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[P]
Newton Predicted End of the World in 2060

By Drog in Science
Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 12:56:15 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

The world knows Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) as the father of modern physics. Of his many scientific achievements, he is most remembered for inventing the Laws of Motion and the Law of Universal Gravitation, creating the first reflecting telescope and formulating the mathematical principles of calculus. What the world does not remember him for is the considerable time and effort he also spent on alchemy and theology. In fact, he wrote at great length on prophecies and predictions.

Now, as The Telegraph reports, obscure handwritten manuscripts from Newton's hand have recently been discovered and analyzed by Canadian academic Stephen Snobelen of the Newton Project in a library in Jerusalem. The thousands of pages show Newton's attempts to decode the Bible, which he believed contained God's secret laws for the universe. Newton predicted that the Second Coming of Christ would follow plagues and war and would precede a 1000-year reign by the saints on earth--of which he would be one. The most definitive date he set for the apocalypse, scribbled on a scrap of paper, was 2060.


The manuscripts had lain in a trunk in the house of the Earl of Portsmouth for 250 years before being sold by Sotheby's Auction House in the late 1930s's to an eccentric collector, Abraham Yahuda. Believing that a history of Old Testament chronology composed by someone like Newton might still have value, and intrigued by the low status accorded to Christ in Newton's version of Christianity, Yahuda strove for a unified collection of Newton's theological material. After his death, the papers were eventually given to the Jewish National and University Library, where they were catalogued and made accessible to scholars at the end of the 1960's.

Newton's end-of-the-world fascination will be explored in the documentary Newton: The Dark Heretic on BBC2 on Saturday, March 1. The documentary argues that the image of Newton as the great rational thinker was created after his death--Newton was actually a puritanical zealot, a secret heretic who raged against the Anglican Church, delighted in the suffering of Catholics and felt God had given him special powers.

"What has been coming out over the past 10 years is what an apocalyptic thinker Newton was," says the documentary's producer, Malcolm Neaum. "He spent something like 50 years and wrote 4,500 pages trying to predict when the end of the world was coming. But until now it was not known that he ever wrote down a final figure. He was very reluctant to do so."

Raphael Weiser, director of the library's manuscripts and archives department, told CTV News that Stephen Snobelen had worked extensively on its Newton collection and had brought a BBC camera crew with him, but that he had not seen whatever document BBC intends to present as evidence. "They came here two months ago with a researcher from Nova Scotia. He found in one of our folios this note and they are going to show it on their program." Weiser said he could not confirm the manuscript's contents or authenticity until it is revealed in the BBC film. "I didn't see it with my own eyes. When they show it on TV, we will see it."

An earlier version of this story appeared on Sci-Fi Today (thought I'd share this one with a wider audience).

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Newton Predicted End of the World in 2060 | 91 comments (79 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
yeah, well, whatever. (3.50 / 4) (#2)
by Hired Goons on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 08:34:58 AM EST

Lots of people predicted the world would end in 1000 and 2000 and we're still here.

The real story, though is that due to general relativity the end of the world will be delayed indefinitely from our point of view.
You calling that feature a bug? THWAK

Excellent (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by bobpence on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 10:23:08 AM EST

There is debate about the y1k issue - for one thing, so few people knew what year it was at that point (Also, presumably the Latin-educated, which is to say the educated, were not to concerned about moving from CMXCIX to M). But the relativity line required a +5.

Also, anyone informed enough to agree that the year 1000 issue was probably a non-issue might also call me on my Roman numerals, which before the last couple centuries may have expressed 999 as DCCCCLXXXXVIIII. So don't be picky.

