Kakek Alkimia, Nenek Moyang Kimia

Kakek Alkimia, Nenek Moyang Kimia


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Alkimia adalah kata yang hampir semua orang pernah dengar, tetapi hanya sedikit yang pernah melakukan lebih dari beberapa jam mencoba memahami apa arti sebenarnya dari kata simbolis yang sarat muatan ini, secara keseluruhan. Begitu seringnya orang-orang yang tertarik berkecil hati dengan matriks kompleks dari simbol-simbol dan motif-motif aneh yang mencakup makhluk-makhluk mimpi buruk dan manusia semi-ilahi yang muncul dari bayang-bayang mencari emas alkimia murni dari jenis yang tidak dapat digigit, untuk menguji ketabahannya. Bahkan lebih sedikit yang tahu bahwa tujuan akhir dari alkemis Barat adalah 'Proyeksi', dicapai setelah berhasil menciptakan 'Batu Bertuah', dan bubuk proyeksi ini dianggap memiliki kemampuan untuk mengubah logam dan zat yang lebih rendah menjadi bentuk yang lebih tinggi; dengan emas menjadi 'raja' baik secara temporal maupun alegoris.

Lambang Multiplicatio dari Philosophia Reformata, oleh Johann Daniel Mylius, 1622 . Dalam gambar ini "perkalian" diilustrasikan dengan pelikan dan singa memberi makan anak-anak mereka.

Tujuan Utama Alkimia

Alkimia menggambarkan eksplorasi bersejarah ke dalam filosofi alam dan sementara penaklukan filosofis, proto-ilmiah ini berasal dari Mesopotamia dan Mesir Yunani-Romawi pada beberapa abad pertama Masehi, itu kemudian dipraktikkan di seluruh Eropa, Afrika, dan Asia. Tujuan utama sang alkemis adalah untuk memurnikan, mematangkan, dan menyempurnakan berbagai bahan dan zat. Eksperimen awal memainkan peran penting dalam pengembangan pengetahuan ilmiah, terutama dalam disiplin kimia, di mana para alkemis pada dasarnya menemukan perkembangannya. Tetapi alkimia memiliki filosofi paralel yang berusaha mengidentifikasi prekursor dan elemen dasar, dan mitologi telah merusak seni ini menjadi gagasan yang sangat disederhanakan tentang pria tua berkerudung yang terkunci di laboratorium menara yang diterangi cahaya bulan yang mencoba mengubah logam dasar seperti timah, menjadi emas.

Alkemis Polandia, filsuf, dan dokter medis Sedziw Haij melakukan transmutasi untuk Sigismund III , oleh Jan Matejko (1867). Musium Seni, ódź,

Sejak zaman kuno emas telah dikaitkan dengan pusat bumi di mana ia dianggap telah mengalami transformasi alami, menjadi emas, sehingga sebagian besar alkemis berusaha untuk menemukan kunci transformasi ini. Tujuan akhir sang alkemis adalah pertama-tama menciptakan 'Batu Bertuah', zat legendaris yang menurut tradisi tidak hanya dapat mengubah logam menjadi emas, tetapi juga dapat memberikan umur panjang dan kehidupan abadi alkemis. Namun, sebagian besar sejarawan akan setuju bahwa sebagian besar alkemis adalah penipu yang mencari 'pelayan bulanan' dari sponsor kerajaan mereka yang rakus dan demam emas. Pencarian kuno untuk fakta-fakta kimia; jawaban atas kehidupan di luar kehidupan dan kematian di luar kematian ada di dasar-dasar dunia Barat dan Islam. Beberapa alkemis terkenal adalah 'kakek' dari dua paradigma yang sangat berbeda ini.

Plato dan Aristoteles dalam The School of Athens, oleh Rafael (1509)

Master Tua Alkimia Barat

Berkaitan dengan asal-usul dan sifat benda, dan bagaimana segala sesuatu dalam ciptaan berinteraksi, para alkemis Yunani seperti Aristoteles, Plato, dan Empedocles percaya bahwa segala sesuatu dalam kenyataan terbentuk dari bagian-bagian dari empat elemen klasik: bumi, api, udara, dan air, dan dari tiga esensial: garam, merkuri, dan belerang. Aristoteles percaya bahwa setiap bentuk yang diciptakan berusaha untuk kesempurnaan dan ketika unsur-unsur dicampur bersama dalam rasio sempurna mereka akan berubah menjadi emas, dan logam pada umumnya dianggap sebagai amalgam tanpa rasio sempurna ini.


Kakek Jenderal Patton Juga Pahlawan Perang—Di Konfederasi

Jenderal Perang Dunia II yang terkenal, George S. Patton III, sering berbicara dengan bangga tentang tindakan militer nenek moyangnya. Sejak usia dini, Patton telah dihibur dengan eksploitasi Patton dan kerabat mereka dari Perang Kemerdekaan hingga Perang Saudara. Kisah-kisah tentang keberanian dan perbuatan-perbuatan besar ini, tentang orang-orang yang heroik dan pertempuran yang hebat, sangat mempengaruhi orang yang akan menerbangkan tank-tanknya melintasi Prancis.

Dari semua pria pemberani yang dibicarakan, tidak ada yang berdiri lebih tinggi di mata Patton muda daripada kakeknya yang sudah meninggal, Kolonel Konfederasi George S. Patton I. Ini adalah pria yang menurut Patton muda dianggap romantis sebagai pejuang yang mulia, yang telah menunjukkan keberanian besar dan kehormatan dalam pertempuran dan telah menemui ajalnya di kepala pasukannya. Jadi, siapa prajurit Perang Saudara yang tidak diketahui ini yang hanya diketahui Patton melalui cerita, tetapi siapa yang membantu menginspirasinya untuk menjadi salah satu jenderal besar Perang Dunia II?

George Smith Patton lahir di Fredericksburg, Va., pada 26 September 1833, dari pasangan Peggy dan John Patton. Keluarga Patton memiliki 12 anak, tetapi hanya sembilan yang hidup hingga dewasa—delapan putra dan satu putri. Peggy Patton berasal dari masyarakat perkebunan Virginia dan John, seorang pembela hak-hak negara bagian dan pro perbudakan, adalah seorang pengacara, politisi, dan pemilik budak. Keluarga Patton adalah orang Virginia yang setia dan bangga dengan budaya aristokrat Selatan mereka. Ketika John Patton meninggal pada tahun 1858, istrinya yang bersemangat dan berkemauan keras menjadi ibu pemimpin keluarga dan terus membesarkan anak-anak mereka dengan cara yang biasa mereka lakukan.

The Late Blooming Patton Unggul saat Dia Dewasa

John Patton sejak awal menyadari bahwa mempertahankan cara hidup Selatan yang dia dan istrinya sangat sayangi pada akhirnya akan mengarah pada pemisahan diri dan permusuhan. Karena itu, dia mempersiapkan putra-putranya untuk konflik di masa depan dengan mengirim mereka ke perguruan tinggi militer. George Patton, seperti tiga saudaranya, menghadiri Institut Militer Virginia. Pada usia 16 tahun Patton memasuki VMI, di mana selama dua tahun pertama ia secara akademis berada di tengah-tengah kelasnya tetapi merupakan pemimpin dalam kekurangan. Jatuh tempo di tahun terakhirnya, Patton lulus pada 1852 kedua dari kelas 24. Dia unggul dalam taktik Latin, Inggris, Prancis, kimia, dan artileri.

Di VMI, Patton membuat teman-teman sekelasnya terkesan dengan kepribadiannya yang santun namun bertanggung jawab dan kecerdasannya. Setelah lulus, pria muda yang tinggi, langsing, tampan dengan rambut cokelat panjang siap untuk membuat jalannya di dunia. Pada musim panas setelah lulus, Patton bertemu dengan Susan Thornton Glassell yang berusia 17 tahun dari Alabama, yang sedang mengunjungi teman-temannya di Virginia. Sebuah hubungan berkembang dan pada musim gugur mereka bertunangan. Selama dua tahun berikutnya Patton mengajar di Richmond sambil belajar hukum. Meskipun dia menemukan mengajar sulit dan akhirnya berhenti, dia melakukan lebih baik di studi hukumnya dan diterima di bar Richmond pada tahun 1855. Pada bulan November tahun itu dia dan Susan menikah. Pada malam pernikahan mereka, pasangan itu menuju Charleston, Kanawha County, Va. (sekarang Virginia Barat), di mana Patton telah ditawari kemitraan di sebuah firma hukum kecil.

