The germ theory of disease an exercise in problem solving
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The Germ Theory of Disease: An Exercise in Problem Solving. Herman Gordon, Ph.D. Univ. of Arizona. What was it like before GToD?. Spontaneous generation / The Wrath of God The Miasma Theory of Disease The concept of contagiousness without the concept of contagion.

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The germ theory of disease an exercise in problem solving
The Germ Theory of Disease:An Exercise in Problem Solving

  • Herman Gordon, Ph.D.

  • Univ. of Arizona


What was it like before gtod
What was it like before GToD?

  • Spontaneous generation / The Wrath of God

  • The Miasma Theory of Disease

  • The concept of contagiousness without the concept of contagion


Understanding requires mechanism an historical tale
Understanding requiresMechanism:An Historical Tale


1546 girolamo fracastoro
1546 Girolamo Fracastoro

proposed that epidemic disease was spread by “spores”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Antoni_van_Leeuwenhoek.png


1673 antonie philips van leeuwenhoek
1673 Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek

observed microbes in a microscope

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Antoni_van_Leeuwenhoek.png


1835 agostino bassi
1835 Agostino Bassi

stated the Germ Theory of Disease for the 1st time

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Antoni_van_Leeuwenhoek.png


1843 oliver wendell holmes
1843 Oliver Wendell Holmes

argued that Puerperal Fever could be transferred between patients by doctors and nurses who didn’t wash their hands

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Oliver_Wendell_Holmes.jpg


1847 ignaz semmelweiss
1847 Ignaz Semmelweiss

independently discovered the need for hand-washing between patients, but failed to convince others

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ignaz_Semmelweis.jpg


1849 1854 john snow
1849-1854 John Snow

the father of epidemiology, figured out that bad well water caused cholera – not bad air

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:John_Snow.jpg



1854 filippo pacini
1854 Filippo Pacini

isolated cholera bacillus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:John_Snow.jpg


1860 65 louis pasteur ization
1860-65 Louis Pasteur(ization)

showed that microbes caused fermentation

effectively advocated the GToD, and hence became its “father”

http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/misc/evprev/fig21.jpg


Proof of biogenesis
Proof of Biogenesis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Coldecygne.svg


1867 joseph lister ene
1867 Joseph Lister(ene)

Pushed anti-septics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Joseph_Lister.jpg


1914 joseph goldberger
1914 Joseph Goldberger

figured out that pellagra was NOT caused by infectious agents

from the CDC Public Health Image Library (PHIL #8164)


Lessons from history
Lessons from History

  • History repeats itself

  • Truth can be rejected for stupid reasons


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