Recently, Grade 10 students Alicia and Belen presented their presentation ‘The Dark Secrets of one of the most renowned men of science.’ This man was the famous Sir Isaac Newton. They presented the modern image of Newton, how he discovered the three laws of motion, calculus and how he found out the composition of light.
On the surface, Newton seemed to be a real man of science. Unlike other scientists who recognized authority in their work such as Aristotle, or Ptolemy, Isaac did not want to answer questions by just answering. Instead, he advocated the repeated use of experiments and careful observation to find out what is true, which is the basis of the modern scientific method.
However, there was one question that Newton could not answer through experiment. In his scientific book “Principia,” he stated “This most beautiful system of the sun, the planets, and planets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.” However, this is the extent to which Isaac Newton’s work displayed any kind of indication that the man studied religion. The true extent of Newton’s religious finding was only discovered after his death when the manuscripts were found.
Newton was not a cold calculating scientist, he was a man who was interested in looking beyond human existence and finding meaning and understanding of supernatural ideas. He dedicated the majority of his life to studying the bible despite not being a believer in Christianity. Newton came up with theories of greater existence and things such as the end of the world.
According to the manuscripts found and sold to John Maynard Keynes, Newton spent many hours trying to figure out when the world would end. His calculations reveal that the world should end in 2060 exactly 126o years after the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire. These assumptions are apparently based on his analysis of the Bible’s Book of Daniel, however, the development of his conclusion is unknown to this day. Newton mentions in his writings “it may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner”, this suggests that Newton may have been looking for the earliest possible date at which the world could end and not necessarily the exact date of its collapse.
Newton’s private journals reveal that he bought two furnaces and chemicals, along with peculiar books. Alchemy is an ancient practice. Alchemists try to produce a magical substance called the philosopher’s stone, which is said to perform miracles such as curing a fatal disease, giving immortality and transforming common metals into pure gold. Alchemy was banned because the government feared the economy would be destroyed with false gold in circulation. It is a mystery as to why Newton took up such an obscure side a science. Newton believed that in the past people knew a lot about nature and the universe and that this wisdom was lost over time but still held in Greek myths, which he interpreted as alchemical formulas. Alchemy was perhaps Newton’s way of exploring the natural world.
By Maximiliaan (president of Myth hunters)