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Isaac Newton got the concepts right, better than anyone else in history. Mass is quantity of matter. Momentum is quantity of motion. Force is change in uniform motion.
Alone on his aunt’s farm, to escape the plague after graduating from college, Newton developed laws of motion for both the planets in space, and falling bodies on earth, unifying the earth and the heavens. To explain his laws, he added the dimension of time to the spacial axioms of geometry, and in doing so, developed a whole new mathematics, the calculus. His work launched the Enlightenment, and indeed the Industrial Revolution. He is still the greatest scientist of all time.
He seemed to know that his mind was different.
“Common people did not know how to abstract their thoughts from their senses. Speaking always of relative quantities or measures, they were thus unable to discern the true, real world that lay beyond their perceptual cloaks.”
He was certain that his theories were correct, and not much interested in convincing others. Why waste one’s precious time? He kept his discoveries to himself for almost 20 years, until Edmond Halley, the discoverer of Halley’s comet, pressured him to publish.
Born into the puritan tradition, an orphan raised by priests, he was a devout believer in God, and an exacting student of the Bible. Theology drove his science. For him , there was no conflict between religion and science.
Get the concepts right. Be clear about God so as to be clear about Nature. This was Newton’s foundation for his science.
As we are in God’s image, our reason is God’s gift to us to discover the laws of nature. And as God is unitary, so is truth, and so truth must be consistent, and it must agree with observation. Science, therefore, is a religious calling.
“God can stimulate our perception by his own will“.
For Isaac Newton, his great treatise, Philosophiae Principia Naturalis Mathematica – the greatest book of science ever written – was in the tradition of Moses.
Isaac Newton gave the same intensity he gave to natural philosophy to the study of christian history. Any polytheism is blasphemy! For Newton, it always led to corruption – in politics. . . and in science. The concept of God underlies the concept of truth.
He became convinced that the notion of the trinity was wrong, a giant conspiracy starting at the Council of Nicosia, with the falsely added 1 John 5:7, and 1 Timothy 3:16 verses to the King James Bible. In this time, in England, denial of the trinity was a capital crime. He kept these views to himself.
Sir Isaac Newton never married, and had no known personal companion. He was buried in Westminster Abbey . . . ‘like a king’.