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Author Topic: Alchemy vs Sciences  (Read 13330 times)
PONTO
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« on: March 15, 2011, 17:59:06 »

I must admit I find the idea of alchemy ridiculous, which makes me curious as to how someone can devote his life to such a goal. It surely is a nice theme for a game in a fantasy setting like this one, though.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 19:55:55 by PONTO » Logged
Nifflas
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 18:07:20 »

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Which makes me curious as to how someone can devote his life to such a goal.
To me, that's why I find a documentary like this interesting. I've met the alchemist it's about twice, he's a really social guy and very intelligent. The documentary is about him and his choices, as well as the act of devoting a lot of time to something that is strange in most people's eyes.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 18:10:18 by Nifflas » Logged
jetio4


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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 18:18:30 »

I must admit I find the idea of alchemy ridiculous. Which makes me curious as to how someone can devote his life to such a goal.
Personally, I have the opposite view, almost. I find it ridiculous that some people think that alchemy is "stupid". While it's certainly not a good life choice for everyone, and won't work for most (if not all), it's still a good form of science. In my mind, it's a combination of science and magic. I also HATE how one of the most famous alchemists ever, Nicholas Flamel, has been put off as "just another Harry Potter character".
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 20:14:27 »

Well, I don't believe you can turn lead into gold using any alchemical knowledge. However, it's also a fact that alchemy is a predecessor to modern chemistry, and that it were the alchemists that in their attempts to create gold came up with many other non-transmutation processes that actually work, even if it's for all the wrong reasons and their spiritual explanations didn't make sense.

In other words, to me this is more complex than just "Are they right? Y/N"
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 20:18:55 by Nifflas » Logged
Dj Gopher


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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 01:35:40 »

Well, I don't believe you can turn lead into gold using any alchemical knowledge. However, it's also a fact that alchemy is a predecessor to modern chemistry, and that it were the alchemists that in their attempts to create gold came up with many other non-transmutation processes that actually work, even if it's for all the wrong reasons and their spiritual explanations didn't make sense.

In other words, to me this is more complex than just "Are they right? Y/N"
Aqua Regina :P
Created to be the first step in the idea.
I've heard many great scientists and philosophers like Newton and Galileo were alchemists to some degree, though I don't know the validity of it.
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Nifflas
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 02:04:19 »

It is very much a fact that Newton was into alchemy. During his time, there was not a very clear distinction between stuff like alchemy and science anyway. He will appear in the game by the way.
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Dj Gopher


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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 04:47:09 »

It is very much a fact that Newton was into alchemy. During his time, there was not a very clear distinction between stuff like alchemy and science anyway. He will appear in the game by the way.
And now I am dedicating my time to producing random facts that induce spoilers.
:D
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PONTO
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 13:54:20 »

Trying to find the Philosopher's Stone today by an alchemist approach is like saying you want to devote your life to go to Mars and then traveling around aimlessly by foot while reading century-old books and totally ignoring the current knowledge of the universe. No matter how hard you try or how much faith you have, you won't get there.
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Nifflas
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 16:12:33 »

I'm not saying you're wrong. By using your example, this documentary is all about the traveling around by foot reading century-old books, not about if you'll get to Mars. Why does that have to matter so much? It's an interesting documentary about an interesting person, devoting his life to something that makes no sense in most people's eyes. That is the entire point.

Even my point about the alchemists coming up with working non-transmutation processes is not because I try to state "maybe it's possible", because I really don't. However, we're not living in a world where you have to be right for your choices to take you somewhere interesting. Think microwave oven, the post-it note, Västerbottensost, or anything else that was originally created partially by accident. I mean, hypothetically - devote your life to studying alchemy and you might end up having knowledge enough to teach history at an university. That's a win to me. As I see it, we're fragile creatures lost in time and space, we can only see a few steps ahead of our decisions and can never be sure where life will take us. Our wrong decisions can take us to the right places, and things that are right and carefully planned can go horribly wrong. If you want to devote your life to something impossible, why not go for it and enjoy the ride?

I'll personally be happier if I die knowing that I did something I enjoyed, than if I die knowing I managed to stay objective and right through my entire life.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 22:24:27 by Nifflas » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 17:17:24 »

Beautifully put.
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jetio4


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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 19:11:06 »

I die knowing that I did something I enjoyed, than if I die knowing I managed to stay objective and right through my entire life.
On the other hand, who's to say what's right and what's wrong? Your making it sound like if you're different from the rest of civilization, you're wrong. It's not, you're just.. different. After all, everyone has their own morale code.

Trying to find the Philosopher's Stone today by an alchemist approach is like saying you want to devote your life to go to Mars and then traveling around aimlessly by foot while reading century-old books and totally ignoring the current knowledge of the universe. No matter how hard you try or how much faith you have, you won't get there.

