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In biology, a microbe (or microorganism) is an organism that is too small to be seen with the naked human eye, such as viruses and bacteria, and can only be seen with a microscope.[1]

Microbes were discovered in 1675 by Anton van Leeuwenhoek and sparked interest in the field that would come to be known as microbiology.[2]

The Descructive Role of Microscopic Beings

Pasteur came to a conclusion that the microscopic beings are the most active agents of returning everything that has had life back to the atmosphere, and for this purpose they are endowed with the special ability:

  • to break down complex organic matter,
  • to initiate slow combustion and
  • to bind oxygen.

In his lecture at the "Sorbonne Scientific Soirée" on April 7, 1864, he has explained and demonstrated that air constantly carries the germs of these microscopic beings,[3] which are always ready to grow within dead matter, where they can fulfil the destructive role that sustains their own life. Pasteur maintained that if God had not established the organic laws governing the transformation of tissues and liquids in living bodies in a way that prevents the propagation of these destructive micro-organisms under the normal conditions of life and health, we would live under the constant threat of being overwhelmed by them. As soon as the life ends, they begin to use parts of the given dead plant or animal organism as their food.[4]

See also

Experimental science


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/about/terms/glossary.htm#m
  2. http://www.microbes.info
  3. On Spontaneous Generation; An address delivered by Louis Pasteur at the "Sorbonne Scientific Soirée" of April 7, 1864. Pasteur Brewing. Retrieved on 03.February 2013. “No one among you, gentlemen, is ignorant of the fact that there is always dust suspended in the air. Dust is a domestic enemy familiar to everyone. Which one of you has failed to observe a ray of sunlight penetrating some crack in a blind or screen, thereby entering otherwise poorly illuminated room? Which of you has failed to amuse himself by following with his eyes the capricious movement of those countless tiny bodies, so small in volume, so light in weight, that the air bears them as easily as smoke? The air in this room is replete with dust motes, with those tiny nothings which ought not always to be despised, for they sometimes carry sickness or death, in the form of typhus, cholera, yellow fever, and many other kinds of flux. Again, the air in this room is full of dust. Why don't we see it, except when it's illuminated? We fail to see the particles because they are so small, of such insignificant volume, that the few rays of light each of them casts toward our eyes are lost amidst the confusion of so many other rays, rays cast by even the smallest objects in this room, whose size is considerable when compared with that of these minuscule bodies. We can't see them now, for the same reason that, in broad daylight, we can't see the stars. But if we allow night to descend around us, and illuminate only the motes of dust, we will see them as clearly as the stars at night. ...I must successfully establish that the dust carried by the air harbors the germs of lower organisms. Well, gentlemen, nothing could be simpler, anywhere on the globe, than to gather some of that air-borne dust, and examine it under a microscope so as to determine its composition, and that of its passengers.... It follows, then, that the amorphous dust carried by the atmosphere is always accompanied by such organized corpuscles. If we take their dimensions, and compare them with those of one of the mold seeds whose germination I showed you earlier, not even the most capable naturalist will be able to distinguish the slightest difference between the two objects. These, gentlemen, are the germs of microscopic beings.”
  4. Patrice Debré (1998). Louis Pasteur. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 500. ISBN 978-0801-865299.