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Reconstructing Wonder

Chemistry Informing a Natural Theology


Timothy Weatherstone

The book uses scientific discipline of chemistry to inform a Natural Theology. While Natural Theology typically employs scientific analysis from Cosmology, Physics, Mathematics and at times Biology the author extends the subject. He refers to the perception of beauty to provide a conceptual framework linking aspects of Epistemology, Theology and Chemistry. The volume presents a working definition of Natural Theology and a new definition of Beauty that bridges the conceptual gaps between the humanities and the hard sciences.

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Appendix A: Some Notes on Chemical Structures

Several diagrams of chemical structures appear in this book. This short appendix is intended to give the reader an insight into what is being signified in these diagrams.

Appendix B: A Brief Introduction to Redox Reactions

Anecdotally it might be expected that in a chemical reaction between several input compounds, several outputs or products might result: the reaction starts with a stable set of compounds, runs to completion and yields another stable set of products. Frequently however this is not the case. Certain sorts of so-called Redox reactions, the name being a conflation of the words oxidation and reduction, consume quantities of inputs and then depending on various factors, may or may not run to completion. At a certain point both input compounds and product may co-exist: the reaction can be run forwards and backwards by altering the reaction conditions such as temperature, concentration of reactants and gaseous pressure.

This might be thought a distinct disadvantage however it transpires that redox reactions play a pivotal rȏle in many life processes. One of these for example is ← 180 | 181 → mammalian respiration. The process by which oxygen is used for respiration is tuneable through the acidity – known in chemistry as the pH – of the blood. The reader may wish to reflect on the behaviour of their own bodies when once they have engaged in exercise: the additional carbon-dioxide in the blood causes the blood...

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