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(Wired)   One of history's most celebrated scientific minds had millions of his words written about religion and alchemy sequestered by his descendants, or Dan Brown has started a very deep viral campaign for his next novel   (wired.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Sir Isaac Newton, Newtonian, John Maynard Keynes, history  
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3777 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 May 2014 at 10:13 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



38 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2014-05-16 09:42:31 AM  
 
2014-05-16 10:15:45 AM  
I thought Newton's occult leanings were well-known...
 
2014-05-16 10:20:11 AM  
i dunno about dan brown, but the neal stephenson books on the subject were at least entertaining.
 
2014-05-16 10:21:52 AM  

LazarusLong42: I thought Newton's occult leanings were well-known...


I thought that they were the norm of the time, and somewhat expected from the great minds of his day.
 
2014-05-16 10:27:34 AM  

heap: i dunno about dan brown, but the neal stephenson books on the subject were at least entertaining.


Yep. The whole reason I guessed Newton from the headline is because of the Baroque Cycle.
 
2014-05-16 10:31:16 AM  
Newton would gladly have labelled himself an alchemist over other job titles. He did have a strong belief in it, and his work did help chemists down the line. It really shouldn't be used to detract from his legacy in physics or mathematics.

/thankfully he never went the Fullmetal Alchemist route in trying to make a Philosopher's Stone
 
2014-05-16 10:33:25 AM  

LazarusLong42: I thought Newton's occult leanings were well-known...


I'm guessing the article came about after someone watched a recent episode of the new Cosmos and wondered about Newton's stuff since he had no direct descendants. Also because of the alchemy and bible code stuff.
 
2014-05-16 10:34:43 AM  
The Earl of Upnor unavailable for comment.

/Mostly because he turned into a human kebab.
 
2014-05-16 10:36:57 AM  

Strolpol: /thankfully he never went the Fullmetal Alchemist route in trying to make a Philosopher's Stone


According to the wiki, he may have done that too.
 
2014-05-16 10:39:28 AM  
img1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-05-16 11:07:59 AM  
He also went insane due to heavy metals poisoning. Yes, metals is plural.
 
2014-05-16 11:10:30 AM  
I think it would be instructive for a lot of creationists and other anti-intellectualists to go back and realize how much of our scientific discoveries came about because people tried to provide proof for religion or spirituality and then wound up discovering a deeper truth in the process. In particular, a lot of early geologists started out trying to prove the biblical account of the flood but eventually had to concede that the history of the world was a lot longer and more complex than they originally thought, and in turn this deep time they discovered became a lever by which natural selection could enable evolution.

It's not like most early scientists just started out immediately discounting God and religion and then invented a framework to remove God from the world. They instead tested the hypotheses laid out by the Bible and found the evidence lacking compared to other, better explanations.
 
2014-05-16 11:23:52 AM  
Wow, was the Baroque Cycle really published 10 years ago? Doesn't seem that long.

But yeah, I thought everybody knew that Newton was crazypants whackadoodle crypto-religious, a sort of Causobon/Belbo/Diotallevi rolled into one and crossed with, say, Richard Feynman. It's not like Stephenson would hang a couple hundred thousand words on the idea if there wasn't some pretty strong historical support. Stephenson may not be the most elegant novelist in the world, but he is obsessive about his research (except for the technical challenges involved in underground fuel-air explosives as related to the melting point of precious metals, but hey, nobody's perfect).

I love the idea of this huge trove of Newton papers, though, that's just filtered kind of unregarded through history because nobody has been exactly the right kind of bug-fark crazy to be able to understand what the hell Newton was on about. They might get the physics, but be completely oblivious to the Book of Daniel. They might get the chemistry, but have no interest whatsoever in numismatics. The guy was just completely out of left field in so many ways.
 
2014-05-16 11:30:26 AM  
Oh, he probably just plagarized these too. Like he always did with much of his work.
 
2014-05-16 11:50:21 AM  

Strolpol: Newton would gladly have labelled himself an alchemist over other job titles. He did have a strong belief in it, and his work did help chemists down the line. It really shouldn't be used to detract from his legacy in physics or mathematics.


I don't see how it would detract from his legitimate work, but it does pose the question, in my mind anyway, of how much scientific advancement may have been given up because great minds of the time were so preoccupied with this sort of nonsense. If, perhaps, we might not be more advanced than we are already if not for the time wasted in magical pursuits.
 
