Skip to comments.A War Between Science and Religon? Ask Isaac Newton(a Scientist Guided by religious fervor)
Posted on 06/20/2007 9:05:55 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
A Jerusalem exhibit of Isaac Newton's manuscripts has some newly-discovered papers showing Newton's calculations of the exact date of the Apocalypse. Using the Book of Daniel, Newton argues that the world will end not earlier than 2060. "It may end later," Newton writes, "but I see no reason for its ending sooner. This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, and by doing so bring the sacred prophecies into discredit as often as their predictions fail." Newton also interprets biblical prophecy to say that the Jews would return to the holy land before the world ends.
Yemima Ben-Manehem, curator of the exhibit, remarks that "these documents show a scientist guided by religious fervor, by a desire to see God's actions in the world." Newton's massive corpus of work reveals that he wrote almost as much about Scripture as he did about science, and indeed he saw his discoveries as showing the handiwork of the divine creator. All of which raises the interesting question: if arguably the greatest scientist of all time was such a fervent believer, indeed if most of the great scientists of the past five hundred years have been practicing Christians, what can we make of the insistence by contemporary atheist writers--from Dawkins to Pinker to Hitchens--that there has been an unceasing war between science and religion?
The atheist case relies on a few key episodes, mostly involving Darwin and Galileo. In my forthcoming book What's So Great About Christianity I will show that these episodes have been ideologically manipulated, and that the "lessons" drawn from them are largely fictitious. Here's a small example of that. We have all heard about the famous showdown between "Darwin's bulldog" Thomas Huxley and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce. When Wilberforce asked Huxley whether he was descended from an ape on his grandfather's side or his grandmother's side, Huxley famously responded that he would rather be descended from a monkey than from a cleric who used his learning to prejudice people against scientific discoveries. The only problem with this incident is that it seems not to have occurred. Huxley apparently made it up to make himself look good. It's not reported in the minutes of the scientific association meeting. Darwin's friend, the botanist Joseph Hooker, was present at the debate. He gave Darwin a full account, which says nothing about Wilberforce's alleged jibe or Huxley's supposed rejoinder. In fact, Hooker told Darwin that Huxley had failed to answer Wilberforce's arguments so that he (Hooker) felt compelled to come to Darwin's defense. Nevertheless Huxley's winning rebuttal lives on in atheist propaganda.
Are science and religion compatible? Don't ask Dawkins and Hitchens, ask Isaac Newton.
No man knows, and you can’t figure it out using anything, since only the Father knows.
If I recall, Newton postulated three or four dates as possibilities.
I find it rather ironic that a man that prcise with everything else could be that imprecise with a prediction of the date of the Apocalypse. And still be taken seriously!
Then again, my agnostic streak says the Apocalypse is all BS anyway, so, perhpas it’s not so surprising at all.
One has to define Science first. The definition is a moving target, as the definition commonly accepted (involving observability, reproduceability and falsifiability (is that a word?)) are “splained” differently when discussing evolution.
there’s a war between dawkins and reality. his arguments are woefully ignorant of theology, so his claims that religion and science are at odds are hardly credible.
Should link to yesterday’s thread. It wouldn’t bother old Newton after 300 years to have his threads combined.
I dunno. Newton probably created science, but he was a strange,strange man.
“One has to define Science first. The definition is a moving target, as the definition commonly accepted (involving observability, reproduceability and falsifiability (is that a word?)) are splained differently when discussing evolution.”
They’re also curiously ignored when discussing faith, so I guess that argument cuts both ways, huh?
Last I checked, Newton was unavailable for comment.
If I remember correctly, the Aztecs calculated the end of the world sometime in the spring (I think it was May) of 2012.
Anyone know if spring of 2012 was one of the dates...ahem...calculated, by Newton?
Be careful admitting that ... there are coyotes and assistant professors running around these parts who will rip you to shreads for that.
/sarcasm on>You obviously dont understand how science works/sarcasm off>
Dang it! My driver's license expires in February...
Nope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Yeah, Armageddon tired of it myself.
“Nope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Nope. Faith is the willful abandonment of reason. No matter how poetically you put it.
Faith does not require evidence, and pointing out that it typically has none to support it will have no effect on the faithful, either.
What do you mean and why?
I think science is becoming too much in the form or religion for atheists.
