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I·saac New·ton

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

What goes up must come down.

Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

Lo que sabemos es una gota de agua; lo que ignoramos es un océano.

{What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean}

Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.

Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.

God without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate and Nature. Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and everywhere, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing.

Whence arises all that order and beauty we see in the world?

How came the bodies of animals to be contrived with so much art, and for what ends were their several parts? Was the eye contrived without skill in Opticks, and the ear without knowledge of sounds?...and these things being rightly dispatch’d, does it not appear from phænomena that there is a Being incorporeal, living, intelligent...?

You have to make the rules, not follow them.

Live your life as an Exclamation rather than an Explanation.

He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.

To every action there is always an equal and opposite or contrary, reaction.

If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent.

Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is truth.

Sir Isaac Newton was born on Christmas day, 1642 in Woolsthorpe Manor, Linconshire, England, and passed away on March 31, 1727 in London. A revered physicist and mathematician who was so small at birth that he barely survived and was said to be capable of fitting inside a quart mug. Growing up during the time of the Bubonic Plague, Newton was a precocious scientist creating the conception of calculus in his mid-20s. An alumni from Trinity College, Cambridge; Newton was an admiring skeptic of Greek philosophy. His adjournment into metaphysics and epistemology would set him up for a life convicted to the search for truth. Largely referred to as the culminating figure of the Scientific Revolution, the prevalence of the plague in Europe (taking the lives of every 1 in 4 persons in London) would force Newton to reside in his childhood home for two years following his time at Cambridge. During the pandemic, Newton used a prism to discover that white light + sun light is made up of the colors of the rainbow. Newton's curiosity had grave repercussions for the predominant theory at the time -- Aristotle's theory that color consisted as a mix of black + white. To prove his theory Newton created a reflecting telescope with mirrors as opposed to lenses to render a more defined image. In contrast to some of Newton's other, more erratic experiments, such as the time in which he inserted a sewing needle into his eye socket for purposes of discovering whether changing the dimensions of his eye shape would render a change in his perception of colour. An apple tree resided in the backyard of Newton's manor, it is said that Newton was sitting under the tree when an apple landed on his head, prompting him to think deeply about the force of gravity - could such a force make it to the moon? the sun? - he pondered. Theorising that the same gravitational pull was responsible for the Moon's orbit around Earth, Newton crafted calculus to further his scientific expeditions. Decades following, German mathematician, Gottfried Leibniz published a written work on calculus in 1684, which mandated Newton to overcome his habitual secrecy in the assertion that he had already made the discovery of calculus twenty years prior. Newton's affinity for privacy and liking to secrecy stemmed from his poor reception of criticism and public scrutiny of his work. As the President of the Scientific Academy, Newton was able to influence Leibniz's appeal to the Royal Society of London in claim for accreditation. The historical record asserts that both Leibniz + Newton made independent discoveries of calculus. In the aftermath of the plague in 1667, Newton returned to Cambridge to continue his research as a fellow. Before the end of his 20s, he attained the title of 'Lucasian Professor of Mathematics,' a distinguished title later held by the likes of Stephen Hawking. Newton did not have love for pedagogy and was known to lecture to vacuous rooms when his students failed to attend class. He simply loved to study, to research; this led him to publish one of the most critical works in scientific history - The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, colloquially known as Principia. Regarded as one of the most profound things ever written, by anyone; Newton described his devised law of universal gravitation and his three laws of motion:

Law (i.) an object will not change its motion unless a force acts upon it.

Law (ii.) the force of an object is = to (its) mass x (its) acceleration.

Law (iii.) when two objects interact, they apply forces to one another of equal magnitude and opposite direction. {every action bears a reaction}

Newton also spent 25 years secretly studying alchemy, even going to the extent of crafting a manuscript holding a recipe alleged to explain the processes needed for concocting the mythical Philosopher's Stone. Said to be believed by fellow alchemists to hold the power to grant humans immortality; it has been popularized by J. K. Rowling's incorporation of it in the Harry Potter novels. It is said that Newton may have caught mercury poisoning from his extensive time spent in the laboratory.

Newton's greatest contributions are not to science however, but theology. Moved by his conviction that the Bible worked as a code to the workings of the natural world - he believed that his studious interpretation of the Holy text enabled him the ability to foresee and predict the future. He believed the apocalypse would happen in 2060 ("it may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner.") Newton foresaw a state marked with chaos and catastrophe followed by the second coming of Christ, and the onset of a new, divine era. Alluding yet again to Newton's love for secrecy, the public was largely unknown of his theological disposition. That is until it appeared in 1936 in the form of Sotheby's auctioning his theological manuscripts. Attained by a Jewish scholar, the works eventually were given to the state of Israel - 7,500 pages in authentic Newtonian handwriting. Newton's views of Christianity were rather heterodox however for his rejection of the Trinity (the unity of Father, Son, & the Holy Spirit). He is also known for scrutinizing King James II's attempt to catholicise universities - resulting in Newton's election to become a Member of Parliament for two terms in which it is stated that the only thing Newton actually said on record was a request for 'a window to be closed.'

A man of science + faith, Newton passed away in his sleep and was buried at Westminster Abbey. The latin inscription on his grave reads: Hic Depositum Est Quod Mortale Fuit Isaac Newton. {Here Lies That Which Was Mortal of Isaac Newton}

Newton's immortal legacy + influence however is quite simply everything but ephemeral; the English poet + satirist Alexander Pope, widely recognised as one of the most distinguished writers of the Enlightenment era, was so touched by the gravitas + weight of Newton's accomplishments that he wrote the profound epitaph: Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night; God said 'Let Newton be' and all was light.

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