Again, neat comment on relativity.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]

Too, too (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by bobpence on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 10:34:53 AM EST

I made a double mistake. First, I used "to" when I should have used "too." Second, I should not have used "too" when I meant "very." In my personal usage guide, "too" means "also" or "to an excessive degree." Contrast "She seemed too happy" (clearly, "to an excessive degree") with "She did not seem too happy" (often, "very," but could also be "to an excessive degree," depending on context and, worse, nuance). If we can easily avoid a lack of clarity in writing we usually should, so I recommend doing away with the "very" usage of "too."
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]
Speculation (none / 0) (#43)
by pattern on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 04:59:13 PM EST

They probably welcomed the year 1000 with open arms.  I imagine going from having to write DCCCCLXXXXVIIII to writing M was a huge relief.

[ Parent ]
Roman numerals (5.00 / 1) (#48)
by pin0cchio on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 10:00:01 PM EST

Really? By my calculations, it would have been CMXCIX == 999, to M == 1000.
lj65
[ Parent ]
In "modern" Roman numerals, yes (none / 0) (#49)
by PurpleBob on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 02:55:55 AM EST

The "subtraction rule" that we use now in Roman numerals wasn't used very widely back when it was actually a prominent number system. VIIII was a very common way to write 9.

[ Parent ]
My new sig! (2.50 / 2) (#42)
by Gord ca on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 03:31:04 PM EST

Congradulations, you've just been quoted in my sig!
(Unless you have some problem with that. If a user named Hired Goons tells me he doesn't like my sig, I change promptly.)

If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it
[ Parent ]
Yeah.... (3.00 / 1) (#72)
by Carter Butts on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:51:03 PM EST

...the problem with predicting the end of the world is that you can only be right once -- and you never get to say "I told you so."

Well, at most once. Since you could, by definition, never verify the success of such a claim, one can question whether it is even meaningful. (Assuming, of course, that by the "end of the world" one means an event in which all observers perish.) So, forget about fire and brimstone: the End of the World could be a philosophical catastrophe of epic proportions! ;-)

-Carter

[ Parent ]

pertinence (4.00 / 5) (#3)
by sinexoverx on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 08:57:31 AM EST

Don't confuse the message with the messenger. Newton is wrong, but the subject is interesting. Sadly I doubt K5 can tell the difference. Newton was a product of his times, as were most other scientists of the time.

I might point out that alchemy was not really about changing lead to gold. I have done a lot of research into alchemy and it is a facinating subject though not k5 material. I would vote +1FP but the venue is is wrong. Will have to abstain.

Why would you say that? (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:03:33 AM EST

I have done a lot of research into alchemy and it is a facinating subject though not k5 material.

Why?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Yeah, why? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by twistedfirestarter on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:15:35 AM EST

Crackpot science is a K5 specialty.

[ Parent ]
Well there's that ;-) (5.00 / 2) (#21)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:23:39 AM EST

But alchemy isn't a science, crackpot or otherwise. That doesn't mean it isn't a fascinating subject.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Alchemy [OT] (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by Aemeth on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 05:44:42 PM EST

Well, personally I'd be interested in an article about alchemy, and I know several k5 readers who would also be.... (hint, hint...)

...mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.
Bertrand Russell


[ Parent ]
Amazing. (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:46:29 AM EST

Why all this occult idiocy suddenly crawling out of the woodwork?

Just goes to prove that atheism is really nothing more but a particular strain of occult gnosticism.

Even back in the first-second centuries gnostic sects taught about a "global reign of rational atheism based on science".

This didn't stop them from believing in magical potions and anthropomorphising the moon, however.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

+1 (4.33 / 6) (#4)
by jayhawk88 on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 08:59:26 AM EST

Bible Code theories are bunk IMO, but it's interesting that a man who is responsible for so much of our understanding of the world today apparently bought into it.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
Couldn't agree more (3.50 / 2) (#6)
by Drog on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 09:24:47 AM EST

I think the vast majority of scientists had no idea of this aspect of Newton, and will be aghast that he spent so much time and energy on decoding the bible. It feels almost like a betrayal that one of the most important figures in the history of science could be so...unscientific in this regard.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]
Analyzing prophecies analytically (4.40 / 5) (#37)
by SnowDogAPB on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 02:13:50 PM EST

I know nothing of Newton's own fascinations with religion, but as someone who grew up within a religion that believed in an apocalypse (Jehovah's Witnesses) I can attest to the mathematical lengths people will take to analyze prophecy.

