Tuesday, 22 June 2010
The Philosopher's Stone
In the 8th century the Islamic alchemist known as Geber decided that arrangements of the qualities hotness, coldness, dryness and wetness made up all the metals, and that therefore their rearrangement could mean that one metal could be turned into another. In order to make these rearrangements it was necessary to use some kind of agent. This agent, or substance, was called al-iksir - elixir - and its source was the legendary "philosopher's stone". Geber was undoubtedly brilliant, but wrong. So was Newton, who was still trying to change lead into gold almost a thousand years later. Thought i'd helpfully share this with y'all.