“you are wonderful.”
“In the afternoon, everyone on the expedition was at the gully, sectioning off the site and preparing for careful collection which eventually took three weeks. That first evening they celebrated at the camp, staying up all night, and at some stage during the evening the fossil AL 288-1 was nicknamed Lucy, after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, which was being played loudly and repeatedly on a tape recorder in the camp.”
“Lucy,” as most of us know her, was named in two ways: a proper name – randomly assigned courtesy of The Beatles 🙂 – and a scientific name, situating her in relationship to other fossils in a theoretical structure. That theory has been created on the basis of a logic of relationships (time – by carbon-dating, and other paleoanthropological principles) which is largely deductive. Deduction moves “from general evidence to a particular truth or conclusion.” In contrast, Mendeleev’s theory of the Periodic Table of the Atomic Elements induced the presence of elements we didn’t yet know existed, and even enabled the creation of man-made elements. This distinction between induction and deduction might be a way (?) of explaining the power of language as a force that creates and establishes meaning.
The title of Mendeleev’s work states the relational quality of his theory up front and center: The Dependence Between the Properties of the Atomic Weights of the Elements.
“The strange new ordering of elements according to their properties and their atomic weight led to a series of conclusions. First, that certain properties occur periodically (hence the name), then that certain places in the table had to be left blank, for undiscovered elements.”
The History of the Periodic Table of the Elements