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    Default Re: Is Alchemy Consider To Be Scientific?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Eh, the electrons are easy and the neutrons don't matter.
    I mean, the neutrons might matter. Carbon 12 is stable for pretty much forever, while Carbon 15 has a half-life measured in seconds. Isotopes can have different nuclear properties despite having the same chemical interactions.
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    Default Re: Is Alchemy Consider To Be Scientific?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    I mean, the neutrons might matter. Carbon 12 is stable for pretty much forever, while Carbon 15 has a half-life measured in seconds. Isotopes can have different nuclear properties despite having the same chemical interactions.
    Fair, I was just thinking about how reactive they'd be. Shame Mendeleev isn't here, he could probably just tell us what the properties'd be.
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    Default Re: Is Alchemy Consider To Be Scientific?

    Also note that fictional alchemy, especially as it would occur in something like a cartoon, is usually almost nothing like real alchemy. Fictional alchemy is typically any magic system in which you create magical effects by mixing precise amounts of specific pure compounds and applying relatively well defined natural forces. Combining phoenix feathers with a wave of the arm and a spell is magic, combining mercury with uranium and a dash of electricity is alchemy. Anything up to a clear Dr. Frankenstein ripoff could be considered an alchemist in fiction. In reality alchemy is of course not magical. You can't make a potion of flight. Nobody ever did, and as far as I know nobody of any renown ever even set out to try it. Alchemy is also tied to a metric ton of very specific spiritualist beliefs. The substances, metals and elements alchemists use are in their system not just substances, they're representations of heavenly bodies (planets and such) and all sorts of mystical forces and philosophical concepts. And then again for every very specific thing you can find about alchemy (dolphins represent the moon!) you can usually find several alternatives (scorpions represent the moon, or maybe it's wolves, or bats, or all of them, or none of them). I'm not an expert on alchemy, but I get a pretty "new age" like feel from it. It was a movement with several influential figures, but few connecting elements to tie everything together. {scrubbed}. As diverse as {scrubbed} are today, there is some sort of basis they can agree on. The experimental, scientific looking flavor of alchemy gives much more room for everyone to just declare their own truth while still falling under the same umbrella. Isaac Newton for instance, known best for his work on gravity and the laws of motion, was an avid alchemist who was in fact looking for the philosopher's stone and who was convinced that metals contained a form of life. He also considered himself somewhat of a chosen one, part of a select group of people who should {scrubbed}, and he predicted the end of the world for 2060. It's a complete hodgepodge of beliefs where some very specific elements are shared with others and other elements are unique to himself, and he freely mixes spiritual and religious ideas from different movements where he sees fit. As such, I think alchemy is best seen as a thing of it's own time, or several things of their own time, where for instance the classical Greek movement differs substantially from the early modern face of alchemy. Today there pretty much is no living alchemical tradition, and due to the nature of the thing if you wanted to restart it you'd have to start by sifting through a mountain of stuff and decide for yourself what you're using and what not, because much of it is incompatible with other parts or just made completely superfluous by them. It's a big old complicated mess. While alchemists like Newton did make valuable contributions to science as we know it, alchemy itself can not really be classed as such. It can mostly be classed as alchemy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    For my money? Actually using the technology intelligently. Half of which are transporter tricks. If you can restore somebody to a previously scanned state, you no longer need medical (put everyone together without injuries, diseases, etc). Oh, and everyone is 21 forever.
    I think thats covered by the time limit on rematerializing someone. Im not certain as im not a super fan, but I think there are hard limits on how long they can keep a full scan of a person on file due to a variety of factors. It may be a combination of sheer size of the information needed to scan someone down to the quantum level and create them from blurry particles or one of those chaos theory issues where they literally cant recreate you because we are slightly more complicated than a block of wood. A human body isnt the challenge, its a specific human body with memories, emotions, etc etc etc all intact. Also, it would probably be even MORE complicated if they did that 21 forever thing but had to do constant scans of your CURRENT mind so you didnt mentally reset as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    I think thats covered by the time limit on rematerializing someone. Im not certain as im not a super fan, but I think there are hard limits on how long they can keep a full scan of a person on file due to a variety of factors. It may be a combination of sheer size of the information needed to scan someone down to the quantum level and create them from blurry particles or one of those chaos theory issues where they literally cant recreate you because we are slightly more complicated than a block of wood. A human body isnt the challenge, its a specific human body with memories, emotions, etc etc etc all intact. Also, it would probably be even MORE complicated if they did that 21 forever thing but had to do constant scans of your CURRENT mind so you didnt mentally reset as well.
    And to be frank, nowhere was it mentioned that the technology is advanced enough to mix and match the scans - it seems like all or nothing and to be honest I am not even sure they have the ability to store the scans.
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    Yeah, they do. The episode where Pulaski was infected with the aging virus. They went looking through her last several years of postings, but she'd never used the transporter with any of them. So apparently transporter records/patterns are kept indefinitely. And they established in a couple different episodes (notably one in DS9 where people got dumped into one of Bashir's holonovels) that bodies and minds are scanned separately.

