The Evangelization Station

Best Catholic Links

Search this Site




Mailing List

Pray for Pope Francis

Scroll down for topics

100+ Important Documents in United States History


Apostolic Fathers of the Church

Articles Worth Your Time

 Biographies & Writings of Notable Catholics

Catholic Apologetics

Catholic Calendar

Catholic News Commentary by Michael Voris, S.T.B.

Catholic Perspectives

Catholic Social Teaching


Church Around the World

Small animated flag of The Holy See (State of the Vatican City) graphic for a white background

Church Contacts

  Church Documents

Church History

Church Law

Church Teaching


Doctors of the Church



(Death, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell)

Essays on Science


Fathers of the Church

Free Catholic Pamphlets

 Heresies and Falsehoods

How to Vote Catholic

Let There Be Light

Q & A on the Catholic Faith

Links to Churches and Religions

Links to Newspapers, Radio and Television

Links to Recommended Sites

Links to Specialized Agencies

Links to specialized Catholic News services


General Instruction of the Roman Missal


Marriage & the Family

Modern Martyrs

Mexican Martyrdom

Moral Theology


Pope John Paul II's

Theology of the Body

Movie Reviews (USCCB)

New Age


Parish Bulletin Inserts

Political Issues

Prayer and Devotions



Hope after Abortion

Project Rachel


Help & Information for Men


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults




The Golden Legend


Vocation Links & Articles


What the Cardinals believe...

World Religions

Pope John Paul II

In Memoriam

John Paul II


Pope Benedict XVI

In Celebration

Visits to this site

What is Science?




Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was a French chemist and the father of modern bacteriology. During his life he made major contributions to chemistry, medicine, and industry. His discovery that diseases are spread by bacteria was perhaps his greatest contribution to science.


Louis Pasteur

Pasteur, having been abruptly addressed by a colleague, who remarked that there were many yet unexplained facts in connection with fermentation, answered by thus apostrophizing his adversaries: “What is, then, your idea of the progress of Science? Science advances one step, then another, and then draws back and meditates before taking a third. Does the impossibility of taking that last step suppress the success acquired by the two others? Would you say to an infant who hesitated before a third step, having ventured on two previous ones, ‘Thy former efforts are of no avail — thou shalt never walk’?

“You wish to upset what you are pleased to call my ‘theory,’ apparently in order to propose another. Permit me to tell you by what signs these theories are recognized: the characteristic of erroneous theories is that clinging to them it is impossible ever to foresee new facts, and one is therefore compelled to graft further hypotheses on them in order to account for those new facts; but correct theories, on the other hand, are the outcome of observed facts and are characterized by the ability of those who accept them to predict new facts which develop logically from those already known. In short, the characteristic of a correct theory is its fruitfulness.”

“Science,” he said further at the next meeting of the Academy, “ought not to concern itself in any way with the philosophical consequences of its discoveries. If through the development of my experimental studies I arrive at the demonstration that matter can organize itself of its own accord into a cell or into a living being, I would come here and proclaim it with the legitimate pride of a scientist conscious of having made a great discovery, and I would add, if provoked into doing so, “All the worse for those whose doctrines or systems do not fit in with the truth of the facts of nature.”

“It was with similar pride that I defied my opponents to contradict me when I said, ‘In the present state of science, the doctrine of spontaneous generation is a chimera.’ And I add, with similar independence, ‘So much the worse for those whose philosophical or political ideas are contradicted by my studies.’ This must not be taken to mean that, in my beliefs and in the conduct of my life, I take account only of acquired science. Even if I wish to do so, I could not, for then I should have to strip myself of a part of myself. There are two men in each of us — the scientist, he who starts with a clear field and desires to rise to the knowledge of Nature through observation, experimentation and deduction, and the man of belief, the man who mourns his dead children, and who cannot, alas, prove that he will see them again, but who believes that he will, and lives in that hope, the man who would not die like a vibrio, but feels that the spirit that is within him cannot die. The two domains are distinct, and woe to him who tries to let them trespass on each other in the always so imperfect state of human knowledge.”


Rene Vallery-Rado, Life of Pasteur (New York: Doubleday, 1923).


Rene Vallery-Rado



Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved