Social test tube

Social test tube
An illustration of three social test tubes, containing human chemical species A, B, and C, which in theory could be mixed together, and reactions therein observed.
In hmolscience, social test tube refers to a "test tube" conceived on a macroscopic sociological level containing humans, viewed from a "reactive" human chemistry point of view.

The following are related quotes:

“Hence it is that we can have no precise laws in history as we have precise laws in physics, chemistry and mathematics; that history can never be a science in that highly rigid sense … the chemist, for example, can boast a superior apparatus for ascertaining the truth. In formulating the laws which govern an element, he can repeat his experiments thousands of times with all the factors precisely the same, or with endless variations of factors. The historian has no control of phenomena in the blowpipe (Ѻ) or test tube sense.”
— Allan Nevins (1938), The Gateway to History [1]

“The reasoning employed here is at least superficially similar to that underlying the principles of chemical kinetics. According to classical physical chemistry, in a bimolecular reaction the velocity is a function of the product of the concentrations of the two reactants: i.e., the number of active particles of each per unit space. The analogy is carried still further by the implicit assumption that, as molecules or ions are conceived by the kinetic theory to be in a constant state of vibratory motion, so the active units in a social test tube are likewise considered to be in continuous motion. Hence, the chemical reaction depends upon the probable number of collisions [see: collision theory] of particles, and, by analogy, the observed effect of the social reaction, here homicide, is a function of the collisions between personalities. The analogy, of course, breaks down in detail. In particular, with social kinetics the effect of collision is not equal and opposite but unilateral. The white man affects the Indian, but the Indian does not affect the white man. Since this is so, a simple product of populations is doubtless not an exact expression of the relationship. However, it is worth a trial as a purely empirical mode of expression and as a first approximation in a quantitative sense.”
Sherburne Cook (1943), The Conflict Between the California Indian and White Civilization, Part 3: The American Invasion, 1848-1970 [3]

“People are like particles, they behave in groups as if they were molecules in a test-tube.”
Forbes Allan (1999), Milton’s Progress [2]

“The issue here is that the Quran employs the so-called clay creation theory [see: clay creation myth] to explain human formation and animation. The modern physicochemical sciences, however, now employ free energy of formation [see: human free energy of formation] logic to explain human synthesis, in which there is no such thing as “spirit” involved. We all notice, e.g., how in your 1983 article “Physico-Chemical Processes and Human Behaviour Part—IV: Muslim Society, its Formation & Decline”, cited above, you attempt to grapple with the so-called “spirit issue”, via equation 12(a), but that in your finalized book, you leave this “conflicting” issue on the drawing room floor, mentioning spirit only in regards to how Newton, and the chemists of his day used to refer to gases as the “spirits” of reaction.
You may very well continue to retain, i.e. remain, in your apparent denial that there is not conflict, but you will lose face, i.e. lose my respect to a certain amount. Again, either we can be brothers in our belief in the exactness of the physicochemical methods as they apply to the test tube as well as to society, or we can be at odds? I should hope you side with reality, i.e. the methods of the physicochemical sciences, as Goethe did some 200-years ago [see: Goethe timeline]?”
Libb Thims (2014), Beg-Thims dialogue (comment #11), Jul 7

See also
Island model
Social retort
Social volume

1. (a) Nevins, Allan. (1938). The Gateway to History (blowpipe, pg. 46). Quadrangle Books, 1962.
(b) Allan Nevins – Wikipedia.
2. (a) Forbes, Allan. (1999). Milton's Progress 21). Rowanlea Grove Press.
(b) Thims, Libb. (2008). The Human Molecule (pg. i). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
3. Cook, Sherburne. (1943), The Conflict Between the California Indian and White Civilization, Part 3: The American Invasion, 1848-1970 (§3: Social Homicide, pgs. 9-13; quote, pgs. 11-12) (pdf). University of California Press.

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