In materials science, the term polymorphism refers to the ability of a solid material to exist in more than one form or crystal structure. Polymorphism can potentially be found in any crystalline material including polymers and metals. It is related to allotropy, which refers to elemental solids. Polymorphism is relevant to the fields of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, pigments, dyestuffs, foods, and explosives.
From a Unification perspective, several points can be made:
- The scientific study of substances and the discovery of polymorphs are manifestations of our intelligence and creativity—attributes that are linked to our spiritual dimension. These attributes are also reflective of God's intelligence and creativity. In addition, the results of these studies provide glimpses of some of the processes by which God invested His heart, intelligence, and energies in creating this world.
- Our efforts to study substances and their polymorphs spring from our inner desire to understand the natural world, regardless of whether the knowledge gained helps us for our practical, survival needs. These efforts distinguish the human species from all others on our planet.
- By investigating substances and their polymorphs, we work toward establishing harmony with the created world and stewardship (dominion) of true love over it. In Unification terminology, we work toward fulfilling God's "Third Great Blessing" to humanity.
- Polymorphs can be aesthetically appealing or can be useful in practical ways, or both. Thus they serve our internal drive that seeks beauty as well our external, practical needs. As the Unification principle points out, we need both aspects—-the internal and the external—for our lives to be happy.
- Even as polymorphs of substances serve humanity and other parts of the natural world, they provide us with an internal guiding principle: to live for the sake of others. By so doing, we demonstrate God's nature in action, and we can create a world of harmony and peace, which is the desire of all people.