Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Celebrating Isaac Newton's birthday

Which world changing person’s birth have you been celebrating today? On Christmas Day 1642 Isaac Newton was born. His work laid much of the foundation for our modern understanding of the universe by uncovering the force that keeps it together, and showing it’s the same as what makes an apple fall. He formulated what are known as Newton’s three Laws of Motion. He may have been the greatest scientist ever.

To divert you from the day’s excesses may I tempt you to Deborah Byrd’s Earth Sky blog where you'll find links to the laws of motion as well as Newton’s revelations about gravity.

But the most extraordinary revelation about Newton is this: that according to some, science wasn’t the biggest thing in his life. What was even more important to him was biblical textual criticism, in which he excelled, and his unitarian belief (no trinity) which he had to keep to himself, for fear of being expelled from Cambridge University.  A couple of years ago I attend a fascinating lecture on this.