Di Charleston, sebuah kota berpenduduk sekitar 2.000 orang yang terletak di Lembah Sungai Kanawha, Patton mendirikan praktik hukum yang sukses dan terlibat dalam urusan lokal. Patton yang sangat religius sangat disukai oleh warga Charleston, dan segera setelah mereka tiba, Patton dengan sayang diberi julukan "Prancis" untuk janggut yang dia pakai. Pada tanggal 30 September 1856, keluarga Patton memiliki anak pertama dari empat anak mereka, seorang putra yang mereka beri nama George William Patton. Sebelas tahun kemudian nama tengah George William diubah menjadi nama ayahnya, Smith. George Smith Patton, Jr., kemudian menjadi ayah dari Jenderal George S. Patton dari ketenaran Perang Dunia II. Juga pada tahun 1856 George mengorganisir dan menjadi kapten sebuah kompi milisi yang disebut Kanawha Minutemen, di mana ia mencurahkan sebagian besar waktunya.

Perang di ambang pintu

Meskipun Kanawha County memiliki budak paling sedikit dari county mana pun di Virginia—dan di antaranya adalah pembantu rumah tangga—George mengikuti keyakinan ayahnya dan segera menjadi pendukung pemisahan diri yang bersemangat. Setelah invasi John Brown ke Harper's Ferry pada musim gugur 1859, perusahaan milisi Patton mengubah namanya menjadi Kanawha Riflemen dan meningkatkan pengeborannya. Patton, yang merasa bahwa perang sudah dekat, semakin mengabdikan dirinya pada kompi milisinya dengan mengorbankan praktik hukumnya. Dengan penembakan di Fort Sumter pada 12 April 1861, apa yang diyakini Patton akan datang dan telah dipersiapkan akhirnya tiba—negara sedang berperang. Ketika Virginia memisahkan diri dari Union, Kanawha Riflemen menjadi Kompi H dari 22nd Virginia Infantry Regiment.

Selain George, enam anak laki-laki Patton lainnya akan pergi berperang untuk Konfederasi. John Mercer (1826-1898) akan menjadi komandan Virginia ke-21, tetapi harus mengundurkan diri pada Agustus 1862 karena kesehatan yang buruk. Isaac William (1826-1890), yang telah pindah ke New Orleans sebelum perang, akan memimpin resimen Louisiana dan ditangkap di Vicksburg. Saudara terdekat George, William Tazewell (1835-1863), akan memimpin Virginia ke-7 dan dibunuh di Gettysburg selama Pickett's Charge. Hugh Mercer (1841-1905) menjadi perwira di Virginia ke-7 saudaranya, sementara saudara laki-laki remaja James French (1843-1882) menjadi perwira dengan George di Virginia ke-22. Patton terakhir yang menjabat adalah William Macfarland (1845-1905) yang, sebagai kadet di VMI, akan ambil bagian dalam pertempuran Pasar Baru. Satu-satunya saudara yang tidak melayani adalah yang tertua, Robert (1824-1876), mantan perwira angkatan laut yang alkoholik.

Patton pertama kali merasakan pertempuran pada 17 Juli 1861, hanya 20 mil menyusuri Sungai Kanawha dari Charleston, di sebuah tempat bernama Scary Creek. Baru-baru ini ditugaskan sebagai letnan kolonel di Angkatan Darat Konfederasi, Patton memerintahkan sekitar sembilan ratus orang yang merupakan bagian dari pasukan di bawah Brig. Jenderal Henry A. Wise yang berusaha menghentikan Uni mendorong Lembah Kanawha. Federal adalah bagian dari serangan Mayor Jenderal George McClellan ke Virginia barat dari Ohio. Di akhir pertempuran, ketika mencoba mengumpulkan pasukan yang mundur di tengah garis Konfederasi, Patton terkena bola mini di bahu kanan, mematahkan tulang di lengan atas dan melemparkannya dari kudanya.

Patton Menolak Amputasi di Gun Point

Dia dibawa ke belakang di mana dia diberitahu bahwa lengannya perlu diamputasi. Patton dengan tegas menolak dan mengeluarkan pistolnya untuk menekankan maksudnya. Dia mempertahankan lengannya, tetapi tidak pernah bisa menggunakannya sepenuhnya. Meskipun Konfederasi telah memenangkan pertempuran, mereka kemudian dipaksa mundur dari Lembah Kanawha. Tidak dapat digerakkan karena lukanya, Patton tertinggal dan ditangkap. Beberapa minggu kemudian dia dibebaskan bersyarat dan pulang untuk memulihkan diri.

Setelah menghabiskan delapan bulan di rumah dengan tidak sabar menunggu untuk kembali berperang, Patton akhirnya menerima kabar bahwa dia telah ditukar. Meskipun dia hanya menggunakan sebagian lengan kanannya dan tidak bisa mengangkatnya di atas kepalanya, dia kembali ke Virginia ke-22 sebagai komandannya. Pada tanggal 10 Mei 1862, Patton kembali beraksi ketika dia memimpin Virginia ke-22 dalam serangan terhadap resimen Union di Giles Court House, Va., selama Brig. Kampanye Jenderal Henry Heth melawan pasukan Union yang mencoba memotong jalur kereta api di Virginia barat daya. Konfederasi menang, tetapi Patton kembali terluka, tertembak di perut.

Patton dibaringkan di pohon terdekat dan, karena takut dia sekarat, dia mulai menulis surat perpisahan kepada istrinya. Jenderal Wharton, komandan brigadenya, naik dan menanyakan kabarnya. George menjawab bahwa dia yakin lukanya fatal. Menurut putra Patton, George William, “Gen. Wharton turun dan bertanya apakah dia bisa memeriksa lukanya. Dia memasukkan jarinya yang belum dicuci ke dalamnya dan berseru, 'Apa ini?' saat jarinya membentur sesuatu yang keras. Dia kemudian memancing di sekitar dan mengeluarkan sepotong emas sepuluh dolar. Peluru itu mengenai ini dan telah mendorongnya ke dalam dagingnya, dan meliriknya.” Peluru itu mengenai kepingan emas senilai $10 yang dimasukkan istrinya ke dalam ikat pinggang uang yang telah dibuatnya dan diberikan kepadanya tepat sebelum dia pergi untuk bergabung kembali dengan resimennya. (Dalam versi lain dari kejadian ini, Jenderal Heth, bukan Wharton, yang menemukan koin emas.)

Disimpan oleh Sepotong Emas $10

Berkat perhatian istrinya, nyawanya terselamatkan. Namun, meskipun lukanya tidak serius, ia mengalami keracunan darah dan harus kembali ke keluarganya, yang sekarang tinggal di Richmond, untuk memulihkan diri. Saat berada di Richmond, dia mengetahui bahwa dia tidak ditukar dengan benar pada bulan Maret. Demi kehormatan dan untuk menghindari dieksekusi jika ditangkap lagi, Patton terpaksa tetap keluar dari perang sampai dia bisa ditukar dengan benar.

Setelah menunggu apa yang tampak seperti selamanya tetapi hanya beberapa bulan, Patton akhirnya ditukar. Dia bergabung kembali dengan Virginia ke-22 di Lewisburg, Va. Resimennya sekarang menjadi bagian dari Brigade Pertama, di bawah Brig. Jenderal John Echols, di Angkatan Darat Virginia Barat Daya. Karena Echols menderita penyakit jantung dan sering absen, Patton secara teratur mengambil alih komando brigade. Pada musim gugur resimen Patton mengambil bagian dalam kampanye untuk mengusir pasukan Federal keluar dari Lembah Kanawha dan merebut kembali Charleston, yang Konfederasi telah kehilangan tahun sebelumnya. Drive itu berhasil, tetapi kurang dari sebulan kemudian Konfederasi didorong kembali ke Lewisburg, di mana mereka mendirikan kemah untuk musim dingin.

Pada musim semi tahun 1863 Angkatan Darat Virginia Barat Daya memulai operasi dengan serangan ke wilayah pegunungan yang dikendalikan Union di barat laut Virginia (sekarang Virginia Barat). Tujuan penyerbuan itu adalah untuk menghalangi Gerakan Negara Baru di wilayah tersebut (pembentukan negara bagian baru di Virginia barat yang setia kepada Union yang tentu saja akhirnya berhasil) penghancuran jalur kereta api Baltimore & Ohio Railroad dan properti Union lainnya dan untuk mencari makanan, pakaian, dan persediaan lain yang sangat dibutuhkan. Patton dan resimennya adalah bagian dari Brig. Pasukan Jenderal John Imboden, salah satu cabang dari serangan dua cabang. Meninggalkan kamp di Gunung Shenandoah pada tanggal 20 April, para perampok Imboden menjelajahi wilayah itu perlahan-lahan untuk menangkap banyak sekali persediaan, ternak, dan kuda sebelum kembali ke Lembah Shenandoah. Patton, bangga dengan kinerja resimennya, mencatat bahwa 40 anak buahnya berbaris sepanjang 400 mil tanpa alas kaki.

Tampilan Penuh Bakat Patton dalam Pertempuran

Pada bulan Agustus, Union Mayor Jenderal William Averell, teman George sebelum perang, memimpin 3.000 orang melawan Lewisburg. Pada tanggal 26, di Dry Creek, pasukan kavaleri Averell bertabrakan dengan Brigade Pertama di bawah Patton. Setelah dua hari berjuang keras, Averell dipukul mundur. Kemenangan di Dry Creek menunjukkan kemampuan Patton untuk memimpin pasukan dalam pertempuran secara maksimal.

