Sign in or
|Example of an early 20th-century style human molecule themed article, entitled "Human Molecules" (1910), by American philosopher Mary Mesny, in which she defines a person as an atom or molecule and outlines a simple human chemical bonding theory modeled on affinity bonding (valences) of atoms. |
See also: Human molecule (Wikipedia); Human molecule (banned)In human chemistry, the human molecule is the atomic definition of a person.  The following 26-element formula is the latest calculation (2007) of the molecular formula for a typical 70kg (154lb) person: 
where EN, e.g. E22, means exponent to the power of ten. A 22-element empirical formula for a human was first calculated in 2000 by American limnologists Robert Sterner and James Elser.  A molecule, according to the 1649 coining of the term by French thinker Pierre Gassendi, is structure of two or more connected atoms, and a person, according to functional mass composition data, is comprised of twenty-six types of elements (atoms); subsequently the term 'human molecule' is the scientific name for the chemical definition of one human. In this sense, from the perspective of chemical reactions between people, as captured in the motto "love the chemical reaction", such as in a couple forming reaction:
A + B → AB (combination reaction)
the reactants (A + B) and product (AB) in the human chemical reaction are technically "molecules" no different than any other molecule in the universe. The union of two molecules, AB, in this example, would be termed a dihumanide molecule, i.e. two human molecules chemically bonded. There do exist, to note, many characteristic differences between complex, multi-element human molecules, and other simpler molecules, such as H20, one prominent difference being that there exists a metabolic effect or atomic turnover rate in the body of the human molecules. Synonyms to the term 'human molecule' include: chemical species, human particles, human element, social atoms, human atomism, etc., depending on the framework of study. The human structure is no exemption.
|Functional elements (highlighted), from hydrogen (smallest) to iodine (largest), in the human molecule, according to 2002-2007 research of engineer Libb Thims, as shown (hyperlinked) on the hmolscience periodic table. |
Elements: 26 atoms in the human body
There are 92 types of atoms, naturally occurring, in the volumetric region of the earth. Each type of atom is characterized by the number of protons in its nucleus, the number being representative of the name of the element the atom is, a number which varies from one to one-hundred-and-eighteen. Hydrogen, symbol H, containing one proton, is the smallest type of atom. Helium, symbol He, containing two protons, is the next largest type of atom. A bound state structure of atoms is what is called a molecule. The human being is one such bound state structure. The number of elements said to be actively-functional in the composition of the human varies from 22 to 28 depending, on source.
Etymology | 1789
The English "human molecule" originated in the French version of the the term molécule humaine. The earliest documented use of the term ‘molécules humaines’, discovered thus far, is found in the 1789 edition of the multi-volume treatise Philosophy of Nature by French philosopher Jean Sales who uses the term 'human molecule', functionally, by stating: 
|In 1798, French polymath Jean Sales coined the term 'molécule humaine' or human molecule (English).|
“We conclude that [there exists] a principle of the human body [which] comes from the great [process] [in which] so many millions of atoms of the earth become many millions of human molecules.”
This French origin has to do with the fact that the term ‘molécule’ itself originated in France, supposedly first used in either the circa 1620 works of French philosopher Rene Descartes, who is said to have used the term to mean a small mass, or the 1649 work of French thinker Pierre Gassendi, who used the term molecule in the sense of the attachment of two or more atoms. The first English usage of the term ‘human molecule’ seems to come from the the 1855 English translation of French composer Hector Berloiz 1854 book Evenings with the Orchestra, in the original French version of which Berloiz used the term ‘molécule humaine’ referring to children in choir. Prior to (and after) this usage by Berloiz, however, there seems to exist a large, yet undocumented, usage of the term molécule humaine in French publications, e.g. Alphonse Esquiros (1840), Yves Guyot (1903), etc.
|1999 artistic rendition of the human particle (human atom or human atomism) view of people conceived as Daniel Bernoulli-style kinetic theory gas particles . |
The first use of the term human molecule, used in a semi-modern scientific sense, is the 1869 "psychology of the human molecule" usage by French historian Hippolyte Taine, a usage later adopted by those including: German physician Ernst Gryzanowski (1875), American historian Henry Adams (1885), and French education theorist Max Leclere (1894). The usage by Adams would carry through to influence others, such as American sociologist Robert Nisbet; Nisbet, for instance, employed the term 'social molecule', to refer to the attachment of two or more 'human particles', as he called them, affixed together by a 'social bond', a subject about which he wrote a book (1970).
Sciences: physics, chemistry, thermodynamics
The sciences that study the human molecule can be divided into three general groups: human physics, human chemistry, and human thermodynamics. Human physics tends to concern itself with the forces that act on human molecules, often times modeling the human molecule as a particle, i.e. a human atom, social atom, or human particle.
Human chemistry tends to concern the application of the principles of chemistry, particularly chemical bonding, collision theory, activation energy, molecular orbital theory, etc., to interactions of human molecules and the structures they form. Human thermodynamics tends to study boundaried sets or "systems" of interactive human molecules, which constitute thermodynamic systems, i.e. working bodies, according to the laws and principles of thermodynamics.
|Human molecular formula diagram from chapter "The Human Molecule" in Human Chemistry (2007) by Libb Thims.|
The earliest views of what the "human being" is include French philosopher Rene Decartes' 1637 animal machine hypothesis (see: human machine), the human motor view in the 18th century, German polymath Johann von Goethe's view (see: Goethe's human chemistry) of people as a type of reactive chemical species, and English chemist Humphry Davy's 1813 point atom view of man. 
To complicate matter, in 1869 Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev had famously arranged the total 66-known elements at the time into a periodic table, listed in order of atomic weights, in such a manner that their properties repeated in a series of periodic intervals.  Following this point in history, it was beginning to become apparent that the human being may be a type of molecule.
It soon became apparent that a human being may have a molecular formula in relation to these elements. The first to state this explicitly was American physician George Carey, who in his 1919 book Chemistry of Human Life, stated that "man's body is a chemical formula in operation." 
The first calculations for the empirical molecular formula for the human were made independently in 2000 by American limnologists Robert Sterner and James Elser (22-element formula), in 2002 by American chemical engineer Libb Thims (26-element formula), and in 2005 by New Scientist magazine (12-element formula).  In modern atomic detail, according to the most up-do-date mass composition estimates, the human being is a twenty-six element molecule, as shown pictured.
Which molecule has free will, is alive, is moral, has a brain?
(an animate molecule)
|(an animate molecule)|
|The "forced" input of a single photon (a force carrier) causes the three-element retinal molecule to "move" into a straightened position; when the light is no longer present, the retinal molecule reverts back to the bent position.||The "forced" input of a billions of photons (force carriers) causes the twenty-six-element human molecule to "move" into a straightened upright position; when the light is no longer present (e.g. nighttime), the human molecule reverts back to its bent position (e.g. curled in sleep).|
In discussions on the idea of the person as a "molecule" the topic of free will, i.e. the conception that a person exercises control over the choices made in life, often comes to the fore. Russian bioelectrochemist Octavian Ksenzhek tells us in 2007 that "people are the molecules of which an economy consists", but also clarifies, in the context of water molecules forming frost on glass, that: 
“Molecules have neither free will nor any will at all.”
Ksenzhek goes on to state that “all a molecule can do is repel elastically from other chaotically moving molecules and sometimes, very seldom, lose some of its degrees of freedom and freeze in a lager collective.” Certainly there is a difference between water molecules and human molecules, but, nevertheless, the concept of 'free will' becomes defunct, each is considered as a molecule, pure and simple. Many, however, will not admit to this. In 1952, English physicist C.G. Darwin argued that humans are molecules governed by the laws of thermodynamics, but also conjectured that 'human molecules' have free will owing to their 'unpredictability'.  This, of course, is incorrect. Nobody in the history of science has every found a molecule in possession of a free will. 
To clarify, in modern human chemistry and human thermodynamics, a human being is defined as a molecule, i.e. a "human molecule", and systems of humans are defined as thermodynamics systems, governed by the laws of chemistry and physics. In this view, the conception of a molecule, human or otherwise, with a free will, becomes an absurdity. The modern view, conversely, shows the concept of free will to be a defunct scientific theory, replaced by more updated views, such as induced movement, or more generally the view of human chemical reactions governed by the spontaneity criterion, activation energy, collision theory, free energy coupling between human chemical bonds, among other basic concepts of chemistry applied to human movements.
|Humorous depiction of a human-like 'walking molecule' from the 2009 NY Times article "Experiments Show That Molecules Can Walk" by Henry Fountain. |
See main: walking molecule, molecular carrier, molecular spider, and molecular car
It is often a neglected fact that humans are molecules that walk, run, and sometimes fly, on or above a 'surface', which from a chemical-definitions sense can be defined as either substrate or catalyst, depending on the context of discussion, which varies depending on subject mode: surface chemistry, surface physics, or surface thermodynamics. In this perspective, an intuitive way to better come to understand human behavior (movement and reactions) is to use the conception or reality that humans are 'walking molecules' on a surface and, using this perspective, study the behaviors and operation of smaller nano-size 'walking molecules'. The first operational walking molecules were developed in 2005 by German-born American physical chemist Ludwig Bartels at the University of California Riverside designed a molecule, called 9,10-dithioanthracene (DTA), that can walk in a straight line on a flat surface, like a little person.
