Pasteur, Chance and the Prepared Mind

From: Bollons Nicholas (
Date: Thu May 23 1996 - 20:56:39 BST

Discuss Pasteur's Observation That Chance Favours The
prepared Mind.

 In this observation Pasteur was making reference to the
appearance of creativity in humans, and how such a phenomena
may come about. Although his statement was originally aimed
at the scientific community and the occurrence of novel and
new scientific ideas within it. It can be (and is) applied
to human creativity in general.
 In favouring a prepared mind Pasteur does not refer to a
mind being prepared by innate structure, or some form of
creative brain area (though intelligence can be an asset).
But that a mind which is prepared by obtaining knowledge,
skills and understanding of an area, may (though by no means
this is an assurance) become creative in that area.
Understanding all about physics gives no pre-requisite that
you will create a new theory there, but you are more
favourable to the mysterious factor of chance than a
person who does not understand, or has no knowledge of
physics. They could create a theory but it most probably
will not be scientifically valid, or if creativity is like
magic he/she may not even understand this theory-thing
that has appeared in their head.
 Pasteur is also not stating a formula : chance + prepared
mind = creativity. Random chance is still the important
factor, and where it is going to strike he cannot, and
nobody can (though some have tried) predict. However, the
probability of creativity is likely to increase more in the
human with a prepared and knowledged mind, rather than
one with an un-prepared 'unknowledged' mind. (It is rather
strange then, that to create something new you have to
master something old).

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Feb 13 2001 - 16:23:43 GMT