People are not molecules

Poll: Are you a giant molecule? (2008)
The 2001 to 2008 poll results [N=310] of English physicist James Eadon, indicating that 43 percent of people do not believe that people are not molecules or “giant molecules” as Eadon terms things. [8]
In hmolscience, people are not molecules, “humans are not molecules” or “humans ≠ molecules”, as contrasted with "people are molecules" (or people are chemicals), is unbridgeable gap, two cultures or two nature (vs one nature), anti-reductionist, and or anti-materialism statement, point of view, generally of the emergentism philosophy variety, holding that humans, in some way, are not structure of two or more atoms or structure of atoms—according to the original 1649 definition of the term “molecule” by French thinker Pierre Gassendi.

Social engineering
See also: human molecular engineering
Interestingly, the “humans ≠ molecules” position would seem to have detrimental consequences to the engineering professions, in respect to social engineering and or fields such as civil engineering, crowd dynamics, etc., where in poor engineering design can lead to disaster. In 1968, to exemplify, American engineer John Morley English (1915-1993), in his Cost-Effectiveness: the Economic Evaluation of Engineering Systems, which was produced from notes prepared for a one week short course offered in April 1967 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Division of University Extension of the University of California, stated the following, in a discussion about people flow in the design of Grand Central Station: [7]

“This is a plausible-sounding criterion until we stop to remember that people are not molecules of a fluid. Introspection tells us that it does make a difference, not only how many people are put through the road network, but how fast they movethrough the network.”

Ironically, only a few years after this statement by English, the fluid mechanics or gas system model of crowd dynamics was introduced in 1971 by Australian mechanical engineer Roy Henderson. The humans equals molecules of a fluid model is now a commonly used approach in 21st century crowd flow design.

Objection | Religious
While some advocates of this “humans ≠ molecules” position, such as Steve Fuller (2004) or Bruce Bathurst (2009), openly object on religious grounds, e.g. arguing that humans have a soul whereas molecules don’t, etc., the reasonings of others, as Tom Siegfried (2006), are more difficult to pin down. [1]

Unlike molecules
In 1987, Daniel Dennett, in his “The Three Kinds of Intentional Psychology”, stated the following: [9]

“The success of valence theory in chemistry is no coincidence, and people were entirely right to expect that deep microphysical similarities would be discovered between elements with the same valence and that the structural similarities found would explain the dispositional similarities. But since people and animals are unlike atoms and molecules not only in being the products of their individual learning histories, there is no reason to suppose that individual (human) believers that p — like individual (carbon) atoms with valence four—regulate their dispositions with exactly the same machinery.”

(add discussion)

Quotes
The following are other representative quotes of the “humans ≠ molecules” position:

“Production functions are in reality imposed by the laws of humanity and not of physics. People are not molecules, behaving in-a constant, consistent, mechanical fashion, always the same, universally yielding an identical response to a given set of stimuli. People are a composite of likes, dislikes, emotions, urges, morals, and much more. They need motivating to give of their best. Their best varies from day to day, from place to place to place, from factory to factory. No two human inputs are identical.”
— C.J. Hawkins (1977), “Contents of Income” [5]

People are not molecules, much as the social scientists (an oxymoron, surely) would like them to be. Nevertheless the outline of a radically new way of interpreting human history and behavior is emerging from the effort.”
— Thomas Martin (1997), True Whigs and Honest Tories [6]

Love flares and dims. Relationships start and end. Love is or isn’t. Love is a person, a separate entity with its own body, metabolism, and dreams. Love is two human molecules bound to make a third. Just like molecules, people need an outside force to restore the initial, ‘pre-love’ conditions. Are you a stable molecule, Ginnie? ‘I know I'm not lately.’ ZeeBrain, people are not molecules! Love changes us forever. Once in love, we can never be restored back to ‘pre-love conditions’ even after our love is gone.”
Lev Shneider (2005), Matryoshka [2]

People are not molecules with deterministic microdynamics. Nevertheless, the phase transitions must take into account running trends and motivations in order to get a realistic estimate of the probabilities.”
— Klaus Mainzer (2005), Symmetry and Complexity [3]

“People do not all behave alike. Some players prefer to cooperate while others choose to defect, and some show a stronger desire than others to inflict punishment. A [theory] of nature must accommodate a mixture of individually different behavioral tendencies. The human race plays a mixed strategy in the game of life. People are not molecules, all alike and behaving differently only because of random interactions.”
Tom Siegfried (2006), “Freud’s Dream” [4]

Humans are not molecules, they are complex objects composed of many molecules.”
Marcin Borkowski (2010), ChemistryForums.com post (Ѻ); amid discussion with Thims on human chemistry

Humans are not molecules. We are made of molecules, but we are made of billions of them. We're not just one.”
Dooker Bewitt (2015), YouTube thread post (Ѻ); amid discussion with Thims on the Robertson’s sin problem

“A human is NOT a molecule.”
— Nathan Frey (2016), YouTube comment (Ѻ) to HumanChemistry101’s 2010 “What is Its Nature?” video, Dec 27

References
1. (a) Fuller, Steve. (2004). "I am Not a Molecule", New Scientist, Issue 2502, June 4th.
(b) Bathurst, Bruce. (2009). “Why I’m Not a Molecule”, Hmolpedia threads, Aug 24.
(c) Siegfried, Tom. (2006). A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature (pgs. 107-108). National Academies Press.
2. Shneider, Lev. (2005). Matryoshka (pgs. 75-76). Lulu.com.
3. Mainzer, Klaus. (2005). Symmetry and Complexity: the Spirit and Beauty of Nonlinear Science (pg. 251). World Scientific.
4. Siegfried, Tom. (2006). A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature (pgs. 107-108). National Academies Press.
5. Hawkins, C.J. (1977). “Contents of Income”, in: The Economics of Co-Determination (editor: David F. Heathfield) (pg. 36). Macmillan.
6. Martin, Thomas S. (1997). True Whigs and Honest Tories: the Arc of the Empire (pg. 8). International Scholars Publications.
7. English, John M. (1968). Cost-Effectiveness: the Economic Evaluation of Engineered Systems (pg. 230). Wiley.
8. (a) Running Poll: "Are You A Giant Molecule?" (2001-2009+) – Eadon.com.
(b) Thims, Libb. (2008). The Human Molecule (pg. 69). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
9.Dennett, Daniel C. (1987). The Intentional Stance (pg. 60). MIT Press.

TDics icon ns

More pages