Oupas van alchemie, voorvaders van chemie

Oupas van alchemie, voorvaders van chemie



We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Alchemie is 'n woord waarvan byna almal gehoor het, maar min mense het ooit meer as 'n handjievol ure gepoog om te probeer verstaan ​​wat hierdie swaar gelaaide simboliese woord eintlik beteken. So dikwels word belangstellendes moedeloos deur die komplekse matriks van bisarre simbole en motiewe, waaronder nagmerrie wesens en halfgoddelike mense wat uit die skaduwees kom, op soek na suiwer alkemiese goud van 'n tipe wat nie gebyt kan word nie, om die sterkte daarvan te toets. Nog minder weet dat die uiteindelike doel van die Westerse alchemis 'Projeksie' was, wat bereik is nadat die 'Philosopher's Stone' suksesvol geskep is, en dat hierdie poeier van projeksie die vermoë gehad het om mindere metale en stof in hul hoër vorm om te sit; met goud die 'koning' tydelik en allegories.

Multiplicatio 'embleem van Philosophia Reformata, deur Johann Daniel Mylius, 1622 . In hierdie beeld word 'vermenigvuldiging' geïllustreer met 'n pelikaan en 'n leeu wat hul kleintjies voed.

Die uiteindelike doel van alchemie

Alchemie beskryf historiese verkennings na natuurlike filosofieë, en hoewel hierdie filosofiese, proto-wetenskaplike verowering in die eerste paar eeue nC in Mesopotamië en Grieks-Romeinse Egipte ontstaan ​​het, is dit later in Europa, Afrika en Asië beoefen. Die primêre doel van die alchemis was om verskillende materiale en stowwe te suiwer, te volwasse en te vervolmaak. Vroeë eksperimente het 'n belangrike rol gespeel in die ontwikkeling van wetenskaplike kennis, veral in die dissipline chemie, waar alchemiste die ontwikkeling daarvan baseer het. Maar alchemie het 'n parallelle filosofie wat gepoog het om voorlopers en basiselemente te identifiseer, en mitologie het hierdie kunste verdorwe tot 'n baie vereenvoudigde idee van ou mans met 'n kap in maanverlichte toringlaboratoriums wat probeer om onedele metale soos lood in goud te verander.

Poolse alchemis, filosoof en mediese dokter Sedziw ój die uitvoering van 'n transmutasie vir Sigismund III , deur Jan Matejko (1867). Kunsmusuem, Źódź,

Sedert antieke tye word goud geassosieer met die middelpunt van die aarde, waar dit vermoedelik 'n natuurlike transformasie ondergaan het, wat goud geword het, en daarom het alchemiste meestal die sleutel tot hierdie transformasie probeer vind. Die uiteindelike doel van die alchemis was eerstens om die 'Philosopher's Stone' te skep, 'n legendariese stof wat volgens tradisies nie net metale in goud kon verander nie, maar ook die alchemis se lang lewe en ewige lewe kon toeken. Die meeste historici is dit egter eens dat die oorgrote meerderheid van die alchemiste charlatane was wat die 'maandelikse houer' soek by hul gulsige, goudkoorsige koninklike borge. Hierdie verouderde soeke na chemiese feite; antwoorde op lewe buite lewe en dood buite die dood bestaan ​​op die fondamente van beide die Westerse en Islamitiese wêrelde. Sommige bekende alchemiste was die 'grootvaders' van hierdie twee baie verskillende paradigmas.

Plato en Aristoteles in The School of Athens, deur Rafael (1509)

Ou meesters van Westerse alchemie

Bekommerd oor die oorsprong en aard van dinge en hoe alles in die skepping in wisselwerking is, het Griekse alchemiste soos Aristoteles, Plato en Empedokles geglo dat alles in werklikheid bestaan ​​uit gedeeltes van die vier klassieke elemente: aarde, vuur, lug en water, en van die drie noodsaaklikhede: sout, kwik en swael. Aristoteles het geglo dat elke geskepte vorm strewe na perfeksie en wanneer elemente in 'n perfekte verhouding vermeng word, word dit goud, en word metale in die algemeen as amalgame beskou sonder hierdie perfekte verhouding.


Die oupa van generaal Patton was ook 'n oorlogsheld - in die konfederasie

Die beroemde generaal van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, George S. Patton III, het dikwels met trots gepraat oor die militêre dade van sy voorvaders. Van jongs af is Patton regeer met die prestasies van die Pattons en hul familielede, van die oorlog vir onafhanklikheid tot die burgeroorlog. Hierdie verhale van moed en groot dade, van heldhaftige manne en magtige gevegte, het 'n groot invloed gehad op die man wat sy tenks dwarsdeur Frankryk sou stamp.

Van al die moedige manne waarvan gepraat is, het niemand in die oë van die jong Patton langer gestaan ​​as sy oorlede oupa, die Konfederale kolonel George S. Patton I. Dit was die man wat die jonger Patton romanties beskou het as 'n edele vegter, wat groot dapperheid getoon het en eer in die geveg en het sy einde bereik aan die hoof van sy troepe. So, wie was hierdie onbepaalde soldaat van die burgeroorlog wat Patton slegs deur verhale geken het, maar wat hom gehelp het om een ​​van die groot generaals van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog te word?

George Smith Patton is op 26 September 1833 in Fredericksburg, Va., Gebore vir Peggy en John Patton. Die Pattons het 12 kinders gehad, maar slegs nege het tot volwassenheid geleef - agt seuns en een dogter. Peggy Patton was van die Virginia plantasiegenootskap en John, 'n voorstander van regte vir die staat en pro slawerny, was 'n prokureur, politikus en slawe -eienaar. Die Pattons was lojale Virginiërs en trots op hul suidelike aristokratiese kultuur. Toe John Patton in 1858 sterf, het sy geesdriftige, sterk wil vrou die matriarg van die gesin geword en het hulle kinders grootgemaak op die manier waarop hulle gewoond was.

Die laatbloeiende Patton het uitgeblink terwyl hy volwasse was

John Patton het vroeg besef dat die suidelike lewenswyse wat hy en sy vrou so dierbaar gehou het, uiteindelik tot afstigting en vyandelikhede sou lei. Hy het sy seuns dus voorberei op die toekomstige konflik deur hulle na militêre kolleges te stuur. George Patton het, net soos drie van sy broers, die Virginia Military Institute bygewoon. Op 16 -jarige ouderdom betree Patton VMI, waar hy die eerste twee jaar akademies in die middel van sy klas was, maar 'n leier in swakhede was. In sy laaste jaar het Patton in 1852 sy tweede graad behaal in 'n klas van 24. Hy het uitgeblink in Latyn, Engels, Frans, chemie en artillerie.

By VMI het Patton sy klasmaats beïndruk met sy sagmoedige, maar verantwoordelike persoonlikheid en geniale humor. By die gradeplegtigheid was die lang, slanke, aantreklike jong man met lang bruin hare gereed om sy weg in die wêreld te maak. In die somer na die gradeplegtigheid ontmoet Patton die 17-jarige Susan Thornton Glassell van Alabama, wat by vriende in Virginia gekuier het. 'N Verhouding het ontstaan ​​en teen die herfs was hulle verloof. Patton het die volgende twee jaar in Richmond klas gegee terwyl hy regte studeer het. Alhoewel dit vir hom moeilik was om te onderrig en uiteindelik opgehou het, het hy beter in sy regte gestudeer en is hy in 1855 in die Richmond -kroeg opgeneem. In November daardie jaar is hy en Susan getroud. Op hul huweliksnag is die egpaar op pad na Charleston, Kanawha County, Va. (Nou West Virginia), waar Patton 'n vennootskap in 'n klein prokureursfirma aangebied is.

In Charleston, 'n stad van ongeveer 2 000 in die Kanawha -riviervallei, het Patton 'n suksesvolle regspraktyk op die been gebring en by plaaslike aangeleenthede betrokke geraak. Die diep godsdienstige Pattons was baie geliefd onder die burgers van Charleston, en kort nadat hulle aangekom het, het Patton liefdevol die bynaam "Frenchy" gekry vir die bokbaard wat hy gedra het. Op 30 September 1856 het die Pattons hul eerste van vier kinders, 'n seun wat hulle George William Patton gedoop het. Elf jaar later het George William sy middelnaam laat verander na dié van sy pa, Smith. George Smith Patton, Jr., sou later die vader word van generaal George S. Patton van die bekendheid van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. In 1856 organiseer en word hy ook kaptein van 'n milisie -onderneming genaamd die Kanawha Minutemen, waaraan hy baie van sy tyd gewy het.

