He never wrote a scientific paper.
In fact, his profession was that of a draper
who wanted to closely examine the fibers
of the cloths from which he fashioned his wares.
Lenses that were used for magnification
in that day were prone to much imperfection,
so he chose a project that had as its end
the making of a more perfect lens.
Superheated glass rods were pulled apart
producing fine “whiskers” with which he could start.
These “whiskers” when melted would produce
thin, small, clear spheres that he could use
for more than 200 times magnification –
more than any lens since man’s creation.
Van Leeuwenhoek shared his work with Dr. Reinier de Graaf
who marveled and, on Van Leeuwenhoek’s behalf,
endorsed it to the Royal Society in London
who, at first, accepted his reports with abandon.
But when Leeuwenhoek reported one-cell “animalcules,”
they were quick to brand him an absolute fool
since the teaching that prevailed at that time station
was the smallest animals come from spontaneous generation.
Van Leeuwenhoek persisted, so they sent a committee
to “once and for all” debunk this atrocity.
When the committee saw the microscopic eggs,
they realized that theory no longer had legs.
The first man to view human red blood corpuscles,
the movement of sperm, the striations in muscle
did not think of himself as the scientist,
but as one who received a God-given gift.
The first man to view many things thought odd
had a strong belief in a creator God.
He considered his work as substantiation
of the wonders of God’s miraculous creation.
© 2015, cbs