Newton’s original theology and alchemy manuscripts are now on line here.
Among the many manuscripts preserved at the National Library are works by the man considered to be the greatest physicist of all time, Sir Isaac Newton. Contrary to what one might expect to find amid Newton’s works, these papers cover topics such as interpretations of the Bible, theology, the history of ancient cultures, the Tabernacle and Temple, calculations dealing with the end of time, historical documents, and even alchemy.
These papers introduce facets of Newton’s personality and work that the public has never before encountered. They are evidence of the great lengths that Newton went to in trying to decipher writings that, in his opinion, contained secret knowledge encrypted in the Holy Scriptures of ancient cultures and in historical documents. Exemplifying perfectly this type of research are Newton’s efforts to produce knowledge of scientific significance from the Biblical and Talmudic descriptions of the Tabernacle and Temple.
Digital manuscripts here.
Today’s narrow science bureaucracy, with its focus on ideological correctness instead of achievement, might shun Newton. One wonders what would become of Newton, the greatest British scientist of all time, at the hands of a British science czar like Beddington, who advocates that scientists be “grossly intolerant” of what they deem unscientific views. Most of Newton’s views probably fall into that category.
The wiser heads of yesteryear focused on how his laws of gravity related to the observed evidence. These laws (equations, really) revolutionized industry as well as astronomy because they enabled us to predict the behaviour of mechanical devices with great accuracy. Most people in his day relied on harnessing large animals for energy. Progress was limited because it is much harder to predict – or change – what an animal will do.
Look at it this way: Newton believed that the world would end in 2060. Unnumbered cranks and crackpots representing secular and religious causes have fronted end-of-the-world scenarios. But they did not provide us with useful science information the way he did. Gross intolerance, in science as in any endeavour, means goodbye to progress.
Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista
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