Oorlog voor die deur

Alhoewel Kanawha County die minste slawe van enige graafskap in Virginia gehad het - en waarvan die meeste huishoudelike bediendes was - het George sy pa se oortuigings gevolg en gou 'n passievolle ondersteuner van afstigting geword. Na die inval van John Brown in Harper's Ferry in die herfs van 1859, verander die militêre onderneming van Patton sy naam na die Kanawha Riflemen en versterk die boor. Patton, wat voel dat die oorlog net om die draai is, het hom steeds meer toegewy aan sy milisie -onderneming ten koste van sy regspraktyk. Met die afvuur op Fort Sumter op 12 April 1861, het Patton glo geglo dat hy kom en voorberei het - die land was in oorlog. Toe Virginia van die Unie afskei, word die Kanawha Riflemen Kompanjie H van die 22ste Virginia Infanterieregiment.

Benewens George sou ses ander Patton -seuns vir die Konfederasie veg. John Mercer (1826-1898) sou die bevelvoerder van die 21ste Virginia word, maar moes weens swak gesondheid in Augustus 1862 bedank. Isaac William (1826-1890), wat voor die oorlog na New Orleans verhuis het, sou 'n regiment in Louisiana lei en in Vicksburg gevange geneem word. George se naaste broer, William Tazewell (1835-1863), sou die 7de Virginia lei en tydens Gettysburg vermoor word tydens Pickett's Charge. Hugh Mercer (1841-1905) het 'n offisier geword in sy broer se 7de Virginia, terwyl die tienerbroer James French (1843-1882) 'n offisier by George in die 22ste Virginia geword het. Die laaste Patton wat gedien het, was William Macfarland (1845-1905), wat as kadet by VMI aan die slag om New Market sou deelneem. Die enigste broer wat nie diens gedoen het nie, was die oudste, Robert (1824-1876), 'n alkoholiese voormalige vlootbeampte.

Patton het die eerste keer geveg geproe op 17 Julie 1861, slegs 20 kilometer langs die Kanawha -rivier vanaf Charleston, op 'n plek met die naam Scary Creek. Onlangs in diens van 'n luitenant -kolonel in die Konfederale Weermag, beveel Patton ongeveer negehonderd man wat deel was van 'n mag onder brig. Genl. Henry A. Wise wat probeer het om 'n staking van die Unie teen die Kanawha -vallei te keer. Die Federale was deel van genl. Majoor George McClellan se aanranding in die westelike deel van Virginia uit Ohio. Laat in die geveg, terwyl hy probeer om terugtrekkende troepe in die middel van die Konfederale lyn bymekaar te kry, word Patton getref deur 'n miniebal in die regterskouer, wat die been in die bo -arm verpletter en hom van sy perd gooi.

Patton weier amputasie by Gun Point

Hy is na agter gebring waar hy meegedeel is dat sy arm geamputeer moet word. Patton het beslis geweier en sy pistool uitgetrek om sy punt te beklemtoon. Hy het sy arm gehou, maar het dit nooit weer ten volle gebruik nie. Alhoewel die Konfederate die stryd gewen het, moes hulle later terugtrek uit die Kanawha -vallei. As gevolg van sy wond kon hy nie beweeg word nie, maar Patton is agtergelaat en gevange geneem. 'N Paar weke later is hy vrygelaat en huis toe gegaan om te herstel.

Nadat hy agt maande tuis ongeduldig gewag het om weer in die oorlog te kom, het Patton uiteindelik die boodskap gekry dat hy uitgeruil is. Alhoewel hy slegs sy regterarm gedeeltelik gebruik het en dit nie bo sy kop kon uitsteek nie, keer hy terug na die 22ste Virginia as sy bevelvoerder. Op 10 Mei 1862 sien Patton weer aksie toe hy die 22ste Virginia lei in 'n aanval op 'n Unie -regiment by Giles Court House, Va., Tydens brig. Genl Henry Heth se veldtog teen uniemagte wat spoorlyne in die suidweste van Virginia probeer sny. Die Konfederate het gewen, maar Patton is weer gewond, in die buik geskiet.

Patton het teen 'n boom in die omgewing gelê en uit vrees dat hy besig was om te sterf, het hy 'n afskeidsbrief aan sy vrou begin skryf. Generaal Wharton, sy brigade -bevelvoerder, het gery en hom gevra hoe dit met hom gaan. George het geantwoord dat hy glo die wond is dodelik. Volgens Patton se seun, George William, het "genl. Wharton klim af en vra of hy die wond kan ondersoek. Hy steek sy ongewaste vinger daarin en roep uit: ‘Wat is dit?’ Terwyl sy vinger iets hard slaan. Hy het toe gehengel en 'n stuk goud van tien dollar uitgehaal. Die koeël tref dit en dryf dit in sy vlees en kyk af. ” Die koeël het 'n goue stuk van $ 10 getref wat sy vrou in 'n geldgordel gesit het wat hy gemaak het en hom gegee het net voor hy vertrek om weer by sy regiment aan te sluit. (In 'n ander weergawe van hierdie voorval is dit generaal Heth, nie Wharton nie, wat die goue muntstuk vind.)

Bespaar deur 'n goudstuk van $ 10

Danksy die bedagsaamheid van sy vrou is sy lewe gered, hoewel die wond nie ernstig was nie, het hy bloedvergiftiging opgedoen en moes hy terugkeer na sy gesin, wat nou in Richmond woon, om te herstel. Terwyl hy in Richmond was, het hy verneem dat hy nie in Maart behoorlik uitgeruil is nie. Om eer en om nie tereggestel te word as hy weer gevange geneem word nie, was Patton gedwing om uit die oorlog te bly totdat hy behoorlik uitgeruil kon word.

Nadat hy gewag het op 'n ewigheid, maar dit was net 'n paar maande, is Patton uiteindelik uitgeruil. Hy sluit weer aan by die 22ste Virginia in Lewisburg, Va. Sy regiment was nou deel van die Eerste Brigade, onder brig. Genl John Echols, in die Army of Southwest Virginia. Omdat Echols aan hartsiektes ly en gereeld afwesig was, het Patton gereeld die bevel oor die brigade oorgeneem. In die herfs het Patton se regiment deelgeneem aan die veldtog om die federale magte uit die Kanawha -vallei te jaag en Charleston terug te neem, wat die Konfederate die jaar tevore verloor het. Die rit was suksesvol, maar minder as 'n maand later is die Konfederate teruggery na Lewisburg, waar hulle kamp opgeslaan het vir die winter.

In die lente van 1863 begin die weermag van Suidwes-Virginia met 'n inval in die bergstreek van Noordwes-Virginia (nou Wes-Virginia) wat deur die Unie beheer word. Die doel van die aanval was om die New State Movement in die streek te belemmer (die oprigting van 'n nuwe staat in Wes -Virginia wat lojaal was aan die Unie wat natuurlik uiteindelik geslaag het) die vernietiging van die spoorlyne van die Baltimore & Ohio Railroad en ander eiendom van die Unie en om voedsel, klere en ander benodigdhede te soek. Patton en sy regiment was deel van brig. Gen. John Imboden se krag, een punt van die tweeledige aanval. Op 20 April het hulle die kamp by die Shenandoah -berg verlaat, terwyl Imboden se stropers stadig deur die streek geloop het en baie vragmotors, vee en perde gevang het voordat hulle na die Shenandoah -vallei teruggekeer het. Patton, trots op hoe sy regiment presteer het, het opgemerk dat 40 van sy manne die hele 400 myl kaalvoet geloop het.

'N Volledige vertoning van Patton se talent in die geveg

In Augustus het generaal -majoor William Averell, 'n vriend van George voor die oorlog, 3 000 man teen Lewisburg gelei. Op die 26ste, by Dry Creek, het Averell se ruitermag met die Eerste Brigade onder Patton gebots. Na twee dae se harde bakleiery is Averell teruggeslaan. Die oorwinning by Dry Creek het Patton se vermoë getoon om troepe in die geveg ten volle te beveel.

Averell sou egter in November sy wraak neem teen Patton, toe hy hom konfronteer op 'n plek met die naam Droop Mountain en waar Averell se mag van 5.000 kavalleries Patton se 1700 man verslaan het. Patton moes noodgedwonge terugtrek, sodat Averell Lewisburg vir 'n paar dae kon beset voordat die dreigement van 'n teenaanval die Unie -kavaleriste moes verlaat. Ten tyde van die geveg het Patton se gesin in Lewisburg gewoon. Sy seun William herinner hom lewendig daaraan toe hy die verslaan troepe deur Lewisburg sien verbygaan en skryf later: 'Laat in die nag kom my pa met die laaste van die agterhoede en stop om vir ons totsiens te sê en vir my ma 'n brief te stuur vir generaal Averell wat hom vra om te sien dat ons nie gepla is nie. ” Die volgende oggend neem Susan die brief na Averell, wat die versoek van sy ou vriend beantwoord en 'n wag by die Patton -huis gepos het.

