Excerpt from The Book of Knowledge, Vol. 7: The Children's Encyclopedia
We use the word astronomy, however, to distinguish this real science from an unreal science which came before it, and which was called astrology If we turn to the great science of Chemistry we find exactly the same thing. Before What we now call Chemistry came into exist ence there was an unreal science called alchemy - Which is really the same word. The alchemists were searching for the philosopher's stone that was to turn everything into gold, and for the elixir of life that was to turn or keep every body young. The alchemists were foolish in looking for these things, and they were almost always wrong in the way in which they interpreted the results of their experiments. But we could not have modern Chemistry if there had been no alchemists. They were patient men who made numberless experiments and noted numberless facts. They laid the foundation of chemistry, and though they were wrong in their objects, and wrong in their ideas of the meaning of what they noticed, yet we profit in a thousand ways by their discoveries to day.
And, just as every modern Chemist is indebted to the alchemists, so every modern astronomer is indebted to the astrologers. We could not have had our modern astronomy but for them. They, too, like the alchemists, were eager and patient men, and they observed thousands of facts about the heavenly bodies.
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