2014-05-16 11:54:59 AM  

Shakin_Haitian: He also went insane due to heavy metals poisoning. Yes, metals is plural.


Yes, and it is this mental deterioration that some believe allowed him to become hopelessly cross-threaded with Leibnitz over the calculus.
 
2014-05-16 11:58:00 AM  

skozlaw: Strolpol: Newton would gladly have labelled himself an alchemist over other job titles. He did have a strong belief in it, and his work did help chemists down the line. It really shouldn't be used to detract from his legacy in physics or mathematics.

I don't see how it would detract from his legitimate work, but it does pose the question, in my mind anyway, of how much scientific advancement may have been given up because great minds of the time were so preoccupied with this sort of nonsense. If, perhaps, we might not be more advanced than we are already if not for the time wasted in magical pursuits.


Or what if people of the time dismissed his scientific findings out of hand because of his religious beliefs?
 
2014-05-16 11:58:46 AM  
♪ Ooey, gooey, rich and chewy inside.
 Golden, flaky, tender cakey outside. ♪
 
2014-05-16 12:01:45 PM  

Strolpol: /thankfully he never went the Fullmetal Alchemist route in trying to make a Philosopher's Stone


You never go full metal alchemist.
 
2014-05-16 12:24:39 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: Or what if people of the time dismissed his scientific findings out of hand because of his religious beliefs?


I have no idea what point you're raising. Correct scientific ideas have been initially dismissed all through history because of biases inherent in the people listening regarding all manner of unrelated traits in the speaker.
 
2014-05-16 12:41:21 PM  

skozlaw: InterruptingQuirk: Or what if people of the time dismissed his scientific findings out of hand because of his religious beliefs?

I have no idea what point you're raising. Correct scientific ideas have been initially dismissed all through history because of biases inherent in the people listening regarding all manner of unrelated traits in the speaker.


Oh come on, what if Newton's ideas about physics and mathematics had been ignored because he was a 'religious nutjob'?
 
2014-05-16 12:43:06 PM  

Shakin_Haitian: He also went insane due to heavy metals poisoning. Yes, metals is plural.


Well what do you know . . . why yes, yes it is.
 
2014-05-16 01:01:02 PM  

Shakin_Haitian: He also went insane due to heavy metals poisoning. Yes, metals is plural.


Well, yeah. They thought mercury cured everything and the guy operated a Mint. It's no surprise that he was exposed to heavy metals.
 
2014-05-16 01:42:40 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: Oh come on, what if Newton's ideas about physics and mathematics had been ignored because he was a 'religious nutjob'?


Then somebody would have looked at his work, done the experiments and vindicated him later and we'd be farther behind than we already are. I don't understand your point. This is not a thing that requires hypothetical speculation. Unfortunately, it actually happens. People discover things that go ignored because of bias against race, gender, ethnicity, religion and whether they like Chicago or New York style pizza.

It's not a "what if" scenario, it really happens.
 
2014-05-16 01:44:19 PM  

Shakin_Haitian: He also went insane due to heavy metals poisoning. Yes, metals is plural.


Wow, he described the  taste of mercury as 'ungrateful'.
 
2014-05-16 01:52:49 PM  

miniflea: Shakin_Haitian: He also went insane due to heavy metals poisoning. Yes, metals is plural.

Wow, he described the  taste of mercury as 'ungrateful'.


Well, it does taste ungrateful.  And spiteful.  Nothing like its cousin bromine.  One taste and you know bromine loves you and appreciates all you do.
 
2014-05-16 01:56:11 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: skozlaw: InterruptingQuirk: Or what if people of the time dismissed his scientific findings out of hand because of his religious beliefs?

I have no idea what point you're raising. Correct scientific ideas have been initially dismissed all through history because of biases inherent in the people listening regarding all manner of unrelated traits in the speaker.

Oh come on, what if Newton's ideas about physics and mathematics had been ignored because he was a 'religious nutjob'?


Well, since he plagarized them, the credit would likely fo to the original scientists.

He stole the second law from Hobbes
He stole the laws for gravity and light from Hooke
He stole Calculus from Leibniz

In order to get recognized you had to submit your stuff to the Royal Society.  But when you do, the head of the society suddenly claims 'Oh, I had already thought of that, I have just been refining my notes for weveral years.'  Newton was a reverse patent troll.
 
2014-05-16 02:10:09 PM  

Tricky Chicken: InterruptingQuirk: skozlaw: InterruptingQuirk: Or what if people of the time dismissed his scientific findings out of hand because of his religious beliefs?