Die beste uur van Patton het die volgende jaar by die Battle of New Market gekom. Patton se regiment was deel van 'n klein leër wat inderhaas onder genl.maj. John C. Breckinridge byeengekom het om 'n staking van die Unie onder genl. Genl. Franz Sigel teen die Shenandoah -vallei in die rigting van Staunton teë te werk. (Omdat die Shenandoah -rivier van suid na noord loop, het die Unie in die vallei in noordelike rigting gestrek.) Die Konfederate, wat grootliks in getal was, moes 247 kadette van VMI as versterkings beroep. Een van die kadette wat daardie dag die VMI Corps of Cadets verewig het, was Patton se jongste broer, William Mercer Patton.

Die twee partye het op 15 Mei 1864 op die Valley Turnpike by New Market bots. In die daaropvolgende geveg het die Konfederate 'n heldhaftige standpunt teen die hoër uniemagte gemaak en die dag gewen. Gedurende die laaste fase van die geveg verdedig Patton, wat vir alle praktiese doeleindes die Eerste Brigade vir die sieklike Echols beveel het, die reg teen die kavallerie van die Unie wat probeer het om die Konfederale lyn te oorskry. Toe die kavallerie deur die linkerkant van sy lyn breek, het Patton vinnig sy 22ste Virginia en die 23ste Virginia van luitenant -kolonel Clarence Derrick na weerskante van die gaping gery en die Unie -kavaleriste in 'n dodelike kruisvuur betrap. Met die hulp van verskeie stukke artillerie het die Konfederate die ruiters van die Unie gedemineer, wat baie gedwing het om oor te gee en die res om paniekbevange terug te trek.

Bevorder tot brigadier -generaal

Volgens historikus William C. Davis, 'was die belangrikste argitekte van die triomf [op New Market] Patton se 22e Virginia, in mindere mate Derrick's 23d Virginia, en Breckinridge met sy manjifieke gewere. Die manne van Patton en Derrick, dun, versprei, het die suksesvolste aanvalle op 'n infanteris, 'n berede lading, suksesvol deurstaan. Meer as dit, hulle het dit in die wiele gery en dit in 'n roete verander. " New Market het ongetwyfeld bewys dat Patton 'n uitstaande en vindingryke leier was. 'N Week later, toe sy swak gesondheid Echols genoop het om sy bevel permanent op te gee, het Patton bevel gekry oor die brigade - 'n bevordering wat hy tereg verdien het. Patton is ook aanbeveel vir 'n promosie tot brigadier -generaal.

Kort na die geveg op New Market, is Breckinridge se leër na die ooste gehaas om Robert E. Lee te help om genl.maj. Ulysses S. Grant se opmars op Richmond te stuit. Patton se brigade het op 2 Junie by Lee se magte aangesluit by die kruispad van Cold Harbour, slegs agt kilometer van die Konfederale hoofstad, vinnig besig om verdedigingswerke te bou, en Patton en sy manne was skaars gereed toe Grant om 16:30 'n volle -skaalse aanval op die gevestigde Konfederate. Grant is afgeweer en verloor in 'n halfuur byna 7 000 man. Een van die Konfederale generaal het gesê: 'Dit was nie oorlog nie, dit was moord.'

"Dit was nie oorlog nie, dit was moord."

Onmiddellik na die geveg is Patton se brigade terug na die Shenandoah -vallei om by luitenant -generaal Jubal Early se weermag aan te sluit. Die Unie -magte vorder weer suidwaarts, en Early het die taak gekry om hierdie nuwe bedreiging die hoof te bied. Nadat hy die Federals uit die vallei gedryf het, het Early verder gegaan deur Maryland na die buitewyke van Washington. Patton se brigade was een van die eerste Konfederale eenhede wat die stad op 11 Julie bereik het. Toe die stad se verdediging die volgende oggend sterk versterk is, het Early 'n aanval op die stad beëindig en die aand teruggekeer na die Shenandoah -vallei.

In reaksie op Early se inval in Maryland en die bedreiging vir Washington, is generaal -majoor Philip Sheridan beveel om Early te hanteer en die Shenandoah -vallei te verwoes. Die twee partye het op 19 September in Winchester, Va., Gebots in die Derde Slag van Winchester. Die Konfederate was baie in getal en kon nie die weerligaanval van die Unie weerstaan ​​nie en is verslaan. Hy het vroeg 'n derde van sy leër verloor en die brigade van Patton het die helfte van sy manskappe verloor. Maar dit was nie al wat Patton se brigade die dag verloor het nie, maar ook sy bevelvoerder.

'N Tweede weiering vir amputasie en die verlies van 'n groot generaal

Omstreeks 14:00, terwyl die Konfederate teruggedruk word, het Patton links van die lyn stand gehou teen 'n vasberade aanval deur Sheridan se kavallerie. Dit is toe dat hy gewond is. Robert H. Patton, in sy boek oor die Patton -gesin, beskryf die gebeurtenis: 'Hy het in sy beugels in 'n Winchesterstraat gestaan ​​toe 'n artillerie -dop daar naby ontplof en 'n ysterfragment in sy regterheup stuur. Hy het probeer om sy manne, wat in volle toevlug was, bymekaar te maak voordat hulle Yankee -kavallerie aangeval het ... " Hy is na 'n nabygeleë huis geneem en later gevang. Amputasie van sy regterbeen word aanbeveel, maar soos hy gedoen het na Scary Creek, het hy geweier. Binne 'n paar dae het gangreen ingetree en hy het koors gekry. Op 25 September 1864 sterf hy aan sy wond. (Daar word beweer dat ten tyde van Patton se dood 'n kommissie as brigadier -generaal na hom op pad was. Volgens Terry Lowery, 'n 22ste historikus in Virginia, is daar slegs skraps bewyse om dit te ondersteun en is daar geen stewige dokumentasie gevind nie. Patton is egter by verskeie geleenthede aanbeveel vir die promosie.)

Patton se vrou, Susan, wat in die koerante lees oor haar man se wonde, het ongelukkig na Winchester gegaan, toe sy daar aankom, is hy oorlede en begrawe. In plaas daarvan om haar man se lyk na een van die familiepersele in Richmond of Fredericksburg te skuif, het sy dit in Winchester begrawe. Sowat 10 jaar later is Patton se jonger broer, William Tazewell, wat in Gettysburg vermoor is, na Winchester verplaas, en hy en George is in 'n eenvoudige graf begrawe.

Die jaar nadat die oorlog geëindig het, het Susan en haar vier kinders by haar broer in Kalifornië aangesluit. In 1870 trou Susan met George se goeie vriend en eerste neef George Hugh Smith, wat net soos George die Konfederasie gedien het, onder bevel van twee Virginia -regimente. Smith het die Patton -kinders aangeneem en hulle liefdevol as sy eie grootgemaak. In 1883 sterf Susan nadat sy etlike jare aan kanker gely het. Patton se oudste seun, George S. Patton II, het VMI soos sy pa bygewoon, maar het nie 'n militêre loopbaan gevolg nie. Hy het egter die herinnering aan sy pa se militêre diens lewend gehou deur die verhale wat hy aan sy seun, generaal George S. Patton III, vertel het.

Hierdie artikel deur James M. Powles verskyn die eerste keer in die Warfare History Network op 23 September 2015.

Links: Olieportret van die Konfederale kolonel George S. Patton, klas van 1852, bevelvoerder van die 22ste Virginia Infanterie -regiment tydens die burgeroorlog wat in 1864 in Winchester vermoor is. Die oorspronklike portret is in besit van die Virginia Military Institute en is geleë in Preston Library. Kunstenaar: William D. Washington.


A. TOEFEL MODEL TOETS Leesbegrip in 12

Alhoewel die doel en tegnieke daarvan dikwels magies was, alchemie was op baie maniere die voorganger van die moderne wetenskap van chemie. Die fundamentele uitgangspunt van alchemie afgelei van die beste filosofies dogma en wetenskaplik die praktyk van die tyd, en die meerderheid opgevoede persone tussen 1400 en 1600 het geglo dat alchemie groot verdienste het.

