Added by on 2017-06-03

In the world of chemistry, an “organic” compound is often described as anything with carbon in it, and “organic chemistry” is the study of carbon compounds, but there is actually no single definition of what “organic” means in chemistry, and scientists have been arguing about it for a long time. In this edition of “I Don’t Think It Means What You Think It Means,” Hank does his best to illuminate the confusion so we can better understand what “organic” means (or doesn’t mean) to chemists. Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Tardigrade Poster: http://vid.io/xom SciShow Mug: http://vid.io/xoa SciShow Shirt: http://vid.io/xog — SciShow elsewhere on the internet: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Tweets by SciShow http://scishow.tumblr.com Video Rating: / 5 Related PostsAsk EWG: Does hydroponic mean organic?DWC Organic Hydroponic Cannabis Week: 0Hydroponics and Soil Gardeners: Make liquid fertilizer from kitchen discards and weeds. Go organic!Organic hydroponics growing chard, duckweed & lettuce. Using DIY liquid fertilizerCheapest & non circulating Hydroponics-growing of beans plant with organic fertilizer/DIY(Hindi/UrduOrganic, traditional farming compared in Rodale Institute study

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20 Comments

  • W. Esteban Labrador 6 months ago

    I hace a question, what is Dark Flow?

  • Nicholas' Trombone 6 months ago

    Does it come from a living thing if so yes if not no that simple

  • TheSpecialistGamerX2 6 months ago

    I think they should put a stop to the idea of organic substances in chemistry: the whole origin of this debate is quite stupid as neurology has pretty could evidence that consciousness besides with any complex computing entity

  • Sonali Rai 6 months ago

    We have been studying organic chemistry in school for three years in alot of detail and the definition in our books is the hydrocarbon one. So, urea and other compouns like urea are not considered organic. I guess this is because maybe, this definition is the most accepted one. Maybe.

  • Fernando Costa 6 months ago

    Gasoline is organic

  • Mark Susskind 6 months ago

    O-chem is the butt of all-nighter-college-matriculant jokes. I often wonder if there's a problem with the way we teach it. What can we do to improve the ways we teach organic chemistry?

  • Andrew Ace 6 months ago

    . . .

  • Robert Neal 6 months ago

    OK, so it Feb 2017, almost 4 years later. Has there been any updates to his information or and solid clear cut definition as to what's considered an organic compound and what isn't?

  • Isaac Gordon 6 months ago

    I wasn't confused, and now I am.

  • Contingence 6 months ago

    Yo, Hank: You seem like an okay dude; you did a good job with maintaining a stance of neutrality in this video, focusing on the science and not the drama. That being said, I find that your opinions about human behavior being good or bad or gross or whatever can sometimes detract from the science. I mean, It's Sci Show, man. Please, be goofy and nerdy and what have you, but you gotta remember that some people are stupidly stubborn (or perhaps stubbornly stupid) and they have their niches too.
    I don't even know why I bothered to leave such a long comment cause I know you're not gonna read it. I wish you would, bro. You would if I donated money, but I'm too poor for that shit.
    Anyhow, keep up the videos cause my brain is hungry for more layman's science. Cheers.

  • Daniel Brownson 6 months ago

    I don't see the rationale for excluding CO2. Life that used CO2 came earlier, after all.

  • Well Wild 6 months ago

    Okay that's fine with me. Let's exclude urea and include gasoline. It's alright.

  • Michał Borkowski 6 months ago

    I was told at school that compounds are organic when:
    1. they have carbon atoms which connect to other carbon atoms
    2. they clearly are the beginning of a series of compounds that satisfy the previous requirement

    Can anyone tell me how much sense does it make?

  • Robert Detrich 6 months ago

    Wouldn't it be correct if not arguable that gasoline is organic indeed? It's the remains of organisms.

  • Ken Peard 6 months ago

    most of the chemicals in gasoline are organinic.

  • Ashley Hemze 6 months ago

    This freshmen at my school bought 6,000 organic stickers, giving them out to basically everyone, and now they're vandalizing the entire school. It was lit.

  • Nerobyrne 6 months ago

    "organic food"
    hmm, where do you keep the inorganic food?

  • Gmontgalloway 6 months ago

    You don't have to give me advice, I just really want to know whether organic foods are healthier for me. I.e. Do they have different amounts of nutrients?
    Or are there residue chemicals detectable on the nonorganic foods and which ones?
    Would be a nice video 🙂

  • maxpowers3732 6 months ago

    Shouldn't the person that made Urea in a lab have been put in jail and attacked for going against "settled science" at the time? There was a scientific consensus that living things had a "vital force" and certain things could only come from living things. Once there is a majority scientific opinion on something shouldn't those that challenge the prevailing opinion with new evidence or additional experiments be humiliated and jailed? That's what I've learned from the scientific consensus about global cooling in the 70's, global warming in the 2000s, and climate change today.

    I'd love to see a video on all the times the scientific consensus turned out to be wrong.

  • ahcoll 6 months ago

    So…how salt could be "organic"? xD