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases. His discoveries reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and he created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax. His experiments supported the germ theory of disease. He was best known to the general public for inventing a method to treat milk and wine in order to prevent it from causing sickness, a process that came to be called pasteurization. He is regarded as one of the three main founders of microbiology, together with Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch.


Sources:

1.) Joseph McCabe (1945). A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Freethinkers. Haldeman-Julius Publications. Retrieved 11 August 2012. "The anonymous Catholic author quotes as his authority the standard biography by Vallery-Radot, yet this describes Pasteur as a freethinker; and this is confirmed in the preface to the English translation by Sir W. Osler, who knew Pasteur personally. Vallery-Radot was himself a Catholic yet admits that Pasteur believed only in "an Infinite" and "hoped" for a future life. Pasteur publicly stated this himself in his Academy speech in 1822 (in V.R.). He said: "The idea of God is a form of the idea of the Infinite whether it is called Brahma, Allah, Jehova, or Jesus." The biographer says that in his last days he turned to the Church but the only "evidence" he gives is that he liked to read the life of St. Vincent de Paul, and he admits that he did not receive the sacraments at death. Relatives put rosary beads in his hands, and the Catholic Encyclopedia claims him as a Catholic in virtue of the fact and of an anonymous and inconclusive statement about him. Wheeler says in his Dictionary of Freethinkers that in his prime Pasteur was Vice-President of the British Secular (Atheist) Union; and Wheeler was the chief Secularist writer of the time. The evidence is overwhelming. Yet the Catholic scientist Sir Bertram Windle assures his readers that "no person who knows anything about him can doubt the sincerity of his attachment to the Catholic Church," and all Catholic writers use much the same scandalous language."

2.) Patrice Debré (2000). Louis Pasteur. JHU Press. p. 176. ISBN 9780801865299. "Does this mean that Pasteur was bound to a religious ideal? His attitude was that of a believer, not of a sectarian. One of his most brilliant disciples, Elie Metchnikoff, was to attest that he spoke of religion only in general terms. In fact, Pasteur evaded the question by claiming quite simply that religion has no more place in science than science has in religion. ...A biologist more than a chemist, a spiritual more than a religious man, Pasteur was held back only by the lack of more powerful technical means and therefore had to limit himself to identifying germs and explaining their generation."

3.) Brendon Barnett (May 31, 2011). "Louis Pasteur: A Religious Man?". Pasteur Brewing. Retrieved 11 August 2012. "However, unlike many others, Pasteur asserted the preeminence of hypotheses over religious or metaphysical prejudices and always seemed willing to abandon theories that were outdated or useless in practicality. Pasteur often saw religion as a hinderance to scientific progress. In 1874, presiding over the award ceremony at the Collège of Arbois, he clearly stated his position: "I know that the word free thinker is written somewhere within our walls as a challenge and an affront. Do you know what most of the free thinkers want? Some want the freedom not to think at all and to be fettered by ignorance; others want the freedom to think badly; and others still, the freedom to be dominated by what is suggested to them by instinct and to despise all authority and all tradition. Freedom of thought in the Cartesian sense, freedom to work hard, freedom to pursue research, the right to arrive at such truth as is accessible to evidence and to conform one's conduct to these exigencies--oh! let us vow a cult to this freedom; for this is what has created modern society in its highest and most fruitful aspects." Pasteur had great respect for the unknown and the infinite, but did not allow himself to become a victim of superstition and fanatical religious explanations." "Louis Pasteur: A Religious Man?".

4.) Brendon Barnett (May 31, 2011). "Louis Pasteur: A Religious Man?". Pasteur Brewing. Retrieved 11 August 2012. "Louis Pasteur did not deny religion, but was compelled to say that, "religion has no more place in science than science has in religion." The role of religion in his mind was clear: "In 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 knowledge!"" "Louis Pasteur: A Religious Man?".