As a trained biologist, I'm sure you are aware that this doesn't really affect the validty of the scientific process.
Ah, but there’s a big difference between the “Apocalypse” and “Armageddon”.
The Apocalyspe is the time when God will reveal something.
Armageddon is the final battle between good and evil.
But I did enjoy your pun, nonetheless, sir.
Of course, but there's no easy pun in Apocalypse!
As a born biologist with a tested and proven extremely strong aptitude for the discipline, I chose to ignore all of it, rejecting Darwinism and accepting Evolution in its etymological sense.
See, I knew what this thread needed was more good puns.
Do you believe Troy was a real city? If so, why? Do you believe Jesus lived, died, and ressurected? Why? Do you believe in Anacrtica? Do you believe that men actually went to the moon? These ALL require faith to some degree.
Do you believe you exist?
OK, I bite
Science can be defined as the application of Reason to establish an understanding of what is the Universe, and how do the subunits of the Universe interact.
It cannot, by definition tell why the Universe is here, or whether it has a purpose, as those questions require an external referent; a viewpoint from outside the Universe.
Similarly, Science cannot explain Reason, because the Eye through which we see the universe, cannot see itself, except as a reflection. Reason is the basis of Science, the foundation on which it rests.
I’ve read his religious works— and there are quite a few, and he was a genius. He paid attention to detail, and he studied before he spoke. Although I agree, no man can know the exact date, we can, however get very close. Jesus said when you see the sky is red, you know a storm is coming, so we can be in the ballpark. Let’s just say I respect newton, and I’d like to see his proofs on these calculations
If the man writing are available on the subject, he's available for comment....
Something the left needs to learn in dealing with what the writers of the Constitution wrote
If I can see it, kick it, spit on it, measure it, fold-spindle-or-mutilate it, if it is verified by a secondary source that meets the same criteria, if it is observable in both it’s properties and it’s behavior, then it’s evidence.
If you have to stretch logic, disobey the laws of nature , play tricks of mental gymnastics and engage in exercises in self-deception in order to give the appearance of subtance to the esoteric, then it IS NOT evidence.
“Do you believe Troy was a real city?”
Yes. The evidence, historical, literary and archelogical is umistakable; a city existed, it fits the general parameters of the city of Troy as described by Homer (amongst others). It may not have been ever called “Troy” but it has come down to us as “Troy” through time and it exists by all the virtues I listed above.
“Do you believe Jesus lived, died, and ressurected?”
I believe that a man who’s name has come down to us a Jesus of Nazareth once existed, that he was executed and then he disappears from history (apparently dead). I do not believe in the ressurection (12 years of Catholic school will do that to you), I do not believe that Jesus claimed divine lineage, and the historical and archelogical evidence available suggests that he was a revolutionary (whether politcal or religious, or both, is open to debate), not a deity.
The “evidence” for the divinity of Christ exists solely in the Bible, which is above-average factually in terms of the historical and archelogical record, but this does not prove that it is either a work divinely inspired, or that the Christ mythology is in any way, shape or form true (in fact, it’s recycled Mithras-ism, short and simple, a religion that predates Christianity by almost 1,000 years). Besides God, if she exists (has to be a She, since only a woman could create a system of belief with this many logical contradictions and STILL demand to be taken seriously) only does so because man NEEDS her to.
“Do you believe in Anacrtica?”
Yes, I’ve seen it. Have you?
“Do you believe you exist?”
Apparently I do since you took the opportunity to respond.
Something the left needs to learn in dealing with what the writers of the Constitution wrote
I agree to the point of those writings making him availble to comment on those things he wrote about. I just don't agree with characterizing someone else's speculation on how he would have answered a question such as the one posed as being the same as having him answer it.
As far as the writings of the Founders go, that is indeed something the left needs to learn. And a lot of self-proclaimed conservatives could stand a refresher, IMHO.
I believe Jesus lived, died and resurrected not because I wish it so...but because of what The Bible says. Also, I have discovered that there is more evidence to believe the Bible is a valid preserved ancient text that is in a class by itself when compared to other ancient texts. Thus, Christianity is not something that requires you to leave your brain outside of your body when practicing it.
Also, it does not require faith to know that Armstrong and Aldrin were the first men on the moon....it requires a TV.
