HCT | P2: Student reactions (2010-2012)

Lecture: “A Guidemap to Human Chemical Thermodynamics: Goethe's Elective Affinities to Human Free Energies”
HCT | P2: Student reactions (2010-2012)

Synopsis: "A quick look at student reactions from Thims’ previous 2010 to 2012 UIC bioengineering thermodynamics lectures on human thermodynamics."

Following Thims' first lecture, in 2010, to UIC bioengineering thermodynamics students, the professor, Ali Mansoori, asked students to write out a short review or reaction response to the lecture, some of which are shown below:

The following frank and very ripe statement outlines a very tensional issue surrounding "belief systems", that between the olden religio-mythology belief system (mind, soul, morals), 60 percent of Americans, e.g., do not believe in evolution, and the new physical science based "moral symbols" belief system, as Goethe called them, that in belief in the first law (energy conservation) and second law (transformation content increase) of thermodynamics, and the reaction symbols of physical chemistry:

Lecture reaction  1 (2010)

“A great revolutionary doctrine pervades the whole.”
Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull (1871), first female US presidential candidate, preface comments to first English translation of Goethe's Elective Affinities

Bazargan (1956/1797)Goethe (1771/1808)
Mehdi Bazargan nsThe above student comment about "morals defined through thermodynamics" brings to mind Iranian mechanical engineer, thermodynamicist, and 75th prime minister of Iran Mehdi Bazargan and his 1956 book Thermodynamics of Humans, wherein he states: [1]

“I will try to discuss morality from the point of view of thermodynamics and [scientific] natural law. Such a task is very difficult. Nevertheless, doing it is better than not doing it.”
At age 21, at the University of Strasbourg, Goethe completing a dissertation on “The Legislature, On the Power of the Magistrate to Determine Religion and Culture”, in which he contended, among other things that:

Jesus Christ is not the author of Christianity; it is a subject composed by a number of wise men and is merely a rational, political institution.”
— Goethe (1771), law dissertation

It was, of course, rejected on the grounds that it was unorthodox, after which he only achieved the “licentiate” to practice law; after which, to to show contempt for university authorities, he offered a series of 56 theses for disputation, e.g. “natural law is what nature has taught all creatures” (thesis 1), “should the woman who kills her newly born child suffer the death penalty?” (thesis 55), all themed on his distaste for learned authority, and casting for a new way of looking at the relationship between humans to nature, society, and tradition.

“The moral symbols in the natural sciences, that of the elective affinities invented and used by the great Bergman, are more meaningful and permit themselves to be connected better with poetry and society.”
— Goethe (1809), three months prior to completion of Elective Affinities

Shown adjacent is a clip of the famous law degree "rejection" scene from the 2011 film Young Goethe in Love.

“I have found no confession of faith to which I could ally myself without reservation.”
— Goethe (1831), a year before his reaction end

Bergman reaction diagrams
Bergman affinity table
Berman chemical signs explained
A=-\left(\frac{\partial G}{\partial \xi}\right)_{p,T}

From the above clip, we get a glimpse into the insight of Goethe as part Casanova, part Newton, part Darwin, part Lavoisier, all framed around a Plato-Shakespeare idealism.

Likewise, prior to this there was French physicist Gustave Hirn's 1868 Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics, the first book in in the field of philosophical thermodynamics; and prior to this German polymath Johann Goethe's 1808 physical chemistry based "moral symbols" theory; and prior to this British philosopher John Stewart and his 1789 "moral motion" theory, in which he did away with all of the mythological terms ‘life’, ‘death’, ‘god’, etc., and replaced these with modern physical sciences (astronomy, physics, and chemistry) based theory of ‘moral motion’, wherein man is viewed as an intelligent type of animate matter, made of particles (atoms), and that all that exists in the universe is matter and motion. The following are the 1998 polled views of America's so-called leading or "greater" scientists, the members of the National Academy of Sciences, on personal belief or disbelief on God and immortality: [2]

American National Academy of Sciences
Disbelief in God
in immortality
(or agnosticism)

of belief in God
(or agnosticism)

of belief in Immortality
in God
in Immortality

Physical scientists
(physicists and astronomers)
Biological scientists65.2%69%32.3%



This 1998 data set can be combined with American psychologist James Leuba's 1916 and 1933 data sets to yield the following plot, which show, according to extrapolative estimates, that currently about 5 percent of leading scientists believe in the existence of God: [3]

Percent Belief in God by Scientists

The following is the current global distribution in beliefs:

World Religions Distribution

Ab-Ra-ham-ic faiths:
CrossChristianity (33%)Islam 75px Islam
Star of DavidJudaism (0.2%)BahaiBaha’ism (0.1%)MandaeanMandaeism (0.001%)

B-Ra-hma-ic faiths:
SikhsSikhism (0.4%)JainJainism (0.07%)

AtheistAtheist (2.5%)

Ethnic religions
New religions

Of which 72 percent are Anunian theology or Ra theology (Ab-ra-ham-ic/B-ra-hma-ic) based:

Ra theology

The following is the millennium poll of belief the general public the world over:

Religious beliefs (by country) (new2)

The following student commented on how they were interested to here how thermodynamics relates to the nature of the "choices" one makes, and also the connection of human thermodynamics with sociology (e.g. Winiarski) and psychology (e.g. Freud), the subfields of sociological thermodynamics and psychological thermodynamics (psychodynamics), respectively:

