Humans have always worried about the end of the world, but Isaac Newton wasn't the type of man to accept an apocalypse scare at face value. No, when fearmongers of the 1700s made biblical predictions about the end of times, he hit the books and did some fact-checking.
Newton was no slouch when it came to theology. Just as his obsessive, problem-solving nature led him to explore the mysteries of alchemy, so too did he venture into the riddles of biblical visions, such as those described in the cryptic Book of Daniel.
Newton believed wholeheartedly that the Bible contained an ancient and irrefutable wisdom, if only learned men could crack its codes. Still, 300-year-old documents indicate that his primary motivation in studying the Book of Daniel was to silence the fearmongers.
His projected date for the end of the world? The year 2060 -- possibly later, but absolutely no sooner. In other words, "Move along, folks, nothing to see here."
Or at least that's what he told his fellow denizens of the 18th century. You, on the other hand, might think differently on the matter.
Want to dive deeper into the mind of Newton? Then explore the links below.
More Great Links
- Baynes, Thomas Spencer. "The Encyclopaedia Britannica." H.G. Allen. 1888.
- BBC h2g2. "Isaac Newton: Economist and Saviour of the Nation." (Jan. 9, 2010) http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A72025553
- Bellevue College. "Isaac Newton." (Jan. 9, 2011) http://scidiv.bellevuecollege.edu/math/newton.html
- Costa, Shelley. "'Our' Notation from Their Quarrel: The Leibniz-Newton Controversy in Calculus Texts." (Jan. 9, 2011) http://www1.umn.edu/ships/9-1/calculus.htm
- Descartes, Rene. "Principles of Philosophy on Motion." (Jan. 10, 2011) http://www.princeton.edu/~hos/Mahoney/texts/descartes/desc-mot.html
- Egglescliffe School. "Newton and the Reflecting Telescope." (Jan. 10, 2011) http://www.egglescliffe.org.uk/physics/astronomy/telescope/newtontele.html
- Fowler, Michael. "Newton's Life." (Jan. 10, 2011) http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/109N/lectures/newton.html
- Ganot, Adolphe and Edmund Atkinson. "Elementary treatise on physics, experimental and applied, for the use of colleges and schools." Harvard University. 1875.
- Hall, Alfred Rupert. "Isaac Newton's Life." 1998. (Jan. 20, 2011) http://www.newton.ac.uk/newtlife.html
- Lemelson-MIT Program. "Reflecting Telescope." (Jan. 9, 2011) http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/newton.html
- Nation Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. "Famous Mathematicians - Isaac Newton." May 4, 2010. (Jan. 9, 2011) http://www.ncetm.org.uk/resources/24133
- "Newton the Alchemist." NOVA. Nov. 15, 2005. (Dec. 1, 2011) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/newton-alchemist-newman.html
- Nipissing University. "Applications of Calculus." (Jan. 9, 2011) http://www.nipissingu.ca/calculus/calc_app.html
- Pack, Mark. "No, Christopher Wren and Isaac Newton were not great MPs." May 16, 2009. (Jan. 9, 2011) http://www.libdemvoice.org/no-christopher-wren-and-isaac-newton-were-not-great-mps-14682.html
- Plotner, Tammy. "Reflector Telescope." July 23, 2008. (Jan. 10, 2011) http://www.universetoday.com/15849/reflector-telescope/
- The Royal Society. "Newton beats Einstein in poll of scientists and the public." Nov. 23, 2005. (Jan. 9, 2011) http://royalsociety.org/News.aspx?id=1324&terms=Newton+beats+Einstein+in+polls+of+scientists+and+the+public
- "Shoot a cannonball into orbit!" NASA Space Place. May 11, 2011. (Nov. 30, 2011) http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/how-orbits-work/
- "Sir Isaac Newton: The Universal Law of Gravitation." University of Tennessee Department of Physics and Astronomy. (Nov. 30, 2011) http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/index.html
- Stewart, Ian. "Forum: A bit of a flap - When it came to cats, Newton had it easy." New Scientist. July 20, 199. (Dec. 1, 2011) http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg13117785.000-forum-a-bit-of-a-flap--when-it-came-to-cats-newton-had-iteasy-.html
- Tyson, Peter. "Newton's Legacy." NOVA. Nov. 15, 2005. (Dec. 2, 2011) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/newton-legacy.html
- Westminster Abbey. "Sir Isaac Newton." (Jan. 9, 2010) http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/people/sir-isaac-newton
- White, Michael. "Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer." Da Capo Press. 1999.
- Wright, John Martin Frederick. "Alma Mater; Or, Seven Years at the University of Cambridge." London: Black, Young and Young.
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