As a young kid obsessed with math, I found the stuff fascinating, particularly the choice of 1914 as the start of Christ's new kingdom, etc.  It didn't occur to me for years to actually doubt the underlying stuff.

I can only imagine Newton in the same way.  Of course the Bible was true -- what would make him think otherwise?  Once that's a given, it's hardly surprising he would attack it with the same mathematical frenzy as anything else.


[ Parent ]

In other news... (3.00 / 1) (#76)
by epepke on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:42:41 AM EST

Einstein got laid by a lot of groupies.
George Boole was a puritanical asshole.
Alan Turing was gay.
Leonardo daVinci was probably bipolar.
Martin Luther was probably an ob-com.
Mahatma Gandhi beat up his wife.
About half of all great artists were drunks and drug addicts.
And so on, and so forth.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Newton is wrong (2.45 / 31) (#7)
by Betcour on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 09:42:43 AM EST

The world is gona end much earlier if Bush Junior manages to start his war.

There is some very fascistic ratings going on. (2.46 / 13) (#16)
by dmt on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 10:52:11 AM EST

Someone gave the above comment a 0 and a 1.  I've noticed that there appears to be a lot of this going on especially with Pro/Anti War posts.  I've given it a five as an up-yours to those that do this, not because I think a one-liner such as that is worth a five. There is no cabal: but there are arseholes. Check the ratings of some of these people and there is a definite pattern.  I agree with those that say it's their prerogative but it's a bit sad isn't it?

[ Parent ]
It's called "being off-topic" (4.16 / 12) (#18)
by twistedfirestarter on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:14:29 AM EST

I agree with teh sentiment, but non-war articles should be kept that way. It's not like we have to be obssessed about it all the time.

[ Parent ]
I agree, but then why bother to read them? (3.33 / 6) (#20)
by dmt on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:22:46 AM EST

People reading posts, getting upset, then using 0/1 ratings just seems sad.  There's plenty of stuff I totally disagree with, I may read it, but then I think 'well that speaks for itself' then move on.  Life seems too short for getting all hot and bothered about what someone you disagree with has written. That said ;-), if something really gets on my nerves I'll reply and argue it out.  A 0/1 rating is just lazy in the majority of cases.

[ Parent ]
But arguing... (3.00 / 5) (#22)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:31:12 AM EST

...in this case would only make things worse; turning an off topic comment into an off topic thread (not that I haven't been involved in those myself, mind you). For the record, I didn't rate the parent, but I did hand out a 1 to psychologist's anti-semitic conspiracy rant for this reason.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
You're quite right (4.00 / 2) (#23)
by dmt on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:34:32 AM EST

and I agree with you totally on the points you make.  I was making the point that the majority of said ratings are not needed.  The minority, such as the example you cite should be burnt in electronic hell. If the ABM defense system isn't related to war, (despite the 'defense' angle) my mothers a gibbon!

[ Parent ]
Of course... (5.00 / 2) (#26)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:43:23 AM EST

...we've now done one worse and turned an off topic comment into an off topic meta thread about off topic posts. And by noting that I've now introduced yet another degree of remove. And...

Sometimes it's just best to shut yer trap and move on, but then I guess that was your point to begin with.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Really? (3.75 / 4) (#24)
by twistedfirestarter on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:34:48 AM EST

I find my K5 experience is much more enjoyable using 1s and 0s. If you argued with every idiot here you wouldn't have time for anything else.

[ Parent ]
Enjoyable, fine (4.25 / 4) (#27)
by dmt on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:44:11 AM EST

I would guess (I'm not going to spend time going through your ratings) that you don't do it too often?

I haven't seen you adding ones/zeroes to the anti/pro war posts and I wouldn't suggest for a minute that ones/zeroes shouldn't be used, rather I'd suggest that people shouldn't be arbitrary in their usage.  I would say that ones/zeroes are needed in a minority of cases.  If you look at some peoples usage they're using them in the majority of cases and often for silly reasons.  I don't think you do that (or at least I haven't seen it).

