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Alchemy vs. Chemistry

Why is alchemy pseudoscience and chemistry science?
by

Jessie Morse

on 3 September 2014

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Transcript of Alchemy vs. Chemistry

Alchemy vs. Chemistry
What is Chemistry?
Chemistry is the branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed; the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change; and the use of these processes to form new substances.

Difference Between Alchemy and Chemistry
The goal of alchemy was to create "the philosopher's stone," a mystical object which supposedly could convert base metals into gold.
The goal of modern chemistry is to scientifically understand how elements and compounds react and why.
Alchemy also relied a lot on spiritual connections to the earth and minerals and has a philosophical basis
Chemistry is a lot more logical and factually based

Chemistry includes experiments, observations, explanation and reasoning.
Alchemy was often considered a
form of magic.
Many students take a chemistry class in high school because it is a practiced science, unlike alchemy.
Conclusion
Alchemy is the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter. It was concerned particularly with attempts to convert base metals into gold.
What is Alchemy?
Alchemy : Pseudoscience
Alchemy would be considered a pseudoscience because...
it is not based on logic but mainly from personal experiences or opinions
its doesn't use appropriate scientific methods
evidence that supports alchemy is very vague
technology has advanced since alchemy was practiced and new evidence has been found to prove many alchemist beliefs wrong.
Chemistry : Science
Chemistry would be considered a science because...
its is based on logic
has testable explanations
explanations are modified by new evidence.
its uses scientific methods such as experiments, observations, logic and reasoning, analyzing, etc.
chemist want to understand and explain what they are observing.
The Origin of Chemistry
It was not until the era of the ancient Greeks that we have any record of how people tried to explain the chemical changes they observed and used. At that time, natural objects were thought to consist of only four basic elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Then, in the fourth century BC, two Greek philosophers, Democritus and Leucippus, suggested that matter was made up of fundamental, indivisible particles called atoms. Unfortunately, these early philosophers did not have the technology to test their hypothesis, so no one understood or believed them.
Many people in present day believe that alchemy was a form of magic. So was "magic" used in the processes of alchemy?

One answer to that question is that "magic" the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

Particularly after the 14th century, Alchemy became more closely associated with magic.
The era of witchhunts was well under way, and alchemists were often viewed as magicians and sorcerers who were worthy of persecution for their activities.
Is Alchemy Considered Magic?
Science vs. Pseudoscience
Both often involve topics related to the natural world.
Pseudoscience has explanations that sound logical because of technical language or scientific-sounding terms, but are not logical.
Pseudoscience does NOT use accepted scientific methods.
Pseudoscience evidence is very vague and lacks measurements.
Some pseudoscience beliefs are only supported by personal experiences or opinions.
Science is based on facts and observations in scientific experiments.
Alchemy is pseudoscience because its a practice based on incorrectly applied scientific methods. Chemistry is science because its a study of the natural events and conditions.
Bibliography: Science vs. Pseudoscience
1. "Lateral Science." Alchemy; a Pseudo-Science. Sept. 01, 2014 <http://lateralscience.blogspot.com>.
2. "General Chemistry." Flat World Knowledge Sept. 01, 2014 <http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com>.
3. "Distillatio." Distillatio. Sept 01 2014. <http://distillatio.wordpress.com/>.
4. "Home| Yahoo Answers." Yahoo! Answers. Sept. 01, 2014
<https://answers.yahoo.com/>.
5."Science and You - Home - a Site to Make Sense of How the World Works and Why." Science and You - Home - a Site to Make Sense of How the World Works and Why. Sept. 01, 2014. <http://www.scienceandyou.org/>.
6. "Google." Google. Sept. 01, 2014. <http://www.google.com/>.
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