Recent years have seen spin-off varieties, such as: molecular cars (2005), molecular carriers (2007), and DNA-based, four-legged molecular spiders (2010), as well as among others. One interesting recent design (2009) a 21-atom, 2-legged, track-affixed walker, that moves down the track, step-by-step, when its environment oscillates between basic and acidic.  Here we can extrapolate to understand how humans move differently depending on how their environment oscillates, factors including: temperature and pressure, as well as more abstract oscillations, such as terrorism, war, or famine, etc. Findings of these various walkers include the fact that more fuel (or energy) is needed when walkers carry a load, that most molecular walkers need some help, in the form of chemicals to keep them going, and that they tend to wander.
|A two-legged 21-atom walking molecule (red) on a track, on which it walks when its environment oscillates between basic to acidic. |
When confronted with the question of what is the difference between a walking 'human molecule' (person) and a nanosized 'walking molecule' (such as DTA), the person new to this mode of logic (even hardened non-religious scientists) will bring up antiquated objections, such as: a human is different because he or she has a brain, has consciousness, has free will, can choose there actions, is alive, among others nonsensical objections. The religious-type person will quickly bring up the 7,000-year-old theory that 'a human being as a soul' (or spirit), which is beyond the definitions of science of atoms. These few examples highlight the precipice of the revolution in human thinking that must take place, in the years to follow, in order to bring universal acceptance to the logic that humans are molecules that chemically react together on a surface driven by solar heat, a view which defines the science of human chemistry.
|French composer Hector Berlioz used the term “human molecule” in 1854, albeit, it seems, rather metaphorically.||French philosopher Hippolyte Taine , independently used the 'human molecule', in a scientific sense, in 1869, which he considered the central subject of study for both the psychologist and the historian.|
On the heels of the earlier 1798 usage of the 'human molecule' conception by French philosopher Jean Sales, in 1854 French composer Hector Berlioz used the term “molécules humaines”, which was translated the following year (in English) as ‘human molecules’, albeit in a rather poetic or artistic way. Berloiz used the term rather superficially, referred to filling up of the boys and girls in the multi-leveled amphitheater of St. Paul’s Cathedral as being similar to the phenomenon of crystallization, a phenomenon which he had viewed microscopically previously. He states: 
“The points of this crystal of human molecules, constantly directed from the circumference towards the center, was bi-colored—the dark blue of the little boys’ coats on the upper stages, and the white of the little girls’ frocks and caps occupying the lower ranks. Besides this, as the boys wore either a polished brass badge or silver medal, their movements caused the light reflected by these metal ornaments to flash and produce the effect of a thousand sparks kindling and dying out every minute upon the somber background of the picture.”
In other words, Berloiz seems to view movement of the choir as a larger shimmering crystal of human molecules.
|Timeline video themed on the human molecule, themed on the 2008 song “Human” by The Killers (March 2009).|
French historian Hippolyte Taine, independent and contrary to prior metaphorical use of the term human molecules by Berloiz, was the first to use the term in a scientific sense and to build argument on this concept, and to have others adopt his usage. In 1869, in the preface to the book On Intelligence, Taine stated ‘it is now admitted that the laws which rule formation, nutrition, locomotion, for bird or reptile, are but one example and application of more general laws which rule the formation, nutrition, locomotion, of every animal.’ He continues ‘in the same way we begin to admit that the laws which rule the development of religious conceptions, literary creations, scientific discoveries, in a nation, are only an application and example of laws that rule this same development at every moment and with all men.’ In other terms, Taine states, ‘the historian studies psychology in its application, and the psychologist studies history in its general forms.’ On this logic, Taine reasons: 
"He first notes and follows the general transformations presented by a certain human molecule, or a certain peculiar group of human molecules; and, to explain these transformations, he writes the psychology of the molecule or its group."
In sum to the preface of his book, he states that ‘for the last fifteen years I have contributed to these special psychologies’. Moreover, ‘I now attempt a general psychology.’ He notes, however, that ‘to embrace this subject completely, this theory of the Intelligence (faculty of knowing) needs a theory of the will added to it.
Taine's human molecular philosophy had a significant influence on American historian Henry Adams, who became acquainted with Taine's philosophy as early as 1873. Adams' associate German physician Ernst Gryzanowski also seems to have adopted Taine's human molecule conception, using it in his 1875 article "Comtism", discussed below.
|Leon Walras||Vilfredo Pareto|
|In circa 1872, in efforts to make a science out of economics, French economist Léon Walras began to develop a theory of economic equilibrium in which he consider people to be "economic molecules"; students of this school of thought include French-Italian mathematical engineer Vilfredo Pareto and Polish sociologist Léon Winiarski who each developed human molecular theories of their own, the latter using Rudolf Clausius as a basis.|
1870-1903: Laussane school - Walras|Pareto|Winiarski
In 1870, French economist Léon Walras became professor of political economics (and later chair) at the University of Lausanne and together with his protégé French-Italian mathematical engineer Vilfredo Pareto and their followers, most notably Polish economist Leon Winiarski, this school of thought came to be known as the ‘Lausanne school’.  Walras considered people to be people as "economic molecules" and aimed to formulate a economic equilibrium theory based on mathematics and science.
On this logic, in the years to follow, Pareto began to define a person explicitly as a ‘human molecule’ and to further outline a sociological theory based on human molecular interactions. In his in his 1896 Course on Political Economics, Pareto specifically defines a social system as follows:
“Society is a system of human molecules in a complex mutual relationship.”
In the context of the economic satisfaction, Pareto posits that human molecule only acts in response to the force of ophelimity:
"First we separate the study of ophelimity (economic satisfaction) from the diverse forms of utility, then we direct our attention to man himself; stripping him of a large number of his attributes, leaving out the passions, good or bad, reducing him to a kind of molecule that only acts in response to the forces of ophelimity."
|2006 photo by American photographer Pierre Rousseau entitled “The Constant Flow of Human Molecules”, with the subtitle: “in blind service to Kant's Categorical Imperative. The newest psycho-babble craze is to get happy by preservation of "good" behaviors in acceptance of and slavery to the machine.” |
This was outlined further in his 1916 Treatise on General Sociology, wherein his goal, as it has been argued, was to construct a system of sociology analogous in its essential features to the generalized chemical thermodynamics system as outlined in American mathematical physicist Willard Gibbs’ 1876 On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substance. A residual protege of this school of logic was Polish sociologist Léon Winiarski who formulated the subject of "social mechanics", a course taught at the University of Geneva (1894-1900), based on the dynamics of Italian mathematician Joseph Lagrange and the thermodynamics of German physicist Rudolf Clausius. To cite an excerpt of Winiarski's 1898 book Essay on Social Mechanics: 
“It is axiomatic to say that the fundamental forces soliciting the individual in society are egoism and altruism. If we consider the individual as a molecule of the social aggregate, these two forces can be regarded as playing the same role that attraction and repulsion play in any material system of the universe.”
In another instance, Winiarski states:
“The society is therefore considered as an aggregate of individual molecules, each depending on the forces of desire, which together through their interaction tend the society towards maximum satisfaction.”
Winiarski was the leading thinker of the Lausanne school, particularly for his use of thermodynamic formulation.
|American economist Henry Carey, described as the 'Newton of social science' for his use of physics and chemistry in explaining the social phenomenon of reactions between people, the 'molecules of society'.|
1874: Henry Carey
In 1874, by American economist Henry Carey outlined the subject of 'social science' as such: 
“Man, the molecule of society, is the subject of social science.”
Here, Carey alludes to the concept of the person as human molecule and in his volumes of work in sociology he eventually gained the label as being referred to has the ‘Newton of social science’ for his law of social gravitation, drawing extended commentary on the physics and chemistry of human molecules, from those as Austrian social economist Werner Stark. In introducing the topic of social heat between reactive human molecules in society, according to 1962 commentary by Stark, Carey states: 
“In the inorganic world, every act of combination is an act of motion. So it is in the social one. If it is true that there is but one system of laws for the government of all matter, then those which govern the movements of the various inorganic bodies should be the same with those by which is regulated the motion of society; and that such is the case can readily be shown.”
The terms 'organic world' (carbon-based) verses 'inorganic world' (non-carbon based), to note are a antiquated synonyms for the life (animate) verse non-life (inanimate) dichotomy; a play on the theory that living things are made of carbon. Next, in what seems to be a citation of Berthelot-Thomsen principle, that the heat of a reaction was the true measure of affinity, Carey states: “to motion there must be heat, and the greater the latter, the more rapid will be the former.” This quotation, according to Stark, means that:
“In the physical universe, heat is engendered by friction. Consequently the case must be the same in the social world. The ‘particles’ must rub together here, as they do there. The rubbing of the human molecules, which produces warmth, light and forward movement, is the interchange of goods, services, and ideas.”
All-in-all, this is a very cogent and modern presentation of explaining chemical affinity, reactions, between human molecules, heat, and work, in the context of the economics and sociology of the exchange of goods and services; albeit without he modern conceptions of entropy, activation energy, free energy coupling, etc.
In his 1875 article "Comtism", German physician Ernst Gryzanowski argues: 
“Civil law, commerce, political economy, and international ethics are all based on the assumption that the social body consists of such human molecules, and there is no reason why the methods of physical science should not be applied to the statics and dynamics of that society, the passions and rights of the individual man corresponding exactly to the chemical and physical forces inherent in the material molecule.”
