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Louis Pasteur

Birthdate: 27. December 1822
Date of death: 28. September 1895

Louis Pasteur was a French biologist, microbiologist and chemist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of diseases, and his discoveries have saved many lives ever since. He reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax.

His medical discoveries provided direct support for the germ theory of disease and its application in clinical medicine. He is best known to the general public for his invention of the technique of treating milk and wine to stop bacterial contamination, a process now called pasteurization. He is regarded as one of the three main founders of bacteriology, together with Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch, and is popularly known as the "father of microbiology".Pasteur was responsible for disproving the doctrine of spontaneous generation. He performed experiments that showed that without contamination, microorganisms could not develop. Under the auspices of the French Academy of Sciences, he demonstrated that in sterilized and sealed flasks nothing ever developed, and in sterilized but open flasks microorganisms could grow. Although Pasteur was not the first to propose the germ theory, his experiments indicated its correctness and convinced most of Europe that it was true.

Today, he is often regarded as one of the fathers of germ theory. Pasteur made significant discoveries in chemistry, most notably on the molecular basis for the asymmetry of certain crystals and racemization. Early in his career, his investigation of tartaric acid resulted in the first resolution of what is now called optical isomers. His work led the way to the current understanding of a fundamental principle in the structure of organic compounds.

He was the director of the Pasteur Institute, established in 1887, until his death, and his body was interred in a vault beneath the institute. Although Pasteur made groundbreaking experiments, his reputation became associated with various controversies. Historical reassessment of his notebook revealed that he practiced deception to overcome his rivals.

„How do you know that in ten thousand years, one will not consider it more likely that matter has emerged from life?“

—  Louis Pasteur

Partially quoted in René Dubos, Louis Pasteur: Free Lance of Science, Da Capo Press, Inc., 1950. p 396.
Original in French: «La génération spontanée, je la cherche sans la découvrir depuis vingt ans. Non, je ne la juge pas impossible. Mais quoi donc vous autorise à vouloir qu'elle ait été l'origine de la vie? Vous placez la matière avant la vie et vous faites la matière existante de toute éternité. Qui vous dit que, le progrès incessant de la science n'obligera pas les savants, qui vivront dans un siècle, dans mille ans, dans dix mille ans... à affirmer que la vie a été de toute éternité et non la matière.? Vous passez de la matière à la vie parce que votre intelligence actuelle, si bornée par rapport à ce que sera l'intelligence des naturalistes futurs, vous dit qu'elle ne peut comprendre autrement les choses. Qui m'assure que dans dix mille ans on ne considérera pas que c'est de la vie qu'on croira impossible de ne pas passer à la matière? Si vous voulez être au nombre des esprits scientifiques, s, qui seuls comptent, il faut vous débarrasser des idées et des raisonnements a priori et vous en tenir aux déductions nécessaires des faits établis et ne pas accorder plus de confiance qu'il ne faut aux déductions de pures hypothèses." (Pasteur et la philosophie,Patrice Pinet, Editions L'Harmattan, p. 63.
Context: 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 understood 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.

„How is it that you do not see the essential difference between my opponents and myself? Not only have I contradicted, proof in hand, every one of their assertions, while they have never dared to seriously contradict one of mine, but, for them, every cause of error benefits their opinion.“

—  Louis Pasteur

Original in French from Œuvres de Pasteur, Volume 7 (1939), Masson et cie, p. 539: Mon opinion, mieux encore, ma conviction, c'est que, dans l'état actuel de la science, comme vous dites avec raison, la génération spontanée est une chimère, et il vous serait impossible de me contredire, car mes expériences sont toutes debout, et toutes prouvent que la génération spontanée est une chimère
Context: You say that, in the present state of science, it is wiser to have no opinion: well, I have an opinion, not a sentimental one, but a rational one, having acquired a right to it by twenty years of assiduous labour, and it would be wise in every impartial mind to share it. My opinion — nay more, my conviction — is that, in the present state of science, as you rightly say, spontaneous generation is a chimera; and it would be impossible for you to contradict me, for my experiments all stand forth to prove that spontaneous generation is a chimera. What is then your judgment on my experiments? Have I not a hundred times placed organic matter in contact with pure air in the best conditions for it to produce life spontaneously? Have I not practised on these organic materia which are most favourable, according to all accounts, to the genesis of spontaneity, such as blood, urine, and grape juice? How is it that you do not see the essential difference between my opponents and myself? Not only have I contradicted, proof in hand, every one of their assertions, while they have never dared to seriously contradict one of mine, but, for them, every cause of error benefits their opinion. For me, affirming as I do that there are no spontaneous fermentations, I am bound to eliminate every cause of error, every perturbing influence, I can maintain my results only by means of most irreproachable experiments; their opinions, on the contrary, profit by every insufficient experiment and that is where they find their support.