Averell, bagaimanapun, adalah untuk membalas dendam terhadap Patton pada bulan November, ketika dia menghadapinya di sebuah tempat bernama Droop Mountain dan di mana kekuatan 5.000 kavaleri Averell mengalahkan 1.700 orang Patton. Patton terpaksa mundur, membiarkan Averell menduduki Lewisburg selama beberapa hari sebelum ancaman serangan balik memaksa pasukan kavaleri Union pergi. Pada saat pertempuran, keluarga Patton tinggal di Lewisburg. Putranya William dengan jelas mengingat melihat pasukan yang kalah melewati Lewisburg dan kemudian menulis: “Pada larut malam ayah saya datang dengan barisan belakang terakhir dan berhenti untuk memberi tahu kami selamat tinggal dan memberi ibu saya surat untuk Jenderal Averell memintanya untuk melihat bahwa kami tidak terganggu.” Keesokan paginya Susan membawa surat itu kepada Averell yang, menghormati permintaan dari teman lamanya, menempatkan penjaga di rumah Patton.

Saat terbaik Patton datang pada tahun berikutnya di Battle of New Market. Resimen Patton adalah bagian dari pasukan kecil yang dengan tergesa-gesa berkumpul di bawah Mayor Jenderal John C. Breckinridge untuk melawan dorongan Union di bawah Mayor Jenderal Franz Sigel ke atas Lembah Shenandoah menuju Staunton. (Karena Sungai Shenandoah mengalir dari selatan ke utara, Persatuan mendorong lembah itu sebenarnya menuju ke arah utara ke selatan.) Konfederasi, karena kalah jumlah, harus memanggil 247 kadet dari VMI sebagai bala bantuan. Salah satu taruna yang mengabadikan VMI Corps of Cadets hari itu adalah adik bungsu Patton, William Mercer Patton.

Kedua belah pihak bentrok di Valley Turnpike di Pasar Baru pada tanggal 15 Mei 1864. Dalam pertempuran berikutnya Konfederasi membuat sikap heroik melawan pasukan Uni yang unggul dan memenangkan hari itu. Selama tahap akhir pertempuran, Patton, yang untuk semua tujuan praktis memimpin Brigade Pertama untuk Echols yang sakit, membela hak melawan kavaleri Union yang mencoba mengepung garis Konfederasi. Ketika kavaleri menerobos bagian kiri garisnya, Patton dengan cepat mendorong Virginia ke-22 dan Virginia ke-23 dari Letnan Kolonel Clarence Derrick ke kedua sisi celah, menangkap pasukan kavaleri Union dalam baku tembak yang mematikan. Dengan bantuan beberapa artileri, Konfederasi menghancurkan penunggang kuda Union, memaksa banyak orang untuk menyerah dan sisanya mundur dengan panik.

Dipromosikan menjadi Brigadir Jenderal

Menurut sejarawan William C. Davis, “Arsitek utama dari kemenangan [di Pasar Baru] adalah Virginia Patton ke-22, pada tingkat lebih rendah Virginia ke-23 Derrick, dan Breckinridge dengan senjatanya yang luar biasa. Pasukan Patton dan Derrick, menyebar tipis, berhasil bertahan dari serangan paling mengerikan terhadap seorang prajurit infanteri, serangan yang dipasang. Lebih dari itu, mereka mengacaukannya, mengubahnya menjadi kekalahan.” Pasar Baru membuktikan tanpa keraguan bahwa Patton adalah pemimpin yang luar biasa dan banyak akal. Seminggu kemudian, ketika kesehatannya yang buruk memaksa Echols untuk melepaskan komandonya secara permanen, Patton diberi komando brigade—promosi yang pantas dia dapatkan. Patton juga direkomendasikan untuk dipromosikan menjadi brigadir jenderal.

Segera setelah pertempuran di Pasar Baru, pasukan Breckinridge bergegas ke timur untuk membantu Robert E. Lee membendung kemajuan Mayor Jenderal Ulysses S. Grant di Richmond. Brigade Patton bergabung dengan pasukan Lee di dusun persimpangan Cold Harbor, hanya delapan mil dari ibu kota Konfederasi, pada 2 Juni. Dengan tergesa-gesa membangun pertahanan sepanjang malam, Patton dan anak buahnya hampir tidak siap ketika pada pukul 4:30 pagi. -skala serangan terhadap Konfederasi yang sudah mengakar. Grant dipukul mundur, kehilangan hampir 7.000 orang dalam waktu setengah jam. Seorang jenderal Konfederasi berkata, "Itu bukan perang, itu pembunuhan."

"Itu Bukan Perang, Itu Pembunuhan."

Segera setelah pertempuran, brigade Patton kembali ke Lembah Shenandoah untuk bergabung dengan pasukan Letnan Jenderal Jubal Early. Pasukan Union kembali maju ke selatan, dan Early telah ditugaskan untuk melawan ancaman baru ini. Setelah mendorong Federal keluar dari lembah, Awal melanjutkan melalui Maryland ke pinggiran Washington. Brigade Patton adalah salah satu unit Konfederasi pertama yang mencapai kota pada 11 Juli. Menemukan pertahanan kota sangat diperkuat keesokan paginya, Early membatalkan serangan terhadap kota dan malam itu kembali ke Lembah Shenandoah.

Menanggapi serangan Early ke Maryland dan ancaman ke Washington, Mayor Jenderal Philip Sheridan diperintahkan untuk berurusan dengan Early dan membuang sampah ke Lembah Shenandoah. Kedua belah pihak bentrok pada 19 September di Winchester, Va., dalam Pertempuran Winchester Ketiga. Sangat kalah jumlah, Konfederasi tidak tahan terhadap serangan kilat Union dan dikalahkan. Awal kehilangan sepertiga pasukannya dan brigade Patton kehilangan separuh pasukannya. Tapi bukan hanya itu yang hilang dari brigade Patton pada hari itu juga kehilangan komandannya.

Penolakan Kedua untuk Amputasi dan Kehilangan Jenderal Besar

Sekitar pukul 2 siang, saat Konfederasi didorong mundur, Patton berdiri di sebelah kiri garis melawan serangan yang ditentukan oleh kavaleri Sheridan. Saat itulah dia terluka. Robert H. Patton, dalam bukunya tentang keluarga Patton, menggambarkan peristiwa itu: “Dia berdiri di sanggurdi di jalan Winchester ketika sebuah peluru artileri meledak di dekatnya dan mengirim pecahan besi ke pinggul kanannya. Dia telah mencoba untuk mengumpulkan anak buahnya, yang mundur penuh sebelum kavaleri Yankee yang bergerak cepat….” Dia dibawa ke rumah terdekat dan kemudian ditangkap. Amputasi kaki kanannya direkomendasikan, tetapi seperti yang dia lakukan setelah Scary Creek, dia menolak. Dalam beberapa hari gangren terjadi dan dia demam. Pada 25 September 1864, ia meninggal karena lukanya. (Klaim telah dibuat bahwa pada saat kematian Patton sebuah komisi sebagai brigadir jenderal sedang dalam perjalanan kepadanya. Menurut Terry Lowery, seorang sejarawan Virginia ke-22, hanya ada bukti samar untuk mendukung ini dan tidak ada dokumentasi yang solid yang ditemukan. Namun, Patton telah direkomendasikan untuk promosi pada beberapa kesempatan.)

Istri Patton, Susan, membaca tentang luka suaminya di surat kabar, bergegas ke Winchester dengan sedih, pada saat dia tiba, dia telah meninggal dan dikuburkan. Alih-alih memindahkan tubuh suaminya ke salah satu plot keluarga di Richmond atau Fredericksburg, dia membiarkannya dikebumikan di Winchester. Sekitar 10 tahun kemudian, adik laki-laki Patton, William Tazewell, yang terbunuh di Gettysburg, dipindahkan ke Winchester, dan dia serta George dimakamkan kembali di sebuah kuburan sederhana.

Setahun setelah perang berakhir, Susan dan keempat anaknya bergabung dengan saudara laki-lakinya di California. Pada tahun 1870 Susan menikah dengan teman dekat George dan sepupu pertama George Hugh Smith, yang seperti George telah melayani Konfederasi, memimpin dua resimen Virginia. Smith mengadopsi anak-anak Patton dan dengan penuh kasih membesarkan mereka sebagai anaknya sendiri. Pada tahun 1883 Susan meninggal setelah menderita kanker selama beberapa tahun. Putra tertua Patton, George S. Patton II, menghadiri VMI seperti ayahnya tetapi tidak mengejar karir militer. Namun, dia tetap mengingat dinas militer ayahnya melalui kisah-kisah yang dia ceritakan kepada putranya, Jenderal George S. Patton III.

Artikel ini oleh James M. Powles pertama kali muncul di Jaringan Sejarah Perang pada 23 September 2015.