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    I mean, we have seen various episodes that involve transporter shenanigans, tuvix from voyager for example, so we do know that there are all sorts of things that can be done with transporters, but they have always been treated as highly complicated, dangerous, and unique events so there must be a reason for it aside from, despite thinking of it several times, they never think of it otherwise.
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Traab is yelling everything that I'm thinking already.
    "If you don't get those cameras out of my face, I'm gonna go 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that'll clear this room."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Yeah, they do. The episode where Pulaski was infected with the aging virus. They went looking through her last several years of postings, but she'd never used the transporter with any of them. So apparently transporter records/patterns are kept indefinitely. And they established in a couple different episodes (notably one in DS9 where people got dumped into one of Bashir's holonovels) that bodies and minds are scanned separately.
    This has so many implications that were never addressed. If they considered this route for curing some aging virus, why is anyone dying from old age in Star Trek? Why would no one ever consider rapid cloning of expert soldiers, commanders or scientists from a transporter template? I know that Federation at least officially is taking the moral high ground but there are quite enough other organisations who are far less bothered by conscience. Even better: if you could steal transporter patterns of high profile politicians or admirals, you could get the intel far more easily then from trying to kidnap the real person. In fact, such officials should avoid transporters if possible in order to maintain basic security.

    I remember only one instance, where the problem of identity due to cloning by transporter was ever explored in TNG, when they found out Riker's clone on some remote planet.
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    And the follow up when said clone showed up on DS9 and hijacked the Defiant to go start a war with Cardassia.

    Trek as a whole is pretty lousy with follow through.

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    obrien was cloned once in ds9. Some alien group snagged him, created a brainwashed clone to kill someone, etc etc etc. Cloning totally exists in trek.
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
    Translation: "Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Traab is yelling everything that I'm thinking already.
    "If you don't get those cameras out of my face, I'm gonna go 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that'll clear this room."

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    Alchemy is basically to chemistry as astrology is to astronomy.

    Each is superficially similar to its counterpart, covers the same subject matter, has been around for at least as long, and may have a surprising amount of methodological rigour behind it.

    But ultimately, it's bunk. It's entertaining and often very compelling bunk, but bunk nevertheless.
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    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2020-08-12 at 01:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Until we know what is consciousness, it is still an open question. I approve of the source choice though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    Until we know what is consciousness, it is still an open question. I approve of the source choice though.
    Look either consciousness is tied to an unindetified immaterial thing, in which case the machine might as well transport it along with information because why not or it’s not and in that case (since atoms aren’t identifiable) only the pattern matters.

    In either case, since the person who steps out feels like the person who stepped in and the person who stepped in has no experience that the person who stepped out doesn’t share, then the question of wether they are the same « self » is needless hair splitting.
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    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Well, yes, there's the "are you killing yourself and making a copy?" argument, sure. But there's also the fact that it takes about 3 gigajoules to disintegrate a single person with a laser (which is more than double what it took to send Marty McFly back to 1955).