Lecture reaction 2 (2010)

The following student showed interest in the application of thermodynamics to economics (e.g. economic thermodynamics):

Lecture reaction 3 (2010)

The following student was curious to learn that thermodynamics applied not only to sociology but also to business, the subfield of business thermodynamics, the recent 2009-launched Spanish-based consulting company "Social Thermodynamics Applied Research", headed by panish entrepreneur Gregory Botanes and physicist Alberto Hernando, being but one example:

Lecture reaction 4 (2010)

The following student was glad that Thims came to speak, in that it helped them see a new way of thinking about science and how it applied to areas, such as morality, relationships, and business, not generally considered scientific topics:

Lecture reaction 5 (2010)

The following person learned that thermodynamically-speaking there is a link between the "decisions" (choices) a person makes and morality, whether the choice was natural or unnatural:

Lecture reaction 6 (2010)

The following, from the 2012 lecture, are The last 15 minutes of the class were devoted to open discussion, questions, and or concerns. The following are a few Q&A examples that occurred in the discussion section:
Marketing icon

Q: How can thermodynamics be applied to marketing, such as, for example, using affinity reaction diagrams:

affinity reaction (diagram)
if B were a given consumer, attached to a certain product A, who by the force of chemical affinity (or "will" as Henry Adams defines it) chooses to leave brand A and move to the use or attachment of brand C, be explained in terms of human thermodynamics?

A: Thims referred the student to the Goethe-Helmholtz equation (affinity-free energy equation):

 A = - \Delta G \,

which relates chemical affinity or the "will" or conscious choice of the person to the change in the Gibbs free energy in the system; and also directed him to the well-presented TED talk of English physicist and marketer Dan Cobley.
Retinal molecule (brain) (f)

Q: How does human thermodynamics apply to the mind?

A: Thims explained how that was a large subject, the psychological thermodynamics of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, well-representative of this topic, being one classical approach; but explained that the best modern way to think about conscious choice is in terms of 1910 "chemical affinity = will" definition by Henry Adams:

“If thought is capable of being classified with electricity, or will with chemical affinity, as a mode of motion, it seems necessary to fall at once under the second law of thermodynamics. Of all possible theories, this is likely to prove the most fatal to professors of history.”

in coordination with the 1796 definition of chemical affinity by Johann Goethe as being derived from external forces or "external in origin":

“There are, by nature, stronger or weaker bonds between these components, and when they evidence themselves, they resemble attractions between human beings. This is why chemists speak of elective affinities [or human elective affinity], even though the forces that move mineral components [or human molecules] one way or another and create mineral structures are often purely external in origin, which by no means implies that we deny them the delicate portion of nature’s vital inspiration that is their due.”

according to which logic Thims explained on the induced movement model or exchange force model of the motion of the 3-element retinal molecule gives the best intuitive conceptual model of how the mind works, in the sense that the photon, the carrier of field particle of the electromagnetic force, is "external in origin" to the brain or 11-12 carbon-carbon bond of the retinal molecule, and hence the impact of the photon (light of the correct wavelength) into the structure of the 11-12 bond is what brings about the movement (straightening) of the retinal molecule, and in a very anthropomorphic way the "choice" of the retinal molecule's actions.

Students were a bit puzzled by this; but to explain via way of example, Thims suggested that it is very likely that many of the students in the room, prior to making the "choice" to become an engineer, when they were children, likely "saw" (visual image transmitted by the electromagnetic force) an engineer personally or on TV or film and that this "image" implanted into their memory as a desire, or something along these lines, and hence influenced their educational and career path.
Econophysics (2012)

Pitesti logo

Q: One student noted how he was unaware that there was overlap between "engineering" (or thermodynamics) and his other passion of "sociology and economics"?

A: Thims explained that this indeed was a large field and that the best direction to go in this matter was to key word search in Hmolpedia for topics of interest and then dig into the respect works of each author to do further research; and to also see: sociological thermodynamics and economic thermodynamics as starting points.

Other questions were raised as well. The following, to update this question, is Thims' upcoming 2013 lecture at the University of Pitiesti, and their 5th annual econophysics and sociophysics conference:

● Thims, Libb. (2013). “Econoengineering and Economic Behavior: Particle, Atom, Molecule, or Agent Models?” (abs) (main), Keyspeaker at EDEN V workshop: Exploratory Domains of Econophysics News (organizer: Gheorghe Savoiu). University of Pitesti, Romania, Jun 29-30.


1. Taqavi, Sehed M. (2004). The Flourishing of Islamic Reformism in Iran: Political Islamic Groups in Iran (1941-61) (section: Mehdi Bazargan, pgs. 62-; section: Scientific Approach to Religions (thermodynamics), pgs. 82-96; W=U-TS, pg. 88). Routledge.
2. Larson, Edward J. and Witham, Larry. (1998). “Leading Scientists Still Reject God”, Nature, 394:313, Jul 23.
3. (a) Leuba, James H. (1916). The Belief in God and Immortality: A Psycholgical, Anthropolgical and Statistical Study. Sherman, French & Co.
(b) Leuba, James H. (1933). “Religious Beliefs of American Scientists,” Harper’s Magazine, 169, 291-300.
(c) James H. Leuba – Wikipedia.

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