Die vroegste outentieke werke oor Europese alchemie is die van die Engelse monnik Roger Bacon en die Duitse filosoof St. Albertus Magnus. In hul verhandelinge hulle het volgehou dat goud die perfekte metaal was en dit minderwaardig metale soos lei en kwik is deur verskillende grade van onvolmaaktheid uit goud verwyder. Hulle verder beweer dat hierdie onedele metale in goud omgeskakel kan word deur dit te meng met 'n meer volmaakte stof as goud. Hierdie ontwykend die stof word die 'filosoof se steen' genoem. Die proses is transmutasie genoem.

Die meeste van die vroeë alchemiste was ambagsmanne wat gewoond was om handelsgeheime te bewaar en dikwels gebruik gemaak het kripties terminologie om die vordering van hul werk aan te teken. Die term son word gebruik vir goud, maan vir silwer en die vyf bekende planete vir onedele metale. Hierdie konvensie om die simboliese taal te vervang, het 'n paar mistieke filosowe gelok wat die soeke na die perfekte metaal met die stryd van die mensdom vir die volmaaktheid van die siel. Die filosowe het die vakman begin gebruik terme in die mistieke literatuur wat hulle geproduseer het. Dusteen die veertiende eeu het alchemie twee verskillende groepe praktisyns ontwikkel: die laboratoriumalkemikus en die literêre alchemis. Beide groepe alchemiste het deur die geskiedenis van alchemie voortgegaan om te werk, maar dit was natuurlik die literêre alchemis wat meer geneig was om 'n geskrewe rekord Daarom is baie van wat bekend is oor die wetenskap van alchemie afgelei van filosowe eerder as van die alchemiste wat in laboratoriums gewerk het.

Ten spyte daarvan eeue se eksperimentering het laboratorium -alchemiste nie daarin geslaag om goud uit ander materiale te vervaardig nie. Hulle het egter gekry het wyd kennis van chemiese stowwe, chemiese eienskappe ontdek en baie van die gereedskap en tegnieke uitgevind wat vandag deur die chemikus gebruik word. Baie laboratorium -alchemiste het hulself ernstig toegewy aan die wetenskaplike ontdekking van nuwe verbindings en reaksies en moet dus as die wettige voorvaders van die moderne chemie beskou word. Hulle het hulself alchemiste genoem, maar hulle het ware chemici geword.

B. Maak 'n lys van nuwe woordeskat met die betekenis daarvan:

alchemie: die middeleeuse voorloper van chemie, veral gemoeid met pogings om onedele metale in goud om te skakel of om 'n universele eliksir te vind.
voorganger: 'n persoon wat 'n pos of amp voor die huidige houer beklee het.
fundamenteel: n. byvoeglike naamwoord of dien as 'n fondament of kern van sentrale belang.
uitgangspunt: 'n vorige stelling waaruit 'n ander afgelei word.
afgelei: verkry iets van ('n gespesifiseerde bron).
filosofies: verwant aan of toegewy aan die studie van filosofie.
wetenskaplik: verwant aan of gebaseer op wetenskap.
verhandelinge: n. selfstandige naamwoord 'n geskrewe werk wat formeel en sistematies oor 'n onderwerp handel.
minderwaardig: laer in rang, status of kwaliteit. Van lae standaard of kwaliteit.
lei: veroorsaak ('n persoon of dier) om saam te gaan deur dit saam te trek. wys (iemand) die weg na 'n bestemming deur hulle vooraf te gaan of te vergesel.
beweer: v. verklaar 'n feit of oortuiging met vertroue en met krag.
ontwykend: adj. byvoeglike naamwoord moeilik om te vind, te vang of te bereik
kripties: adj. geheimsinnig of duister in betekenis.
stryd: n. doen kragtige pogings om vry te kom.
terme: n. 'n woord of frase wat gebruik word om 'n ding te beskryf of 'n konsep uit te druk.
dus: adv. as gevolg of gevolg hiervan dus.
onderskeidend: adj. herkenbaar anders van aard individueel of afsonderlik.
rekord: n. 'n bewys van die verlede, veral 'n geskrewe of ander permanente verslag
ten spyte van: prep. sonder om geraak te word deur
verkry: n. verkry of beveilig (iets gunstigs).
wyd: n. groot of meer as die gemiddelde breedte.
voorvaders: selfstandige naamwoord 'n voorouer of voorloper
C. Idees van elke paragraaf
Paragraaf 1: Alhoewel die doel en tegnieke daarvan dikwels magies was, was alchemie in baie opsigte die voorganger van die moderne wetenskap van chemie.
Paragraaf 2: Die vroegste outentieke werke oor Europese alchemie is die van die Engelse monnik Roger Bacon en die Duitse filosoof St. Albertus Magnus.
Paragraaf 3: Die meeste van die vroeë alchemiste was ambagsmanne wat gewoond was om handelsgeheime te bewaar en dikwels tot kriptiese terminologie gebruik gemaak het om die vordering van hul werk aan te teken.
Paragraaf 4: Ondanks eeue se eksperimente kon laboratorium -alchemiste nie goud uit ander materiale vervaardig nie.

D. Beantwoord die gegewe vrae

1. Watter van die volgende is die hoofpunt van die gedeelte?

A. Hulle was beide laboratorium- en literêre alchemiste.

B. Onedelmetale kan in goud oorgedra word deur dit te meng met 'n meer volmaakte stof as goud.

C. Roger Bacon en St. Albertus Magnus het oor alchemie geskryf

D. Alchemie was die voorganger van die moderne chemie.

2. Die woord outentiek in paragraaf 2 kan die beste vervang word deur?

3. Wat is die verskil tussen onedele metale en goud volgens die alchemiste?

4. Wat is volgens die gedeelte die "filosoof se klip"?

A. Lood wat met goud gemeng is

B. 'n Element wat nooit gevind is nie

C. 'n Ander naam vir alchemie

5. Watter van die volgende kan die woord kripties in paragraaf 3 die beste vervang word?

6. Waarom het die vroeë alchemiste die sterre son en maan gebruik?

A. Om die werk geheim te hou

B. Om die werk meer literêr te maak

C. Om filosowe te lok

D. Om 'n geskrewe rekord op te stel

7. Wie was die eerste alchemiste?

8. In paragraaf 3 stel die skrywer voor dat ons weet van die geskiedenis van alchemie omdat?

A. Die laboratoriumalchemiste het geheime aantekeninge gehou

B. Die literêre alchemiste het dit skriftelik opgeteken

C. Die mistieke filosowe kon nie die geheim van alchemie verberg nie

D. Die historici kon die geheime geskrifte van die alchemiste interpreteer

9. Watter van die volgende stellings sal die skrywer heel waarskynlik saamstem?

A. Alchemie moet as 'n volledige mislukking beskou word.

B. 'n Paar baie belangrike wetenskaplike ontdekkings is deur alchemiste gemaak.

C. Die meeste opgevoede mense het alchemie verwerp gedurende die tyd wat dit beoefen is.

D. Die literêre alchemiste was belangriker as die laboratoriumalchemiste.

E. Opsomming van die gedeelte
Die fundamentele uitgangspunt van alchemie is afgelei van die beste filosofiese dogma en wetenskaplike praktyk van die tyd, en die meerderheid opgevoede persone tussen 1400 en 1600 het geglo dat alchemie groot verdienste het. Die vroegste outentieke werke oor Europese alchemie is die van die Engelse monnik Roger Bacon en die Duitse filosoof St. Albertus Magnus. In hul verhandelinge het hulle beweer dat goud die perfekte metaal is en dat minderwaardige metale soos lood en kwik deur verskillende onvolmaakthede van goud verwyder is. Die meeste van die vroeë alchemiste was ambagsmanne wat gewoond was aan die geheimhou van sake, en het dikwels tot kriptiese terminologie gegaan om die vordering van hul werk aan te teken. Die term son word gebruik vir goud, maan vir silwer en die vyf bekende planete vir onedele metale. Baie laboratorium -alchemiste het hulself ernstig toegewy aan die wetenskaplike ontdekking van nuwe verbindings en reaksies en moet dus as die wettige voorvaders van die moderne chemie beskou word.


Leesbegrip 12

Alhoewel die doel en tegnieke daarvan dikwels magies was, was alchemie op baie maniere die voorganger van die moderne wetenskap van chemie. Die fundamentele uitgangspunt van alchemie is afgelei van die beste filosofiese dogma en wetenskaplike praktyk van die tyd, en die meerderheid opgevoede persone tussen 1400 en 1600 het geglo dat alchemie groot verdienste het.

Die vroegste outentieke werke oor Europese alchemie is die van die Engelse monnik Roger Bacon en die Duitse filosoof St. Albertus Magnus. In hul verhandelinge het hulle beweer dat goud die perfekte metaal is en dat minderwaardige metale soos lood en kwik deur verskillende grade van onvolmaaktheid uit goud verwyder is. Hulle het verder beweer dat hierdie onedele metale in goud omgeskakel kan word deur dit te meng met 'n meer volmaakte stof as goud. Daar word na hierdie ontwykende stof verwys as die 'filosoof se steen'. Die proses is transmutasie genoem.

