Pope John XXII: Angry Chemist!

Details matter. The irony of someone who actually did something about fraud that abused science being attacked as anti-science is darkly amusing.

Aliens in This World

Sometimes you see people saying that Pope John XXII wrote a bull against chemistry. Actually, it was a decretal (canon law) against alchemy scams and counterfeiting coinage. He took alchemy himself as a young guy at the university (he also studied both medicine and law, which is pretty good for a shoemaker’s son) and was a patron of science as pope; so it’s a rage for science, not against science!

Here’s a literal translation:

On the Crime of Counterfeiting (De crimine falsi)
aka Spondent pariter and Spondent quas non exhibent.
Pope John XXII, at Avignon, circa 1317.

Riches-poor alchemists promise riches that they do not produce; equally, those who suppose themselves wise (Rom. 1:22) fall “into the pit that” they have “made.” (Ps. 7:16) For it is by no means doubtful that professors of this art of alchemy make fun of each other; at the same time…

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