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Periodic table, revisited


Date published: 1/6/2013

Periodic table, revisited

I'd like to thank Dara Dawson ["Periodic table: Not so 'elementary,'" Dec. 9] for correcting my errors in the article "Periodic table offers proof of a Supreme Being" [Nov. 25]. The atomic numbers are based on the number of protons in an atom, not the number of electrons, as I wrote in paragraph 4.

However, in paragraph 5 I did write that "An element is a substance consisting of atoms that all have the same number of protons, that is, the same atomic number." So maybe I didn't completely flunk the test.

The article was written as a long-delayed response to a man who wrote to say that since there was no physical evidence that God existed, he could not believe in God.

When I read that, the memory of the statement made by Professor Schaefer in chemistry class at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro immediately came to mind. The statement was made a long time ago--in 1962--but it was a profound revelation, and has stayed with me. The thought that I should respond to the man's article nagged me from the moment I read it.

Hopefully, the error in the original piece will not cloud the point of the article--that the elements have an atomic number that is based on the number of protons in the element and that no two elements have the same atomic number. I don't believe it was an accident of nature, but rather a part of God's divine plan.

Jacky Joyner McDaniel

Spotsylvania