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Author Topic: what is the difference between chemistry and alchemy  (Read 10937 times)

Offline i am bored

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i don't see the difference its driving me bonkers they both deal with elements and their properties


 


Offline i am bored

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what is the difference between chemistry and alchemy
« Reply #2 on: 07/08/2007 14:23:28 »
OK then i remember that topic but i do not understand it all. its kinda confusing, the way pepole put things on wikipedia it makes very little sense
 

another_someone

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what is the difference between chemistry and alchemy
« Reply #3 on: 07/08/2007 15:12:24 »
The problem (and this was the underlying issue with the other topic) is that people see different disciplines (whether historic or modern) as having sharp dividing lines.

Although the notion of 'elements' existed in ancient Greece, they referred to the elements of air, fire, water, and rock, rather than the 92+ elements that modern chemists would use.  Clearly, this ancient and highly simplified notion of elements allowed lots of possibilities that we no longer regard as possible (such as the transmutation of lead into gold - maybe possible inside a nuclear reactor, but not outside of that).  The progression from the ancient Greek perspective to the modern perspective of elements was a gradual one, and it was undertaken by people who believed in the ancient view (i.e. they were alchemists) who were performing ever more precise experiments to better understand their ancient philosophy, and through those experiments were observing new laws that lead to a progressive modernisation of that philosophy until we have the modern chemists view of the chemical world.

There is no sharp line between one and the other, and the contrast between modern chemistry and ancient alchemy is something one only perceives across the span of centuries of development.
 

Offline i am bored

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what is the difference between chemistry and alchemy
« Reply #4 on: 09/08/2007 00:32:58 »
oh i see thank you for clarifying
 

Offline Bored chemist

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what is the difference between chemistry and alchemy
« Reply #5 on: 09/08/2007 19:59:36 »
The important difference between chemistry and alchemy is 2 points in scrabble.
Seriously, the difference is that chemistry is a science; alchemy was an "art". A bit like the difference between astronomy and astrology.
 

Offline i am bored

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what is the difference between chemistry and alchemy
« Reply #6 on: 09/08/2007 20:01:16 »
oh i see
 

another_someone

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what is the difference between chemistry and alchemy
« Reply #7 on: 09/08/2007 20:27:05 »
Seriously, the difference is that chemistry is a science; alchemy was an "art". A bit like the difference between astronomy and astrology.

You mean a bit like medical skills are an art rather than a science?

This, in a broader term, is what is often regarded as the distinction between soft sciences and hard sciences; but there is still no hard and fast boundary between them.
 

Offline i am bored

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what is the difference between chemistry and alchemy
« Reply #8 on: 09/08/2007 22:12:39 »
ok
 

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what is the difference between chemistry and alchemy
« Reply #8 on: 09/08/2007 22:12:39 »

 

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