[ Parent ]

Hmmm... (4.33 / 3) (#29)
by twistedfirestarter on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:55:40 AM EST

rather I'd suggest that people shouldn't be arbitrary in their usage

Quite a few times, recently, people giving out 1s on a purely political basis have had their rating ability bitch slapped by rusty. So email rusty if it bothers you...

I would say that ones/zeroes are needed in a minority of cases.

True: that's how I rate, with a majority of 5s, and less 1s.

And my last 5 1s and 0s are as follows:

  •  Being directed to a goatse.cx. Yay.
  •  Venomous anti-french bashing.
  •  More french bashing.
  •  An off topic comment about pie.
  •  A comment about memes. I hate "memes", but that was a bit unfair, I'll change it to a 3...


[ Parent ]
Off topic? (4.00 / 2) (#39)
by RoOoBo on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 02:52:15 PM EST

Let see ... article talks about end of the world ... post talks about end of the world ... seems ok.

If you don't agree with that vision of the end of the war go ahead, but don't say something like 'it is off topic' when it is just that you don't agree what it says.

BTW, 0 is for SPAM or similar kind of bad posts. There is no way that post could get a 0.



[ Parent ]
whatever (5.00 / 3) (#63)
by mattw on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 02:24:47 PM EST

That post is spam. If the article were about bananas, he could have said, "There won't be any bananas left if Bush Junior gets to start this war." Hey, that's on topic! Wait...no it isn't. Neither is bringing up a war in Iraq in relation to Newton's fascination with Armageddon. If someone doesn't have anything more to add other than, "The world will end if Bush starts this war", then they can talk to their therapist. We don't need to read that kind of crap here. Good anti-war opinions: please, and in actual war-related topics, preferably. Idiots trying to sound witty with moronic one-liners in totally unrelated topics? Spam.


[Scrapbooking Supplies]
[ Parent ]
Strange. . . (4.66 / 6) (#9)
by IHCOYC on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 09:54:34 AM EST

. . . but by my calculations the date set by Newton is roughly 57 years too late.

Sella fictili sedeo
Versiculos dum facio.

Yes indeed (1.23 / 21) (#10)
by psychologist on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 10:06:59 AM EST

And do you not find it just a little bit strange that this is coming from the hand of a Jew. For those who do not know, let me relate what some people of the Judaic faith believe. You can confirm all this by looking in google.
  1. The Talmud says that the end of the world will happen when the Jews have returned and reclaimed Israel.
  2. The Jews will become the rulers of the world or something when this happens.
  3. A great number of Jews will be killed in the pestilence preceeding this return to Israel.
I would very much mistrust anybody of the judaic faith who claimed to know when this event was to occur. I would rather see it as an effort to further the Zionist cause by bringing over the religuous groups to the Zionist camp, since oh, they don't have so much time to reclaim Israel any longer!

Of course, the small tidbit of information that the 'Jews' are missing is that ethnically, russian and german jews are converts to judaism, and are not the real Jews that the bible speaks of.

Don't try to assess genotype by phenotype (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by Blarney on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 03:19:39 PM EST

Just because someone is blond-haired and blue-eyed doesn't mean that they're less "Jewish" than someone with curly black hair, black eyes, and olive skin. Even if Judiasm was strictly ethnically linked - which it is not - even if conversion was forbidden - which it is not (read the Book of Ruth for an educational story on how converts can still become real Jews, most likely written as a rebuttal to "Ezra and Nehemiah") - you'd still be wrong trying to calculate Jewish ancestry by phenotypical features which can inherit in all sorts of complicated patterns. It's not rare for a white man and a black woman to produce children of all sorts of various colors, darker then their black parent - or lighter than their white parent! Using a spectrometer to precisely characterize skin color wouldn't make determining the precise ancestry of the children any more scientific - you'd be far better off believing what the children say about their parent's skin color. Consider how much more error-prone it is to apply this same sort of analysis to far more subtle physical features such as those which distinguish Askenazim from other Europeans.