Die meeste van die vroeë alchemiste was ambagsmanne wat gewoond was aan die geheimhou van sake en het dikwels tot kriptiese terminologie gegaan om die vordering van hul werk aan te teken. Die term son word gebruik vir goud, maan vir silwer en die vyf bekende planete vir onedele metale. Hierdie konvensie om die simboliese taal te vervang, het 'n paar mistieke filosowe gelok wat die soeke na die perfekte metaal vergelyk het met die stryd van die mensdom om die volmaaktheid van die siel. Die filosowe het die terme van die vakman begin gebruik in die mistieke literatuur wat hulle vervaardig het. Thus, by the fourteenth century, alchemy had developed two distinct groups of practitioners-the laboratory alchemist and the literary alchemist. Both groups of alchemists continued to work throughout the history of alchemy but, of course, it was the literary alchemist who was more likely to produce a written record therefore, much of what is known about the science of alchemy is derived from philosophers rather than from the alchemists who labored in laboratories.

Despite centuries of experimentation, laboratory alchemists failed to produce gold from other materials. However, they gained wide knowledge of chemical substances, discovered chemical properties, and invented many of the tools and techniques that are used by chemist today. Many laboratory alchemists earnestly devoted themselves to the scientific discovery of new compounds and reactions and, therefore, must be considered the legitimate forefathers of modern chemistry. They continued to call themselves alchemists, but they were becoming true chemists.

1. Which of the following is the main point of the passage?
A. They were both laboratory and literary alchemists.
B. Base metals can be transmuted to gold by blending them with a substance more perfect than gold.
C. Roger Bacon and St. Albertus Magnus wrote about alchemy
D. Alchemy was the predecessor of modern chemistry.

2. The word outentiek in paragraph 2 could best be replaced by ?
A. Valuable
B. Genuine
C. Complete
D. Comprehensible

3. According to the alchemists, what is the difference between base metals and gold?
A. Perfection
B. Chemical content
C. Temperature
D. Weight

4. According to the passage, what is the “philosopher’s stone”?
A. Lead that was mixed with gold
B. An element that was never found
C. Another name for alchemy
D. A base metal

5. The word cryptic in paragraph 3 could best be replaced by which of the following?
A. Scholarly
B. Secret
C. Foreign
D. Precise

6. Why did the early alchemists use the terns sun and moon?
A. To keep the work secret
B. To make the work more literary
C. To attract philosophers
D. To produce a written record

7. Who were the first alchemists?
A. Chemists
B. Writer
C. Artisans
D. Linguists

8. In paragraph 3, the author suggests that we know about the history of alchemy because ?
A. The laboratory alchemists kept secret notes
B. The literary alchemists recorded it in writing
C. The mystical philosophers were not able to hide the secret of alchemy
D. The historians were able to interpret the secret writings of the alchemists

9. Which of the following statements would the author most probably agree?
A. Alchemy must be considered a complete failure.
B. Some very important scientific discoveries were made by alchemists.
C. Most educated people dismissed alchemy during the time that it was practiced.
D. The literary alchemists were more important than the laboratory alchemists.


Oorsig: The Questionable Arcana Crafting System is a homebrew set of rules that builds on the RAW crafting system. The goal of the system is to increase the rate that items are crafted while introducing an element of variability(aka dice rolling).

  1. A Lead Artisan - An artisan with the appropriate tool who can lead the crafting process.
  2. Crafting Materials - Materials to craft with. The items should be valued at 50% market value for mundane items and 100% market value for magical items.
  3. Means of Production - Any special equipment or location requirements such as a forge for blacksmiths.
  4. Instructions - Memorized instructions for mundane items or a written blueprint for magical items.
  5. Labor - Time and energy measured in 8 hour increments and proficiency dice rolls!

TOEFL MODEL TEST: Reading Comprehension 12

Although its purpose and techniques were often magical, alchemy was, in many ways, the predecessor of the modern science of chemistry. The fundamental premise of alchemy derived from the best philosophical dogma and scientific practice of the time, and the majority of educated persons between 1400 and 1600 believed that alchemy had great merit.

The earliest authentic works on European alchemy are those of the English monk Roger Bacon and the German philosopher St. Albertus Magnus. In hul treatises hulle maintained that gold was the perfect metal and that inferior metals such as lead en mercury were removed by various degrees of imperfection from gold. They further asserted that these base metals could be transmuted to gold by blending them with a substance more perfect than gold. Hierdie elusive substance was referred to as the “philosopher’s stone.” The process was called transmutation.

Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted aan cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work. The term sun was used for gold, moon for silver, and the five known planets for base metals. This convention of substituting symbolic language attracted some mystical philosophers who compared the search for the perfect metal with the struggle of humankind for the perfection of the soul. The philosophers began to use the artisan’s terms in the mystical literature that they produced. Thus, by the fourteenth century, alchemy had developed two distinct groups of practitioners-the laboratory alchemist and the literary alchemist. Both groups of alchemists continued to work throughout the history of alchemy but, of course, it was the literary alchemist who was more likely to produce a written record therefore, much of what is known about the science of alchemy is derived from philosophers rather than from the alchemists who labored in laboratories.

Despite centuries of experimentation, laboratory alchemists failed to produce gold from other materials. However, they gained wide knowledge of chemical substances, discovered chemical properties, and invented many of the tools and techniques that are used by chemist today. Many laboratory alchemists earnestly devoted themselves to the scientific discovery of new compounds and reactions and, therefore, must be considered the legitimate forefathers of modern chemistry. They continued to call themselves alchemists, but they were becoming true chemists.

  1. NEW VOCABULARY WITH THEIR MEANING
    • Magical : of or relating to magic.
    • Alchemy : a form of chemistry and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and concerned principally with discovering methods for transmuting baser metals into gold and with finding a universal solvent and an elixir of life.
    • Predecessor : a person who precedes another in an office, position, etc.
    • Merit : claim to respect and praise excellence worth.
    • Monk : (in Christianity) a man who has withdrawn from the world for religious reasons, especially as a member of an order of cenobites living according to a particular rule and under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
    • Treatises : a formal and systematic exposition in writing of the principles of a subject, generally longer and more detailed than an essay.
    • Maintained : to keep in existence or continuance preserve retain
    • Lead : Chemistry. a heavy, comparatively soft, malleable, bluish-gray metal, sometimes found in its natural state but usually combined as a sulfide, especially in galena. Symbol: Pb atomic weight: 207.19 atomic number: 82 specific gravity: 11.34 at 20°C.
    • Mercury : Chemistry. a heavy, silver-white, highly toxic metallic element, the only one that is liquid at room temperature quicksilver: used in barometers, thermometers, pesticides, pharmaceutical preparations, reflecting surfaces of mirrors, and dental fillings, in certain switches, lamps, and other electric apparatus, and as a laboratory catalyst. Symbol: Hg atomic weight: 200.59 atomic number: 80 specific gravity: 13.546 at 20°C freezing point: −38.9°C boiling point: 357°C.
    • Imperfection : an imperfect detail flaw
    • Asserted : resting on a statement or claim unsupported by evidence or proof
    • Transmuted : to change from one nature, substance, form, or condition into another transform.
    • Elusive : eluding or failing to allow for or accommodate a clear perception or complete mental grasp hard to express or define
    • Resorted : to sort or arrange (cards, papers, etc.) again.
    • Cryptic : mysterious in meaning puzzling ambiguous
    • Mystical : mystic of or relating to supernatural agencies, affairs, occurrences, etc.
    • Substances : that of which a thing consists physical matter or material
    • Compounds : composed of two or more parts, elements, or ingredients
    • Forefathers : an ancestor
    1. THE IDEAS OF EACH PARAGRAPH
    • Paragraph 1 : Alchemy was the predecessor of the modern science of chemistry. The fundamental premise of alchemy derived from the best philosophical dogma and scientific practice of the time, and the majority of educated persons between 1400 and 1600 believed that alchemy had great merit.
    • Paragraph 2 : The earliest authentic works on European alchemy are those of the English monk Roger Bacon and the German philosopher St. Albertus Magnus. In their treatises they maintained that gold was the perfect metal and that inferior metals such as lead and mercury were removed by various degrees of imperfection from gold.
    • Paragraph 3 : Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted to cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work. This convention of substituting symbolic language attracted some mystical philosophers who compared the search for the perfect metal with the struggle of humankind for the perfection of the soul. By the fourteenth century, alchemy had developed two distinct groups of practitioners-the laboratory alchemist and the literary alchemist.
    • Paragraph 4 : The laboratory alchemists failed to produce gold from other materials. However, they gained wide knowledge of chemical substances, discovered chemical properties, and invented many of the tools and techniques that are used by chemist today.