„The idea of God is a form of the idea of the Infinite. As long as the mystery of the infinite weighs on human thought, temples will be erected for the worship of the Infinite, whether God is called Brahma, Allah, Jehovah, or Jesus; and on the pavement of these temples, men will be seen kneeling, prostrated, annihilated by the thought of the Infinite.“

—  Louis Pasteur

As quoted by Sir William Osler in his introduction to The Life of Pasteur (1907) by Rene Vallery-Radot, as translated by R .L. Devonshire (1923)
Context: He who proclaims the existence of the Infinite, and none can avoid it — accumulates in that affirmation more of the supernatural than is to be found in all the miracles of all the religions; for the notion of the Infinite presents that double character that forces itself upon us and yet is incomprehensible. When this notion seizes upon our understanding we can but kneel... I see everywhere the inevitable expression of the Infinite in the world; through it the supernatural is at the bottom of every heart. The idea of God is a form of the idea of the Infinite. As long as the mystery of the infinite weighs on human thought, temples will be erected for the worship of the Infinite, whether God is called Brahma, Allah, Jehovah, or Jesus; and on the pavement of these temples, men will be seen kneeling, prostrated, annihilated by the thought of the Infinite.

„Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.“

—  Louis Pasteur

As quoted in Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science (1960) by René Jules Dubos, Ch. 3 "Pasteur in Action"
As quoted in Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science (1960) by René Jules Dubos, Ch. 3 "Pasteur in Action"
Context: Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.

„But what allows you to make it the origin of life?“

—  Louis Pasteur

Partially quoted in René Dubos, Louis Pasteur: Free Lance of Science, Da Capo Press, Inc., 1950. p 396.
Original in French: «La génération spontanée, je la cherche sans la découvrir depuis vingt ans. Non, je ne la juge pas impossible. Mais quoi donc vous autorise à vouloir qu'elle ait été l'origine de la vie? Vous placez la matière avant la vie et vous faites la matière existante de toute éternité. Qui vous dit que, le progrès incessant de la science n'obligera pas les savants, qui vivront dans un siècle, dans mille ans, dans dix mille ans... à affirmer que la vie a été de toute éternité et non la matière.? Vous passez de la matière à la vie parce que votre intelligence actuelle, si bornée par rapport à ce que sera l'intelligence des naturalistes futurs, vous dit qu'elle ne peut comprendre autrement les choses. Qui m'assure que dans dix mille ans on ne considérera pas que c'est de la vie qu'on croira impossible de ne pas passer à la matière? Si vous voulez être au nombre des esprits scientifiques, s, qui seuls comptent, il faut vous débarrasser des idées et des raisonnements a priori et vous en tenir aux déductions nécessaires des faits établis et ne pas accorder plus de confiance qu'il ne faut aux déductions de pures hypothèses." (Pasteur et la philosophie,Patrice Pinet, Editions L'Harmattan, p. 63.
Context: 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 understood 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.

„The human spirit, driven by an invincible force, will never cease to ask: What is beyond?“

—  Louis Pasteur

Context: The human spirit, driven by an invincible force, will never cease to ask: What is beyond? Does he want to stop either in time or in space? Since the point at which he has reigned is only a finite magnitude, greater only than all those who have preceded him, he has scarcely begun to think of it as the implacable question and always without being able to silence his curiosity. There is nothing to answer: there are spaces, times or magnitudes without limits. No one understands these words. <!-- He who proclaims the existence of the infinite, and no one can escape from it accumulates in this affirmation more supernatural than there is in all the miracles of all religions; for the notion of the infinite has the double character of imposing itself and of being incomprehensible.

