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Offlinepsilyguy
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Synthetic Unnatural?
    #9522013 - 12/31/08 04:29 AM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Just curious what people think about synthetic or manmade things and their relationship to nature. I think it is useful to classify and specify whatever the object is, but is natural really better than synthetic? Or is synthetic just another kind of nature? Bees make honey. Beavers make lodges. Cactus grows and produces chemicals. Something other than human made it so its natural. Humans make candy, build skyscrapers, and extract or synthesize chemicals. If these things aren't natural, then humans must not be natural. But the way i see it humans and all of the known and unknown everything is part of nature.
Obviously this is just a matter of opinion and i just want to hear everyone's opinion. Although this topic could be applied in any way, i'm sorta thinking more in the context of "natural" medicines, entheogens, etc. vs. synthetic drugs, blah bla.


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Offlinehazey
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: psilyguy]
    #9522094 - 12/31/08 05:04 AM (9 years, 24 days ago)

i think the future of humanity lies within our technology. if used right it can save us and the world, we just have to get rid of money. humanity's ability to make things is amazing if you think about it. its just the corporate globalistic ideals and our monetary system that is holding much of our capability down. hopefully someday we realize we can save nature with our technology.


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OfflineArtnotwar
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: hazey]
    #9522172 - 12/31/08 05:54 AM (9 years, 24 days ago)

psilocybin > synthetic psilocybin, only difference = placebo affect.


--------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Until the 20th century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see,
and hear.
Since the initial publication of the charged electromagnetic spectrum, humans
learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear... is less than one
millionth of reality.
--------------------------------



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InvisibleDieCommie

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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: psilyguy]
    #9522644 - 12/31/08 10:38 AM (9 years, 24 days ago)

The divisions between natural and unnatural exist solely in our mind.  I agree with your sentiment 100%; sky scrapers are natural, so are bridges and telephones - a species naturally evolved the ability to produce those just like a birds nest or bee hive.

Of course you have probably seen, as have I, hippie types claiming somethings are better because they are 'natural' and some things are bad because they are 'not natural'.  And of course their distinction between natural and unnatural is completly arbitrary; made up on the spot. 

Where does this way of thinking come from?  I believe is stems from christian beliefs that are prominent here in America.  In Christianity the believers often view the natural world and humans as separate.  They see the natural world without humans influence as being the way things 'should be' (the way god intended if your a christian or the way nature intended if your a hippie).  But of course there is no way things 'should be', nature is nature, it doesn't intend anything.  We are an evolved species with the ability to influence and be influenced by our surroundings, just like every other species.


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OfflinePlasmid
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: psilyguy]
    #9523321 - 12/31/08 01:43 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

The way I see it is that the division between synthetic and natural is essentially arbitrary.  Human beings are bound by the same physical laws that plants and stars are bound by, so any substance or object that a human being can synthesize or engineer could also be made by nature (it's just that it would be very unlikely for bridges to start growing from the ground, but this doesn't make it impossible).  Either way, just because a drug (such as LSD) has never been found in nature does not mean that it will never be found in nature.

If I ever want to get people who are into naturopathy to think about these divisions, I usually raise the issue of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin).  As far as I recall, ASA has not been found to occur in nature, but ASA is a prodrug of salicylic acid, which does occur in nature.  If you take ASA, the active substance is salicylic acid.  So is ASA "natural" or "synthetic"?  At what point can "synthetic" ASA be considered "natural" if it hydrolyses into a "natural" substance?

I have a hard time understanding why humans think that their actions are somehow "unnatural."  Why are the actions of an organic chemist unnatural?  Humans came to be as the result of nature (we didn't synthesize ourselves into existence).  If organic synthesis is unnatural, then why not consider sexual reproduction unnatural?


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OfflineNunbuh_Chrubble
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Plasmid]
    #9523731 - 12/31/08 03:10 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

You know I was watching this documentary called "Manufactured Landscapes" and it was showing these mountains and mountains of garbage and electronic waste...

And I wondered to myself "What's going to happen to that stuff after it is compressed under the earth's crust for a few million years. Will it turn into something like oil?

Kinda reminds me of George Carlin's bit about how the earth made us so that it could have plastic to be incorporated into the natural cycle.

I've been listening to a lot of Terrence McKenna lately, and so I'm trying to look at all of this as some sort of metamorphosis, or birthing process...


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~Rumi


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OfflineNeuron
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Nunbuh_Chrubble]
    #9523744 - 12/31/08 03:12 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Nothing but Trouble, are you really just a kitty cat?

