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Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders

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Presentation on theme: "Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders"— Presentation transcript:

1 Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders

2 The ancient study of alchemy is concerned with making the Sorcerers Stone, a legendary substance with astonishing powers. The Stone will transform any metal into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal. There have been many reports of the Sorcerers Stone over the centuries, but the only Stone currently in existence belongs to Mr. Nicolas Flamel, the noted alchemist and opera lover. Mr. Flamel, who celebrated his 665 birthday last year, enjoys a quiet life on Devon with his wife, Perenelle (658). From: Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone – J.K. Rowling

3 1330 – Paris, March 22, 1418 succeeded at the two goals of alchemy: that he made the Philosopher's Stone, which turns base metals into gold, and that he and his wife Perenelle achieved immortality through the "Elixir of Life". Flamel had achieved legendary status within the circles of alchemy by the mid 17th Century Others think untrue – all made up

4 word alchemy itself was derived from the Arabic word الكيمياء al-kimia Alchemy is the art of liberating parts of the Cosmos from temporal existence and achieving perfection As above, so below. the body, souls and spirit correspond to salt, sulphur, and mercury

5 creation of the philosopher's stone possessing powers turning base metals into the noble metals gold or silver an elixir of life conferring youth and longevity (creation of a panacea) a universal cure for disease, a universal solvent alkahest "The alchemist", by Sir William Fettes Douglas, 1853

6 Egyptian origins predate common era Egyptian alchemist, 172 BCE Memphis in Egypt??? author of the Hermetic Corpus, a series of sacred texts that are the basis of Hermeticism combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth Egyptian god of wisdom as a patron of astrology and alchemy During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, known as Hermetica, were popular among alchemists. The "hermetic tradition refers to alchemy, magic, astrology and related subjects. - with practical magic, potions and alchemy

7 Also called The Secret of Hermes – by Hermes Trismegistus ("Hermes the Thrice-Greatest") 172 BCE A text purporting to reveal the secret of the primordial substance and its transmutations Translations - Arabic, the Latin, and Isaac Newton Short – lines Also attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan Tablet became a mainstay of medieval and Renaissance alchemy - greatest primary document of alchemy

8 Hermes Trismegistus - Egyptian alchemist - author of the Hermetic Corpus, a series of sacred texts that are the basis of Hermeticism The four classical elements of earth, water, air, and fire are used often in alchemy As above, so below - levels of reality: physical, emotional, and mental, this relates that what happens on any level happens on every other Still exists as cult believe

9 296 AD Diocletian decreed destruction of Egyptian texts on alchemy Roman Emperor from 284 to 305 Arabic / Persian take the lead in alchemy / science Greeks & Islamics as basis of alchemy's more scientific principles

10 Known as Geber - Born 721 in Tus, Persia; died 815 in Kufa, Iraq a chemist and alchemist, astronomer and astrologer, engineer, geographer, philosopher, physicist, and pharmacist and physician. first practical alchemist – to science based Less mystical - More lab based Expands mystical elements into fire, earth, water, and air credited with the use of over twenty types of now-basic chemical laboratory equipment ultimate goal of takwin the artificial creation of life Arabic version of the Emerald Tablet, an ancient work that proved a recurring foundation of and source for alchemical operations

11 mercury-sulfur theory, metals differ from each in so far as they contain different proportions of the sulfur and mercury The seeds of the modern classification of elements into metals and non-metals could be seen in his chemical nomenclature. He proposed three categories: "Spirits" which vaporise on heating, like arsenic (realgar, orpiment), camphor, mercury, sulfur, sal ammoniac, and ammonium chloride. "Metals", like gold, silver, lead, tin, copper, iron, and khar-sini Non-malleable substances, that can be converted into powders, such as stones.

12 The first chemist ?? clear recognition of the importance of experimentation, "The first essential in chemistry is that thou shouldest perform practical work and conduct experiments, for he who performs not practical work nor makes experiments will never attain to the least degree of mastery.

