The following is an email from my friend the physicist, Werner Karl Heisenberg (photo at left). He and I communicate on a fairly regular basis via the web because other means of communication are not available to us. You see, he is dead.
I think that something close to the order of my Uncertainty Principle may have to be invoked in certain instances when someone describes what they are doing as "molecular." If someone calls something they do "molecular gastronomy" but does not offer or appear to know any information about the behavior of the molecules in the thing under preparation then we may have to allow that the method of preparation is molecular at the same time that it is not.
In the case of this video from spiritsandcocktails.com, two mixologists from the Seattle restaurant Vessel, teach us how to make a molecular cocktail suspiciously named Vessel 75. (I had wrongly assumed that the 75 referred to the atomic number of one of the ingredients but disgarded that idea when they did not add any rhenium to the mix.) They tell us that what makes the drink molecular is that alcohol is burned during the process and it is topped with foam. There is no discussion of the physical principles involved and not a word about molecules, yet they say it is molecular. Mein Got! How can we explain this contradiction without invoking a hypothesis that proposes that something can be one thing (e.g. molecular) and not that thing simultaneously?
Finally, I have to warn you that as the molecular gastronomic spreads we are going to be confronted with apparent contradictions of logic such as this with increasing frequency.
Here is the link to the video again: Vessel 75. Let us hope that we have the time and the wisdom to work this out before Rachel Ray or Burger King gets their hands on the concept and we start begin having to explain it to children or the people who go to those big churches.