If response is "yes", I'm a 200 pound rottweiler.


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InvisiblePrisoner#1
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: psilyguy]
    #9523805 - 12/31/08 03:28 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

psilyguy said:
Bees make honey.




by evaporating the water out of nectar, a naturally occurring substance in flowers


Quote:

Something other than human made it so its natural. Humans make candy




high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar arent found in
nature like the nectar of flowers


Quote:

build skyscrapers




concrete and steel are not found in nature

Quote:

If these things aren't natural, then humans must not be natural.





I believe we need to define natural, since gasoline isnt
considered natural it is a distillate of crude oil, a
naturally occurring substance, just as plastics are resins
derived from the same source, of course the trees from the
beavers lodge isnt an extract and honey could be considered
one they are substances found occurring in nature, drying the
water from a tomato is a natural process and calcium cloride,
aluminum oxide, portland cement, gypsum all occur in nature
they generally dont occur as a composite until man gets involved


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Offlinekoppie
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: psilyguy]
    #9523822 - 12/31/08 03:32 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Humanity is part of nature, therefore anything human made is natural.

That said, I think that in the low-tech environment of hobby/underground production, biology  more easily produces a good quality product than chemistry does.

Farming is more foolproof than running a lab, which is why I prefer "natural" substances.


Edited by koppie (12/31/08 03:38 PM)


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Offlinepsilyguy
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Prisoner#1]
    #9523861 - 12/31/08 03:40 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Cool, you guys have some neat ideas. I got thinking last night while laying in bed about what could be a real difference between a mushroom and the synthetic psilocybin. Of course its just an abstract kinda thought that i wouldn't know right now how to prove or disprove. Its basically the same as placebo effect, but maybe a mushroom has some sort of spirit because it is a living being? Maybe each mushroom has its own individual personality(mushroomality?). So different mushrooms give different trips because of the chemical difference, but maybe also because of the experiences in the life of the mushroom. So in a sense when you eat a mushroom you consume another soul and make it part of you when a synthetic chemical has no such soul.


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InvisibleDieCommie

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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Prisoner#1]
    #9523913 - 12/31/08 03:51 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

Prisoner#1 said:
I believe we need to define natural...




Exactly.  Most people just make up some definition on the spot for what natural is.  I think it boils down to two schools of thought...

1) Humans are not part of nature, and are somehow an separate from it.  Thus anything that humans make or influence is not natural. 

To me, this view is entirely to provincial.  Its obviously homo-sapien centric so it could not be a objective criteria.  Secondly, it seems apparent to me that it comes from the phiolosphies of 'abrahamic' religions, which I reject.  I prefer the other school of thought...

2) Humans are a part of nature and just as connected to it as all species.  Thus what humans make or influence is just as natural as what other animals make.

I prefer this because it does not beg to ancient myth, and it directly follows from modern biological discoveries.  Humans are connected to the fabric of nature just as much as every other species.

In conversations I obviously have to go along with def. 1), since that is the mainstream belief.  But in the back of my mind, and in my philosophy def. 2) is obviously correct.


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InvisiblePrisoner#1
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: DieCommie]
    #9523966 - 12/31/08 04:09 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

DieCommie said:
2) Humans are a part of nature and just as connected to it as all species.  Thus what humans make or influence is just as natural as what other animals make.




but what do animals actually make, the bees are a good
example because they mix the nectar and pollen and make bee
bread, is that really that much different than a raccoon
washing it's food, is allowing the water to evaporate from
nectar actually making something, they collect a resin from
trees and 'make' propolis for sealng you the hive and the wax
is something they produce from their own bodies, much like we
do with sweat


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Invisibleniteowl
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: psilyguy]
    #9524102 - 12/31/08 04:48 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

psilyguy said:
Although this topic could be applied in any way, i'm sorta thinking more in the context of "natural" medicines, entheogens, etc. vs. synthetic drugs, blah bla.




I think a better word to use is "organic", "natural" is too vague.

Organic drugs are not nearly as dangerous as synthetic drugs.

Beer/wine is not as dangerous as distilled liquor.
The human body is not capable of processing "purified" drugs. The liver cant handle them.

Therefor all organic drugs should be legal.

All synthetic drugs (alcohol, cocaine, meth, LSD....etc) should be strongly regulated.


--------------------
Live for the moment you are in now
Don't be bogged down by your past
Don't be afraid of what lies in your future


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InvisibleDieCommie

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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Prisoner#1]
    #9524115 - 12/31/08 04:52 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

All things are made by manipulating stuff from the environment.  Thats how trees make wood, thats how a beaver uses that wood to make a damn, thats how we use that beaver to make a hat.  Different methods to each of those fabrications, some are chemical and some are mechanical.  Humans and animals do both.