This quote captures Gryzannnowski's opinion of how the social physics of French sociologist Auguste Comte would ferret out in a modern sense. Gryzanowski seems to have adopted the Taine's 1869 'human molecule philosophy', likely by coming across it through his association with the North American Review (wherein an article on Taine's human molecule philosophy was published two years prior) and through discussion with his friend Henry Adams, who also had adopted Taine's philosophy as his own.
|American historian Henry Adams adopted Taine's 1869 'human molecular' philosophy; defining human chemistry as the study of the 'mutual attraction of equivalent human molecules' (1885) and also wrote two books using the human molecule perspective: one on Willard Gibbs' phase rule applied to the phases of humanity (1909) and another on the application of William Thomson's degradation version of the second law applied to collective sets of evolving human molecules, viewed historically (1910).|
1885: Adams' human molecules
As early as 1873, American historian Henry Adams had come across Taine's 1869 'human molecule philosophy', when as the editor of The North American Review he accepted the article “Taine’s Philosophy”, by James Bixby, for publication, wherein Taine’s philosophy of history is presented as applied psychology of human molecules. American biographer Ernest Samuels argues that Adams was significantly influenced by Taine’s suggestion that the object of the historian is to study and follow the transformations of human molecules and to write history as the psychology of human molecules and that Adams later adopted this view as his own.  To exemplify the influence of Taine on Adams, on 12 April 1885, while at extended stay at work in Washington, Adams wrote to his wife: 
“I am not prepared to deny or assert any proposition which concerns myself; but certainly this solitary struggle with platitudinous atoms, called men and women by courtesy, leads me to wish for my wife again. How did I ever hit on the only women in the world who fits my cravings and never sounds hollow anywhere? Social chemistry—the mutual attraction of equivalent human molecules—is a science yet to be created, for the fact is my daily study and only satisfaction in life.”
This logic is clearly seen in Adams’ 1910 A Letter to American Teachers of History, wherein Adams argues that the history must be viewed as transformations of groups of human molecules subject to the second law of thermodynamics. The book presents an bivalent discussion on paradoxical relationship between Lord Kelvin's 1852 take on the second law as a universal tendency towards the dissipation of energy and Charles Darwin's 1859 take on evolution as a universal tendency towards the elevation of mental energy. Specifically, Adams reasoned that "the laws of thermodynamics must embrace human history in its past as well as in its early phase" and that from the point of view of a physicist, to explain the fall of potential, as embodied in the first and second law of thermodynamics, in relation to "Darwin's law of elevation", he must:
"The historian will begin with his favorite figure of gaseous nebula, and may offer to treat primitive humanity as a volume of human molecules of unequal intensities, tending to dissipate energy, and to correct the loss by concentrating mankind into a single, dense like sun."
History, then, according to Adams, "would then become a record of successive phases of contraction, divided by periods of explosion, tending always towards an ultimate equilibrium in the form of a volume of human molecules of equal intensity, without coordination." In human chemistry terms, Adams was attempting to reconcile the second law, i.e. that all natural systems are irreversible and tend to dissipate energy in their work cycles, by postulating that human systems compensate or create new energy by the act of contraction of people in the formation of cities and and world powers, similar to how the sun continuously releases energy by the gravitational contraction of mass. In modern terms, Adams' human molecule social contraction theory can be interpreted through the release of energy in the formation of new human chemical bonds in coupled coordination with the dissolution of bonds old.
|1988 acrylic on canvas (27.5”x51.5”) painting, entitled “Human Molecule”, by Canadian aboriginal artist Norval Morrisseau, which seems to give the impression, possibly evolutionarily, that a human is a molecule, being part fish, part bird. |
In 1894, French education theorist Max Leclerc was commenting on Taine’s 1875 text Growing Disagreement of School and Life (La Disconvenance Croissante de l’ecole et de la Vie), according to one review, that “in our Lycees there is the same military discipline (as under Napoleon), the same aggregation of numbered human molecules, which the huge wheel, turned throughout France by the Minister’s pedal, grinds and reduces to human powder.”  This view comes from Leclerc’s 1894 book Education in the Middle Classes in England, where in he discusses the views of Taine, and comments that: 
“France has repeatedly changed its political constitution in this century but, through all vicissitudes, under many different governments, the regime founded by Napoleon Bonaparte persisted as the mode of education has remained the same. Twenty years ago, France sought to establish freedom with the Republic, she believes she has succeeded, and freedom, she says possesses ". How does it prepare new generations to use and Others How those born since in 1870 they are learning about freedom? If the parliamentary monarchy of July had not had the courage, if the Republic of 1848 has not had time, if the Second Empire could not have the will repudiate the dangerous legacy of Napoleon, the Third Republic, who has time and should have the courage and determination, she undertook what no one has been able, willing or dared to do before it? Did she understand how risk it runs, raising his free citizens by whatever means were combined to perpetuate the reign of the despotic one? Prefects and principals of the Republic today have no other conception of their role than once under the sword of Napoleon. In our schools, even military discipline, even numbered piles of human molecules that huge wheel turning in all of France under the pedal stroke of the Minister, crushed and pulped to humanity ' .”
In 1898, Scottish chemist William Ramsay used the ‘human molecule’ analogy in his discussion of German physicist Rudolf Clausius’ 1856 kinetic theory of gases, wherein he compared the body of gases to a football team of human molecules: 
“I find, in my own case, that it helps greatly to a clear understanding of a concept if a mental picture can be called up which will illustrate the concept, if even imperfectly. Some such picture may be formed by thinking of the motions of the players in a game of football. At some critical point in the game, the players are running, some this way, some that; one has picked up the ball and is running with it, followed by two or three others; while players from the opposite side are slanting towards him, intent upon a collision. The backs are at rest, perhaps; but, on the approach of the ball to the goal, they quicken into activity, and the throng of human molecules is turned and pursues an opposite course. The failure of this analogy to represent what is believed to occur in a gas is that the players’ motion is directed and has purpose; that they do not move in straight lines, but in any curves which may suit their purpose; and that they do not, as two billiard-balls do, communicate their rates of motion to the other by collision. But, making such reservations, some idea may be gained of the encounters of molecules by the encounters in a football-field.”
|American writer Thomas Dreier's 1948 book We Human Chemicals: the Knack of Getting Along with Everybody, written with consultation from Harvard chemist Gustavus Esselen, in which principles of chemistry are applied to facets of human interactions on the view that each person is a 'human chemical' constructed from elements of the periodic table. |
1910: Deier’s human chemicals
With the construction of the periodic table in 1869, by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev, in which the then 66 known (and hypothesized) elements were listed in by their atomic weights, in rows such that their properties repeated in a series of periodic intervals, some began to think of a human, invariably composed of these elements, by the name ‘human element’, ‘human chemical’, or ‘human chemical element’. One such person was American writer Thomas Dreier who in 1910 published a 27-page pamphlet entitled “Human Chemicals”, extolling on the view that each person is a ‘human chemical’, and that one might better come to understand human interactions if this view is used when considering the variants of human behavior, such as explosive behavior  The following is an aggregate quote summarizing Dreier’s view on the matter from his 1948 book We Human Chemicals, an expanded version of his earlier article, written with consultation from Harvard chemist Gustavus Esselen: 
“In the world of science, the chemist works with 96 elements, 92 of the period table, plus four recently discovered. These elements can be combined to make anything and everything of a material nature. So it is with people. All of us are human chemicals. Some of human chemicals can be mixed only with great difficulty; some explode if brought together; some excite each other beneficially; others are inert; others mix to form potent combinations; still others act as potent chemical catalysts, bringing about desirable changes in others when mixed with them, without themselves being changed.”
The cover of the 1948 book is pictured adjacent, where each ‘human chemical’ is shown on a sort of mock human periodic table; which, to note, is similar to Goethe’s human affinity table (1808), although the latter is more accurate in a chemical thermodynamic sense.
In the 1911 book A Short History of War and Peace, English journalist George Perris, according to a 1913 review by American writer Alpheus Snow, argues that: 
“War to bring about peace seems paradoxical. Yet it seems undoubtedly to be true, as the Perris says, that war is often a process of evolution—an explosive process which occurs when the progressive movement of human molecules towards a reorganization making for equality of opportunity and a betterment of the law, is unduly held back by the forces of standpatism and vested interests.”
This, however, seems to be an interpretation of Perris’ opening chapter ‘The Human Swarm’ wherein he states that: “modern thought points to nothing so certainly as the universality of change. We stand on a whirling ball, every atom and molecule of which is in perpetual movement. Individually, we are aware of being different men and women every day of our lives; the life of the world has undergone such a transformation even during our own generation that an unmoved character-basis of society is incomprehensible, a miracle in a realm of law—and what an evil miracle.”
|English-born American navel engineer William Fairburn not only viewed people as 'human chemicals' but also wrote the first book on human chemistry (1914).|
1914: Fairburn's human chemical elements
In 1914, American navel engineer and industrial chemistry executive William Fairburn wrote Human Chemistry, the first attempt at a book on the subject of human chemistry, with aims to help the foreman and executive better understand his or her job, being that of facilitating the various reactions between people, considered as human chemical elements, in their daily work in the factory. The following is an aggregate opening quote summarizing the view followed by Fairburn in his booklet:
“All men are like chemical elements in a well-stocked laboratory, and the manager, foreman, or handler of men, in his daily work, may be considered as the chemist [whose] primary requirement [or] principle work is the analysis and synthesis of the reactions resulting from combinations of individuals.”