I have no idea what point you're raising. Correct scientific ideas have been initially dismissed all through history because of biases inherent in the people listening regarding all manner of unrelated traits in the speaker.

Oh come on, what if Newton's ideas about physics and mathematics had been ignored because he was a 'religious nutjob'?

Well, since he plagarized them, the credit would likely fo to the original scientists.

He stole the second law from Hobbes
He stole the laws for gravity and light from Hooke
He stole Calculus from Leibniz

In order to get recognized you had to submit your stuff to the Royal Society.  But when you do, the head of the society suddenly claims 'Oh, I had already thought of that, I have just been refining my notes for weveral years.'  Newton was a reverse patent troll.


Well, that's original.
 
2014-05-16 02:35:22 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: Tricky Chicken: InterruptingQuirk: skozlaw: InterruptingQuirk: Or what if people of the time dismissed his scientific findings out of hand because of his religious beliefs?

I have no idea what point you're raising. Correct scientific ideas have been initially dismissed all through history because of biases inherent in the people listening regarding all manner of unrelated traits in the speaker.

Oh come on, what if Newton's ideas about physics and mathematics had been ignored because he was a 'religious nutjob'?

Well, since he plagarized them, the credit would likely fo to the original scientists.

He stole the second law from Hobbes
He stole the laws for gravity and light from Hooke
He stole Calculus from Leibniz

In order to get recognized you had to submit your stuff to the Royal Society.  But when you do, the head of the society suddenly claims 'Oh, I had already thought of that, I have just been refining my notes for weveral years.'  Newton was a reverse patent troll.

Well, that's original.


He is like the Michael Scott of science.

but I sometimes worry about my irrational dislike for Newton.
 
2014-05-16 02:38:18 PM  

Tricky Chicken: InterruptingQuirk: skozlaw: InterruptingQuirk: Or what if people of the time dismissed his scientific findings out of hand because of his religious beliefs?

I have no idea what point you're raising. Correct scientific ideas have been initially dismissed all through history because of biases inherent in the people listening regarding all manner of unrelated traits in the speaker.

Oh come on, what if Newton's ideas about physics and mathematics had been ignored because he was a 'religious nutjob'?

Well, since he plagarized them, the credit would likely fo to the original scientists.

He stole the second law from Hobbes
He stole the laws for gravity and light from Hooke
He stole Calculus from Leibniz

In order to get recognized you had to submit your stuff to the Royal Society.  But when you do, the head of the society suddenly claims 'Oh, I had already thought of that, I have just been refining my notes for weveral years.'  Newton was a reverse patent troll.

 
2014-05-16 02:41:29 PM  
Dammit, it threw out the gif.

/in any case, that post just came off as irrational
//also, I'm pretty sure Newton didn't "steal" calculus from Leibniz so much as he hogged the glory to himself
 
2014-05-16 03:02:07 PM  

snake_beater: Dammit, it threw out the gif.

/in any case, that post just came off as irrational
//also, I'm pretty sure Newton didn't "steal" calculus from Leibniz so much as he hogged the glory to himself


Normally I am immune to conspiracy theories.  But for some reason (or lack of reason) I have totally bought into the Newton was a fraud stuff. He even edited Principia in later editions to remove acknowledgements to the work of Hooke.
 
2014-05-16 03:04:30 PM  

Shakin_Haitian: He also went insane due to heavy metals poisoning. Yes, metals is plural.


\m/
 
2014-05-16 03:11:37 PM  

Arkanaut: Shakin_Haitian: He also went insane due to heavy metals poisoning. Yes, metals is plural.

\m/


THEY CAN'T STOP US, LET 'EM TRY!
FOR HEAVY METAL(s) WE WILL DIE!
 
2014-05-16 03:47:54 PM  

Hollie Maea: The Earl of Upnor unavailable for comment.

/Mostly because he turned into a human kebab.


You mean, beat to death by an Irishman with a stick
 
2014-05-16 03:53:12 PM  
When you get beyond the math and science, Newton was very weird.  Of course, back in his day, math and science were weird too.
 
2014-05-16 09:58:15 PM  
As the inventor of the milled edge coin and cat-flap, he proved capable of doing the farking obvious sometimes.
 
2014-05-17 06:33:10 AM  

Shakin_Haitian: He also went insane due to heavy metals poisoning. Yes, metals is plural.


I had a feeling if I did a GIS there would be an appropriate image.

images.cpcache.com
 
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