I have wondered what an alien species would think.  With a consciousness so different from ours, they would no be so quick to distinguish our skyscrapers from a termites.  Sure, the scale of building is different.  But would a dispassionate third party somehow come to the conclusion that one is natural and one is not?  I dont think they necessarily would.


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Offlineboxcarguy07
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: psilyguy]
    #9524134 - 12/31/08 04:58 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

psilyguy said:
Cool, you guys have some neat ideas. I got thinking last night while laying in bed about what could be a real difference between a mushroom and the synthetic psilocybin. Of course its just an abstract kinda thought that i wouldn't know right now how to prove or disprove. Its basically the same as placebo effect, but maybe a mushroom has some sort of spirit because it is a living being? Maybe each mushroom has its own individual personality(mushroomality?). So different mushrooms give different trips because of the chemical difference, but maybe also because of the experiences in the life of the mushroom. So in a sense when you eat a mushroom you consume another soul and make it part of you when a synthetic chemical has no such soul.




I tend to believe something along the lines of what you are describing. call it crazy or whatever haha.

I don't think there's any use arguing over what's natural and what's unnatural, and should instead focus on what's beneficial or not.
Pollution, plastic, modern day "food"... convenient, yes, beneficial, no. Convenience is our downfall.


--------------------
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:psychsplit:"Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind."
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InvisibleDieCommie

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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: boxcarguy07]
    #9524163 - 12/31/08 05:08 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Why do you choose plastic and modern food to associate with pollution?  Could it be its because they are not 'natural'? :tongue:  After all, there is no evidence to support that, so it must come from preconceived notions about 'unnatural' things.


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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: psilyguy]
    #9524200 - 12/31/08 05:20 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

I was one of those completely natural nutters for a few years. I got over it when I learned a little more about science. It's human nature to fear that which we do not understand.
I do still think some synthetic things are absolutely terrible, but so are some natural things.


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Offlinetwighead
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: MisterMuscaria]
    #9524205 - 12/31/08 05:23 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

natural and synthetic are just used as terms for reference by humans as to the orgin, it doesn't even matter - molecules are molecules.


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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: twighead]
    #9524209 - 12/31/08 05:23 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Yep. I didnt get that a few years ago.


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InvisiblePrisoner#1
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: niteowl]
    #9524222 - 12/31/08 05:27 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

niteowl said:
I think a better word to use is "organic", "natural" is too vague.

Organic drugs are not nearly as dangerous as synthetic drugs.






what then do we say about things liek Volatile Organic Compounds,
you know... stuff like Methylethylketone, Toluene, Acetone?


Organic is in the name, crude oil is organic I dont believe
it's good for you to consume


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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: DieCommie]
    #9524229 - 12/31/08 05:31 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

DieCommie said:
I have wondered what an alien species would think. 




that's easy "you know fred, one day those bastards are going to
achieve intergalactic space travel despite their own efforts toward
self destruction, whaddaya say we just zap 'em now before anyone
notices they're here?"


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Offlinetwighead
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Prisoner#1]
    #9524255 - 12/31/08 05:37 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

Prisoner#1 said:
Quote:

niteowl said:
I think a better word to use is "organic", "natural" is too vague.

Organic drugs are not nearly as dangerous as synthetic drugs.






what then do we say about things liek Volatile Organic Compounds,
you know... stuff like Methylethylketone, Toluene, Acetone?


Organic is in the name, crude oil is organic I dont believe
it's good for you to consume




ayeee, Datura?


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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: twighead]
    #9524351 - 12/31/08 06:06 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

castor beans


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OfflinePigasus
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Prisoner#1]
    #9524496 - 12/31/08 06:37 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

although i guess i have a little bit of the "natural = better" prejudice in me, it really is stupid to assume that just because something is natural that it's better...death caps are all natural!


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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Pigasus]
    #9524687 - 12/31/08 07:08 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

It is all chemistry, and sometimes it doesn't make a difference.

Compare synthetic and natural vitamin supplements for example.

That said, people make a ton of mistakes when they design and make something. Plus they can be quite reckless.


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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: flexintexan]
    #9524708 - 12/31/08 07:13 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

in the defense of natural, when it comes to nourishing your body,
it's better to try and find a source that grows naturally that your
body doesnt object to, for instance if you cant eat citrus, an even
better source of vitamin C is bell peppers, better still is jujube

with the mass produced crap what kind of fillers are in it, what
flavors did they add will it provide other nutrients?


