Louis Pasteur's work shed light on the causes and prevention of diseases in the mid to late nineteenth century. He helped discover the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation, and pasteurization. Because of these discoveries, Pasteur has saved many lives and enhanced our quality of life.
Pasteur discovered that proper fermentation occurs when a particular microbe is present, but milk would go sour and wine would go bitter if the improper microbe was present. This work established a new study of science called microbiology and gave us terms like "aerobic" and "anaerobic" to describe life forms that exist in and outside of the presence of oxygen.
Pasteur is most recognized for the process called pasteurization. This process treats milk and wine to stop bacterial contamination. Through experiments he disproved the doctrine of spontaneous generation, the belief that living matter comes from non-living matter, and demonstrated that microorganisms only occur in contamination. Only living matter can produce more living matter.
Pasteur helped reduce the creation and spread of diseases. Pasteur helped farmers detect diseased eggs and destroy them so disease wouldn’t spread. Pasteur then continued on to study diseases such as rabies and anthrax. Through his studies of animals, Pasteur found that the spread of the rabies disease took weeks to spread to the brain. Pasteur realized that a rabies vaccine could be administered after one was bitten, not necessarily before.
As a result of Pasteur’s work with vaccinations, he founded the Pasteur Institute in France for research, education, the health of populations and people, and innovation development and technology transfer.
CENTERED ON CHRIST
In a biography about Pasteur, his son-in-law stated, “Absolute 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.”
Pasteur also prayed while he worked. He once stated, “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.” Pasteur welcomed God in his work in the lab and regularly involved God throughout all that he did. He said that science brought him closer to God.