„Do you understand now the relationship between the question of spontaneous generation and the major problems that I listed in the beginning?“

—  Louis Pasteur

Original in French: Comprenez-vous maintenant le lien qui existe entre la question des générations spontanées et ces grands problèmes que j'ai énumérés en commençant? Mais, messieurs, dans un pareil sujet, assez de poésie comme cela, assez de fantaisie et de solutions instinctives; il est temps que la science, la vraie méthode reprenne ses droits et les exerce. Il n'y a ici ni religion, ni philosophie, ni athéisme, ni matérialisme, ni spiritualisme qui tienne. Je pourrais même ajouter : Comme savant, peu m'importe. C'est une question de fait; je l'ai abordée sans idée préconçue, aussi prêt à déclarer, si l'expérience m'en avait imposé l'aveu, qu'il existe des générations spontanées, que je suis persuadé aujourd'hui que ceux qui les affirment ont un bandeau sur les veux.
Also found in Histoire du développement de la biologie, Volume 3, by Hendrik Cornelius Dirk de Wit (1994), PPUR presses polytechniques, p. 393
Soirées scientifiques de la Sorbonne (1864)
Context: Do you understand now the relationship between the question of spontaneous generation and the major problems that I listed in the beginning? But, gentlemen, in such a subject, rather than as poetry, pretty fancy and instinctive solutions, it is time for science, the true method resumes its duties and exercise. Here, it takes no religion, no philosophy, no atheism, no materialism, no spiritualism. I might even add: as a scholar, I do not mind. It is a matter of fact; I approached without a preconceived idea, too ready to declare, if the experiment had imposed upon me the confession, that there was a spontaneous generation, of which I am convinced today that those who assure it are blindfolded.

„Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers.“

—  Louis Pasteur

As quoted in The Literary Digest (18 October 1902)
Context: 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.

„My philosophy is of the heart and not of the mind,“

—  Louis Pasteur

p. 163
Context: I confess frankly, however, that I am not competent on the question of our philosophical schools. Of M. Comte I have only read a few absurd passages; of M. Littré I only know the beautiful pages you were inspired to write by his rare knowledge and some of his domestic virtues. My philosophy is of the heart and not of the mind, and I give myself up, for instance, to those feelings about eternity which come naturally at the bedside of a cherished child drawing its last breath. At those supreme moments, there is something in the depths of our souls which tells us that the world may be more than a mere combination of phenomena proper to a mechanical equilibrium brought out of the chaos of the elements simply through the gradual action of the forces of matter.

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„My opinion — nay more, my conviction — is that, in the present state of science, as you rightly say, spontaneous generation is a chimera ; and it would be impossible for you to contradict me, for my experiments all stand forth to prove that spontaneous generation is a chimera.“

—  Louis Pasteur

Original in French from Œuvres de Pasteur, Volume 7 (1939), Masson et cie, p. 539: Mon opinion, mieux encore, ma conviction, c'est que, dans l'état actuel de la science, comme vous dites avec raison, la génération spontanée est une chimère, et il vous serait impossible de me contredire, car mes expériences sont toutes debout, et toutes prouvent que la génération spontanée est une chimère
Context: You say that, in the present state of science, it is wiser to have no opinion: well, I have an opinion, not a sentimental one, but a rational one, having acquired a right to it by twenty years of assiduous labour, and it would be wise in every impartial mind to share it. My opinion — nay more, my conviction — is that, in the present state of science, as you rightly say, spontaneous generation is a chimera; and it would be impossible for you to contradict me, for my experiments all stand forth to prove that spontaneous generation is a chimera. What is then your judgment on my experiments? Have I not a hundred times placed organic matter in contact with pure air in the best conditions for it to produce life spontaneously? Have I not practised on these organic materia which are most favourable, according to all accounts, to the genesis of spontaneity, such as blood, urine, and grape juice? How is it that you do not see the essential difference between my opponents and myself? Not only have I contradicted, proof in hand, every one of their assertions, while they have never dared to seriously contradict one of mine, but, for them, every cause of error benefits their opinion. For me, affirming as I do that there are no spontaneous fermentations, I am bound to eliminate every cause of error, every perturbing influence, I can maintain my results only by means of most irreproachable experiments; their opinions, on the contrary, profit by every insufficient experiment and that is where they find their support.