    The memory required to save the location, momentum, orientation, etc. of all your component atoms would be approximately 2.6 tredecillion bits. Million, billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, decillion, undecillion, duodecillion, and finally tredicillion. So that's 2.6x1042 bits. Gonna need a lot of RAM. And that's only to capture one copy of your DNA and your current brain state, not your whole body.

    Sending that info to the far side of the galaxy (or even just the solar system) is going to take a long time. At 30 GHz (current satellite communication rate), it will take about 350,000 times the current age of the universe to send that data to the receiving end. Solid-fuel rocket is faster, even to cross the galaxy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Well, yes, there's the "are you killing yourself and making a copy argument", sure. But there's also the fact that it takes about 3 gigajoules to disintegrate a single person with a laser (which is more than double what it took to send Marty McFly back to 1955).

    The memory required to save the location, momentum, orientation, etc. of all your component atoms would be approximately 2.6 tredecillion bits. Million, billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, decillion, undecillion, duodecillion, and finally tredicillion. So that's 2.6x1042 bits. Gonna need a lot of RAM. And that's only to capture one copy of your DNA and your current brain state, not your whole body.

    Sending that info to the far side of the galaxy (or even just the solar system) is going to take a long time. At 30 GHz (current satellite communication rate), it will take about 350,000 times the current age of the universe to send that data to the receiving end. Solid-fuel rocket is faster, even to cross the galaxy.
    Excuse me, I must have missed the memo about Star Trek being hard sci-fi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Hard sci-fi? It borders on space fantasy.

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    Borders? It's full of energy beings, telepaths and unexplained space wibblies. It's only marginally harder than most Doctor Who.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Borders? It's full of energy beings, telepaths and unexplained space wibblies. It's only marginally harder than most Doctor Who.
    Better then Doctor Who? The Q Collective are Time Lords that are fused to their Tardises and have reality warping powers to boot.
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    Alchemy was practised by lots of different people over several centuries. Some of those people would have been interested in what we would recognise as rudimentary chemistry, but others - not so much.

    In particular, when the story got around that it might be possible to turn one material into something else, the whole "lead into gold" idea took hold of way too many people's imagination, and lots of people who would never otherwise have thought much about chemistry - suddenly started taking interest. But with a monomaniacal focus that basically guaranteed they couldn't learn anything anyway.

    The mystical elements would have been incorporated by others. I would be willing to bet that most of those who thought it was all about "as above so below" - looked on the "lead into gold" merchants as fools or charlatans. I don't know when the idea of a "philosopher's stone" was invented, but my guess is, it would have been quite a late invention, trying to fuse several disparate traditions into a coherent whole - although by this point, whatever connection there may have been to modern science well and truly severed.
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    That depends on what you consider science. If science is a method of testing reality to determine what is true and not on an empirical basis, then alchemy could be considered science if you hold that it follows an alternate set of truths; consider that in comics, alchemy seems to WORK, but not via the rules of conventional science. If it works via rules unto its own, then it is a science, but should probably not be CALLED "science" because that would get too confusing... it's something parallel, at best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UtopiaNext View Post
    That depends on what you consider science. If science is a method of testing reality to determine what is true and not on an empirical basis, then alchemy could be considered science if you hold that it follows an alternate set of truths; consider that in comics, alchemy seems to WORK, but not via the rules of conventional science. If it works via rules unto its own, then it is a science, but should probably not be CALLED "science" because that would get too confusing... it's something parallel, at best.
    I’m sorry, what do you mean by « an alternate set of truths »? Something is either is true or it isn’t, you can’t chose a group of truths and ignore the rest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I’m sorry, what do you mean by « an alternate set of truths »? Something is either is true or it isn’t, you can’t chose a group of truths and ignore the rest.
    Lol yes! I was thinking the same thing. The alternate to truth is falsehood, and the alternate to fact is fiction.

