To be clear, they believed that the philosopher’s stone could transmute metals as well as make them immortal. It appears that they largely sought the stone for its ability to transmute metals, though, and an elixir for becoming immortal.

Sometimes it seems like science just ruins magic for us. We know how the sky and stars work. We know how water, fire, earth, and wind work and we have a pretty good understanding of what happens in the brain when people fall in love. On the other hand, science is makes it so that we can talk into little squares and hear people on the opposite side of the world and find crazy, creepy things in the depths of our oceans. One thing that’s interesting is that the search for a vastly longer life may be coming to a close. Genetic researchers have been making huge strides. They have successfully made worms live much, much longer and are working on extending such findings to people. It’s a bit more work than finding an elixir or the fountain of youth, but it seems like it’s on its way to winning the race all the same.