Fairburn goes on to state that there were 81 known chemical elements, each possessing different characteristics, and that similarly so to is each human chemical element different from his fellows in temperament and qualifications. Fairburn, to note, uses the terms ‘human chemical’ and human chemical element’ interchangeably in his book, speculating on topics such as how entropy applies to reactive human chemicals.
|French philosopher Pierre Teilhard wrote extensively on the use of atomic reductionism, defining people as human molecules, in attempts to reinterpret religion, evolution, and spirituality in modern scientific language, with focus on the evolution of the mind and the social collective in view of the future as described in his omega point theory.|
One who wrote extensively, in a very dense conceptual style, of considering people as molecules having evolved over time from atoms, was French philosopher Pierre Teilhard. He began working on his theory, through various unpublished essays, in 1916, until is death in 1955, after which his voluminous works were published post-humorously. The following is a representative quote from 1947, alluding to his concept of the noosphere or global sphere of connected minds:
“The scope of each human molecule, in terms of movement, information, and influence, is becoming rapidly coextensive with the whole surface of the earth.”
The following quote gives a precursory outline of the very dense subject of the human chemical bond: 
“If the power of attraction between simple atoms is so great, what may we expect if similar bonds are contracted between human molecules?”
I sum, during the years 1916 to 1955, Teilhard outlines a theory of evolution from atom to man, the latter of which he considers as a complex molecule or "human molecule" a term that he uses throughout his writings. In his articles on Human Energy, a collection of essays on morality and love, written between 1931 and 1939, for instance, he conceives of man as a “human molecule” (1936). Similarly, in his follow-up essay "Activation Energy", he theorizes that the concept of human reaction activation energy, i.e. the barrier to transition, applies to human interactions.
In his 1947 essay “The Formation of the Noosphere”, he outlines the global view that due to the growing interconnectiveness of human molecules, they are forming a layer of the mind "noo-" over the biosphere. In particular, he states “no one can deny that a network (a world network) of economic and psychic affiliations is being woven at ever increasing speed which envelops and constantly penetrates more deeply within each one of us. With every day that passes it becomes a little more impossible for us to act or think other wise than collectively.” In other words, according to Teilhard, human molecules are forming a connective sheath or skin around the globe of the earth.
In his 1919 address “The Message of the Biologist”, American zoologist William Patten attempted to outline how the modern person might go about deriving a science-based system of morality and future governing constitution for a ‘molecular society’, of people considered as ‘human social atoms’ (social atoms) or ‘human molecules’, based on the pure science teachings of chemistry, physics, and astronomy. 
|American physician George Carey, first to state that a human being is actually a chemical formula (1919).|
1919: George Carey | chemical formula in operation
A significant turning-point thinker in the history of the human molecule concept was American physician George Carey who, in his 1919 book The Chemistry of Human Life, made an attempt to integrate biochemistry with chemical affinity logic along with knowledge of active elements into a synthesis of a chemistry of the human being. Although his work is detracted a bit by religious and other mineral elixir types of healing remedies, he does outline a few gems. In a truncated opening quote, for instance, Carey points to the idea that: 
“The human organism is an intelligent entity that works under the guidance which man has designated as chemical affinity.”
Technically, to note, the full quote of what Carey said is that it is the 'mineral salts' of the human organism are 'intelligent entities' that work 'under divine guidance', which man has designated as chemical affinity. The above reworded quote, however, is the correct modern statement. Carey then goes on to state that the human body is a storage battery that must be supplied with the proper elements (chemicals) to set up motion at a rate that will produce what we please to call a live body. In commentary on how the laws of chemistry apply universally, he states: “there can be but one law of chemical operation in vegetable or animal organisms. When man understands and cooperates with that life chemistry, he will have solved the problem of physical existence.” The most interesting point in his book is his statement that:
“Man’s body is a chemical formula in operation”
It would be eighty-one years before Sterner and Elser would actually make an attempt at calculating this formula. And the addendum ‘in operation’ is a huge topic not yet even begun to be simplified, e.g. as exemplified the fact that human molecules have 46 percent annual atomic turnover rate, whereas other molecules, such as H20, do not seem to have such a turnover rate.
|2008 poll "Are You a Giant Molecule" conducted online by English physicist Jim Eadon (graph from Thims' 2008 The Human Molecule), which shows that about 57% of Internet users think they are a molecule. |
In 1942, Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter speculated on how certain human molecule move up and down in social class over time: 
“It can be shown that in all cases, that human molecules rise and fall within the class into which they are born, in a manner which fits the hypothesis that they do so because of their relative aptitudes; and it can also be shown, second, that they rise and fall across the boundary lines of their class in the same manner. This rise and fall into higher and lower classes as a rule takes more than one generation. These molecules are therefore families rather than individuals. And this explains why observers who focus attention on individuals so frequently fail to find any relation between ability and class position.”
In this quote, Schumpeter seems to be digging around in a number of issues: one that human molecules are coupled to each other, especially in family lineages; to that a group of human molecules can also be termed or considered a new type of larger aggregate human molecule, e.g. such as the trihumanide molecule (three human molecules bonded in a unit); among other factors.
|1949 diagram of ‘the social atom’, in the Jacob Moreno-scheme, of an interviewed female (#3) by American sociologist Leslie Zeleny. |
1940s: Moreno | social atom theory (psychology)
In 1917, Romanian-born American psychologist Jacob Moreno began to develop a modified Freudian psychology, focused on spontaneity states in the dynamics of human movement, and by circa 1951 had begun to quantify his theory using constructs of social entropy, employing a sort of three dimensional social atom theory, explained in terms of tele relationships or distal and proximal bonds to other social atoms. The ways he uses the term social atom, along with other varieties, such as cultural atom or acquaintance atom, etc., is a bit ambiguous: 
“Social atom, operational definition: plot all the individuals a person chooses and those who choose him or her, all the individuals a person rejects and those who reject he or she; all the individuals who do not reciprocate either choices or rejections. This is the ‘raw’ material of a person’s social atom.”
An interesting facet of Moreno's approach is his attempt at applying the Bohr model of the atom, in which quantum energy inputs to the orbitals of atoms cause shifting of electrons, up or down, in orbital structure, to changes or shifts in human relationships, e.g. as in a infant child's orbit about his mother.
A 1949 attempt at an illustration of Moreno’s social atom theory was undertaking by American sociologist Leslie Zeleny, who diagrammed the sociometric findings of the attraction-repulsion aspects of the relationships surrounding various people. A diagram of the social atom for female number three is shown adjacent.  The fact that the diagram is titled sociogram of 'the social atom of person number three', verses sociogram of a social atom', highlights that Moreno's theory is a more exotic extrapolation of the basic atomic model applied to human relationships, not easy to describe in a single definition.
According to Zeleny, her study of the social atom of #3, shows #3 to be a much desired associate by her classmates; but that she is very ‘choosy’ about those with whom she will ‘pal’ as shown by the various dynamics of attraction and rejection, reciprocated or unreciprocated.
|English physicist C.G. Darwin (grandson of Charles Darwin) defined the science of 'human thermodynamics' as the study of systems of 'human molecules.' (1952)|
1952: Darwin | thermodynamics of human molecules
The conception of a set of people as a collection of "human molecules", who interact according to the laws of physics, particularly statistical thermodynamics, whose history and future was determined by the laws of thermodynamics was first stated by American physicist Charles Galton Darwin, the great grandson of Charles Darwin, in his 1952 book The Next Million years.  The following is an excerpt of the 1953 review by Time magazine: 
“In Darwin's view, the human molecules have one fundamental property that dominates all others: they tend to increase their numbers up to the absolute limit of their food supply.”
In his opening chapter, C.G. Darwin sets out to view society on the ideal gas model
“We may, so to speak, reasonably hope to find the Boyle’s law which controls the behavior of those very complicated molecules, the members of the human race, and from this we should be able to predict something of man’s future. When I compare human beings to molecules, the reader may feel that this is a bad analogy, because unlike a molecule, a man has a free will, which makes his actions unpredictable.
This is far less important than might appear at first sight, as is witnessed by the very high degree of regularity that is shown by such things as census returns. Thus, though the individual collisions of human molecules may be a little less predictable than those of gas molecules, census returns show that for a larger population the results average out with great accuracy. The internal principle [internal energy] then of the human molecules is human nature itself.”
In this book, Darwin goes on to define the new future science of 'human thermodynamics' as the thermodynamic study of systems of 'human molecules', a significant turning point in human thought.
|Pages three through five from the 2002 book Ecological Stoichiometry, by American limnologists Robert Sterner and James Elser, showing the first published calculation of the molecular formula of a human being. |
1970: Nisbet | social molecules
Influenced by the work of Henry Adams and Brooks Adams, in his 1970 book The Social Bond, American sociologist Robert Nisbet considers people to be ‘elementary human particles’, refers to the adhesion between two human particles as a ‘social bond’, and the attachment of two or more human particles to be a ‘social molecule’. Below is a representative quote:
“Just as modern chemistry concerns itself with what it calls the chemical bond, seeking the forces that make atoms stick together as molecules, so does sociology investigate the forces that enable biologically derived human beings to stick together in the ‘social molecules’ in which we actually find them from the moment, quite literally, of their conception.”