„At those supreme moments, there is something in the depths of our souls which tells us that the world may be more than a mere combination of phenomena proper to a mechanical equilibrium brought out of the chaos of the elements simply through the gradual action of the forces of matter.“

—  Louis Pasteur

p. 163
Context: I confess frankly, however, that I am not competent on the question of our philosophical schools. Of M. Comte I have only read a few absurd passages; of M. Littré I only know the beautiful pages you were inspired to write by his rare knowledge and some of his domestic virtues. My philosophy is of the heart and not of the mind, and I give myself up, for instance, to those feelings about eternity which come naturally at the bedside of a cherished child drawing its last breath. At those supreme moments, there is something in the depths of our souls which tells us that the world may be more than a mere combination of phenomena proper to a mechanical equilibrium brought out of the chaos of the elements simply through the gradual action of the forces of matter.

„I could point to that liquid and say to you, I have taken my drop of water from the immensity of creation, and I have taken it full of the elements appropriated to the development of inferior beings. And I wait, I watch, I question it, begging it to recommence for me the beautiful spectacle of the first creation. But it is dumb, dumb since these experiments were begun several years ago; it is dumb because I have kept it from the only thing man cannot produce, from the germs which float in the air, from Life, for Life is a germ and a germ is Life. Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow of this simple experiment.“

—  Louis Pasteur

Translation from The Life of Pasteur, pp. 141-142 https://archive.org/stream/cu31924012227595#page/n153/mode/2up
Original in French: Et par conséquent, messieurs pourrais-je dire, en vous montrant ce liquide : J’ai pris dans l’immensité de la création ma goutte d’eau, et je l’ai prise toute pleine de la gelée féconde, c’est-à-dire, pour parler le langage de la science, toute pleine des éléments appropriés au développement des êtres inférieurs, Et j’attends, et j’observe, et je l’interroge, et je lui demande de vouloir bien recommencer pour moi la primitive création ; ce serait un si beau spectacle ! Mais elle est muette ! Elle est muette depuis plusieurs années que ces expériences sont commencées. Ah ! c’est que j’ai éloigné d’elle, et que j’éloigne encore en ce moment, la seule chose qu’il n’ait pas été donné à l’homme de produire, j’ai éloigné d’elle les germes qui flottent dans l’ait" j’ai éloigné d’elle la vie, car la vie c’est le germe et le germe c’est la vie. Jamais la doctrine de la génération spontanée ne se relèvera du coup mortel que Cette simple expérience lui porte.
Soirées scientifiques de la Sorbonne (1864)
Context: Here is an infusion of organic matter, as limpid as distilled water, and extremely alterable. It has been prepared to-day. To-morrow it will contain animalculae, little infusories, or flakes of mouldiness. I place a portion of that infusion into a flask with a long neck, like this one. Suppose I boil the liquid and leave it to cool. After a few days, mouldiness or animalculae will develop in the liquid. By boiling, I destroyed any germs contained in the liquid or against the glass; but that infusion being again in contact with air, it becomes altered, as all infusions do. Now suppose I repeat this experiment, but that, before boiling the liquid, I draw (by means of an enameller's lamp) the neck of the flask into a point, leaving however, its extremity open. This being done, I boil the liquid in the flask, and leave it to cool. Now the liquid of this second flask will remain pure not only two days, a month, a year, but three or four years — for the experiment I am telling you about is already four years old, and the liquid remains as limpid as distilled water. What difference is there, then, between those two vases? They contain the same liquid, they both contain air, both are open! Why does one decay and the other remain pure? The only difference between them is this : in the first case, the dusts suspended in air and their germs can fall into the neck of the flask and arrive into contact with the liquid, where they find appropriate food and develop; thence microscopic beings. In the second flask, on the contrary, it is impossible, or at least extremely difficult, unless air is violently shaken, that dusts suspended in air should enter the vase; they fall on its curved neck. When air goes in and out of the vase through diffusions or variations of temperature, the latter never being sudden, the air comes in slowly enough to drop the dusts and germs that it carries at the opening of the neck or in the first curves. This experiment is full of instruction; for this must be noted, that everything in air save its dusts can easily enter the vase and come into contact with the liquid. Imagine what you choose in the air — electricity, magnetism, ozone, unknown forces even, all can reach the infusion. Only one thing cannot enter easily, and that is dust, suspended in air. And the proof of this is that if I shake the vase violently two or three times, in a few days it contains animalculae or mouldiness. Why? because air has come in violently enough to carry dust with it. And, therefore, gentlemen, I could point to that liquid and say to you, I have taken my drop of water from the immensity of creation, and I have taken it full of the elements appropriated to the development of inferior beings. And I wait, I watch, I question it, begging it to recommence for me the beautiful spectacle of the first creation. But it is dumb, dumb since these experiments were begun several years ago; it is dumb because I have kept it from the only thing man cannot produce, from the germs which float in the air, from Life, for Life is a germ and a germ is Life. Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow of this simple experiment.

