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Author Topic: Pasteur was lucky, so was Mendel, a puzzle for you  (Read 7984 times)

Offline Ylide

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Pasteur and Mendel, two great scientists that were foundations of advancement in their respective fields.

Both of them were skilled and insightful.  Both of them got lucky.  Anyone want to venture guesses why?



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Offline qpan

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Re: Pasteur was lucky, so was Mendel, a puzzle for you
« Reply #1 on: 19/02/2004 19:01:19 »
Pasteur - didn't he discover that people who contracted cowpox were immune to smallpox and subsequently created a vaccine for it?
And mendel discovered dominant genes (by observing pea plants)- although i'm not sure if that was an accident!

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-Edgar Allan Poe
« Last Edit: 19/02/2004 19:03:54 by qpan »
 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Pasteur was lucky, so was Mendel, a puzzle for you
« Reply #2 on: 19/02/2004 23:21:39 »
I probably should have specified which Pasteur experiment.  :P

Most scientists in Pasteur's time believed in spontaneous generation...that a motive force (in this case air) caused certain materials to "spontaneously" produce life.  For instance, they believed bacteria and maggots were a product of air and food.  They believed mice were a product of straw and dirt.  Someone even patented a method for spontaneously generating mice...leave a sweaty old shirt lying in a pile of straw in the barn, then in two weeks, you'll have mice in it!  His experiment in which he disproved spontaneous generation by boiling broth (to kill any present bacteria), then leaving it exposed to air but only through a twisty glass tube so that bacteria couldn't fall into the brew.  He was lucky because if the bacteria he boiled to death were capable for forming endospores (genera Bacillus and Claustridium do this) they would have survived the boiling and recontaminated the broth.

Mendel was lucky because the traits he examined in the pea plants (seven in total) all happened to be on different chromosomes.  If any had been on the same chromosome, this would have screwed up his numbers and his theories of segregation and independent assortment would not have gotten off the ground.  (it took 30 years for people to realize the relevance of his work as it is!)



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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Pasteur was lucky, so was Mendel, a puzzle for you
« Reply #3 on: 21/03/2004 16:38:21 »
hehe, I've always been amazed by how lucky almost all of the great scientists of history have been (its the only thing that gives me hope that I can survive in this field).  But While as canbinoid pointed out that both pastur and mendel WERE lucky in that they nature just happened to control some variables that they didn't know about, I think we could find a lot of scientists who got WAY more lucky than them (mendel especially) had very good experimental technique considering his prior knowledge.
Now what about things like penecillin.  Thats the unlimate example of lucky science.

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Offline qazibasit

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Re: Pasteur was lucky, so was Mendel, a puzzle for you
« Reply #4 on: 26/06/2004 16:09:18 »
ya both of them were lucky because GOD made their fate good.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Pasteur was lucky, so was Mendel, a puzzle for you
« Reply #5 on: 26/06/2004 19:22:24 »
(My Opinion ok ?)......what has GOD got to do with it ?...what's the point of self discovery if GOD is there to lead the way or present the answers for you ?........if they were lucky to make those discoveries then it's just that.....in fact I don't even believe in luck...it's all happenstance.....what is there left for people to achieve if it's all predetermined ?.........actually...no need to answer....this is just gonna start a whole new GOD debate isn't it ?...



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Offline VAlibrarian

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Re: Pasteur was lucky, so was Mendel, a puzzle for you
« Reply #6 on: 27/08/2005 03:53:02 »
I think it is worth mentioning that Pasteur was very very persistent. He worked on Anthrax, silkworm diseases, beer contamination, Rabies: practical diseases that were destroying industries or in the case of Rabies resulting in horrible deaths of humans. He was devoted to theoretical research, but even more devoted to saving suffering humanity, and he was rightly idolized because of it.

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Re: Pasteur was lucky, so was Mendel, a puzzle for you
« Reply #6 on: 27/08/2005 03:53:02 »

 

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