    4. ANSWER FROM THE QUESTIONS GIVEN
    1. Which of the following is the main point of the passage?
    A. They were both laboratory and literary alchemists.
    B. Base metals can be transmuted to gold by blending them with a substance more perfect than gold.
    C. Roger Bacon and St. Albertus Magnus wrote about alchemy
    D. Alchemy was the predecessor of modern chemistry.
    2. The word authentic in paragraph 2 could best be replaced by ?
    A. Valuable
    B. Genuine
    C. Complete
    D. Comprehensible
    3. According to the alchemists, what is the difference between base metals and gold?
    A. Perfection
    B. Chemical content
    C. Temperature
    D. Weight
    4. According to the passage, what is the “philosopher’s stone”?
    A. Lead that was mixed with gold
    B. An element that was never found
    C. Another name for alchemy
    D. A base metal
    5. The word cryptic in paragraph 3 could best be replaced by which of the following?
    A. Scholarly
    B. Secret
    C. Foreign
    D. Precise
    6. Why did the early alchemists use the terns sun and moon?
    A. To keep the work secret
    B. To make the work more literary
    C. To attract philosophers
    D. To produce a written record
    7. Who were the first alchemists?
    A. Chemists
    B. Writer
    C. Artisans
    D. Linguists
    8. In paragraph 3, the author suggests that we know about the history of alchemy because ?
    A. The laboratory alchemists kept secret notes
    B. The literary alchemists recorded it in writing
    C. The mystical philosophers were not able to hide the secret of alchemy
    D. The historians were able to interpret the secret writings of the alchemists
    9. Which of the following statements would the author most probably agree?
    A. Alchemy must be considered a complete failure.
    B. Some very important scientific discoveries were made by alchemists.
    C. Most educated people dismissed alchemy during the time that it was practiced.
    D. The literary alchemists were more important than the laboratory alchemists.

    Alchemy was the predecessor of the modern science of chemistry. The fundamental premise of alchemy derived from the best philosophical dogma and scientific practice of the time, and the majority of educated persons between 1400 and 1600 believed that alchemy had great merit. Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted to cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work. This convention of substituting symbolic language attracted some mystical philosophers who compared the search for the perfect metal with the struggle of humankind for the perfection of the soul. By the fourteenth century, alchemy had developed two distinct groups of practitioners-the laboratory alchemist and the literary alchemist.


    Journal Entry [ ]

    • Meet the pellar in the stone circle on Fyke Isle at midnight.
    • Protect the ritual's participants.

    If you choose to side with the pellar:

    • Defeat the witch hunters.
    • Defeat the wraiths.
    • Find the body of the pellar's father in the swamps using your Witcher Senses.
    • Burn the pellar's father's body.
    • Talk to the pellar. (50)

    TOEFL MODEL TEST : Reading Comprehension 12

    Although its purpose and techniques were often magical, alchemy was, in many ways, the predecessor of the modern science of chemistry. The fundamental premise of alchemy derived from the best philosophical dogma and scientific practice of the time, and the majority of educated persons between 1400 and 1600 believed that alchemy had great merit.

    The earliest authentic works on European alchemy are those of the English monk Roger Bacon and the German philosopher St. Albertus Magnus. In their treatises they maintained that gold was the perfect metal and that inferior metals such as lead and mercury were removed by various degrees of imperfection from gold. They furtherasserted that these base metals could be transmuted to gold by blending them with a substance more perfect than gold. This elusive substance was referred to as the “philosopher’s stone.” The process was called transmutation.

    Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted to cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work. The term sun was used for gold, moon for silver, and the five known planets for base metals. This convention of substituting symbolic language attracted some mystical philosophers who compared the search for the perfect metal with the struggle of humankind for the perfection of the soul. The philosophers began to use the artisan’s terms in the mystical literature that they produced. Thus, by the fourteenth century, alchemy had developed twodistinct groups of practitioners-the laboratory alchemist and the literary alchemist. Both groups of alchemists continued to work throughout the history of alchemy but, of course, it was the literary alchemist who was more likely to produce a written record therefore, much of what is known about the science of alchemy is derived from philosophers rather than from the alchemists who labored in laboratories.

    Despite centuries of experimentation, laboratory alchemists failed to produce gold from other materials. However, they gained wide knowledge of chemical substances, discovered chemical properties, and invented many of the tools and techniques that are used by chemist today. Many laboratory alchemists earnestly devoted themselves to the scientific discovery of new compounds and reactions and, therefore, must be considered the legitimate forefathers of modern chemistry. They continued to call themselves alchemists, but they were becoming true chemists.

    List new vocabulary with their meaning

    predecessor : a person who held a job or office before the current holder.

    premise : a previous statement from which another is inferred.

    philosophical : relating to or devoted to the study of philosophy.

    scientific : relating to or based on science.

    treatises : n. noun a written work dealing formally and systematically with a subject.

    inferior : lower in rank, status, or quality. Of low standard or quality.

    asserted : v. state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.

    elusive : adj. adjective difficult to find, catch, or achieve

    cryptic : adj. mysterious or obscure in meaning.

    struggle : n. make forceful efforts to get free.

    forefathers : noun an ancestor or precursor

    Ideas of each paragraph
    P 1: Although its purpose and techniques were often magical, alchemy was, in many ways, the predecessor of the modern science of chemistry.
    P 2: The earliest authentic works on European alchemy are those of the English monk Roger Bacon and the German philosopher St. Albertus Magnus.
    P 3: Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted to cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work.
    P 4: Despite centuries of experimentation, laboratory alchemists failed to produce gold from other materials.

    Answer the questions given

    Antwoord: D. Alchemy was the predecessor of modern chemistry.

    Antwoord: B. Genuine

    Antwoord: A. Perfection

    Antwoord: B. An element that was never found

    Antwoord: B. Secret

    Antwoord: A. To keep the work secret

    Antwoord: C. Artisans

    Antwoord: B. The literary alchemists recorded it in writing

    Antwoord: B. Some very important scientific discoveries were made by alchemists.

    Summary of the passage
    The fundamental premise of alchemy derived from the best philosophical dogma and scientific practice of the time, and the majority of educated persons between 1400 and 1600 believed that alchemy had great merit. The earliest authentic works on European alchemy are those of the English monk Roger Bacon and the German philosopher St. Albertus Magnus. In their treatises they maintained that gold was the perfect metal and that inferior metals such as lead and mercury were removed by various degrees of imperfection from gold. Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted to cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work. The term sun was used for gold, moon for silver, and the five known planets for base metals. Many laboratory alchemists earnestly devoted themselves to the scientific discovery of new compounds and reactions and, therefore, must be considered the legitimate forefathers of modern chemistry.


    Chemistry in Ancient China: Alchemy

    It is very difficult for modern people to fathom the scientific achievements in ancient China from a modern scientific point of view. Actually, even in this past century, there have been different schools of science that have different understandings of the most basic composition of substances. I quoted Lao Tzu and Confucius in Part I of this series [1]. From a modern science point of view, it is not at all far-fetched to describe these two philosophers as physicists. Their theories revealed the existence of and variations in substances at different levels. It is a myth to modern people that, without access to any scientific equipment or apparatus, these ancient philosophers could have discovered the existence of protons, neutrons and electrons within an atom, as well as the fact that all substances, regardless of their shapes, are made up of atoms. Without the use of particle accelerators, these ancient Chinese philosophers even knew of the existence of substances at microscopic levels in different dimensions. Of course, the ultimate quest for modern scientists is knowledge of the most basic particle that makes up any substance in the universe and the process of formation of that substance. With this knowledge, scientists will immediately be able to realize the dream of being the Creator, one who is capable of creating various substances and turn even stone into gold.

    Alchemy is not a dream. Ancient Chinese scientists already possessed knowledge of alchemy. When it comes to scientific achievements and developments in ancient China, alchemy would be placed in the first chapter of the history book of chemistry. According to the ancient Chinese Taoist concept of making dan (an energy cluster in a cultivator's body, collected from other dimensions) in the furnace, once dan is formed, it has the capability of changing any tangible substance into gold or silver. Dan can also transform the physical body and bodies in other dimensions, thus promoting a cultivator to transcend time, space, and the human body and enter into higher levels of cultivation. With this in mind, "making dan" is, in essence, actually alchemy.