Kiri: Potret minyak Kolonel Konfederasi George S. Patton, Angkatan 1852, komandan Resimen Infanteri ke-22 Virginia selama Perang Saudara yang terbunuh di Winchester pada tahun 1864. Potret asli dimiliki oleh Institut Militer Virginia dan terletak di Perpustakaan Preston. Artis: William D.Washington.


A. TES TOEFEL MODEL Pemahaman Membaca 12

Meskipun tujuan dan tekniknya sering ajaib, alkimia adalah, dalam banyak hal, pendahulu dari ilmu kimia modern. NS premis dasar dari alkimia berasal dari dari yang terbaik filosofis dogma dan ilmiah praktek waktu, dan mayoritas orang terpelajar antara 1400 dan 1600 percaya bahwa alkimia memiliki jasa besar.

Karya otentik paling awal tentang alkimia Eropa adalah karya biksu Inggris Roger Bacon dan filsuf Jerman St. Albertus Magnus. Dalam mereka risalah mereka berpendapat bahwa emas adalah logam yang sempurna dan itu lebih rendah logam seperti memimpin dan merkuri dihilangkan dengan berbagai tingkat ketidaksempurnaan dari emas. Mereka lebih lanjut menegaskan bahwa logam dasar ini dapat diubah menjadi emas dengan mencampurkannya dengan zat yang lebih sempurna daripada emas. Ini sukar dipahami substansi disebut sebagai "batu filsuf." Proses itu disebut transmutasi.

Sebagian besar alkemis awal adalah pengrajin yang terbiasa menyimpan rahasia dagang dan sering terpaksa samar terminologi untuk mencatat kemajuan pekerjaan mereka. Istilah matahari digunakan untuk emas, bulan untuk perak, dan lima planet yang dikenal untuk logam dasar. Konvensi penggantian bahasa simbolik ini menarik beberapa filsuf mistik yang membandingkan pencarian logam sempurna dengan berjuang manusia untuk kesempurnaan jiwa. Para filsuf mulai menggunakan artisan's ketentuan dalam literatur mistik yang mereka hasilkan. Dengan demikian, pada abad keempat belas, alkimia telah mengembangkan dua kelompok praktisi yang berbeda-alkemis laboratorium dan alkemis sastra. Kedua kelompok alkemis terus bekerja sepanjang sejarah alkimia tetapi, tentu saja, alkemis sastralah yang lebih mungkin menghasilkan karya tulis. catatan oleh karena itu, banyak dari apa yang diketahui tentang ilmu alkimia berasal dari para filsuf daripada dari para alkemis yang bekerja di laboratorium.

Meskipun berabad-abad eksperimen, alkemis laboratorium gagal menghasilkan emas dari bahan lain. Namun, mereka diperoleh lebar pengetahuan tentang zat kimia, menemukan sifat kimia, dan menemukan banyak alat dan teknik yang digunakan oleh ahli kimia saat ini. Banyak alkemis laboratorium dengan sungguh-sungguh mengabdikan diri pada penemuan ilmiah senyawa dan reaksi baru dan, oleh karena itu, harus dianggap sebagai nenek moyang yang sah dari kimia modern. Mereka terus menyebut diri mereka alkemis, tetapi mereka menjadi ahli kimia sejati.

B. Daftar kosakata baru dengan artinya:

alkimia : cikal bakal kimia abad pertengahan, khususnya yang berkaitan dengan upaya untuk mengubah logam dasar menjadi emas atau untuk menemukan obat mujarab universal.
pendahulu: orang yang memegang pekerjaan atau kantor sebelum pemegang saat ini.
dasar : n. kata sifat atau melayani sebagai dasar atau inti dari kepentingan sentral.
premis: pernyataan sebelumnya dari mana yang lain disimpulkan.
turunan : mendapatkan sesuatu dari (sumber tertentu).
filosofis: berkaitan dengan atau dikhususkan untuk studi filsafat.
ilmiah : berkaitan dengan atau berdasarkan ilmu pengetahuan.
risalah : n. kata benda karya tertulis yang berhubungan secara formal dan sistematis dengan subjek.
inferior: lebih rendah dalam peringkat, status, atau kualitas. Standar atau kualitas rendah.
lead : menyebabkan (seseorang atau hewan) untuk pergi dengan satu dengan menarik mereka bersama. menunjukkan (seseorang) jalan ke tujuan dengan mendahului atau menemani mereka.
menegaskan : v. menyatakan fakta atau keyakinan dengan percaya diri dan tegas.
sulit dipahami : adj. kata sifat yang sulit ditemukan, ditangkap, atau dicapai
samar : adj. misterius atau tidak jelas artinya.
perjuangan : n. melakukan upaya paksa untuk mendapatkan kebebasan.
syarat : n. kata atau frase yang digunakan untuk menggambarkan sesuatu atau untuk mengekspresikan konsep.
jadi : adv. sebagai akibat atau akibat dari ini oleh karena itu.
berbeda : adj. dikenali berbeda sifatnya individu atau terpisah.
catatan : n. sepotong bukti tentang masa lalu, terutama catatan tertulis atau permanen lainnya
meskipun : persiapan tanpa terpengaruh oleh
diperoleh : n. memperoleh atau mengamankan (sesuatu yang menguntungkan).
melebar. besar atau lebih dari lebar rata-rata.
nenek moyang: kata benda nenek moyang atau pendahulu
C. Ide setiap paragraf
Paragraf 1: Meskipun tujuan dan tekniknya seringkali bersifat magis, dalam banyak hal alkimia merupakan pendahulu ilmu kimia modern.
Paragraf 2: Karya otentik paling awal tentang alkimia Eropa adalah karya biksu Inggris Roger Bacon dan filsuf Jerman St. Albertus Magnus.
Paragraf 3: Sebagian besar alkemis awal adalah pengrajin yang terbiasa menyimpan rahasia dagang dan sering menggunakan istilah samar untuk mencatat kemajuan pekerjaan mereka.
Paragraf 4: Meskipun percobaan selama berabad-abad, alkemis laboratorium gagal menghasilkan emas dari bahan lain.

D.Jawablah pertanyaan yang diberikan

1. Manakah dari berikut ini yang merupakan poin utama dari bagian tersebut?

A. Mereka berdua adalah ahli alkemis laboratorium dan sastra.

B. Logam dasar dapat diubah menjadi emas dengan mencampurkannya dengan zat yang lebih sempurna dari emas.

C. Roger Bacon dan St. Albertus Magnus menulis tentang alkimia

D. Alkimia adalah pendahulu dari kimia modern.

2. Kata otentik pada paragraf 2 sebaiknya diganti dengan ?

3. Menurut para alkemis, apa perbedaan antara logam dasar dan emas?

4. Menurut perikop itu, apakah “batu filsuf” itu?

A. Timbal yang dicampur dengan emas

B. Unsur yang tidak pernah ditemukan

C. Nama lain untuk alkimia

5. Kata samar di paragraf 3 paling baik diganti dengan yang mana dari berikut ini?

6. Mengapa para alkemis awal menggunakan istilah matahari dan bulan?

A. Untuk menjaga rahasia pekerjaan

B. Untuk membuat karya lebih sastra

C. Untuk menarik para filsuf

D. Untuk menghasilkan catatan tertulis

7. Siapa alkemis pertama?

8. Pada paragraf 3, penulis menyarankan agar kita mengetahui tentang sejarah alkimia karena ?

A. Para alkemis laboratorium menyimpan catatan rahasia

B. Para alkemis sastra mencatatnya secara tertulis

C. Para filsuf mistik tidak dapat menyembunyikan rahasia alkimia

D. Para sejarawan mampu menafsirkan tulisan-tulisan rahasia para alkemis

9. Manakah dari pernyataan berikut yang paling mungkin disetujui oleh penulis?

A. Alkimia harus dianggap gagal total.

B. Beberapa penemuan ilmiah yang sangat penting dibuat oleh para alkemis.

C. Kebanyakan orang berpendidikan menolak alkimia selama waktu itu dipraktekkan.

D. Para alkemis sastra lebih penting daripada para alkemis laboratorium.

E. Ringkasan bagian tersebut
Premis dasar alkimia berasal dari dogma filosofis dan praktik ilmiah terbaik saat itu, dan mayoritas orang terpelajar antara tahun 1400 dan 1600 percaya bahwa alkimia memiliki manfaat besar. Karya otentik paling awal tentang alkimia Eropa adalah karya biksu Inggris Roger Bacon dan filsuf Jerman St. Albertus Magnus. Dalam risalah mereka, mereka menyatakan bahwa emas adalah logam yang sempurna dan bahwa logam inferior seperti timbal dan merkuri dihilangkan dengan berbagai tingkat ketidaksempurnaan dari emas. Sebagian besar alkemis awal adalah pengrajin yang terbiasa menyimpan rahasia dagang dan sering menggunakan terminologi samar untuk mencatat kemajuan pekerjaan mereka. Istilah matahari digunakan untuk emas, bulan untuk perak, dan lima planet yang dikenal untuk logam dasar. Banyak alkemis laboratorium dengan sungguh-sungguh mengabdikan diri untuk penemuan ilmiah senyawa dan reaksi baru dan, oleh karena itu, harus dianggap sebagai nenek moyang yang sah dari kimia modern.