13 Persian (August 26, 865 – 925) physician, alchemist and chemist, philosopher, and scholar As an alchemist, Razi was known for his study of sulfuric acid First physician to distinguish smallpox and measles pioneered use of Humorism (The Four Humors, or Temperaments) as diagnostic method, the categorization of health via the ratios of the four bodily fluids

14 Franciscan monk from what is present-day Spain ( June 29, 1315) active botanist and alchemist first to discover the chemical group later called ether

15 German-Swiss Dec. 17, 1493 – Sept. 24, 1541 Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist All things are poison and nothing (is) without poison; only the dose makes that a thing is no poison. The dose makes the poison See Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus pt. 1 - Primary source; translation of Paracelsus' alchemical writings Many have said of Alchemy, that it is for the making of gold and silver. For me such is not the aim, but to consider only what virtue and power may lie in medicines.

16 universal solvent (alkahest) Paracelsus recipe: caustic lime, alcohol, carbonate of potash (believed alkahest was the Philosophers Stone) Azoth (universal medicine; essential transformative agent of alchemy [in short, divine essence]) Paracelsus claimed discovery; portraits show him carrying sword inscribed azoth

17 (1628–1665), born in Bermuda, moved from New England to London England 1650 was an American alchemist, medical practitioner, the Philosopher by Fire. Robert Boyles chemistry tutor Influenced Isaac Newton Pursued the secrets of alchemy, production of pharmaceuticals and the transmutation of metallic substances. Starkeys sophic mercury was an amalgam of antimony, silver, and mercury, which could dissolve gold into a mixture that when heated, produced the mythical philosopher's stone, Iatrochemistry - physical health was dependent on a specific balance of bodily fluids

18 January 25, 1627 – December 31, 1691 – born in Ireland - natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, alchemist, inventor, theologist. Considered the first modern chemist but with roots in the alchemical tradition pioneer of modern experimental scientific method Boyle's law - describes the inversely proportional relationship between the absolute pressure and volume of a gas The Sceptical Chymist (1661) is seen as a cornerstone book in chemistry rejecting alchemical perception of the universe.

19 founded in late medieval Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz ( ) early 15th century 1407?? founder of the Rosicrucian Order (Order of the Rose Cross) hermetic and alchemical texts of those times Became Ancient and Mystical Order Rosea Crucis (AMORC)

20 November 25, 1883 – August 2, 1939, born in Frenchtown, NJ Rosicrucian author, occultist, and mystic Ancient and Mystical Order Rosea Crucis (AMORC) founder and first Imperator from 1915 until "transmutation" of zinc into gold a demonstration of classic alchemical principles, in New York City, on June 22, 1916 hosted by Lewis

21 Early scientists trying to understand matter and our relation to it Recognized importance of experimentation Developed apparatus use be chemists - distillation Jābir ibn Hayyān

22 Liquid metal Evaporates when heated Philosophical mercury (amalgam of mercury, gold, antimony), constituent element of Philosopher's Stone the metals: sulphur, 'the stone which burns', mercury, which contained the idealized principle of metallic properties

23 Alchemy – Toxipedia general information on alchemy Alchemy Alchemy - Wikipedia article on alchemy Alchemy History of Alchemy (overview, written by devotee of alchemy) History of Alchemy Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus pt. 1 (Primary source; translation of Paracelsus' alchemical writings) Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus pt. 1 Arabic alchemy & toxicology (history on the more science-focused works of 9th/10th century Arab alchemists) Arabic alchemy & toxicology The Twisted History of Alchemy (Economist article on split of chemistry from alchemy) The Twisted History of Alchemy History of alchemy in America by Mark Stavish (history of alchemy in America, focus on the modern state of alchemists) History of alchemy in America Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis – AMORC web site Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis The Alchemical Quest - Chemical Heritage Foundation – great interactive site The Alchemical Quest

24 Prepared by Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders – January 15, my my Poster and Presentation are available for free Research assistance from Jeff Williams


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