Today is the 379th birthday of John Locke 17th century physician probably better known for his philosophical writings. The website that informed me of this anniversary also stated that Locke was an acquaintance of Robert Boyle. Now this acquaintanceship was actually a three way male friendship of which the third party was Isaac Newton. Now what was it that united these three men? What did they have in common? All three of them were devoted acolytes of the ancient discipline of alchemy.
Now I fairly often become embroiled in the Internet in disputes with professed rationalists or sceptics, who are almost never historians of science, who tell me that the so-called scientific revolution in the 17th century freed the study of nature from all forms of woo such as religion, astrology, magic and of course alchemy. One of the things that instantly springs to mind, my mind that is, is the trio of John Locke “the greatest philosopher in the Age of Reason” (according to the source that provoked this comment), Robert Boyle great contributor to the development of modern chemistry and possibly more important one of the founders of experimental philosophy and last but no means least Isaac Newton supposedly the founding father of modern mathematical physics the three alchemical pillars of modern science.