The Unknown God

An English physician once described radium as “the unknown god”. This was at a time where radiation and it’s effects were still being discovered. Radium was being used to treat all manner of ailment, thinking that if it was helpful in large amounts for treating cancer, it must also keep you healthy in small amounts.

Characterizing power of something we don’t know as an unknown god is oddly fitting. There are many unknown gods in the physical sciences and entirely new fields like AI.

I first heard this on Behind the Bastards - William Bailey.

See also:

  • Hela Cells

    Henrietta Lacks passed away from cervical cancer in 1951, but her cells have been continuously used in medical tests due to their ability to replicate quickly. She might be the first immortal women as her lineage of cells have been used for the last 70 years.