Pemahaman Membaca 12

Meskipun tujuan dan tekniknya sering ajaib, alkimia, dalam banyak hal, merupakan pendahulu ilmu kimia modern. Premis dasar alkimia berasal dari dogma filosofis dan praktik ilmiah terbaik saat itu, dan mayoritas orang terpelajar antara tahun 1400 dan 1600 percaya bahwa alkimia memiliki manfaat besar.

Karya otentik paling awal tentang alkimia Eropa adalah karya biksu Inggris Roger Bacon dan filsuf Jerman St. Albertus Magnus. Dalam risalah mereka, mereka menyatakan bahwa emas adalah logam yang sempurna dan bahwa logam inferior seperti timbal dan merkuri dihilangkan dengan berbagai tingkat ketidaksempurnaan dari emas. Mereka lebih lanjut menegaskan bahwa logam dasar ini dapat diubah menjadi emas dengan mencampurkannya dengan zat yang lebih sempurna daripada emas. Zat yang sulit dipahami ini disebut sebagai "batu filsuf." Proses itu disebut transmutasi.

Sebagian besar alkemis awal adalah pengrajin yang terbiasa menyimpan rahasia dagang dan sering menggunakan istilah samar untuk mencatat kemajuan pekerjaan mereka. Istilah matahari digunakan untuk emas, bulan untuk perak, dan lima planet yang dikenal untuk logam dasar. Konvensi penggantian bahasa simbolik ini menarik beberapa filsuf mistik yang membandingkan pencarian logam yang sempurna dengan perjuangan umat manusia untuk kesempurnaan jiwa. Para filosof mulai menggunakan istilah artisan dalam literatur mistik yang mereka hasilkan. Thus, by the fourteenth century, alchemy had developed two distinct groups of practitioners-the laboratory alchemist and the literary alchemist. Both groups of alchemists continued to work throughout the history of alchemy but, of course, it was the literary alchemist who was more likely to produce a written record therefore, much of what is known about the science of alchemy is derived from philosophers rather than from the alchemists who labored in laboratories.

Despite centuries of experimentation, laboratory alchemists failed to produce gold from other materials. However, they gained wide knowledge of chemical substances, discovered chemical properties, and invented many of the tools and techniques that are used by chemist today. Many laboratory alchemists earnestly devoted themselves to the scientific discovery of new compounds and reactions and, therefore, must be considered the legitimate forefathers of modern chemistry. They continued to call themselves alchemists, but they were becoming true chemists.

1. Which of the following is the main point of the passage?
A. They were both laboratory and literary alchemists.
B. Base metals can be transmuted to gold by blending them with a substance more perfect than gold.
C. Roger Bacon and St. Albertus Magnus wrote about alchemy
D. Alchemy was the predecessor of modern chemistry.

2. The word autentik in paragraph 2 could best be replaced by ?
A. Valuable
B. Genuine
C. Complete
D. Comprehensible

3. According to the alchemists, what is the difference between base metals and gold?
A. Perfection
B. Chemical content
C. Temperature
D. Weight

4. According to the passage, what is the “philosopher’s stone”?
A. Lead that was mixed with gold
B. An element that was never found
C. Another name for alchemy
D. A base metal

5. The word cryptic in paragraph 3 could best be replaced by which of the following?
A. Scholarly
B. Secret
C. Foreign
D. Precise

6. Why did the early alchemists use the terns sun and moon?
A. To keep the work secret
B. To make the work more literary
C. To attract philosophers
D. To produce a written record

7. Who were the first alchemists?
A. Chemists
B. Writer
C. Artisans
D. Linguists

8. In paragraph 3, the author suggests that we know about the history of alchemy because ?
A. The laboratory alchemists kept secret notes
B. The literary alchemists recorded it in writing
C. The mystical philosophers were not able to hide the secret of alchemy
D. The historians were able to interpret the secret writings of the alchemists

9. Which of the following statements would the author most probably agree?
A. Alchemy must be considered a complete failure.
B. Some very important scientific discoveries were made by alchemists.
C. Most educated people dismissed alchemy during the time that it was practiced.
D. The literary alchemists were more important than the laboratory alchemists.


Gambaran: The Questionable Arcana Crafting System is a homebrew set of rules that builds on the RAW crafting system. The goal of the system is to increase the rate that items are crafted while introducing an element of variability(aka dice rolling).

  1. A Lead Artisan - An artisan with the appropriate tool who can lead the crafting process.
  2. Crafting Materials - Materials to craft with. The items should be valued at 50% market value for mundane items and 100% market value for magical items.
  3. Means of Production - Any special equipment or location requirements such as a forge for blacksmiths.
  4. Instructions - Memorized instructions for mundane items or a written blueprint for magical items.
  5. Labor - Time and energy measured in 8 hour increments and proficiency dice rolls!

TOEFL MODEL TEST: Reading Comprehension 12

Although its purpose and techniques were often magical, alchemy was, in many ways, the predecessor of the modern science of chemistry. The fundamental premise of alchemy derived from the best philosophical dogma and scientific practice of the time, and the majority of educated persons between 1400 and 1600 believed that alchemy had great merit.

The earliest authentic works on European alchemy are those of the English monk Roger Bacon and the German philosopher St. Albertus Magnus. Dalam mereka treatises mereka maintained that gold was the perfect metal and that inferior metals such as lead dan mercury were removed by various degrees of imperfection from gold. They further asserted that these base metals could be transmuted to gold by blending them with a substance more perfect than gold. Ini elusive substance was referred to as the “philosopher’s stone.” The process was called transmutation.

Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted ke cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work. The term sun was used for gold, moon for silver, and the five known planets for base metals. This convention of substituting symbolic language attracted some mystical philosophers who compared the search for the perfect metal with the struggle of humankind for the perfection of the soul. The philosophers began to use the artisan’s terms in the mystical literature that they produced. Thus, by the fourteenth century, alchemy had developed two distinct groups of practitioners-the laboratory alchemist and the literary alchemist. Both groups of alchemists continued to work throughout the history of alchemy but, of course, it was the literary alchemist who was more likely to produce a written record therefore, much of what is known about the science of alchemy is derived from philosophers rather than from the alchemists who labored in laboratories.

Despite centuries of experimentation, laboratory alchemists failed to produce gold from other materials. However, they gained wide knowledge of chemical substances, discovered chemical properties, and invented many of the tools and techniques that are used by chemist today. Many laboratory alchemists earnestly devoted themselves to the scientific discovery of new compounds and reactions and, therefore, must be considered the legitimate forefathers of modern chemistry. They continued to call themselves alchemists, but they were becoming true chemists.

  1. NEW VOCABULARY WITH THEIR MEANING
    • Magical : of or relating to magic.
    • Alchemy : a form of chemistry and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and concerned principally with discovering methods for transmuting baser metals into gold and with finding a universal solvent and an elixir of life.
    • Predecessor : a person who precedes another in an office, position, etc.
    • Merit : claim to respect and praise excellence worth.
    • Monk : (in Christianity) a man who has withdrawn from the world for religious reasons, especially as a member of an order of cenobites living according to a particular rule and under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
    • Treatises : a formal and systematic exposition in writing of the principles of a subject, generally longer and more detailed than an essay.
    • Maintained : to keep in existence or continuance preserve retain
    • Lead : Chemistry. a heavy, comparatively soft, malleable, bluish-gray metal, sometimes found in its natural state but usually combined as a sulfide, especially in galena. Symbol: Pb atomic weight: 207.19 atomic number: 82 specific gravity: 11.34 at 20°C.
    • Mercury : Chemistry. a heavy, silver-white, highly toxic metallic element, the only one that is liquid at room temperature quicksilver: used in barometers, thermometers, pesticides, pharmaceutical preparations, reflecting surfaces of mirrors, and dental fillings, in certain switches, lamps, and other electric apparatus, and as a laboratory catalyst. Symbol: Hg atomic weight: 200.59 atomic number: 80 specific gravity: 13.546 at 20°C freezing point: −38.9°C boiling point: 357°C.
    • Imperfection : an imperfect detail flaw
    • Asserted : resting on a statement or claim unsupported by evidence or proof
    • Transmuted : to change from one nature, substance, form, or condition into another transform.
    • Elusive : eluding or failing to allow for or accommodate a clear perception or complete mental grasp hard to express or define
    • Resorted : to sort or arrange (cards, papers, etc.) again.
    • Cryptic : mysterious in meaning puzzling ambiguous
    • Mystical : mystic of or relating to supernatural agencies, affairs, occurrences, etc.
    • Substances : that of which a thing consists physical matter or material
    • Compounds : composed of two or more parts, elements, or ingredients
    • Forefathers : an ancestor
    1. THE IDEAS OF EACH PARAGRAPH
    • Paragraph 1 : Alchemy was the predecessor of the modern science of chemistry. The fundamental premise of alchemy derived from the best philosophical dogma and scientific practice of the time, and the majority of educated persons between 1400 and 1600 believed that alchemy had great merit.
    • Paragraph 2 : The earliest authentic works on European alchemy are those of the English monk Roger Bacon and the German philosopher St. Albertus Magnus. In their treatises they maintained that gold was the perfect metal and that inferior metals such as lead and mercury were removed by various degrees of imperfection from gold.
    • Paragraph 3 : Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted to cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work. This convention of substituting symbolic language attracted some mystical philosophers who compared the search for the perfect metal with the struggle of humankind for the perfection of the soul. By the fourteenth century, alchemy had developed two distinct groups of practitioners-the laboratory alchemist and the literary alchemist.
    • Paragraph 4 : The laboratory alchemists failed to produce gold from other materials. However, they gained wide knowledge of chemical substances, discovered chemical properties, and invented many of the tools and techniques that are used by chemist today.

