Category Archives: chemistry

The ninth pitch drop fell

What I’m about to describe is supposedly the world’s longest-running scientific experiment, and, although we already know the result, it gets demonstrated repeatedly: once every decade on average. In 1927, Professor Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland set up an experiment to demonstrate that some substances that appear to be solid, like pitch, are […]

Fred Sanger died

According to the BBC News, Fred Sanger (I never heard anyone call him “Frederick”) died yesterday at age 95. He was the only English person to ever win two Nobel Prizes. These were both in chemistry. One, given in 1958 (and to Sanger alone), was for determining the amino acid sequence of insulin from cows, […]

The world’s most politically correct salt

From Amazon: 1. FDA approved 2. Non-GMO 3. Organic 4. Halall (sic) 5. Kosher, and, best of all 6. NO CHEMICALS! And really—approved by the NIH? Since when do they approve salt? Some of the reviews are hilarious: Pure sodium chloride (a CHEMICAL) is white, and one reviewer suggests that the pink color comes from […]

Paul Davies, chemistry, and the origin of life

How the unique properties of life originated from inert matter is still one of the great unsolved problems of biology. Creationists, of course, claim that our failure to solve it means that God did it: as Ingersoll noted in yesterday’s quote, “Our ignorance is God; what we know is science.” And perhaps we’ll never know […]

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