Manchester Times

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Posted on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 7:49 am

Is it really fair that so many people think tin and iron and lead aren’t as precious as gold just because they didn’t happen to be created with 79 protons per atom? I mean, really, what’s so special about 79 protons? Just because so-called “base” metals were created with a different number of protons, does that mean they’re any less valuable? If I really value my brass ring, shouldn’t I be able to call it gold? Why do people favor gold over so many other metals? Shouldn’t they all be the same value, especially if we really like them? Wouldn’t it be more fair if we just went ahead and started calling all metal gold? If everyone agreed to do that, it would make all metal as valuable as gold, right?

Well, no. Calling tin or lead or iron gold doesn’t make it so, even if everyone in the world agreed to start doing it and pretended there were no differences. In reality different metals have different properties, and those differences are not arbitrary human prejudices based on words. The differences are built into the nature of things, and what we call different metals is simply a recognition of what already exists, regardless of what words we use.

Practically everybody understands those realities about metals, of course. So why are so many people confused about exactly the same topic when it comes to marriage?