    4. ANSWER FROM THE QUESTIONS GIVEN
    1. Which of the following is the main point of the passage?
    A. They were both laboratory and literary alchemists.
    B. Base metals can be transmuted to gold by blending them with a substance more perfect than gold.
    C. Roger Bacon and St. Albertus Magnus wrote about alchemy
    D. Alchemy was the predecessor of modern chemistry.
    2. The word authentic in paragraph 2 could best be replaced by ?
    A. Valuable
    B. Genuine
    C. Complete
    D. Comprehensible
    3. According to the alchemists, what is the difference between base metals and gold?
    A. Perfection
    B. Chemical content
    C. Temperature
    D. Weight
    4. According to the passage, what is the “philosopher’s stone”?
    A. Lead that was mixed with gold
    B. An element that was never found
    C. Another name for alchemy
    D. A base metal
    5. The word cryptic in paragraph 3 could best be replaced by which of the following?
    A. Scholarly
    B. Secret
    C. Foreign
    D. Precise
    6. Why did the early alchemists use the terns sun and moon?
    A. To keep the work secret
    B. To make the work more literary
    C. To attract philosophers
    D. To produce a written record
    7. Who were the first alchemists?
    A. Chemists
    B. Writer
    C. Artisans
    D. Linguists
    8. In paragraph 3, the author suggests that we know about the history of alchemy because ?
    A. The laboratory alchemists kept secret notes
    B. The literary alchemists recorded it in writing
    C. The mystical philosophers were not able to hide the secret of alchemy
    D. The historians were able to interpret the secret writings of the alchemists
    9. Which of the following statements would the author most probably agree?
    A. Alchemy must be considered a complete failure.
    B. Some very important scientific discoveries were made by alchemists.
    C. Most educated people dismissed alchemy during the time that it was practiced.
    D. The literary alchemists were more important than the laboratory alchemists.

    Alchemy was the predecessor of the modern science of chemistry. The fundamental premise of alchemy derived from the best philosophical dogma and scientific practice of the time, and the majority of educated persons between 1400 and 1600 believed that alchemy had great merit. Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted to cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work. This convention of substituting symbolic language attracted some mystical philosophers who compared the search for the perfect metal with the struggle of humankind for the perfection of the soul. By the fourteenth century, alchemy had developed two distinct groups of practitioners-the laboratory alchemist and the literary alchemist.


    Journal Entry [ ]

    • Meet the pellar in the stone circle on Fyke Isle at midnight.
    • Protect the ritual's participants.

    If you choose to side with the pellar:

    • Defeat the witch hunters.
    • Defeat the wraiths.
    • Find the body of the pellar's father in the swamps using your Witcher Senses.
    • Burn the pellar's father's body.
    • Talk to the pellar. (50)

    TOEFL MODEL TEST : Reading Comprehension 12

    Although its purpose and techniques were often magical, alchemy was, in many ways, the predecessor of the modern science of chemistry. The fundamental premise of alchemy derived from the best philosophical dogma and scientific practice of the time, and the majority of educated persons between 1400 and 1600 believed that alchemy had great merit.

    The earliest authentic works on European alchemy are those of the English monk Roger Bacon and the German philosopher St. Albertus Magnus. In their treatises they maintained that gold was the perfect metal and that inferior metals such as lead and mercury were removed by various degrees of imperfection from gold. They furtherasserted that these base metals could be transmuted to gold by blending them with a substance more perfect than gold. This elusive substance was referred to as the “philosopher’s stone.” The process was called transmutation.

    Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted to cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work. The term sun was used for gold, moon for silver, and the five known planets for base metals. This convention of substituting symbolic language attracted some mystical philosophers who compared the search for the perfect metal with the struggle of humankind for the perfection of the soul. The philosophers began to use the artisan’s terms in the mystical literature that they produced. Thus, by the fourteenth century, alchemy had developed twodistinct groups of practitioners-the laboratory alchemist and the literary alchemist. Both groups of alchemists continued to work throughout the history of alchemy but, of course, it was the literary alchemist who was more likely to produce a written record therefore, much of what is known about the science of alchemy is derived from philosophers rather than from the alchemists who labored in laboratories.

    Despite centuries of experimentation, laboratory alchemists failed to produce gold from other materials. However, they gained wide knowledge of chemical substances, discovered chemical properties, and invented many of the tools and techniques that are used by chemist today. Many laboratory alchemists earnestly devoted themselves to the scientific discovery of new compounds and reactions and, therefore, must be considered the legitimate forefathers of modern chemistry. They continued to call themselves alchemists, but they were becoming true chemists.

    List new vocabulary with their meaning

    predecessor : a person who held a job or office before the current holder.

    premise : a previous statement from which another is inferred.

    philosophical : relating to or devoted to the study of philosophy.

    scientific : relating to or based on science.

    treatises : n. noun a written work dealing formally and systematically with a subject.

    inferior : lower in rank, status, or quality. Of low standard or quality.

    asserted : v. state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.

    elusive : adj. adjective difficult to find, catch, or achieve

    cryptic : adj. mysterious or obscure in meaning.

    struggle : n. make forceful efforts to get free.

    forefathers : noun an ancestor or precursor

    Ideas of each paragraph
    P 1: Although its purpose and techniques were often magical, alchemy was, in many ways, the predecessor of the modern science of chemistry.
    P 2: The earliest authentic works on European alchemy are those of the English monk Roger Bacon and the German philosopher St. Albertus Magnus.
    P 3: Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted to cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work.
    P 4: Despite centuries of experimentation, laboratory alchemists failed to produce gold from other materials.

    Answer the questions given

    Answer : D. Alchemy was the predecessor of modern chemistry.

    Answer : B. Genuine

    Answer : A. Perfection

    Answer : B. An element that was never found

    Answer : B. Secret

    Answer : A. To keep the work secret

    Answer : C. Artisans

    Answer : B. The literary alchemists recorded it in writing

    Answer : B. Some very important scientific discoveries were made by alchemists.

    Summary of the passage
    The fundamental premise of alchemy derived from the best philosophical dogma and scientific practice of the time, and the majority of educated persons between 1400 and 1600 believed that alchemy had great merit. The earliest authentic works on European alchemy are those of the English monk Roger Bacon and the German philosopher St. Albertus Magnus. In their treatises they maintained that gold was the perfect metal and that inferior metals such as lead and mercury were removed by various degrees of imperfection from gold. Most of the early alchemists were artisans who were accustomed to keeping trade secrets and often resorted to cryptic terminology to record the progress of their work. The term sun was used for gold, moon for silver, and the five known planets for base metals. Many laboratory alchemists earnestly devoted themselves to the scientific discovery of new compounds and reactions and, therefore, must be considered the legitimate forefathers of modern chemistry.


    Chemistry in Ancient China: Alchemy

    It is very difficult for modern people to fathom the scientific achievements in ancient China from a modern scientific point of view. Actually, even in this past century, there have been different schools of science that have different understandings of the most basic composition of substances. I quoted Lao Tzu and Confucius in Part I of this series [1]. From a modern science point of view, it is not at all far-fetched to describe these two philosophers as physicists. Their theories revealed the existence of and variations in substances at different levels. It is a myth to modern people that, without access to any scientific equipment or apparatus, these ancient philosophers could have discovered the existence of protons, neutrons and electrons within an atom, as well as the fact that all substances, regardless of their shapes, are made up of atoms. Without the use of particle accelerators, these ancient Chinese philosophers even knew of the existence of substances at microscopic levels in different dimensions. Of course, the ultimate quest for modern scientists is knowledge of the most basic particle that makes up any substance in the universe and the process of formation of that substance. With this knowledge, scientists will immediately be able to realize the dream of being the Creator, one who is capable of creating various substances and turn even stone into gold.