    It would be difficult to determine when Chinese alchemy originated by researching historical documents. According to ancient Taoist records, alchemy was first recorded in the time of Huang Di (the legendary Yellow Emperor) and Lao Tzu. However, Huang Di and Lao Tzu lived in different historical periods that were hundreds of years apart. The most logical explanation would be that alchemy developed along with the Chinese culture and thus became part of it. Huang Di and Lao Tsu were great masters of alchemy, making them the representatives of Chinese alchemy. Legend has it that Hang Di was given nine dans as a gift while visiting Tai Yi. After a person consumed a dan, his hands became as red as the dan. When the person washed his hands in a river, the river would turn red too. Later, Huang Di obtained the secrets of alchemy and made dans with a furnace. Huang Di flew up to heaven on the back of a dragon after the dans were made [2]. According to the Chapter of Fen-Chan in The Book of History by Si-Ma Qian, the alchemists encouraged the feudal lords to seek dan in order to obtain eternal life and youth beginning in the time of the reign of Emperor Jiwei-Xuan in the Warring States Period. Later, during the reign of the First Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, a Taoist named Xu Fu asked the Emperor for permission to seek dan overseas. These are the first official records of alchemy in Chinese history. Alchemy became more ascendant during the Han Dynasty. The Wu Emperor, Liu Che, was very enthusiastic about alchemy. During the same historical period, the King of Huai Nan also kept a big group of Taoists as houseguests. They wrote a lot of books on alchemy for him. Unfortunately all of the books were lost, except for twenty-one volumes of Huai Nan Zi. At the end of the West Han Dynasty, Wang Mang, who usurped the throne, was also a proponent of alchemy. During the Three Kingdoms period, at the end of Han Dynasty, Cao Cao and his son enjoyed the company of alchemists, among whom, Zuo Ci, Gan Shi, and Wang Heping, were the most famous.

    At the end of the Han Dynasty, in approximately 2 A.D., Wei Boyang, a man of the Country of Wu, or today's Shangyu, Zhejiang Province, wrote The References and Comments on the Book of Changes, the earliest textbook of alchemy. Because there are many theories and experiments in this book, naturally, it was a good reference book for later generations of people. Legend has it that Wei Boyang led three disciples into the mountains to cultivate dan. After he made the dans, he first gave one to a dog as a test. But the dog soon died. Then Boyang ate a dan and also died. One of the three disciples then ate a dan after he saw that his Master died from eating a dan. The other two disciples sighed and said, "The purpose of making dan is to obtain longevity. What is the use of eating a dan that will kill you?" The two of them then left the mountain without hesitation. As soon as they left, Wei Boyang immediately stood up and put the real dan into the mouths of the disciple and the dog. Both the disciple and the dog woke up immediately. In this way, they became immortal and started cultivation of the Tao [3].

    This legend shows that the required standards for xinxing (heart and mind nature moral character) and morals in the arena of ancient Chinese science were very high. The requirements for moral character were much higher than those for intelligence and knowledge. This very characteristic differentiates ancient Chinese science from modern science. The truth of the universe is the manifestation of the nature of different levels. It is impossible to have an access to the truth of the universe via methods or techniques of lower levels. Therefore, "believe first, see later" is another important characteristic of ancient Chinese science. "Believe first, see later" means that those who seek the truth of the universe must first discard all of their conventional thinking before they can see the natural unfolding of the truth of the universe. They need not pursue the truth of the universe in order to see it.

    Einstein believed that the universe is in harmony and order, that the universe was created by God, and that there exist high-level beings in the universe. If Einstein represents modern science, perhaps we can derive from his story that "to believe first" must be the foundation of science. Both ancient and modern science share one common requirement in this regard. This is a question that calls for deep reflection from the modern scientist: What on earth do modern scientists believe in?

    Ge Hong published Bao Pu Zi in the Jin Dynasty. This book has two parts: inside and outside. It broadly describes the functions of herbs, alchemy, stories about deities and cultivation, and the laws behind the changes of everything on earth. According to Ge Hong, his grandfather, Ge Xianweng, was the student of Zuo Ci, who had imparted to him numerous volumes of scriptures about alchemy. Later, Zheng Siyuan, a disciple of Ge Xianweng, passed the art of alchemy to Ge Hong, grandson of Ge Xianweng. Ge Hong called himself Bao Pu Zi. Ge Hong was indifferent to fame and wealth. He studied diligently despite his obscure family background. He read a lot of classical books, and as the apprentice of Zheng Siyuang, he obtained the secrets to immortality. He hid himself on Mount Luo Fu in Guangdong Province, where he cultivated the Tao, and he constantly wrote books of Tao. When he passed away, he was in the sitting meditation posture. His complexion was rosy and his body was soft like a living person. When people transferred his body to a coffin, they found he weighed as little as a piece of clothing. This is what is called "leaving the body behind to become an immortal."

    The Chapter of Huang Bai in Bao Pu Zi says, "Change is the norm of nature therefore, it is a confined way of thinking to believe gold and silver cannot be transformed into something different." The ancient Chinese alchemists maintained that gold and silver could be transformed into and from other types of substances. This is the so-called transformation of elements in the modern theory of high-energy physics. However, even with the modern, precise, and large particle accelerators that are capable of transforming some chemical elements into different elements, it would be like a tale in the Arabian Nights if one were capable of transforming base chemical elements into gold and silver. It would be impossible to observe this phenomenon using today's technology. This is the very reason why alchemy has been regarded as an absurdity and an example of ancient quasi-science by modern scientists.

    Actually, many recent discoveries from modern scientific experiments have shown that many creatures on earth have supernormal abilities like alchemy within themselves. For example, hens, which are not given any food with calcium, unexpectedly produce eggs with calcium shells. Seeds that sprout in distilled water contain more potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and sulphur than before the seeds begin to sprout. These experiments demonstrate that all creatures on earth have alchemical abilities [4,5]. These phenomena might support the fact that ancient Chinese scientists probably were much more advanced in their understanding of the laws of changes in the universe. Apparently, alchemy is more than just the understanding of substances on the superficial layer. It probes right into the power of life.


    Is Origin of Life Science Today’s Alchemy?

    The 21st in the series called The Case Against Physicalism. In previous posts on Top Down or Bottom Up, we investigated the challenges to science from the facts of beginnings. Here we look closer at the science of the origin of life. We see a key difference between operational science and origins science which helps explain the science community’s aversion to the idea of a cause for life outside of the cosmos.

    Will our current scientific studies of the origin of life prove to be the equivalent of alchemy?

    Alchemy has a long and noble history. It spans four millennia and three continents and was one of the primary scientific endeavors for most of that time. Although popular understanding is focused on the effort of alchemists to turn base metals like lead into noble metals, mostly gold, there were a number of other efforts pursued such as creating an elixir of eternal life, finding a “panacea” or substance to cure any illness, and a universal solvent.

    From the empirical observations of the time, there was no good reason to believe that such things were impossible. There is metal such as lead in the earth and there is gold. There are obvious transformation, like oxidation. What reason would they have to believe that lead does not through some transformative process turn into gold? And if it did, why not hurry the natural process along and become fabulously rich in the process?

    Now, we know that it is impossible. Science has improved our knowledge about things like lead and gold and where they come from, and has enabled humans to understand that the process they were trying to simulate doesn’t exist.

    Origin of Life (OoL), or abiogenesis, studies are forensic in nature. That is, we do not and apparently cannot study the process by which non-living material turns into something that is alive. So far as we know today, what happened on earth about 3.8 billion years ago, happened just once in the entire universe. That means to understand what happened and how it happened we have to simulate it. To simulate it, we need to know the conditions under which that process occurred, and we need to know the mechanism or mechanisms that caused atoms and molecules needed for life to operate.

    The simulation process really got started in 1952 by Nobel Laureate chemist Howard Urey and his graduate student Stanley Miller. Simply put, they assembled what they believed constituted the pre-biotic “soup” in a container and zapped it with lightning. Both the raw chemicals and the environmental conditions were presented as representing the nearly newborn earth. The zapping ended up producing amino acids, one of the essential building blocks of life. Viola, the path to establishing the creation of life through chemical evolution was established. The frenzied headlines that told the world that the mystery of the origin of life was about to be solved. These misrepresentations have been repeated over and over since that time as new studies “proved” how chemicals evolved to create life.

    Despite the wildly optimistic claims of these click-bait headlines, the public remains very skeptical of the belief expressed by many physicalists that we are very close to discovering the pathway of chemical evolution. As the debates between varying theories, sometimes widely varying theories, boil over into serious acrimony, the confidence in science is diminished. That is a problem for all of us as we have seen in the COVID 19 crisis.