Beyond this, Nisbet spends considerable time discussing his conception of ‘social entropy’ and how this relates to human bonding. 
1998: Müller | human molecules (lecture)
In the 1998 article "Human Societies: A Curious Application of Thermodynamics", Venezuelan chemical engineer Erich Müller defined humans to be analogous to molecules (human molecules), then quantified inter human molecular love and hate in terms of basic thermodynamic pair bonds, and quantified social forces as a type of van der Waals dispersion force.  In 2006, Müller was interviewed by journalist Laura Gallagher, with Reporter magazine, for his popularity for his invigorating thermodynamic lectures in which he draws analogies between molecules and people. 
In 1998, American emotional intelligence theorist Daniel Goleman commented his view that: 
“Virtually everyone who has a superior is part of at least one vertical ‘couple’; every boss forms such a bond with each subordinate. Such vertical couples are a basic unit of organizational life, something akin to human molecules that interact to form the lattice work of relationship that is the organization.”
Here, Goleman seems to be making an attempt to discuss aspects of human chemical bonding.
1999: Prugh and Costanza
In 1999, American ecological economists Thomas Prugh and Robert Costanza state that: 
“The welfare of human society is best served by the view of people as ‘human molecules’ who, by pursuing their own interests through the market, inevitably promote the general good.”
|American limnologists Robert Sterner and James Elser: calculated a 22-element molecular formula for one average human being, based on actual mass composition measurements, in April 2000, as found in their 2002 textbook Ecological Stoichiometry.|
2000: Sterner and Elser | empirical molecular formula
See main: Human molecular formulaThe first calculation of the empirical molecular formula for the human being was made in April of 2000 by American limnologists Robert Sterner and James Elser.  Sterner and Elser published there results in the 2002 book Ecological Stoichiometry: the Biology of Elements from Molecules to the Biosphere. In outlining their subject, Sterner and Elser state:
“The stoichiometric approach considers whole organisms as if they were single abstract molecules.”
They were led to this by studying differences in carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous levels in similar species. In their chapter one, as to the human being, they state that “from the information on the quantities of individual elements, we can calculate the stoichiometric formula for a living human being to be”, taking cobalt (Co) as unity, the state that the following "formula combines all compounds in a human being into a single abstract ‘molecule’”: 
H375,000,000 O132,000,000 C85,700,000 N6,430,000 Ca1,500,000 P1,020,000 S206,000 Na183,000 K177,000
Cl127,000 Mg40,000 Si38,600 Fe2,680 Zn2,110 Cu76 I14 Mn13 F13 Cr7 Se4 Mo3 Co1
This amounts to a 22-element human empirical molecular formula. They continue, “our main purpose in introducing this formula for the ‘human molecule’ is to stimulate you to begin to think about how every human being represents the coming together of atoms in proportions that are, if not constant, at least bounded and obeying some rules”.
2001: Peachey | marriage and human molecules
In the 2001 book Leaving and Clinging, American author Paul Peachey devotes his first chapter, entitled “The Marital Bond as the Human Molecule”, to the development of the view that each person can be considered as an atom and that attachments of human atoms, in families and marriage, constitute a human molecule. To cite one example quote: 
|In September 2002, American chemical engineer Libb Thims, independently, calculated a 26-element molecular formula for an average human being, based on actual mass composition measurements, as found in his 2007 textbook Human Chemistry.|
“The question is whether the symbiosis of these polarities, i.e. the molecular (family) versus the atomic (individual) dimension of human existence, is a given in nature, or whether as humans we can replace this way of creating and sustaining the basis human molecule.”
Peachey, to note, seems to cull many of his ideas on human bonding and human molecules from the prior work of American sociologist Robert Nisbet.
2002: Thims | molecular formula (death)
In 1995, American chemical engineer Libb Thims began to study the spontaneity criterion (ΔG < 0) , i.e. that a reaction (human reaction or chemical reaction) needs to show a negative change in the Gibbs free energy if it is to be spontaneous (energetically feasible or successful), in relation to the basic human reproduction reaction, in which a man M and women W conceive a new baby B:
M + W → B
In circa 2002, Thims began to mediate on the issue of what exactly are these entities, M, W, B, from a chemical, atomic, or fundamental particle point of view, that he had been aiming to quantify enthalpically and entropically for the last seven years. In September of 2002, independent of Sterner and Elser, Thims calculated a 26-element molecular formula for the average human being. 
|A molecular evolution table showing key structures in the synthesis of human beings (human molecules) over the last 13.7-billion years.|
Thims included his calculation results in the 2002 manuscript Human Thermodynamics (Volume One), in the 2005 IoHT Molecular Evolution Table (online), and in the 2007 book Human Chemistry (Volume One).  Thims states, on page-190, of the 2002 manuscript, as based on a mass percent table of the 26-elements found to have function in the human body, that at approximately 200,000 years ago, "the universe had expanded/reacted enough to form a molecule made of these specific elements that we now define as homo sapien" as can be represented by the following "crude empirical formula for the molecular human", taking vanadium (V) as unity: 
H2.5E9 O9.7E8 C4.9E8 N4.7E7 P9.0E6 Ca8.9E6 K2.0E6 Na1.9E6 S1.6E6 Cl1.3E6 Mg3.0E5 Fe5.5E4
F5.4E4 Zn1.2E4 Si9.1E3 Cu1.2E3 B7.1E2 Cr98 Mn93 Ni87 Se65 Sn64 I60 Mo19 Co17 V
This amounts to be a 26-element human empirical molecular formula. Thims concludes "by describing the existence of a human being in this form we are by no means making attempts to degrade our existence, we are only trying to help elucidate our understanding of this existence."
The need or drive for Thims to calculate the molecular formula originated in a short chapter in newly forming manuscript (2001-2004) Human Thermodynamics, called "What Happens to a Person When They Die" (a precursor to science of cessation thermodynamics), to define exactly, from a fundamental particle point of view, what exactly is a "human being". In other words, what fundamental particles constitute the totality of a person at the moment of death, in both bodily structure form and bond structure form, i.e. if these quantities are to be conserved according to the law of energy-matter conservation? Subsequently, from a chemical point of view or first law of thermodynamics point of view, the composition of a person technically is a twenty-six-element molecule combined with its substrate materials (personal wealth) and consortium of interpersonal human chemical bonds. In the years to follow, using more accurate mass composition tables, refinements on this formula were made by Thims.
2002: Hodgson | Little Fun Book of Molecules Humans (book)
In 2002, similar in theme to Greek philosopher Empedocles' human chemistry analogies of how people how like each other mix like water and wine, American writer John Hodgson published the 102-page The Little Fun Book of Molecules Humans, a short booklet containing ninety-eight chemistry aphorism style sayings intended to look at the similarities existing between humans and molecules, so to, as stated in his preface, unearth clues to scientific information that might lead to new research. The second 2010 edition of Hodgson's book, retitled as molecles humans, seems to have taken its cover-design from American chemical engineer Libb Thims' 2008 book The Human Molecule (a 120-page historical overview of the concept of the human molecule); which in turn took its cue from Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci's 1487 theory of the Vitruvian man, a geometrical model of a human, where each person considered as a tiny micro-universe; which in turn took its cues from Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius and his hints at correlations of the ideal human geometric proportions, found in his 25BC book On Architecture.
|Original circa 1487 drawing of the Vitruvian man by Italian polymath Leonardo Da Vinci (CB IQ=200), a man depicted as a theoretical geometric figure, representative of a tiny universe, analogous to the structure of the surrounding universe.||2002 first edition of American writer John Hodgson's chemical aphorism style book on the similarities between humans and molecules. ||2008 depiction of Da Vinci's Vitruvian man defined as a 26-element molecule, shown on the cover of the 122-page book The Human Molecule by American chemical engineer Libb Thims. ||2010 depiction of Da Vanci's Vitruvian man, representative of a human defined similar, analogous, aphorismic to a molecule, shown on the cover of the second edition American writer John Hodgson's book re-titled as molecules humans. |
Each page of Hodgson's book contains a different aphorism of which below are shown a few representative examples: 
“Different molecules or humans behave differently having different reactions or behaviors to changing situations.”
“When molecules or humans mesh they have chemical or physical reaction and or reproduction.”
|Online publication (2005) of the formula for one human molecule (with rotating break-dancer and caffeine stick-figure representations) by American chemical engineer Libb Thims. |
“With experiment we can better understand these molecules or humans like we never knew before.”All-in-all, Hodgson’s book contains 98 of these sayings; although most, to note, are rather incoherent and negligibly connected to actual human chemistry.
“Molecules and humans take in elements or food.”
“Molecules and humans engage in different behaviors and or sex.”
“Molecules and humans make or change common bonds.”