    Alchemy is not a dream. Ancient Chinese scientists already possessed knowledge of alchemy. When it comes to scientific achievements and developments in ancient China, alchemy would be placed in the first chapter of the history book of chemistry. According to the ancient Chinese Taoist concept of making dan (an energy cluster in a cultivator's body, collected from other dimensions) in the furnace, once dan is formed, it has the capability of changing any tangible substance into gold or silver. Dan can also transform the physical body and bodies in other dimensions, thus promoting a cultivator to transcend time, space, and the human body and enter into higher levels of cultivation. With this in mind, "making dan" is, in essence, actually alchemy.

    It would be difficult to determine when Chinese alchemy originated by researching historical documents. According to ancient Taoist records, alchemy was first recorded in the time of Huang Di (the legendary Yellow Emperor) and Lao Tzu. However, Huang Di and Lao Tzu lived in different historical periods that were hundreds of years apart. The most logical explanation would be that alchemy developed along with the Chinese culture and thus became part of it. Huang Di and Lao Tsu were great masters of alchemy, making them the representatives of Chinese alchemy. Legend has it that Hang Di was given nine dans as a gift while visiting Tai Yi. After a person consumed a dan, his hands became as red as the dan. When the person washed his hands in a river, the river would turn red too. Later, Huang Di obtained the secrets of alchemy and made dans with a furnace. Huang Di flew up to heaven on the back of a dragon after the dans were made [2]. According to the Chapter of Fen-Chan in The Book of History by Si-Ma Qian, the alchemists encouraged the feudal lords to seek dan in order to obtain eternal life and youth beginning in the time of the reign of Emperor Jiwei-Xuan in the Warring States Period. Later, during the reign of the First Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, a Taoist named Xu Fu asked the Emperor for permission to seek dan overseas. These are the first official records of alchemy in Chinese history. Alchemy became more ascendant during the Han Dynasty. The Wu Emperor, Liu Che, was very enthusiastic about alchemy. During the same historical period, the King of Huai Nan also kept a big group of Taoists as houseguests. They wrote a lot of books on alchemy for him. Unfortunately all of the books were lost, except for twenty-one volumes of Huai Nan Zi. At the end of the West Han Dynasty, Wang Mang, who usurped the throne, was also a proponent of alchemy. During the Three Kingdoms period, at the end of Han Dynasty, Cao Cao and his son enjoyed the company of alchemists, among whom, Zuo Ci, Gan Shi, and Wang Heping, were the most famous.

    At the end of the Han Dynasty, in approximately 2 A.D., Wei Boyang, a man of the Country of Wu, or today's Shangyu, Zhejiang Province, wrote The References and Comments on the Book of Changes, the earliest textbook of alchemy. Because there are many theories and experiments in this book, naturally, it was a good reference book for later generations of people. Legend has it that Wei Boyang led three disciples into the mountains to cultivate dan. After he made the dans, he first gave one to a dog as a test. But the dog soon died. Then Boyang ate a dan and also died. One of the three disciples then ate a dan after he saw that his Master died from eating a dan. The other two disciples sighed and said, "The purpose of making dan is to obtain longevity. What is the use of eating a dan that will kill you?" The two of them then left the mountain without hesitation. As soon as they left, Wei Boyang immediately stood up and put the real dan into the mouths of the disciple and the dog. Both the disciple and the dog woke up immediately. In this way, they became immortal and started cultivation of the Tao [3].

    This legend shows that the required standards for xinxing (heart and mind nature moral character) and morals in the arena of ancient Chinese science were very high. The requirements for moral character were much higher than those for intelligence and knowledge. This very characteristic differentiates ancient Chinese science from modern science. The truth of the universe is the manifestation of the nature of different levels. It is impossible to have an access to the truth of the universe via methods or techniques of lower levels. Therefore, "believe first, see later" is another important characteristic of ancient Chinese science. "Believe first, see later" means that those who seek the truth of the universe must first discard all of their conventional thinking before they can see the natural unfolding of the truth of the universe. They need not pursue the truth of the universe in order to see it.

    Einstein believed that the universe is in harmony and order, that the universe was created by God, and that there exist high-level beings in the universe. If Einstein represents modern science, perhaps we can derive from his story that "to believe first" must be the foundation of science. Both ancient and modern science share one common requirement in this regard. This is a question that calls for deep reflection from the modern scientist: What on earth do modern scientists believe in?

    Ge Hong published Bao Pu Zi in the Jin Dynasty. This book has two parts: inside and outside. It broadly describes the functions of herbs, alchemy, stories about deities and cultivation, and the laws behind the changes of everything on earth. According to Ge Hong, his grandfather, Ge Xianweng, was the student of Zuo Ci, who had imparted to him numerous volumes of scriptures about alchemy. Later, Zheng Siyuan, a disciple of Ge Xianweng, passed the art of alchemy to Ge Hong, grandson of Ge Xianweng. Ge Hong called himself Bao Pu Zi. Ge Hong was indifferent to fame and wealth. He studied diligently despite his obscure family background. He read a lot of classical books, and as the apprentice of Zheng Siyuang, he obtained the secrets to immortality. He hid himself on Mount Luo Fu in Guangdong Province, where he cultivated the Tao, and he constantly wrote books of Tao. When he passed away, he was in the sitting meditation posture. His complexion was rosy and his body was soft like a living person. When people transferred his body to a coffin, they found he weighed as little as a piece of clothing. This is what is called "leaving the body behind to become an immortal."

    The Chapter of Huang Bai in Bao Pu Zi says, "Change is the norm of nature therefore, it is a confined way of thinking to believe gold and silver cannot be transformed into something different." The ancient Chinese alchemists maintained that gold and silver could be transformed into and from other types of substances. This is the so-called transformation of elements in the modern theory of high-energy physics. However, even with the modern, precise, and large particle accelerators that are capable of transforming some chemical elements into different elements, it would be like a tale in the Arabian Nights if one were capable of transforming base chemical elements into gold and silver. It would be impossible to observe this phenomenon using today's technology. This is the very reason why alchemy has been regarded as an absurdity and an example of ancient quasi-science by modern scientists.

    Actually, many recent discoveries from modern scientific experiments have shown that many creatures on earth have supernormal abilities like alchemy within themselves. For example, hens, which are not given any food with calcium, unexpectedly produce eggs with calcium shells. Seeds that sprout in distilled water contain more potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and sulphur than before the seeds begin to sprout. These experiments demonstrate that all creatures on earth have alchemical abilities [4,5]. These phenomena might support the fact that ancient Chinese scientists probably were much more advanced in their understanding of the laws of changes in the universe. Apparently, alchemy is more than just the understanding of substances on the superficial layer. It probes right into the power of life.


    Is Origin of Life Science Today’s Alchemy?

    The 21st in the series called The Case Against Physicalism. In previous posts on Top Down or Bottom Up, we investigated the challenges to science from the facts of beginnings. Here we look closer at the science of the origin of life. We see a key difference between operational science and origins science which helps explain the science community’s aversion to the idea of a cause for life outside of the cosmos.

    Will our current scientific studies of the origin of life prove to be the equivalent of alchemy?

    Alchemy has a long and noble history. It spans four millennia and three continents and was one of the primary scientific endeavors for most of that time. Although popular understanding is focused on the effort of alchemists to turn base metals like lead into noble metals, mostly gold, there were a number of other efforts pursued such as creating an elixir of eternal life, finding a “panacea” or substance to cure any illness, and a universal solvent.

    From the empirical observations of the time, there was no good reason to believe that such things were impossible. There is metal such as lead in the earth and there is gold. There are obvious transformation, like oxidation. What reason would they have to believe that lead does not through some transformative process turn into gold? And if it did, why not hurry the natural process along and become fabulously rich in the process?

    Now, we know that it is impossible. Science has improved our knowledge about things like lead and gold and where they come from, and has enabled humans to understand that the process they were trying to simulate doesn’t exist.

    Origin of Life (OoL), or abiogenesis, studies are forensic in nature. That is, we do not and apparently cannot study the process by which non-living material turns into something that is alive. So far as we know today, what happened on earth about 3.8 billion years ago, happened just once in the entire universe. That means to understand what happened and how it happened we have to simulate it. To simulate it, we need to know the conditions under which that process occurred, and we need to know the mechanism or mechanisms that caused atoms and molecules needed for life to operate.

    The simulation process really got started in 1952 by Nobel Laureate chemist Howard Urey and his graduate student Stanley Miller. Simply put, they assembled what they believed constituted the pre-biotic “soup” in a container and zapped it with lightning. Both the raw chemicals and the environmental conditions were presented as representing the nearly newborn earth. The zapping ended up producing amino acids, one of the essential building blocks of life. Viola, the path to establishing the creation of life through chemical evolution was established. The frenzied headlines that told the world that the mystery of the origin of life was about to be solved. These misrepresentations have been repeated over and over since that time as new studies “proved” how chemicals evolved to create life.