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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: niteowl]
    #9524848 - 12/31/08 07:46 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

niteowl said:
Organic drugs are not nearly as dangerous as synthetic drugs.




This is really just absolute nonsense.
You're confused about what the term "organic" means.  Synthetic drugs usually are organic.  Heroin is an organic chemical.  However, just because a drug is produced by a non-human organism doesn't mean that it is any more safe.  The most deadly substances known are made by living organisms (non-humans), so the simple fact is that it is wrong to believe that drugs produced by "nature" are less dangerous than drugs synthesized in a laboratory.

Quote:

The human body is not capable of processing "purified" drugs. The liver cant handle them.




This is complete nonsense.  Absolute, utter nonsense.  This is so far from being true that I don't even know where to start.  Your body has no idea if a substance was produced by another organism or was synthesized by a human being.  Dextromethorphan for example, is synthesized, but it is easily metabolized.

Quote:

Therefor all organic drugs should be legal.
All synthetic drugs (alcohol, cocaine, meth, LSD....etc) should be strongly regulated.




LSD is an organic substance. 
Cocaine is naturally occurring and is an organic substance.  Cocaine can also be synthesized.  Did you not know that cocaine is also made by a plant?  Most cocaine sold on the market is not synthesized in a laboratory.
Alcohol is produced by living organisms.
You don't seem to understand the meaning of the term "organic."  You do understand that organic chemicals can be synthesized in a laboratory?

What about drugs which have been found in nature (such as morphine) but can  also be synthesized?  What if LSD was one day found in nature?  There is absolutely no reason to think that a plant or bacteria or other organism could produce LSD.

Why is it that if an organism (other than human beings) has synthesized a chemical that you think it is somehow inherently less dangerous?  Do you have any idea how many poisonous substances occur in 'nature'?


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Offlinetwighead
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Plasmid]
    #9524867 - 12/31/08 07:56 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

The only defense for natural i would say is: that humans have been exposed to these substances for thousands of years, thus the results of their usage is generally better known and (somewhat) more predictable.
Kind of like the theory on why plutonium is one of the most toxic substances known to man; because life has never been exposed to it before.


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OfflineArtnotwar
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: twighead]
    #9525135 - 12/31/08 09:22 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

OK twighead, so like i said before, how would the body distinguish between synthesized psilocybin, and naturally occurring psilocybin?
like plasmid said, the human body can't tell the difference.

I'm sure there are still chemicals that occur naturally that we have not yet discovered, are they still more predictable?


--------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Until the 20th century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see,
and hear.
Since the initial publication of the charged electromagnetic spectrum, humans
learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear... is less than one
millionth of reality.
--------------------------------



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Offlinetwighead
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Artnotwar]
    #9525266 - 12/31/08 09:59 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

intense_cutn said:
OK twighead, so like i said before, how would the body distinguish between synthesized psilocybin, and naturally occurring psilocybin?
like plasmid said, the human body can't tell the difference.

I'm sure there are still chemicals that occur naturally that we have not yet discovered, are they still more predictable?




No, you're right, I was only refering to chemicals that are only synthetic and are likely to never be found in nature, such as transfats, which were thought to be safe when first synthesized and took years to discover their dangerous effects on life; probably attributing to the negative stigma towards synthetics.

Its not the fact its synthetic itself that makes it harmful, its the fact it takes a long time to fully understand a substance no matter how advanced your science is, and often that time isn't taken and a synthetic substance is shown to be harmful once already put to use.


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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: twighead]
    #9525284 - 12/31/08 10:03 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

sometimes those results are known before the products are released
but they deem it more profitable to worry about the lawsuits that
will spring up in 20 years after they've made billions


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OfflineArtnotwar
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: twighead]
    #9525654 - 12/31/08 11:48 PM (9 years, 24 days ago)

i see exactly what you're saying, but that is a matter of a newly discovered chemical VS a chemical that is known for hundreds/thousands of years. NOT naturally occuring VS man made.


--------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Until the 20th century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see,
and hear.
Since the initial publication of the charged electromagnetic spectrum, humans
learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear... is less than one
millionth of reality.
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Re: Synthetic Unnatural? [Re: Artnotwar]
    #9525724 - 01/01/09 12:07 AM (9 years, 24 days ago)

sure, but with most newly discovered chemicals being synthetic the unreasonable fear bleeds over. None of this reflects my actual views, just trying to comprehend what goes through the average persons mind :laugh:


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