I hope this doesn’t sound like too much pseudo, psychobabbly, philosophical claptrap. But…it’s been said before, we are stardust. The matter from which we are composed was forged in ancient stars that exploded and spread their atoms across the galaxy, later to seed life on Earth billions of years ago. The bottom line: we are stuff. But, smart stuff, stuff that is self aware. There is no escaping it, through us, the universe is self-aware. That awareness is not infinite, we do not (yet) fully understand the very stuff from which everything is made, the atoms, the energy, the dark matter…

By contrast, if you believe in a creator, a god, then the stuff from which you are made, is from that god, the god made the iniverse, and the stars within it that made the atoms from which your body is composed, the god made them from itself, there was presumably no other raw material in the beginning. Even if you imagine the creation took place in less than a week, either way, that stuff in you which in some religions includes a soul or spirit, is all just a little slice of that god as well.

Ignoring the rather remote possibility of an afterlife, given the laws of thermodynamics and chaos theory, then either way we are simply self-aware stuff, whether that stuff is the universe or a god, makes no difference. The universe is essentially our creator, whether that includes a god or not, it doesn’t matter (Afterlife option aside).

Get over it.

Lemmium (Lm)

UPDATE: I expanded on the whimsy that would lemmium, bowium, rickmanium and woganium in my Materials Today column.

Regardless of petitions and campaigns, it’s unlikely that IUPAC/IUPAP will accept lemmium (Lm) as the new name for one of those recently discovered heavy metals because of basic naming constraints and because names usually go with institute or discoverer or some scientific hero rather than the late bass player from an awesome heavy metal band. Of course, heavy metal is akin to hard rock, so perhaps a mineral named after Lemmy (singer, bassist with Motorhead) would do? Lemmite! Stone dead forever, or overkill?

(Thanks to John Coupland and Joanne Manaster for discussion)

Liverpool professor backs campaign to name new heavy metal element after Motorhead frontman Lemmy (Beg to differ that Lemmy invented heavy metal, awesome as he was, that honour (claims on MC5 aside) goes to Black Sabbath, surely?