Human molecular orbitals | transition state theory
In 1923, French physicist Louis de Broglie conceived the wave-particle duality theory of matter, which states that all bodies in the universe have both a wave and a particle nature.  This subject is bound up in the famous and puzzling double slits experiment invented by Thomas Young in 1801. Molecules as large as 60-atom Bucky Balls have been shown to exhibit wave-particle duality. It is probable that human molecules also have not only a particle-like movement behavior, but also a wave-like behavior. This was first noted in Ernst Mach’s 1885 conception of “turning tendencies”. A modern version this logic is human molecular orbital theory.
The the study of the extrapolation standard molecular orbital theory to the time-accelerated analysis of the dynamic structure, formation, and dissolution of chemical bonds between human molecules, invokes theoretical conception of 'human molecular orbitals', as defined by human molecular orbital theory. When human movement, over the surface of the earth, is viewed at a time-accelerated pace, such as viewing the total weekly, monthly, or yearly movements of one person, via for example GPS tracking, in a sped-up five minute video clip, one begins to see an orbital picture of human movement. Tracking of humans, considered as material points, over extended high-speed clips of spans of months or years views, mathematically for patterns in short few-minute video segment trajectory clips, leads to a view of human activity orbitals changing dynamically over time, as bonds are formed and broken. Shown below is a typical generic picture of the transition state model of the male-female reaction, where two human molecules, male Mx and female Fy, collide in time, and begin to interact in their common "school orbital" S, of their various possible daily orbitals of work W, gym G, and so on; where after, by day 90, the two are orbiting in mutual friends houses F1 and F2; where after, by day 365, owing to the energy stabilizing effect of the ongoing reaction, the pair marry, thus combining orbitals, into the formation of one nuclear family with a single joint home H acting as the centralized nucleus of the dihumanide molecule. This is depicted below:
|Day one: Two people, i.e. human molecules, Mx and Fy, meet in their school orbitals, and begin to associate.||Day 90: The two human molecules develop more orbital overlap (stability) by hanging out at the houses of mutual friends. ||Day 365: The two human molecules fuse, by combining their previous separate nuclei into one (they move in together).|
A molecular orbital, by technical definition, is the a solution of the Schrödinger equation that describes the ninety percent probable location of an electron relative to the nuclei in a molecule and so indicates the nature of any bond in which the electron is involved. In simple terms, it is understood that electrons (and molecules) act as both waves and particles, tending to have orbital motions in their trajectories.
|Opening section from the 2005 New Scientist article "That's Life", in which a 12-element empirical formula for a human is given. |
2005: New Scientist
In a 2005 article entitled "That's Life", New Scientist magazine gave the following 12-element empirical molecular formula for a human:
which the define as one's "chemical formula". 
2005: Molecular evolution tables
See main: Molecular evolution tableDuring the writing of the manuscripts for Human Thermodynamics (Volumes 1-3), Thims began to make an evolution table putting the hydrogen atom at the top row and the human molecule at the bottom row, filling in known intermediates in the middle rows (monkey, shrew, fish, bacteria, etc.), and calculating approximate molecular formulas for each each intermediate structure.
This was first posted online in 2005 (IoHT Molecular Evolution Table). These tables, later published in various locations, have become a focal point of discussion and debate for many scientists in this field. A section of the latest version is shown below:
|13.7 BYA||Seconds after Bang||13.2 BYA||4.4 BYA||4.1 BYA||3.9 BYA||45 MYA||150,000 Year Ago|
In other words, it is a matter of filling in the blanks, so to speak, to connect the mechanism of synthesis of the human molecule, starting with hydrogen.
|American physicist Mark Buchanan's 2007 book The Social Atom, in which he applies physics principles to the modeling of people in mass as collectives of social atoms. |
2007: Buchanan | The Social Atom (book)
In 2007, American physicist Mark Buchanan wrote the book The Social Atom, in which he attempts to model each human actor as an individual atom in the crowd of the masses. In addressing the matter as to how to view people atomically, Buchanan remains two-sided as to whether to use the particle (atom) view or the human molecular view:
“We should think of people as if they were atoms or molecules following fairly simple rules and try to learn the patterns to which those rules lead.”
The platform of the book is American economist Thomas Schelling’s 1971 paper “Dynamic Models of Segregation”, the very same paper which seems to have originated the now-famous ‘tipping point theory’, which concluded to the effect that even if every trace of racism were to vanish tomorrow, something akin to a law of physics might still make the races separate, much like oil and water.  This view, to note, is similar to American law professor Richard Delgado’s 1990 law of racial thermodynamics. The subject is discussed further by others in integration and segregation thermodynamics. Some of Buchanan's conclusions however are rather incoherent, particularly in his effort to salvage the theory of free will:
“The laws of physics are beginning to provide a new picture of the human atom or [rather] social atom—and this is a picture that does not conflict with the existence of individual free will. Just as atomic-level chaos gives rise to the clockwork precision of thermodynamics, so can free individuals come together into predictable patterns.”
This is similar to English physicist C.G. Darwin's 1952 comment that human molecules have free will owing to their unpredictability, which of course is incorrect, just as is Buchanan's view.
2008: Thims | The Human Molecule (book)
The first book on the subject of the "human molecule", focused on its significance and history, was the 2008 booklet The Human Molecule, 120-pages in length, by American chemical engineer Libb Thims, as previously pictured above, which steps through the views of the three dozen or so individuals to have used this concept in discussion or philosophy.  The following chemistry aphorism style quote from the 1999 novel Milton's Progress by Forbes Allan, for instance, is the opening quote to The Human Molecule: 
Thims' The Human Molecule can be read at Issuu.com (linked below).
Human chemical reactions
See also: Human chemical reaction (history)The dynamic evolving attachment of human molecules together into structures, e.g. A≡B, such as marriage pairs, friendships, family units, etc., actuates according to the function of human chemical bonds. The rearrangement of bonds, the formation of new bonds, or the dissolution of old bonds, defines the process of a human chemical reaction, such as shown below:
A + B → AB (combination reaction)
AB → A + B (dissolution reaction)
|Indian-born American mechanical engineer Kalyan Annamalai and American mechanical engineer Carlos Silva’s 2011 engineering thermodynamics textbook definition of a human formulaically as a “26-element energy/heat driven dynamic atomic structure”, based on the work of American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims (2002). |
Human thermodynamics | Engineering thermodynamics
Thinkers including Henry Adams (1890s) and C.G. Darwin (1952) were the first to initiate the study of humans viewed conceptually as “molecules” in the context of thermodynamics—the latter specifically defining the science of human thermodynamics as the study of systems of human molecules.
In human thermodynamics, a set of human molecules partitioned off by an "energetic boundary", i.e. a quantitative spatial demarcation, such as a town boarder, a social barrier, state lines, corporate boundaries, occupational orbitals, social circles, family boundaries, etc., comprise a closed thermodynamic system of working molecules, i.e. a working body in the words of Clausius, according to which first and second law energy balances apply in the production of system external work W due to the action of cyclical solar heat input Qin.
In 2011, Indian-born American mechanical engineer Kalyan Annamalai and American mechanical engineer Carlos Silva, in their second edition Advanced Thermodynamics Engineering, citing Libb Thims (2002), in their “formula” section, give the following thermodynamic definition of a human: 
“Humans may be called a 26-element energy/heat driven dynamic atomic structure.”
Annamalia and Silva, of note, are the authors of the 2009 “Entropy Generation and Human Aging” on aging theory (or anti-aging) and thermodynamics. 
In 2006, after being introduced to the human molecule concept the previous year, Russian physical chemist Georgi Gladyshev began to incorporate the human molecule perspective into his theories, and comments that “the conclusions of hierarchical thermodynamics correspond excellently to conception of Libb Thims about the thermodynamics of human molecules”.  As of 2010, Gladyshev believes that the aging process of molecules can be explained using his theory of hierarchical thermodynamics. In 2007, as mentioned previously, Russian bioelectrochemist Octavian Ksenzhek stated that:
"The economy of mankind is a very large and extremely complicated system [and] people are the 'molecules' of which it consists."
Ksenzhek goes on to use energy and entropy to study the ways in which the "various associations of people constitute its structural components."  In 2010, Martin Gardiner, of the Annals of Improbable Research, the group that administers the Ig Nobel Prizes aiming to spotlight research that makes people laugh and then think, ran a four-part, three-day article on the work of Libb Thims, entitled “I Am Not A Molecule”, subtitled 'Inside the IoHT', discussing topics such as Thims' 2008 book The Human Molecule, the Human Chemistry 101 video lectures on the human molecule, the Institute of Human Thermodynamics, the Journal of Human Thermodynamics, among other topics. Gardiner considers the subject of the chemistry and thermodynamics of human molecules to be an emergent intellectual development.
A oft-quoted popular quote for the 2010 book Employees First, Customers Second by Indian engineer business executive Vineet Nayar, signifying the logic that the employees are the molecular components of the mega-molecular structure of the corporation (corporate molecule), and that if each employee is instilled or given the vision of an entrepreneurial attitude that corporation will accelerate with a higher energy quotient.  :
“And when that happens with a critical mass of employees (usually, 5 or 10 percent is all you need) throughout the company, it creates a kind of fusion – a coming together of the human particles in the corporate molecule that releases a massive amount of energy.”
Nayer spends considerable time discussing ideas on how hidden or latent energy exists in the employees of corporations.
