Newton a solid Christian visionary

Isaac Newton

As a mathmatician, he invented integral and differential calculus.
He defined the nature of light, the movement of the stars and planets, the tides at the shore.
He analyzed the physiology of all the animals.
He chronicled everything in the observable universe, living and inert, as a coherant machine, a great clockworks with an elegant complexity yet posessed of surprising simplicity, and of such an enormity that his conception could embrace, with unimportant contradictions, all the later contributions of Einstein and Darwin.
No one before him had come anywhere close to his concepts.
To the present day with our Hubble telescope, sheep cloning and nanoparticles, no thinker has been able to add more than peripheral wheels and adjunct cogs to his grand clockworks.

Are you an atheist, an agnostic?

Then Numero pondere et mensura Deus omnia condidit:

God created everything by number, weight and measure.
In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence.

Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002)
"Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done."

"...All material things seem to have been composed of the hard and solid particles, variously associated in the first creation by the counsel of an intelligent agent. For it became him who created them to set them in order. And if he did so, it's unphilosophical to seek for any other origin of the world, or to pretend that it might arise out of a chaos by the mere laws of nature; though being once formed, it may continue by those laws for many ages.

For while comets move in very eccentric orbs in all manner of positions, blind fate could never make all the planets move one and the same way in orbs concentric, some inconsiderable irregularities excepted, which may have risen from the mutual actions of comets and planets upon one another, and which will be apt to increase, till this System wants a reformation. Such a wonderful uniformity in the planetary system must be allowed the effect of choice.

And also the uniformity in the bodies of animals, they having generally a right and a left side shaped alike, and on either side of their bodies two legs behind, and either two arms, or two legs, or two wings before their shoulders, a neck running down into a backbone, and a head upon it; and in the head two ears, two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and a tongue, alike situated. Also the first contrivance of those very artificial parts of animals, the eyes, ears, brain, muscles, heart, lungs, midriff, glands, larynx, hands, wings, swimming bladders, natural spectacles, and other organs of sense and motion; and the instinct of brutes and insects, can be the effect of nothing else than the wisdom and skill of a powerful everliving agent, who being in all places, is more able by his will to move the bodies within his boundless uniform sensorium, and thereby to form and reform the parts of the universe, than we are by our will to move the parts of our bodies.

And yet we are not to consider the world as the body of God, or the several parts thereof, as the parts of God. He is a uniform being, void of organs, members or parts, and they are his creatures subordinate to him, and subservient to his will; and he is no more the soul of them, than the soul of man is the soul of the species of things carried through the organs of sense into the place of its sensation, where it perceives them by means of its immediate presence, without the intervention of any third thing. The organs of sense are not for enabling the soul to perceive the species of things in its sensorium, but only for conveying them thither; and God has no need of such organs, he being everywhere present to the things themselves.

And since space is divisible in infinitum and matter is not necessarily in all places, it may be also allowed that God is able to create particles of matter of several sizes and figures, and in several proportions to space, and perhaps of different densities and forces, and thereby to vary the laws of nature, and make worlds of several sorts in several parts of the universe.

At least, I see nothing of contradiction in all this." "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called "Lord God" [pantokratÚr], or "Universal Ruler". The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect."

"Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors."''

"I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily."
His theory of the universe --so he thought--was intended as a powerful tribute to the Grand Architect who designed such a wonderfully complex yet beautiful creation.
Among his special studies was an investigation of the form and dimensions, as described in the Bible, of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.

"To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. `Tis much better to do a little with certainty, and leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things."
Quoted in G Simmons Calculus Gems (New York 1992).
"The description of right lines and circles, upon which geometry is founded, belongs to mechanics. Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn. "

Principia Mathematica.
"The latest authors, like the most ancient, strove to subordinate the phenomena of nature to the laws of mathematics."
[His epitaph:]
"Who, by vigor of mind almost divine, the motions and figures of the planets, the paths of comets, and the tides of the seas first demonstrated."
"If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants."

Letter to Robert Hooke:
"I know not what I appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell, whilest the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
"Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things."

†† << back

© 2006 Ė 2013 All rights reserved: Tom J. Hamilton | Phone: (1) 239 770 67 83 Fax: (1) 561 640 30 35 E-Mail: contact@stpatrickofireland.com | web by epple.ch