Chirality. Pasteur. Art, intuition and science…

Louis Pasteur, the 19th-century French chemist and biologist, prevented diseases, developing a process — widely known as pasteurization — for killing microbes in milk and wine. He also created vaccines for rabies and anthrax. And his ideas led to the acceptance of germ theory, the notion that tiny organisms caused diseases like cholera. Pasteur even helped us brew better beer.

“He’s considered the benefactor of mankind”, said Joseph Gal, a chemist and professor emeritus at the University of Colorado.

But before all that, Pasteur was an artist. And without his early creative explorations, he may not have made one of his most monumental, but least talked about, discoveries in science, one with far-reaching implications.

In a paper published in Nature Chemistry, Dr. Gal explains how a young Pasteur fought against the odds to articulate the existence of chirality, or the way that some molecules exist in mirror-image forms capable of producing very different effects. Today we see chirality’s effects in light, in chemistry and in the body — even in the drugs we take. And it seems that Pasteur probably conceived the chirality of specific molecules not because of his scientific knowledge but only due to his artistic experience. (1)

Discoveries in science are not based on… science.

If they were, they would be nothing more that tautologies developed inside an already developed system of knowledge. Nothing new can be developed from the old. Progress of science needs breakthroughs. And these can only come through the destruction of what we know. Instinct and non-conformity to the already given knowledge is the key to all great scientific ideas. And this can only stem from irrationality.

Look at a painting.

Do not try to “understand” it.

It is not a painting.

It is a window to the other side. To all these things you knew there are there but cannot prove it. To all these things you know before knowing them. It is the realm of your irrationality, the reflection of your Dasein. A mirror to everything you have in your mind, a reflection of everything there Is.

Nothing new can be developed from the old.

Unless the old already contains it…

Look at your hands.

They are not just your hands…

Author: skakos

Spiros Kakos is a thinker located in Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector related to the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!

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