Octillion | atoms in one person
See main: Number of atoms inTo give an idea as to the magnitude of the number of atoms in one human molecule as compared to, for instance, the number of atoms in one water molecule (three) or the number of atoms comprising the earth (sexdecillion), the following table lists names to common larger numbers.  The third column, Exp, shows the old-fashioned calculator shorthand symbol for large numbers, in which E is short for exponent, in the sense that, for instance, E9 is short for 10E9 which is short for . Exponent shorthand is useful in writing out molecular formulas for biological entities.
|#||Name||Number of Atoms||Exp||In|
|billion||1,000,000,000||E9||ten bacteria molecules|
|quadrillion||1,000,000,000,000,000||E15||ten pre-aquatic worms|
|sextillion||1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000||E21||one small fish|
|octillion||1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000||E27||one person (human molecule)|
|sexdecillion||1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000||E51||one earth molecule (the earth)|
|octodecillion||1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000||E57||one sun molecule (the sun)|
|E66||the milky way galaxy|
|E81||the observable universe|
Using these larger number names in context, one would say, for instance, that one human molecule is comprised of an octillion atoms, of twenty-six types of 'active' elements.
|"I am a molecule!" (Apr 2009) [9:32 min]|
|"I am not a molecule!" (Apr 2009) [6:10 min]|
Since the 1809 publication of Goethe's Elective Affinities, wherein the characters are said to mirror the activities and behaviors of the chemicals, there has been a never-ending stream of criticism regarding the chemical nature of the human being.  In 1810, for instance, Goethe's fellow author and neighbor Christoph Wieland sent a letter (which he suggested should be burned after it is read) to his close friend German philologist and archeologist Karl Böttiger stating that: 
"To all rational readers, the use of the chemical theory is nonsense and childish fooling around."
In modern terms, the debate still continues; where, according to recent Internet polls, about 57% of people agree that they are a giant molecule.  Likewise, according to standard molecular evolution tables, it is visually-obvious that humans are evolved molecules. In spite of these known perspectives, many maintain that humans are in some way different than molecules, particularly when it comes to choice and free will.
In 1996, for instance, Austrian-born American theoretical physicist Fritjof Capra stated incorrectly that "human beings can choose whether and how to obey a social rule; molecules cannot choose whether or not they should interact." 
In 2005, American science philosopher and sociologist Steve Fuller, a noted intelligent design advocate, published his New Scientist article "I Am Not a Molecule", arguing against atomic reductionism in sociology, used in recent publications, most notably English physical chemist Phillip Ball's 2004 book Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another, American evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond’s 2005 book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, and Canadian-born evolutionary psychologist American Steven Pinker’s 2002 book The Blank Slate: the Modern Denial of Human Nature, all of which, according to Fuller, are "infuriating social scientists"; presumably himself, most significantly? 
Likewise, in 2007 Canadian chemist Stephen Lower considered the following statement "people are viewed as chemical species, or specifically human molecules, A or B, and processes such as marriage or divorce are viewed as chemical reactions between individuals..." to be crackpot, meaning it is something akin to an eccentric or lunatic notion, and listed it among a grouping of pseudoscience subjects. 
● Human chemical
● Human chemical element
● Human element
● Human particle
● Social atom
● Joseph Dewey
1. Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One), (preview), (ch. 2: "The Human Molecule", pgs. 15-35). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
2. (a) Thims, Libb. (2008). The Human Molecule (issuu) (preview) (Google Books) (docstoc). LuLu.
(b) Molecular Evolution Table - Institute of Human Thermodynamics
3. Strathern, Paul. (2000). Mendeleyev’s Dream – the Quest for the Elements. New York: Berkley Book.
4. Darwin, Charles G. (1952). The Next Million Years (pg. 26). London: Rupert Hart-Davis.
5. Carey, George W. (1919). The Chemistry of Human Life. Los Angeles:The Chemistry of Life Co.
6. Rabinbach, A. (1990). The Human Motor – Energy, Fatigue, and the Origins of Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press.
7. Adams, Henry. (1910). A Letter to American Teachers of History. Google Books, Scanned PDF. Washington.
8. Thims, Libb. (2002). Human Thermodynamics (Volume One). Chicago: Institute of Human Thermodynamics.
9. Müller , Erich. A. (1998). “Human Societies: a Curious Application of Thermodynamics.” Chemical Engineering Education, Vol. 1, No. 3, Summer.
10. Gallagher, Laura. (2006). “A Thermodynamic Personality: Interview with Erich Müller”, Reporter, Issue 162, 24 February.
11. Sterner, Robert W. and Elser, James J. (2002). Ecological Stoichiometry: the Biology of Elements from Molecules to the Biosphere, (chapter one), (pgs. 2-3, 47, 135). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
12. (a) Thims, Libb. (2002). Human Thermodynamics (Volume One), Date: Sept. Chicago: Institute of Human Thermodynamics.
(b) Note: Thims only became aware of Sterner's calculation on February 17, 2008 after doing a Google book search on keywords "human molecule thermodynamics"; Thims then emailed Sterner within the hour (after which Sterner explained how and when he did his calculation).
(c) Author. (2005). “That’s Life”, New Scientist, Dec 03.
13. The formula shown is the more accurate 2005-version (as found in the IoHT's molecular evolution table, ref. #2 above). The 2002 calculation was based on less-accurate mass percent data sets, taking nickel as unit.
14. Molecule (definition): “a molecule may be thought of either as a structure built of atoms bound together by chemical forces or as a structure in which two or more nuclei are maintained in some geometrical configuration by attractive forces from a surrounding swarm of negative electrons.” Source: Licker, Mark D. (2002). McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Chemistry. New York: McGraw-Hill.
15. Source for Sterner date: "I have attached the spreadsheet used to construct that formula for a human molecule in our book. My copy of the spreadsheet is dated April 18, 2000. I cannot say exactly when we made the calculations. That date might have to do with some modification of the figure or some other edit. At any rate, it gives an indication." (email communicate from Robert Sterner to Libb Thims on February 20, 2008).
16. (a) Taine, Hippolyte. (1870). De l’Intelligence (On Intelligence), (Part I, Part II), (pg. xi-xii), London: L. Reeve and Co.
(b) Sparks, Jared. (1873). The North American Review, (Section: Taine’s philosophy, pg. 403: keyword: “human molecule”, pg). Vol. CXVII. Boson: James R. Osgood and Co.
17. Running Poll: "Are You A Giant Molecule?" (by English physicist Jim Eadon) - 2001-2008+.
18. Capra, Fritjof. (1996). The Web of Life - a New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems, (pg. 212). New York: Anchor Books.
19. Lower, Stephen. (2007). “List of Flim-flam, Pseudoscience, and Nonsense”, Online listings.
20. Thims, Libb. (2008). The Human Molecule, (preview). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
21. Tantillo, Astrida O. (2001). Goethe's Elective Affinities and the Critics. New York: Camden House.
22. Wieland, Christoph Martin. (1810). "Letter to Karl August Böttiger" July 16. Weimar. Quoted from Tantillo 2001, pg. 9-10.
23. Ksenzhek, Octavian S. (2007). Money: Virtual Energy - Economy through the Prism of Thermodynamics, (pgs. 162). Universal Publishers.
24. Fuller, Steve. (2004). "I am not a molecule", New Scientist, Issue 2502, June 4th.
25. Forbes, Allan. (1999). Milton's Progress (Chapter 21). Rowanlea Grove Press.
26. (a) Gardiner, Martin. (2010). “Inside the IoHT: I am not a molecule (parts 1, 2, 3, 4)”, Improbable Research, Jun 04-06.
(b) Martin Gardiner (about) – Improbable.com.
27. Samuels, Ernest. (1989). Henry Adams (human molecule, pg. 115). Harvard University Press.
28. Adams, Henry. (1885). “Letter to Wife”, April 12; In: The Letters of Henry Adams: 1858-1868, Volume 1 (pg. xxviii). Harvard University Press, 1982.
29. Ramsay, William. (1898). “The Kinetic Theory of Gases and Some of its Consequences” (human molecules, pg. 685). The Contemporary Review, 74: 681-91.
30. (a) Patten, William. (1919). “The Message of the Biologist”, Address of the vice-president and chairman of Section F, Zoology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, St. Louis, Jan 31.
(b) Patten, William. (1920). “The Message of the Biologist”, Science, pgs. 93-101, Jan 30.
31. Ksenzhek, Octavian S. (2007). Money: Virtual Energy - Economy through the Prism of Thermodynamics (pgs. 162, 170). Universal Publishers.
32. Prugh, Thomas and Costanza, Robert. (1999). Natural capital and Human Economic Survival (economic molecules, pg. 15; human molecules, pg. 17). CRC Press.
33. Gryzanowski, Ernst. (1875). “Comtism” (human molecules, social molecule, pg. 276). The North American Review, 120: 237-80, April.
34. Schumpeter, Joseph. (1942).Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (human molecules, pg. 204). Routledge.
35. Anon. (1894). “As Others See Us” (human molecules, pg. 217), Journal of Education, Apr 01.
36. Leclere, Max. (1894). L’Education des Classes Moyennes et Dirigeantes en Angleterre (Education in the Middle Classes in England and Politics) (molécules humaines, pg. 65). Paris: Armand Colin et Cie.
37. Goleman, Daniel. (1998). Working with Emotional Intelligence (human molecules, pg. 215). Random House.
38. (a) Berlioz, Hector. (1854). “Les Soirees de l’Orchestre” (Evenings with the Orchestra) (molécules humaines, pg. 259), Entierement Revue Et Corrigee.
