Organic chemistry for theologians

by Nathan Natas 12 Replies latest social current

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    The ancient Greeks thought the world was made of earth, air, fire and water - the original four elements.

    The idea was refined through time because of the work of alchemist who sought a way to transmute lead into gold.

    Gradually these alchemists recognized materials that could be broken down no further, and the list of four elements was scrapped.

    At the beginning of the 1800s, the consensus scientific opinion was that the chemical compounds found inside living organisms was simply too complex to be made in the laboratory, or "in vitro" (in a glass container). Such chemicals could only be made "in vivo" (in something alive) because it required the intervention of the so-called "vital force." These special compounds were called "organic" because they came from organisms. The other stuff was called "inorganic" (not organic).

    Then a terrible wonderful thing happened: in 1828 a chemist named Friedrich Wohler showed that the "organic" compound called urea could be synthesized from an inorganic compound called ammonium cyanate.

    The mental barriers now broken, a new age of organic synthesis began. It is because of this that we have plastics and many of the beneficial drugs we enjoy today.

    In March of 2010 a team of biochemists working with J. Craig Venter took four synthetic amino acids, linked them together in the same sequence in which they are found in a naturally-occurring bacteria, injected that artificial DNA into a cell, and the cell began reproducing the artificial DNA.

    No big deal? That's what they said about the first flight of the Wright brothers, and less than a century after that "insignificant start," man walked on the moon.

  • glenster
  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    The relationship between religion and science can be even more simply stated: science describes reality while religions describe fantasy.

    The more we learn, the less evidience we have to support the religionists' point of view.

    Man is master of the universe and god is a dream.

  • BurnTheShips

    That was great, Nathan Natas. Synthesis of organic chemicals destroyed "vitalism."


  • PSacramento
  • BurnTheShips
  • Terry

    The real world consists of things we know because we can use our senses to explore, extrapolate and interpolate.

    We test what we know and try to find a way to disprove it if possible. This is science.

    What remains testably and securely provable becomes "Law".

    The Laws of Science are the same for everybody everywhere. Nothing is hidden. Science is measurable, repeatable and consistent.

    This is what non-scientific people hate about Science. It is provable and is the same for everybody and is not hidden.

    Mystical thinkers and Spiritual advocates prefer special insider information only a select few pass on to specially receptive acolytes.

    No two mystics agree. All the "special powers" and hidden knowledge are interior and unreachable to the world at large.

    The Watchtower has special hidden powers. The anointed "just know". They can't explain it.

    The Governing Body speaks for the anointed who recieve esoteric "insight" from the spiritual realm where invisible Jesus has been ruling for about 96 years without accomplishing anything.

    We each get to choose which realm we prefer.

    Our choice says alot about our intelligence, ethos and maturity.

  • Caedes


    But, don't you think to the average guy in the street the scientific knowledge is as unknowable as any mystic's mantra. I agree that science is repeatable and provable, but I think that most peoples issue with science isn't that they know deep down it is correct, it is that they don't understand or trust the process of scientific discovery.

    I think the best illustration of what I am saying is the joke about how Nasa spent thousands of dollars developing a pen to write in zero gravity whilst the Russians used a pencil. That is how most people see science and scientists, as people with no common sense.

    We like the idea of very clever people being outwitted by common sense, the fact that the story is not factual is of course never mentioned.

  • BurnTheShips

    Some people think a lot of themselves.

  • Caedes


    Assuming that was aimed at me, I'm no dunce but I'll happily admit that there are a lot of people much cleverer than me. Hence the use of the first person plural pronoun.

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