„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?“

—  Louis Pasteur

Partially quoted in René Dubos, Louis Pasteur: Free Lance of Science, Da Capo Press, Inc., 1950. p 396.
Original in French: «La génération spontanée, je la cherche sans la découvrir depuis vingt ans. Non, je ne la juge pas impossible. Mais quoi donc vous autorise à vouloir qu'elle ait été l'origine de la vie? Vous placez la matière avant la vie et vous faites la matière existante de toute éternité. Qui vous dit que, le progrès incessant de la science n'obligera pas les savants, qui vivront dans un siècle, dans mille ans, dans dix mille ans... à affirmer que la vie a été de toute éternité et non la matière.? Vous passez de la matière à la vie parce que votre intelligence actuelle, si bornée par rapport à ce que sera l'intelligence des naturalistes futurs, vous dit qu'elle ne peut comprendre autrement les choses. Qui m'assure que dans dix mille ans on ne considérera pas que c'est de la vie qu'on croira impossible de ne pas passer à la matière? Si vous voulez être au nombre des esprits scientifiques, s, qui seuls comptent, il faut vous débarrasser des idées et des raisonnements a priori et vous en tenir aux déductions nécessaires des faits établis et ne pas accorder plus de confiance qu'il ne faut aux déductions de pures hypothèses." (Pasteur et la philosophie,Patrice Pinet, Editions L'Harmattan, p. 63.
Context: 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 understood 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.

„It is a matter of fact; I approached without a preconceived idea, too ready to declare, if the experiment had imposed upon me the confession, that there was a spontaneous generation, of which I am convinced today that those who assure it are blindfolded.“

—  Louis Pasteur

Original in French: Comprenez-vous maintenant le lien qui existe entre la question des générations spontanées et ces grands problèmes que j'ai énumérés en commençant? Mais, messieurs, dans un pareil sujet, assez de poésie comme cela, assez de fantaisie et de solutions instinctives; il est temps que la science, la vraie méthode reprenne ses droits et les exerce. Il n'y a ici ni religion, ni philosophie, ni athéisme, ni matérialisme, ni spiritualisme qui tienne. Je pourrais même ajouter : Comme savant, peu m'importe. C'est une question de fait; je l'ai abordée sans idée préconçue, aussi prêt à déclarer, si l'expérience m'en avait imposé l'aveu, qu'il existe des générations spontanées, que je suis persuadé aujourd'hui que ceux qui les affirment ont un bandeau sur les veux.
Also found in Histoire du développement de la biologie, Volume 3, by Hendrik Cornelius Dirk de Wit (1994), PPUR presses polytechniques, p. 393
Soirées scientifiques de la Sorbonne (1864)
Context: Do you understand now the relationship between the question of spontaneous generation and the major problems that I listed in the beginning? But, gentlemen, in such a subject, rather than as poetry, pretty fancy and instinctive solutions, it is time for science, the true method resumes its duties and exercise. Here, it takes no religion, no philosophy, no atheism, no materialism, no spiritualism. I might even add: as a scholar, I do not mind. It is a matter of fact; I approached without a preconceived idea, too ready to declare, if the experiment had imposed upon me the confession, that there was a spontaneous generation, of which I am convinced today that those who assure it are blindfolded.