So the article is arguing what? That a major scientist who dabbled in silliness on the side proves that the silliness isn’t silly?
What IS the point?
How convenient, you no longer have to prove your hypothesis we have to disprove it.
And your proof that creationism did not happen is?
I'll have a look at it when I get time.
I'm still dubious about the legitimacy of making broad claims about the absence of conflict between religion and science based on one man, (brilliant though he might have been) seemingly finding none between his own scientific pursuits and his own personal religions beliefs.
“How convenient, you no longer have to prove your hypothesis we have to disprove it.
And your proof that creationism did not happen is?”
Well, this is the game that Christian philosophers have played for centuries — we don’t have to prove anything, since it’s all a matter of faith (which requires no proof in any case), and just in case you still demand proof, just remember that God does not answer to man.
Since you have not had to prove your assertions with physical evidence for 2000 years, and have gotten away with it, why shouldn’t Unix be afforded the same courtesy?
About the first moon walkers: It only requires a TV. Yes, but also FAITH, that the Gumment wouldnt lie about that, and film it it in Disney Land. If its on TV and the Gumment sponsors it you KNOW YOU CAN BELIEVE IT!!
Because you proclaim to be the great scientific thinker lowering himself down to the level of us bible thumpers, when the reality is you have no more proof of what you believe than we do. You’re taking it on faith. Just not a faith in the religious sense.
>>The atheist case relies on a few key episodes, mostly involving Darwin and Galileo. In my forthcoming book What’s So Great About Christianity I will show that these episodes have been ideologically manipulated, and that the “lessons” drawn from them are largely fictitious.<<
There were 700 years of inquisitions - saying or reading the wrong thing could bring imprisonment, torture or death.
There are thousands and thousands of cases of Church persecution. As Europe was decrying slavery in America, the Church still forcibly kept Jews in ghettos with few rights.
This guy is nuts if he thinks he going to show that science was never a target. He’d have a much better case to show it was only one target among many and not the most persecuted. That was reserved for women who showed independence but heresy in all forms was pursued with vicious, unChristian fervor.
Ummm, no. I’m a historian, and I don’t put myself into the ranks of the “Great Thinkers”, just someone with slightly more sense than the average Irish Setter.
And I certainly have far more proof for my assertions than you do for yours. The only differnce is that you have convinced yourself that no proof is necessary. Fine by me, it’s your right and I don’t begrudge it to you.
That doesn’t mean I have to believe it, nor does it mean that when you pass a comment accusing me (or someone else with beliefs similar to mine) of making logical errors without recognizing your own, then you deserve a response.
I would say that evil men have been using religion to justify their evil many thousands of years before Christianity so the fact one can find examples does little to advance the argument. One does not have to advance the religious argument at all to cast doubt on evolution, there are plenty of scientific arguments to dispel it.
Excuse me. Fingers can’t keep up with the brain today. That should have read:
“...nor does it mean that when you pass a comment accusing me (or someone else with beliefs similar to mine) of making logical errors without recognizing your own, that you shouldn’t deserve a response....”
The only differnce is that you have convinced yourself that no proof is necessary. Fine by me, its your right and I dont begrudge it to you.
I could say the same about you! By the way I’m a Social Studies teacher so we share one thing. And I’m perfectly willing to have a discussion on the subject and leave religion out of it.
>>I would say that evil men have been using religion to justify their evil many thousands of years before Christianity so the fact one can find examples does little to advance the argument. <<
>>One does not have to advance the religious argument at all to cast doubt on evolution, there are plenty of scientific arguments to dispel it.<<
Hmmm. Not from the level of science I am able to understand as a physicist. All the evidence I can see shows that the oldest life is simple and similar. As the remains get more recent they get more complex and more diverse. Evolution seems like a good name for that.
Perhaps people who make genetics or biology as their life’s study can see more.
By the same level of proof, we have been to a Galaxy far far away, to a black hole, and to mars several times. :-)
You have faith that we went to the moon, because you trust the authorities that claim so, you trust the video you've seen is real, and you trust the account of the 'eyewitnesses'. You believed the evidence is reliable and true, thus you believe that we went (so do I). The point is, most things we believe, we have never proven to ourselves, we take them on faith, trusting the evidence we have been provided is reliable.
2060 coincides with the prophet Gore’s predictions; that’s scary!