Before modern chemistry and medicine, people believed that elixirs could keep a person young forever and that stones could turn any metal to gold.
These ancient beliefs and practices — what many now call magic — were actually the stepping stones to the science of today. This week, the Saturday Morning Science series at The University of Toledo will offer the opportunity to learn more about this topic.There will be a presentation titled “How Did Ancient Mysticisms Guide the Development of Modern Science?” at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, in Wolfe Hall Room 1205 on UT’s Main Campus.
The discussion will be led by Dr. Jeffe Boats, chair of the Department of Math, Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy.
Boats will present a historical view of alchemy — an old practice of science and philosophy concerned with transmuting base metals into gold — as it relates to magic, chemistry and general scientific thought. After the origins of alchemy are explored, he will describe its influences on modern science and fantasy fiction.
“It isn’t surprising that people of the past attributed magical powers to that which is actually science,” said Dr. Joseph Schmidt, UT associate professor of chemistry and the host of this event. “In fact, a lot of recent developments in the scientific world still seem pretty magical to me. Imagine what people 50 years ago would think of life as we know it in the 21st century.”
The presentation will begin with refreshments, and parking is available in lot 13 and the West Parking Ramp.
Saturday Morning Science is a free, public series presented by the UT College of Natural Science and Mathematics.
For more information, “like” Saturday Morning Science-University of Toledo on Facebook or search #SaturdayMorningScience on Twitter.