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Woo!  I meant to get this blog up and going for months now, but my summer was hot and blurry after finals and I just never got around to actually publishing anything.  Now that I’ve found myself relatively stable in my new semester, I figured I ought to get to posting.  Below is an journal entry from my History of Science and Religion class (HSCI 3443 for you OU students interested.)

I find myself incredibly disappointed in the fact that I missed your lecture on Friday.  Alas, the need to see some of my closest friends overcame the need for intellectual stimulation.  That, and I had a need for Inspiration’s “Paris” tea.            Sadly, of all days for me to be absent, was the day you covered alchemy!  Seeing as my internet pseudonym is “The Alchemist Kitten”, I fear that I must have missed some history pertinent to my studies.

However, as a modern day alchemist, I can happily say that some of the ancient forms of alchemy are coming to fruition in our own laboratories.  For example, the old theory and now adage that one could turn a common metal into gold; this reaction is typically called chrysopoeia.  This revolution is closer to our hands than commonly thought.  If one has, say, iron, with its 26 protons, 29 neutrons and (at its neutral state, not its +2 and +3 ions) 26 electrons and gives the atom 53 protons and the equivalent neutrons and electrons to bring the state to neutral, the iron would become gold.  With our current technology, we are inching ever closer to that age old goal.

Another grand thing that current science is bringing us towards is the “panacea”, or the elixir of life.  Stem-cell research has reared its head on current debates as a way of extending life and preserving youth.  I just recently read an account of a clinic in Korea that claims that it can take one’s fat cells, convert them into stem-cells, and insert them into one’s face to preserve its youthful splendor.  How accurate that article was and how true the clinic’s claims is another topic for another day.  Nevertheless, stem-cells are a bright and vibrant hope for those who suffer from HIV, cancer and other diseases that wreak havoc on our bodies.

Unlike chrysopoeia, in which most chemists and physicists find themselves (relatively) unhindered in their splicing of nuclei and tampering with particles, the doctors and biochemists who look deeper into what life truly is often hit a giant roadblock of morality and/or those who wish to impose their own morality.  It is unfortunate that this is so, for perhaps a way to ease the pains of others has been lost in the picket line of religious zealots.  Having dealt with the fear and pain brought about by cancer first and second hand, I cannot come to fathom why someone would oppose the good things in which exploring said “panaceas” could bring us.

Nevertheless, scientists have brought forth many of the alchemical theories from centuries ago and made them reality, or at least a semblance of.

Hopefully, this made a semblance of sense, seeing as I just copy/pasted.  Enjoy!

Cheers,

The Alchemist Kitten

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