    Despite the wildly optimistic claims of these click-bait headlines, the public remains very skeptical of the belief expressed by many physicalists that we are very close to discovering the pathway of chemical evolution. As the debates between varying theories, sometimes widely varying theories, boil over into serious acrimony, the confidence in science is diminished. That is a problem for all of us as we have seen in the COVID 19 crisis.

    An example of very irresponsible communication by scientists concerning claims of a solution are found in this 2009 article from American Scientist, introduced with this remarkable statement:

    “In this article we present a view gaining attention in the origin-of-life community that takes the question out of the hatchery and places it squarely in the realm of accessible, plausible chemistry. As we see it, the early steps on the way to life are an inevitable, incremental result of the operation of the laws of chemistry and physics operating under the conditions that existed on the early Earth, a result that can be understood in terms of known (or at least knowable) laws of nature. As such, the early stages in the emergence of life are no more surprising, no more accidental, than water flowing downhill.”

    The hubris expressed in the statement that the emergence of life is no more mysterious than water flowing downhill is almost, but not quite, humorous. Particularly in light of the much more recent assessment of the state of OoL research by a long list of researchers who strongly dispute the optimistic assessment. First, they summarize the areas of agreement. Those, they find are few. The disagreements are numerous, vast in scope and vociferous:

    “There is some consensus on a few points. First, the earliest undisputed fossil evidence places life on Earth prior to 3.35 Ga and molecular clocks suggest an origin prior to the late heavy bombardment >3.9 Ga. Second, the origin of life must have resulted from a long process or a series of processes, not a sudden event, for the complexity of a cell could not have appeared instantaneously…But strikingly, the list of agreements does not expand much further than this…The list of individual theories, different lines of experimental and theoretical research and diverse views on the OoL is extensive and eclectic…we present a forward-looking perspective on how discontinued discourses on the OoL can be (re)united in a new mosaic with resolution and meaning. We reflect purposely on individual topics causing the most distressing divisions in OoL research, most of which result from classical separations between disciplines and theories that date to decades ago. We then portray examples of bridges being built between classically opposed views and finish by providing a roadmap for future dialogue and evidence-based research in OoL.”

    Despite 70 years of dedicated research and who knows how many billions of public and private dollars, the debates rage, theories proliferate and we seem no closer to a solution. We have learned a lot, no question, but have we come closer to the answer of how life evolved from non-life?

    Biologist Dean Kenyon, now professor emeritus of San Francisco State University, provides an interesting case in point. In 1969 he and Gary Steinman wrote a book called Biochemical Predestination in which they presented the idea that

    “Life might have been biochemically predestined by the properties of attraction that exist between its chemical parts, especially between amino acids in proteins.”

    This idea is considered a precursor to the “self-organization” idea that finds expression in many areas of science, including evolution. However, Professor Kenyon later concluded that this predestination was not a satisfactory answer and, much to the frustration of those who esteemed his science work, concluded that creation or intelligent design was a more rational conclusion. As expected, the organized physicalist defenders on Wikipedia mock much of his later thinking, labeling him with that most horrid of anti-science epithets: a young earth creationist!

    Kenyon provided the foreword to a book that set the OoL community into a tizzy. The Mystery of the Origin of Life initially appeared in 1984 and has recently been republished with updates and additional contributions from scientists and philosophers of science. The primary authors Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley and Roger Olsen combined in-depth scientific knowledge and expertise in three areas critical to origin science: biochemistry, thermodynamics and geochemistry. The book provides a deep dive into the ongoing investigation of origins particularly on the efforts to simulate the conditions and mechanisms necessary for chemical evolution.

    It was a scientific tour-de-force and reviews showed that few could question the analysis provided. Looking at the question from the viewpoint of biochemistry, geochemistry and the laws of thermodynamics was something new and much needed. In the Epilogue Thaxton reviewed the primary ideas about origins and analyzed how they stacked up against the scientific knowledge to date. He summarized their analysis in these key points:

    • “There is accumulating evidence for an oxidizing early earth and atmosphere.
    • Destructive processes would have predominated over synthesis in the atmosphere and ocean in the prebiotic world.
    • There is continued shortening of the time interval (now less than 170 million years) between earth’s cooling and the first appearance of life.
    • Geochemical analysis shows that the composition of Precambrian deposits is short of nitrogen.
    • There is an observational limit or boundary between what has been accomplished in the laboratory by natural processes left to themselves and what is done through investigator interference.
    • In our experience only two things, biotic processes (carried out by enzymes, DNA, etc.) and investigator interference, are able to couple energy flow to the task of constructing biospecific macromolecules.
    • True living cells are extraordinarily complex, well-orchestrated dynamic structures containing enzymes, DNA, phospholipids, carbohydrates, etc., to which so-called protocells bear only a superficial resemblance.”

    An overly simple summary of these key items would be: the conditions and requirements for chemical evolution on earth show that transforming non-living matter into life is impossible. Thaxton quotes Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe who decisively agreed with that assessment:

    “No matter how large the environment one considers, life cannot have had a random beginning… there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (10²⁰)2000 = 10⁴⁰⁰⁰⁰, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.

    If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court… the enormous information content of even the simplest living systems… cannot in our view be generated by what are often called “natural” processes, as for instance through meteorological and chemical processes occurring at the surface of a lifeless planet… For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly… There is no way in which we can expect to avoid the need for information, no way in which we can simply get by with a bigger and better organic soup, as we ourselves hoped might be possible a year or two ago.” [emphasis added]

    Hoyle and Wickramasinghe are scientists who thoroughly and for carefully explicated reasons reject exclusive Darwinism, not just on origin issues but also as a true story of the history of life. But, Hoyle was so committed to atheism that despite the fact that he was a major contributor to the discovery of fine-tuning for life, he resisted the idea of the Big Bang (a term he coined) that he continued to promote the idea of a steady-state universe. Since a transcendent creator could not be contemplated and chemical evolution of life on earth was not possible, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe promoted the idea of panspermia. To them, it was clear that life arrived on earth from comets in the form of viruses. Panspermia, an idea popularized by Francis Crick, only kicks the can of origins down the road. Such conclusions that the conditions on earth were unsuitable for the emergence of life––short of a creator––requires the belief that conditions on other places in the universe must be more conducive, and that the transformative mechanism works without guidance.

    Lead into Gold

    Let’s return for a moment to the scientific dark ages. A “natural philosopher,” the scientist of his time is engrossed in studying the properties of lead. He leaves his tiny laboratory, making sure all doors and windows are locked, and goes to his humble house for the midday meal. When he returns he finds to his absolute amazement that the lump of lead is now gold.

    1. Someone stole into his laboratory despite his security precautions and replaced the lead with gold.
    2. There is some natural but unexplained process that under certain conditions transforms lead into gold.
    3. It was a miracle.

    The problem with the first is that he knows how he secured the lab, there were no signs of forced entry, and what burglar in his right mind would switch gold for lead?

    The problem with the third is that he is a natural philosopher who believes in the orderly working of nature according to fixed laws (he might have been ahead of his time). His philosophy doesn’t allow for miracles.

    That leaves him the third option. He spends the rest of his life seeking how to transform lead into gold, trying always to replicate the conditions, varying temperatures, position, angle of light through the window, etc. Near the end of his sad life he reveals to others and shows them the gold as proof. It sets off a storm of inquiry and the “science” of alchemy is underway.

    Thaxton in his Epilogue to Misteri explains cogently the opposition of the science community to the miracle of the emergence of life. The resistance comes, he believes, from conflating operational science with the science of origin:

    “Hypotheses of origin science, however, are not empirically testable or falsifiable, since the datum needed for experimental test (namely, the origin) is unavailable. In contrast to operation science, where the focus is on a class of many events, origin science is concerned with a particular event, i.e., a class of one.”

    Life began just once (so far)

    Life, as far as current science takes us, began once. Once on this planet and as far as we know once in the universe. It’s a one-off. Operation science is endlessly repeated like apples falling from trees and moons orbiting their planets. These operational events are what the scientific method has been developed to understand and at which it has succeeded with remarkable results. These sciences are based on closed and continuous causality. Thaxton agrees that injecting God unnecessarily into operational science is harmful to science, indeed, non-scientific. Operational science depends on the reliability of the laws of nature. Discontinuities including one-offs tend to mess with that.

    Breaking with continuity in science is a complete no-no and this essential element of science is embedded in the DNA of any good scientist. Who knows, it might be epigenetic. But one-off events don’t fit the pattern. They are by nature discontinuous.

    This resistance based on a break in continuity was well expressed by Hans Graffon at the 1959 Darwin Centennial Celebration:

    “[Chemical evolution] is a nice theory, but no shred of evidence, no single fact whatever, forces us to believe it. What exists is only the scientist’s wish not to admit a discontinuity in nature and not to assume a creative act forever beyond comprehension.”

    Lead doesn’t turn into gold. Non-life doesn’t turn into life. Unless it is a miracle. And, if your worldview says that miracles are impossible, then, like our old natural philosopher friend, you keep on looking.


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