    You don't get to pick the reality you want. No matter what people in politics and online say.


    Quote Originally Posted by UtopiaNext View Post
    That depends on what you consider science. If science is a method of testing reality to determine what is true and not on an empirical basis, then alchemy could be considered science if you hold that it follows an alternate set of truths; consider that in comics, alchemy seems to WORK, but not via the rules of conventional science. If it works via rules unto its own, then it is a science, but should probably not be CALLED "science" because that would get too confusing... it's something parallel, at best.
    I think I get what you are going for, we can postulate a reality where alchemy works. The problem is that means magic is real and that science is magic. Or magic is science. But then effectively we have changed the meaning of the words.

    Also you are slightly simplifying science too much IMO. It's not jsut determining whether something is true or not empirically. Sometimes you cannot empirically test something. I can determine empirically that it is true that water flows upwards (the problem comes when the context surrounding this is challenged, I was strapped in upside down in farris wheel).
    This is my personal interpretation but science needs to follow the scientific method. There is more to that than doing experiments or describing things. Philosophers and religions also describe things. The scientific method means forming an idea of what will happen, construct a test or observation about it, describing it, getting a result and providing an explanation or interpretation, which you finally disseminate. That last part is one of the key aspects really, and it's somewhere around the Age of Enlightment we get the idea to write about what we have found to spread the ideas. Incidentally it is something alchemists normally did their level best to avoid. It is in the dissemination of the results we sort of get actual science, before that, did it really exist? It is also what leads to contextual and metholodical rigor being part of the process. If no one gets my results no one will try to replicate it and what and how I got my results cease to matter.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2020-08-13 at 03:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I’m sorry, what do you mean by « an alternate set of truths »? Something is either is true or it isn’t, you can’t chose a group of truths and ignore the rest.
    Im guessing stuff like the link I posted where a teacher is explaining how everything contains air fire earth and water then proceeds to demonstrate this to the class. Thats not how things actually work, but its a reasonable theory that is backed by plenty of evidence, for a given value of the term.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Im guessing stuff like the link I posted where a teacher is explaining how everything contains air fire earth and water then proceeds to demonstrate this to the class. Thats not how things actually work, but its a reasonable theory that is backed by plenty of evidence, for a given value of the term.
    Having good reason to be wrong doesn’t make you right and the conclusion you draw aren’t « alternate truths » at best they are partial truths. And that lesson doesn’t have any of those.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Having good reason to be wrong doesn’t make you right and the conclusion you draw aren’t « alternate truths » at best they are partial truths. And that lesson doesn’t have any of those.
    Aye. One of my favorite things to say is that Aristotle was probably the smartest person ever who was wrong about absolutely everything
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    Most of his stuff still holds up. There's a reason literary criticism classes start with the Poetics, after all.

    As for his science, well, if you do the experiments with the tools he had available in his time (i.e. the Mark I Mod I human eyeball) most of his conclusions hold up. We've just made much better tools in the last 24 centuries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Aye. One of my favorite things to say is that Aristotle was probably the smartest person ever who was wrong about absolutely everything
    Everything covered so much ground he’d be right on some stuff by the law of great numbers alone. However he was right on a good number of stuff (mostly not physics) and did pioneer what would become modern science. It’s just funnier to accentuate the negative.
    "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."
    Gehm's corollary to Clarke's Third Law



    Forum Wisdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Re: Is Alchemy Consider To Be Scientific?

    Put shortly, alchemy was a precursor to modern science, but then natural philosophy and chymistry took it to a back alley, beat it up and took all of its best stuff. So everything that was scientific about alchemy has since been supplanted and largely obsoleted by modern medicine, chemistry and physics. All that's left for alchemy to call its own are the esoteric occult bits that are of use only to heavy metal musicians and writers of bad fantasy fiction.

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