Current knowledge. What current knowledge. We THINK we know of other galaxies, but there's no TRUE proof besides eyesites. What if they're just mirages? Who's to say there's no wormholes?
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2011, 19:46:07 »

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On the other hand, who's to say what's right and what's wrong? Your making it sound like if you're different from the rest of civilization, you're wrong. It's not, you're just.. different. After all, everyone has their own morale code.
I was more thinking that there are facts, logic and objective truths. I mean, a object like a rock or a flower can objectively exist even if there is no one there to observe or label it, and though different people describe mathematics differently, it's not subjective that one plus one equals two. It's also either objectively possible or not possible to create gold through alchemical methods.

I mean, to a scientist, learning scientific facts and enjoying work probably go very hand in hand. What I intended to say though is that I'm not a scientist. When I meet an alchemist who want to try to create gold or just a person who belong to a religion I don't believe in, I personally find it more interesting to attempt to see the world from their angle, than to establish who's right. In this particular case, I think people who either go "you can not create gold with alchemy" or "maybe you can" when they read about this documentary are somewhat missing the point of it. If it'd be a propagandistic film that would try to get everyone into alchemy, then I can see how that question will become more important.

There's absolutely nothing in what I said where I even try to hint I'm any different from the rest of civilization. I have no idea where you got that idea.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 21:43:24 by Nifflas » Logged
PONTO
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2011, 22:14:37 »

Trying to find the Philosopher's Stone today by an alchemist approach is like saying you want to devote your life to go to Mars and then traveling around aimlessly by foot while reading century-old books and totally ignoring the current knowledge of the universe. No matter how hard you try or how much faith you have, you won't get there.

Current knowledge. What current knowledge. We THINK we know of other galaxies, but there's no TRUE proof besides eyesites. What if they're just mirages? Who's to say there's no wormholes?
So will you just dismiss all of science? Of course there is no PROOF, as in a mathematical proof. We can be wrong and often are. But there is no denying that even with all those mistakes we are getting closer to something real. Science works by gathering evidence and the ultimate testament to how truthful the postulates that are arrived at are is engineering, in which that knowledge is put to test by building something useful.

With that said, though, I find that Nifflas' latest posts are really food for thought. I need to reflect on that. Thanks. :)
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jetio4


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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2011, 02:23:58 »

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On the other hand, who's to say what's right and what's wrong? Your making it sound like if you're different from the rest of civilization, you're wrong. It's not, you're just.. different. After all, everyone has their own morale code.
There's absolutely nothing in what I said where I even try to hint I'm any different from the rest of civilization. I have no idea where you got that idea.
I didn't think you were; I was refering to PONTO's example of what he thought the idea of modern alchemists finding/making a Philosopher's Stone. I thought he was ridiculing the whole thing about modern alchemists.


Trying to find the Philosopher's Stone today by an alchemist approach is like saying you want to devote your life to go to Mars and then traveling around aimlessly by foot while reading century-old books and totally ignoring the current knowledge of the universe. No matter how hard you try or how much faith you have, you won't get there.

Current knowledge. What current knowledge. We THINK we know of other galaxies, but there's no TRUE proof besides eyesites. What if they're just mirages? Who's to say there's no wormholes?
So will you just dismiss all of science? Of course there is no PROOF, as in a mathematical proof. We can be wrong and often are. But there is no denying that even with all those mistakes we are getting closer to something real.

I'm not dismissing science as a whole, I'm dismissing Astromony, or at least beyond our own galaxy. In my mind, we should learn more of EARTH, as in deep oceans and in land, and less of outer space. That to say, NASA and other space programs aren't a waste of time and money, but the governments need to spend less on both.


Science works by gathering evidence and the ultimate testament to how truthful the postulates that are arrived at are is engineering, in which that knowledge is put to test by building something useful.

With that said, though, I find that Nifflas' latest posts are really food for thought. I need to reflect on that. Thanks. :)

I agree fully on the importance of science and on the last sentance. Also, I broke the date for the quote.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 13:54:48 by jetio4 » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2011, 11:39:09 »

I didn't think you were; I was refering to PONTO's example of what he thought the idea of modern alchemists finding/making a Philosopher's Stone. I thought he was ridiculing the whole thing about modern alchemists.
That is because I indeed find it ridiculous. Just as I do religion, by the way. There is no easy way to say that. However, I think I backed up my stance properly.

I'm not dismissing science as a whole, I'm dismissing Astrology, or at least beyond our own galaxy. In my mind, we should learn more of EARTH, as in deep oceans and in land, and less of outer space. That to say, NASA and other space programs aren't a waste of time and money, but the governments need to spend less on both.
Well, dismissing astronomy based on the fact that everything might just be mirages can be used to dismiss every other field of science, because in the very end, there is always reliance on our own senses. To say that all astronomy that is done regarding objects beyond our galaxy is somehow invalid sounds very arbitrary to me and I would guess neither of us know enough on the subject to be able to dismiss their methods as invalid.
As to whether we should be studying the oceans or the space, that is a different point with absolutely no relationship to the validity of astronomy. (By the way, you used the word "astrology" on your post, which has a completely different meaning and is not science.)
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 11:44:58 by PONTO » Logged
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