„He who proclaims the existence of the Infinite, and none can avoid it — accumulates in that affirmation more of the supernatural than is to be found in all the miracles of all the religions; for the notion of the Infinite presents that double character that forces itself upon us and yet is incomprehensible.“

—  Louis Pasteur

As quoted by Sir William Osler in his introduction to The Life of Pasteur (1907) by Rene Vallery-Radot, as translated by R .L. Devonshire (1923)
Context: He who proclaims the existence of the Infinite, and none can avoid it — accumulates in that affirmation more of the supernatural than is to be found in all the miracles of all the religions; for the notion of the Infinite presents that double character that forces itself upon us and yet is incomprehensible. When this notion seizes upon our understanding we can but kneel... I see everywhere the inevitable expression of the Infinite in the world; through it the supernatural is at the bottom of every heart. The idea of God is a form of the idea of the Infinite. As long as the mystery of the infinite weighs on human thought, temples will be erected for the worship of the Infinite, whether God is called Brahma, Allah, Jehovah, or Jesus; and on the pavement of these temples, men will be seen kneeling, prostrated, annihilated by the thought of the Infinite.

„The greatness of human actions is measured by the inspiration that it brings. Blessed is he who carries within himself a God, an ideal of beauty and obeys it: an ideal of art, ideal of science, ideal of country, ideal virtues of the Gospel! These are the wellsprings of great thoughts and great actions. All reflections illuminate infinity.“

—  Louis Pasteur

Variant translations:
Blessed is he who carries within himself a God, an ideal, and who obeys it: ideal of art, ideal of science, ideal of the gospel virtues, therein lie the springs of great thoughts and great actions; they all reflect light from the Infinite. (As quoted by Sir William Osler in his introduction to The Life of Pasteur (1907) by Rene Vallery-Radot, as translated by R .L. Devonshire (1923)
Blessed is he who carries within himself a god and an ideal and who obeys it — an ideal of art, of science, or gospel virtues. Therein lie the springs of great thoughts and great actions; they all reflect light from the Infinite. (As quoted in The Wordsworth Dictionary of Quotations (1998) by Connie Robertson, p. 320)
Original: (fr) La grandeur des actions humaines se mesure à l’inspiration qui les fait naître. Heureux celui qui porte en soi un Dieu, un idéal de la beauté et qui lui obéit : idéal de l’art, idéal de la science, idéal de la patrie, idéal des vertus de l’Évangile! Ce sont là les sources vives des grandes pensées et des grandes actions. Toutes s’éclairent des reflets de l’infini.

„Science brings men nearer to God.“

—  Louis Pasteur

As quoted in Letter to an Atheist (2007) by Michael Patrick Leahy, p. 61
Original: Le premier regard de l'homme jeté sur l'univers n'y découvre que variété, diversité, multiplicité des phénomènes. Que ce regard soit illuminé par la science, — par la science qui rapproche l'homme de Dieu, — et la simplicité et l'unité brillent de toutes parts.

„The Greeks understood the mysterious power of the underside of things. They are the ones who gave us one of the most beautiful words in our language, the word enthusiasm.“

—  Louis Pasteur

Εν Θεος - A God within.

Variant translation: "The Greeks have given us one of the most beautiful words of our language, the word "enthusiasm" Εν Θεος .— a God within. The grandeur of the acts of men are measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a God within." (As quoted in Spiritual Literacy : Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life (1998) by Frederic Brussat and Mary Ann Brussat)

Original: Les Grecs avaient compris la mystérieuse puissance de ce dessous de choses. Ce sont eux qui nous ont légué un des plus beaux mots de notre langue, le mot enthousiasme. —Εν Θεος. — Un Dieu intérieur.

„Now, gentlemen, there will be a beautiful story: what is the role, in the overall scheme of creation, of some of these little beings who are the agents of fermentation, the agents of putrefaction, of disorganization of everything that life has had in the surface of the globe. This role is immense, marvelous, really moving. Maybe one day maybe I will be given [the opportunity] to explain here some of these results. May God grant it to be still in the presence of such a brilliant assembly!“

—  Louis Pasteur

Original in French: Maintenant, messieurs, il y aurait un beau sujet à traiter : c’est celui du rôle, dans l’économie générale de la création, de quelques-uns de ces petits êtres qui sont les agents de la fermentation, les agents de la putréfaction, de la désorganisation de tout ce qui a eu vie il la surface du globe. Ce rôle est immense, merveilleux, vraiment émouvant. Un jour peut-être me sera-t-il donné de vous exposer ici quelques-uns de ces résultats. Dieu veuille que ce soit encore en présence à une aussi brillante assemblée!
Soirées scientifiques de la Sorbonne (1864)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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