The ancients often though of the objects in our world being composed of a combination of air, earth, fire, water, and the void/ether - the Four Elements Theory. Chinese thinkers theorized about the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water. The Greek Epircureans were materialists who thought objects were composed of atoms. Some speculated about Eight Elements. In the 21st century, we talk about 118 Elements.
the end, it's probably impossible to tease out whether the heads or
tails of science, the theory or the experiment, has done more to push
science ahead." (DS, p36).
"It is theory that decides what we can observe."
- Albert Einstein
"Consider what effects, that
might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our
conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole
of our conception of the object."
- Charles Sanders Pierce
Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the
History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
By Sam Kean. Little, Brown and Company, 2010. 400 pages. ISBN:
978-0316051644. VSCL. Subjects: Chemistry, Periodic Table, Science,
Elements. This book is an interesting, informative, and well written book I read a few years ago.
The modern sciences of physics and chemistry have discovered or
synthesized 118 Elements. This fascinating subject can be studied
through the graphical model of the Periodic Table of Elements
first conceived in 1869 by the Russian chemist, Dmitri Medneleev. Read
the "Disappearing Spoon" for the fascinating story of the Table of the