RationalWiki's 2019 Fundraiser

There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.

If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2019.

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with PayPal Logo.png!

Donations so far: $3220Goal: $6000

Philosopher's stone

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Der Stein der Weisen (1786)
Style over substance
Pseudoscience
Icon pseudoscience.svg
Popular pseudosciences
Random examples

The elusive Philosopher's stone is believed to be the object of medieval alchemists' quest for the transmutation of base metals such as lead into gold. We now have the science and even the technology to achieve this sort of thing,[1] though it costs rather more to build and operate than the difference in price between lead and gold.

The phrase "Philosopher's stone" may also be used to refer to any general goal that is currently unattained but if achieved, would allow for major breakthroughs in science/energy-production/wealth-accumulation/etc.[2] It can also be a metaphor for enlightenment and reaching the pinnacle of human abilities.[3]

Interestingly enough, Asian Taoist philosophers spent a lot of effort seeking the elixir of life in a quest for immortality. Viewed from a great distance, the two are not dissimilar. Another close analogue would be the wish-fulfilling jewel Cintamani, featured in Hinduism and Buddhism.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]