...are the ones that make the biggest difference

2.07.2006

Microlutherology

On Saturday during my microbiology class, part of the lecture focused on the history and development of microbiology. The teacher began this part of the lecture by asking, "what did people think caused disease in 'pre-scientific' times?" Vapors, curses, evil spirits, punishment for sin - all manner of things were thought to cause disease before we discovered the world of microbes. My teacher, who started as a biology instructor and later became an administrator at a neighboring Lutheran high school, apparently believes that it was the Roman Catholic Church that kept humanity in the dark about the true nature of sickness. She went on a 5-minute rant about the Catholic Church's keeping the Bible from the masses, keeping people illiterate and ignorant, opposing the progress of science and scientists and just being a bad group of folks all around. Then, and at this point I almost burst out laughing, she said, "And that's what Martin Luther came along to oppose." She then went on a 5-minute panegyric in praise of Luther's theological, and apparently, scientific acumen. She all but attributed the discovery of microbes to him. I've heard that for many Lutherans Luther's writings and teachings are just a step below the Bible, but I think this is the first time I've ever heard anyone trying to attribute the advent of microbiology to him. Thanks goodness for Luther, the Reformer and the True Discoverer of the Germ Theory of Disease!

1 comment:

Chase Vaughn said...

The reformation in France was a strong force in establishing science and art societies. No real historian would deny the tremendous effect that the Reformation had on science, good and bad. Part of the growth in science was due to the independence of countries from papal power and freedom from the authority of the church. The reformation along with the enlightenment(an arrogant term) caused much growth in science and art. I will say that this idea has gone to far as if to say that the middle ages were non-scientific. The fact is, there were many inventions and much progress made in the middle ages. What? Do people actually think that the enlightenment can just happen and civilization is automatically lightyears ahead of classic humanism? No. There was much progress being made in the middle ages, and they were not as superstitious as they are sometimes made out to be.