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Creative Thinking Exercise B

Creative Thinking Exercise B

Directions: Reading the passage below, then answer the questions.

Louis Pasteur

Download: Creative Thinking Exercise B

“Exploration into this mysterious world of germs began around 1850 by a Frenchman by the name of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895). At that time Pasteur, Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Lille, was approached by a man who worked at a factory that produced beer from sugar beets. Much to the businessman’s lament, vats of the fermented beer were turning sour, so the businessman asked Pasteur to find out the cause.

“Pasteur used a microscope to analyze the beer samples and found thousands of microorganisms. His theory was that these microbes or “germs” were not the result of the beer going sour, rather they were the cause. Pasteur went on to study other liquids such as vinegar and milk.

“From his experiments with liquids, Pasteur became convinced that the air contained tiny living organisms unseen by the naked eye. These organisms could cause putrefaction of liquids and could be prevented by killing the germs with heat. Initially his beliefs were ridiculed by the medical community, but he was able to prove his case beyond doubt. Indeed, we are all familiar with the term “pasteurized milk” which was named in Pasteur’s honor.

“Further, in his career Pasteur became convinced that microbes could affect not just liquids, but humans as well. Furthermore, he believed these microbes could spread diseases among humans. . This became known as the “Germ Theory of Disease”. He continued his work by searching for ways humans could be protected from getting diseases.”


  1. According to the passage, what is a synonym for “germs?”
  2. The author uses the word, “putrefaction” in the third paragraph. From the context, what does the word mean?
  3. Why do you think Pasteur’s beliefs were “ridiculed by the medical community?”
  4. Is there any evidence in this passage that would suggest that the “medical community” finally accepted Pasteur’s ideas? Explain.
  5. What was Pasteur convinced of? (Paraphrase)
  1. Paraphrase the last paragraph in this passage.


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