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!