The Disappearing Spoon Chapter 1 Summary

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In The Disappearing Spoon, Sam Kean explains chemistry broadly yet detailed through interesting and thrilling stories. He talks about the elements on the periodic table and how the table came into existence and why it is arranged the way it is. He also looks deeply into the history and concepts of some interesting elements. In chapter 15 called “An Element of Madness,” he goes into an explanation about selenium, manganese, palladium, barium, and unununium. Pathological science is considered madness because of how the theory or conception can not be really proven wrong, but at the same time it is delusional. The chapter is named the way it is because the elements that are discussed in chapter 15 have a history leading into pathological science.
When William Crookes was young, he studied the element selenium. Selenium is usually found in animals, but sometimes are found in humans’ bloodstream if they are affected with AIDs. Selenium is very toxic in large doses. One of the people aware of the danger of selenium are ranchers. They have to pay close attention to their cattles
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Through this process, they collected fish and other creatures, many spherical rocks, and hunks of mineralized ice cream cones. The hunks were mostly consisted of manganese. When they cracked open the cone, they discovered that manganese formed around a giant shark teeth. By 1960s, the discovery of manganese created the theory that megalodons are still alive. Megalodons were said to be extinct. This theory was strongly believed in though there haven’t been any proof. This is another example of pathological science. One of the reasons this is so strongly believed in is because the same kind of situation had risen. Coelacanth were thought to be extinct until one turned up in the market in South Africa in 1938. For people who believe strongly in pathological science only need a hope to strongly believe in

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