    An example of very irresponsible communication by scientists concerning claims of a solution are found in this 2009 article from American Scientist, introduced with this remarkable statement:

    “In this article we present a view gaining attention in the origin-of-life community that takes the question out of the hatchery and places it squarely in the realm of accessible, plausible chemistry. As we see it, the early steps on the way to life are an inevitable, incremental result of the operation of the laws of chemistry and physics operating under the conditions that existed on the early Earth, a result that can be understood in terms of known (or at least knowable) laws of nature. As such, the early stages in the emergence of life are no more surprising, no more accidental, than water flowing downhill.”

    The hubris expressed in the statement that the emergence of life is no more mysterious than water flowing downhill is almost, but not quite, humorous. Particularly in light of the much more recent assessment of the state of OoL research by a long list of researchers who strongly dispute the optimistic assessment. First, they summarize the areas of agreement. Those, they find are few. The disagreements are numerous, vast in scope and vociferous:

    “There is some consensus on a few points. First, the earliest undisputed fossil evidence places life on Earth prior to 3.35 Ga and molecular clocks suggest an origin prior to the late heavy bombardment >3.9 Ga. Second, the origin of life must have resulted from a long process or a series of processes, not a sudden event, for the complexity of a cell could not have appeared instantaneously…But strikingly, the list of agreements does not expand much further than this…The list of individual theories, different lines of experimental and theoretical research and diverse views on the OoL is extensive and eclectic…we present a forward-looking perspective on how discontinued discourses on the OoL can be (re)united in a new mosaic with resolution and meaning. We reflect purposely on individual topics causing the most distressing divisions in OoL research, most of which result from classical separations between disciplines and theories that date to decades ago. We then portray examples of bridges being built between classically opposed views and finish by providing a roadmap for future dialogue and evidence-based research in OoL.”

    Despite 70 years of dedicated research and who knows how many billions of public and private dollars, the debates rage, theories proliferate and we seem no closer to a solution. We have learned a lot, no question, but have we come closer to the answer of how life evolved from non-life?

    Biologist Dean Kenyon, now professor emeritus of San Francisco State University, provides an interesting case in point. In 1969 he and Gary Steinman wrote a book called Biochemical Predestination in which they presented the idea that

    “Life might have been biochemically predestined by the properties of attraction that exist between its chemical parts, especially between amino acids in proteins.”

    This idea is considered a precursor to the “self-organization” idea that finds expression in many areas of science, including evolution. However, Professor Kenyon later concluded that this predestination was not a satisfactory answer and, much to the frustration of those who esteemed his science work, concluded that creation or intelligent design was a more rational conclusion. As expected, the organized physicalist defenders on Wikipedia mock much of his later thinking, labeling him with that most horrid of anti-science epithets: a young earth creationist!

    Kenyon provided the foreword to a book that set the OoL community into a tizzy. The Mystery of the Origin of Life initially appeared in 1984 and has recently been republished with updates and additional contributions from scientists and philosophers of science. The primary authors Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley and Roger Olsen combined in-depth scientific knowledge and expertise in three areas critical to origin science: biochemistry, thermodynamics and geochemistry. The book provides a deep dive into the ongoing investigation of origins particularly on the efforts to simulate the conditions and mechanisms necessary for chemical evolution.

    It was a scientific tour-de-force and reviews showed that few could question the analysis provided. Looking at the question from the viewpoint of biochemistry, geochemistry and the laws of thermodynamics was something new and much needed. In the Epilogue Thaxton reviewed the primary ideas about origins and analyzed how they stacked up against the scientific knowledge to date. He summarized their analysis in these key points:

    • “There is accumulating evidence for an oxidizing early earth and atmosphere.
    • Destructive processes would have predominated over synthesis in the atmosphere and ocean in the prebiotic world.
    • There is continued shortening of the time interval (now less than 170 million years) between earth’s cooling and the first appearance of life.
    • Geochemical analysis shows that the composition of Precambrian deposits is short of nitrogen.
    • There is an observational limit or boundary between what has been accomplished in the laboratory by natural processes left to themselves and what is done through investigator interference.
    • In our experience only two things, biotic processes (carried out by enzymes, DNA, etc.) and investigator interference, are able to couple energy flow to the task of constructing biospecific macromolecules.
    • True living cells are extraordinarily complex, well-orchestrated dynamic structures containing enzymes, DNA, phospholipids, carbohydrates, etc., to which so-called protocells bear only a superficial resemblance.”

    An overly simple summary of these key items would be: the conditions and requirements for chemical evolution on earth show that transforming non-living matter into life is impossible. Thaxton quotes Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe who decisively agreed with that assessment:

    “No matter how large the environment one considers, life cannot have had a random beginning… there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (10²⁰)2000 = 10⁴⁰⁰⁰⁰, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.

    If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court… the enormous information content of even the simplest living systems… cannot in our view be generated by what are often called “natural” processes, as for instance through meteorological and chemical processes occurring at the surface of a lifeless planet… For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly… There is no way in which we can expect to avoid the need for information, no way in which we can simply get by with a bigger and better organic soup, as we ourselves hoped might be possible a year or two ago.” [klem bygevoeg]

    Hoyle and Wickramasinghe are scientists who thoroughly and for carefully explicated reasons reject exclusive Darwinism, not just on origin issues but also as a true story of the history of life. But, Hoyle was so committed to atheism that despite the fact that he was a major contributor to the discovery of fine-tuning for life, he resisted the idea of the Big Bang (a term he coined) that he continued to promote the idea of a steady-state universe. Since a transcendent creator could not be contemplated and chemical evolution of life on earth was not possible, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe promoted the idea of panspermia. To them, it was clear that life arrived on earth from comets in the form of viruses. Panspermia, an idea popularized by Francis Crick, only kicks the can of origins down the road. Such conclusions that the conditions on earth were unsuitable for the emergence of life––short of a creator––requires the belief that conditions on other places in the universe must be more conducive, and that the transformative mechanism works without guidance.

    Lead into Gold

    Let’s return for a moment to the scientific dark ages. A “natural philosopher,” the scientist of his time is engrossed in studying the properties of lead. He leaves his tiny laboratory, making sure all doors and windows are locked, and goes to his humble house for the midday meal. When he returns he finds to his absolute amazement that the lump of lead is now gold.

    1. Someone stole into his laboratory despite his security precautions and replaced the lead with gold.
    2. There is some natural but unexplained process that under certain conditions transforms lead into gold.
    3. It was a miracle.

    The problem with the first is that he knows how he secured the lab, there were no signs of forced entry, and what burglar in his right mind would switch gold for lead?

    The problem with the third is that he is a natural philosopher who believes in the orderly working of nature according to fixed laws (he might have been ahead of his time). His philosophy doesn’t allow for miracles.

    That leaves him the third option. He spends the rest of his life seeking how to transform lead into gold, trying always to replicate the conditions, varying temperatures, position, angle of light through the window, etc. Near the end of his sad life he reveals to others and shows them the gold as proof. It sets off a storm of inquiry and the “science” of alchemy is underway.

    Thaxton in his Epilogue to Misterie explains cogently the opposition of the science community to the miracle of the emergence of life. The resistance comes, he believes, from conflating operational science with the science of origin:

    “Hypotheses of origin science, however, are not empirically testable or falsifiable, since the datum needed for experimental test (namely, the origin) is unavailable. In contrast to operation science, where the focus is on a class of many events, origin science is concerned with a particular event, i.e., a class of one.”

    Life began just once (so far)

    Life, as far as current science takes us, began once. Once on this planet and as far as we know once in the universe. It’s a one-off. Operation science is endlessly repeated like apples falling from trees and moons orbiting their planets. These operational events are what the scientific method has been developed to understand and at which it has succeeded with remarkable results. These sciences are based on closed and continuous causality. Thaxton agrees that injecting God unnecessarily into operational science is harmful to science, indeed, non-scientific. Operational science depends on the reliability of the laws of nature. Discontinuities including one-offs tend to mess with that.

    Breaking with continuity in science is a complete no-no and this essential element of science is embedded in the DNA of any good scientist. Who knows, it might be epigenetic. But one-off events don’t fit the pattern. They are by nature discontinuous.

    This resistance based on a break in continuity was well expressed by Hans Graffon at the 1959 Darwin Centennial Celebration:

    “[Chemical evolution] is a nice theory, but no shred of evidence, no single fact whatever, forces us to believe it. What exists is only the scientist’s wish not to admit a discontinuity in nature and not to assume a creative act forever beyond comprehension.”

    Lead doesn’t turn into gold. Non-life doesn’t turn into life. Unless it is a miracle. And, if your worldview says that miracles are impossible, then, like our old natural philosopher friend, you keep on looking.