|A cartoon of atoms (elements) anthropomorphized into male and female humans, with corresponding, albeit selective sexual desires and attractions, by artist Nick Kim. |
The anthropomorphize process often tends to employ the extrapolate down approach; whereas, conversely, the deanthropomorphize method tends to use the extrapolate up approach.
The anthropomorphizing approach, as compared to the deanthropomorphizing approach, is often quick to attract ridicule, from the hard scientists, such as when, for instance, a hypothetical statement such as "sodium Na+ falling in love with chlorine Cl" are made.
Conversely, many will conceded, particularly when racial separations are compared to the separation of oil and water, such as in racial thermodynamics, that there is some truth to Empedocles' ancient chemical aphorisms.
The keen insight of Goethe, from his famous anonymous attack-buffering "advertisement" to his Elective Affinities (see: timeline), in regards to these matters, would seem apt at this point:
“There is, after all, only one nature.”
Prudence, it would seem, should be one's guidance in both directions, in these matters.
See main: Chemical anthropomorphismIn 1910, American science historian Fielding Garrison, noted Gibbsian biographer, commented how he believes Goethe’s chemical "anthropomorphisms", as he calls them, “seem so plausible and fascinating”, and are in some way related to American engineer Willard Gibbs’ 1876 chemical thermodynamics:
|American physical chemist Philip Manning’s age 12 and up geared chapter insert section on “chemical anthropomorphism”, wherein he gives in to the view that it is incorrect to speculate about the “wants” of atoms, as it is to the wants of turtles, but that all one can say in regards to such a question as “why do fluorine and cesium react?”, is that because “all systems seek to achieve a minimum of free energy.” |
“Suppose chemical substances to be represented by a number of men and women of varying degrees of strength of character and "attractiveness," and suppose the marital combinations or what Goethe called the "elective affinities" between these men and women to be determined by certain mysterious "laws." If a man strong in character should mate with a woman, weaker but otherwise "attractive," or vice versa, one set of observers might affirm that the union was due to the man's superior potentiality or masculinity, others might maintain that the real strength in the combination or "affinity" lay in the woman's "attractiveness"; or vice versa. Curiously enough, these anthropomorphisms, which seem so plausible and fascinating in Goethe's novel, are daily and hourly employed to explain the facts of chemical combination.”
● Anthropic physics
● Anthropological thermodynamics
● Chemical party
1. Kim, Nick D. (c.2006). “Atom Cartoon”, NearingZero.net (WayBack); in “Potassium”, WebElements.net.
2. Garrison, Fielding H. (1910). “A Note on Traube’s Theory of Osmosis and ‘Attraction-Pressure’” (elective affinities, pg. 285) Science, 32: 281-86.
3. Manning, Philip. (2009). Chemical Bonds (pg. 45). Infobase Publishing.