History is full of Christian scientists who have made great discoveries in their fields. And yet in the last several decades, revisionist historians have been rewriting the worldview of many creation scientists, including the great Louis Pasteur, whose work in understanding germs revolutionized health and medicine.
Pasteur is well known for his work in germ theory, and the pasteurization process he invented protects consumers every day from food-related diseases. But his Judeo-Christian worldview is not politically correct in most universities nowadays. And as a result, his views have been watered down to make them more palatable to secularists.
Yet according to primary sources such as Pasteur’s son-in-law, René Vallery-Radot, Pasteur’s strong belief in creation and Christianity allowed him to make discoveries that benefited mankind in numerous ways.
Microbiologist and zoologist Dr. Alan L. Gillen says Pasteur had a strong religious and humanitarian spirit—and he firmly believed in God. In fact, it was Pasteur’s belief in Jesus that inspired him to study ideas that would allow him to “heal the sick.” Even more so, it was his firm belief in God that led Pasteur to reject the notion of evolution and spontaneous generation.
Louis Pasteur’s Belief in God and Creation
As a scientist, Pasteur had no problem pointing to God as the Creator of the universe. He felt it was his calling to investigate God’s creation and help mankind with his discoveries.
In fact, Pasteur said, “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.”
Because of this, Pasteur had a passion for finding scientific solutions to problems he encountered, from rabies to sour wine to diphtheria.
His pursuit of scientific knowledge parallels a biblical principle found in Proverbs 25:2, which says, “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”
Pasteur’s faith in creation fueled not only his scientific discoveries but also his rejection of evolution. Lately, his creationist views have been contested, yet his most straightforward remarks against evolution come from his studies on spontaneous generation.
Spontaneous generation—the idea that life can come from nothing—is the crux of the evolutionary model. In contrast, Pasteur believed in biogenesis, the idea that life comes from life, a principle found in Genesis 1. Pasteur began his studies on this subject shortly after Charles Darwin came out with his Origin of Species in 1859.
Germs and Disease: Experiments on Spontaneous Generation
As a Christian scientist, Pasteur did not believe life could spontaneously generate from nothing. So he did what any good scientist would do—he conducted experiments.
One of his most popular experiments on the matter showed biogenesis in action. He started by boiling meat broth in a swan-necked flask. The swan neck allowed air into the flask but kept bacteria from falling in. As a result, bacteria gathered in the bends of the flask’s neck, but none entered the liquid. When Pasteur tipped the flask, though, the broth soon became cloudy with bacteria.
Another brilliant experiment Pasteur conducted also showed that the air is alive with microorganisms. He filtered air through a cotton plug, trapping microorganisms, which he examined under a microscope. He noted that those organisms looked exactly like others that scientists had previously observed in many infusions. (Infusions are liquids containing nutrients where microorganisms can thrive.) When Pasteur dropped the cotton plug into a sterilized infusion, it became cloudy as the organisms quickly multiplied.
Pasteur’s Influence on Creation Science
Pasteur not only refuted the bizarre idea that something can come from nothing, but he also defended the truth that life begins with the Author of Life.
This belief equipped him to better understand disease prevention. His work showed that diseases came from germs, not spontaneously from nothing (or, as some thought, swamp gases).
The foundation in germ theory that Pasteur laid equipped Christian physician and creationist Joseph Lister to develop the idea of using aseptic techniques in surgery. Just think of how many lives have been saved because of these scientific discoveries!
Learn More About Germs From a Christian Worldview
At Answers in Genesis, we value science and the Bible—and we know they go hand in hand. That’s why we offer thousands of creationist videos on Answers.tv.
If you want to learn more about germs from a Christian perspective, watch Roger Patterson’s fun teaching Germs and Infections, filmed in our very own Creation Museum!