However one regards it as a science and philosophy, Alchemy provided the beginnings of chemistry, and certainly helped to develop the apparati of chemistry. It is part of the history of science, which is the history of human interaction with nature, and humanity's attempts to harness the power of nature for very human needs and wants.
Alchemists acted on the idea that nature had secrets to give and that they could be revealed through laboratory examination and experimentation. While their knowledge was limited regarding the properties of nature, nonetheless, the work of the alchemists provided the basis of modern laboratory techniques, and they did indeed discover many of nature's secrets. Their dogged pursuit for the elixir of life is not so different from modern chemists and natural products researchers who are similarly searching for the one great find which will cure all ills. (The Lloyd Library)
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