(b) Novello, Sabilla. (1855). “Translation from Hector Berlioz’s ‘Soireez de l’orchestre’”, The Musical Times, Jul 15.
39. Snow, Alpheus Henry. (1913). “Book Review: A Short History of War and Peace by G. H. Perris.” The American Journal of International Law, 7: 427-29.
40. Perris, George. (1911). A Short History of War and Peace (molecule, pg. 7-8). H. Holt and Co.
41. Hodgson, John. (2002). Little Fun Book of Molecules/Humans. 1st Books.
42. Peachey, Paul. (2001). Leaving and Clinging: the Human Significance of the Conjugal Union (ch. 1: “The Marital Bond as the Human Molecule”, pgs. 3-20). University Press of America.
43. Buchanan, Mark. (2007). The Social Atom: why the Rich get Richer, Cheaters get Caught, and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You (pgs. x-xi, 13). New York: Bloomsbury.
44. (a) Schilling, Thomas. (1971). “Dynamic Models of Segregation”, Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 1: 143-86.
(b) Tipping point (sociology) – Wikipedia.
45. Nisbert, Robert, A. (1970). The Social Bond - an Introduction to the Study of Society (social molecule, 38, 45, etc.). New York: Alfred A. Knoph.
46. Sales, Jean. (1798). De la Philosophie de la Nature: ou Traité de morale pour le genre humain, tiré de la philosophie et fondé sur la nature (The Philosophy of Nature: Treatise on Human Moral Nature, from Philosophy and Nature), Volume 4 (molécules humaines, pg. 281). Publisher.
47. Cukier, Rosa. (2007). Words of Jacob Levi Moreno: a Glossary of the Terms used by J. L. Moreno (terms: ambivalence of choice, pg. 42; atom, cultural atom, social atom, pg. 47-51, 358; energy, pg. 141, social entropy, pgs. 88, 360; spontaneity, pg. 393; warming up process, pg. 495-503). Lulu.
48. Dreier, Thomas. (1910). Human Chemicals. (27-pgs). Backbone Society.
49. Dreier, Thomas. (1948). We Human Chemicals: the Knack of Getting Along with Everybody. Updegraff Press.
50. Fairburn, William Armstrong. (1914). Human Chemistry. The Nation Valley Press, Inc.
51. Winiarski, Leon. (1967). Es la Mecanique Sociale (molécules, pgs. 11-12, 34, 95, 163-64, 170, 195). Librairie Droz.
52. Garrouste, Pierre and Ioannides, Stavros. (2001). Evolution and Path Dependence in Economic Ideas (Lausanne school: Winiarski a member, pg. 184). Edward Elgar Publishing.
53. Names of larger numbers – Wikipedia.
54. Fountain, Henry. (2009). “Experiments Show that Molecules Can Walk, but Can They Dance?”, New York Times, Science, Apr 07.
55. Hadlington, Simon. (2009). “Two-legged Molecular Walker Takes a Stroll”, Dec 21.
56. Zeleny, Leslie D. (1949). “A Note on the Social Atom: an Illustration”, Sociometry, 12: 341-43.
57. Gladyshev, Georgi P. (2006). "The Principle of Substance Stability is Applicable to all Levels of Organization of Living Matter", International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 7:98-110.
58. Human Molecule (1988 acrylic on canvas) – Authentic Norval Morrisseau Blog.
59. Rousseau, Pierre. (2006). “The Constant flow of Human Molecules”, Pbase.com.
60. (a) Murali, D. (2010). “Human particles in the Corporate Molecule”, The Hindu, May 29.
(b) Nayar, Vineet. (2010). Employees First, Customers Second (quote, pg. 165). Harvard Business Books.
61. Carey, H.C. and McKean, Kate. (1874). Manual of Social Science: Being a Condensation of ‘The Principles of Social Science’ of H.C. Carey (ch.1: Social Science, pgs. 25; molecule, pg. 37). Industrial Publisher.
62. Stark, Werner. (1962). The Fundamental Forms of Social Thought. (Carey, 143-59; human molecules, pgs. 87-90, 126, 146 (quote), 243, 25). Routledge.
63. Hodgson, John. (2010). molecules humans. Lulu.com.
64. (a) Louis de Broglie – Wikipedia.
(b) Wave-particle duality – Wikipedia.
66. Human molecule (definition) - Human Thermodynamics Glossary.
67. Macrone, Michael and Lulevitch, Tom. (1999). Eureka!: 81 Key Ideas Explained (section: Entropy, pgs. 129-33; image pg. 130). Barnes & Noble Publishing.
68. Staff. (1953). “Science: the Million-Year Prophecy”, Time, Jan 19.
69. Mesny, Mary B. (1910). “Human Molecules”, The Smart Set: a Magazine of Cleverness, 31:100.
70. Author. (2005). “That’s Life”, New Scientist, Dec 03.
71. Annamalai, Kalyan, Puri, Ishwar K., and Jog, Milind A. (2011). Advanced Thermodynamics Engineering (§14: Thermodynamics and Biological Systems, pgs. 709-99, contributed by Kalyan Annamalai and Carlos Silva; §14.4.1: Human body | Formulae, pgs. 726-27; Thims, ref. 88). CRC Press.
72. Silva, Carlos A. and Annamalai, Kalyan. (2009). “Entropy Generation and Human Aging: Lifespan Entropy and Effect of Diet Composition and Caloric Restriction Diets”, Journal of Human Thermodynamics, Jan 23.
● Humans resemble molecules? , Pravda, 24 May 2004.
● Ockham, Edward. (2012). “The Human Molecule”, Beyond Necessity: Philosophy, Medieval Logic and the London Plumbing Crisis, Blogspot.com, May 13.
● The Human Molecule - HumanMolecule.net
● Human molecules - WikiSocial, a Wikia wiki.
● The Human Molecule (discussion thread) – MyOpenForum.com.
● Human molecule – WordNik.com.
Latest page update: made by Sadi-Carnot
, Oct 15 2012, 3:50 PM EDT
(about this update
About This Update
Edited by Sadi-Carnot
512 words added
274 words deleted
31 images added
30 images deleted
- complete history)
More Info: links to this page
|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|Petrologist||Why I'm not a molecule||19||Nov 9 2011, 4:17 PM EST by Sadi-Carnot|
Thread started: Aug 24 2009, 2:24 PM EDT Watch
First, I think that using thermodynamics, with its concept of efficiency, might be a very productive way of exploring some sciences other than physical. To show this, one needs to create at least one theory, test it whenever possible, and show it makes interesting, new predictions of value to us.
To do the above, one need not slavishly adopt terminology from the physical sciences. When I write about the thermodynamics of rock interactions, I find it convenient to create new terms. These terms, however, are of value only if they are synonyms of terms in other sciences, mathematics, or everyday language.
Here the human molecule of the social sciences fails. Sometimes, when discussing giving birth or dying, one want instead the chemical substances of human beings, as the quantity or mass of the unit NaCL in a halite-bearing rock. At other times, one wants a collection of separate but equivalent entities whose bonds one can define in psychological terms. These should be different terms.
Each of the above have some properties of a molecule, but not all. 'Molecule' now brings to the mind a discrete substance (floating about) made of the same number & kinds of atoms, bonded in the same manner. They differ only in the physical properties 'isotopic mass' and 'handedness'. Geologists use instead 'substance', a much more flexible term. Substances react, and classical thermodynamics studies them. Chemical formulae above represent chemical compositions of the human substance.
I have no suggestion for people in a crowd but, perhaps, 'person'.
These are just first impressions. I might change my mind if 'flash' worked on my computer. :-)
|D.Boss||orbitals||1||Aug 4 2012, 1:35 PM EDT by Sadi-Carnot|
|Anonymous||factors outside chemistry||1||Jun 22 2012, 1:22 PM EDT by Sadi-Carnot|
Thread started: Jun 21 2012, 9:28 PM EDT Watch
hi. I was wondering if you acknowledge other factors than chemistry? for instance, if we have the human molecule, do you think that can explain and predict everything that a human consists of?
Do you find this valuable?
|GGladyshev||The term of “Human molecule”||5||Oct 20 2010, 9:52 AM EDT by GGladyshev|
Thread started: Jul 3 2010, 11:05 AM EDT Watch
I believe that we should make a note to term of “Human molecule”. “Human molecule” is a particle of variable chemical and supramolecular compositions. These compositions are depend on the age of body. The same situation takes place in phylogenies and evolution. This is the consequence of action of hierarchical thermodynamics. First it was shown in my work (Gladyshev G.P. On the Thermodynamics of Biological Evolution // Journal of Theoretical Biology.- 1978.- Vol. 75.- Issue 4.- Dec 21.-P. 425-441. Preprint, May, 1977.” On the thermodynamics of biological evolution ”).
Then there were some publications which conform this on the basis of quantitative calculations. (Gladyshev G.P. On the Principle of Substance Stability and Thermodynamic Feedback // Biology Bulletin, 2002.- Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 1-4 http://creatacad.org/doc/news2-5.pdf ).
I will be in Moscow in September only.
Do you find this valuable?
Showing 1 of 1 featured threads and the last 3 of 4 threads for this page - view all