People have actually studied Jewish ancestry by genotype, and even correlated the Y chromosome with the patrilinealy-transmitted Cohen status. Judiasm itself has been considered to be inherited automatically from the mother for quite a long time - and this has been correlated with mitochondrial DNA, which is always inherited from one's mother.

The Khazar theory doesn't hold up under modern genetic analysis, because it was based on "Hey! You look like a Slav!" rather than actual genotype (which was not so easy to check in previous times).

[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#53)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:38:46 AM EST

The Khazars were a particular central-asian tribe of Turkic origin.

It makes sense that within a particular tribe, its members will share a common genetic heritage, no?

Sorry if I misunderstood your argument...


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

The Khazar Myth (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by Blarney on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:05:21 PM EST

There is a common argument going around, popular among distinct groups of people - Anti-Zionists, Anti-Semites, and former USSR citizens - that most European Jews are not "really" Jews but descendents of a medieval kingdom, the Khazars, which converted en masse to Judiasm. This argument implicitly assumes the Biblical idea that the Hebrews are God's chosen people, while denying that the actual Jews seen in daily life are the modern equivalents of such people.

This argument fails for several reasons. The main reason is that the descendent of converts is as much a Jew as a member of a Jewish family who has lived in Palestine since time immemorial - strict genetic descent from ancient Hebrews is not a requirement for Judiasm. This point is often confused, as Judiasm has not actively sought converts for a very long time, but nonetheless is invalid - conversion is often performed in cases of marriage and adoption, and has a religious precedent dating back to Biblical times (as in the Book of Ruth).

The second reason why this argument is fallacious is actual genetic evidence that all Jews, including European, Middle-Eastern, Spanish, and African people, carry strong evidence of common ancestry in their cellular and mitochondrial DNA.

The third, and most damning, reason why this argument is invalid is its own inherent self-contradiction. If one wishes to deny that Jews are God's chosen people, then one must deny the ancient narrative where this myth comes from. To accept the Biblical writings as truth while stubbornly insisting that those who consider these stories their history and who have carefully preserved and passed them down for millenia are liars or fools is absurd.



[ Parent ]

w/r/t Khazars (none / 0) (#60)
by adequate nathan on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 01:28:20 PM EST

I think the Cohen-line correlation pretty much ruins that theory, sorry.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Fundamentalistic Bullshit (2.00 / 1) (#64)
by mlapanadras on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:27:16 PM EST

The Cohen-line genetics theory (M. G. Thomas et al.) is based on a single research and has not been confirmed yet. Other researchers are very sceptic:
"Careful examination of their [Skorecki's and Thomas's] works reveals many faults that lead to the inevitable conclusion that their claim [that most Cohenim share a common origin] has not been proven. The faults are: the definition of the studied communities, significant differences between three samples of Jewish priests, failure to use enough suitable markers to construct the Unique-Event-polymorphisms haplotypes, problematic method of calculating coalescence time and underestimating the mutation rate of Y chromosome microsatellites. The suggestion that the 'Cohen modal haplotype' is a signature haplotype for the ancient Hebrew population is also not supported by data from other populations." Zoossmann-Diskin
Fundamentalists of all ranges love this theory and this is the best evidence against it.

[ Parent ]
Pardon (5.00 / 1) (#67)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 05:01:32 PM EST

Fundamentalists of all ranges love this theory and this is the best evidence against it.

You're letting your personal prejudices get in the way of your rational faculties. What various fundamentalists think of this theory is, from the scientific perspective, neither here nor there. Thomas' research will stand or fall based only upon it's scientific merits.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Byblical "science" (2.00 / 1) (#73)
by mlapanadras on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:19:16 AM EST

There is a serious issue of fundamentalist organizations sponsoring this kind of researches, - genetic, historic, archeologic, linguistic etc. Obviously these funds are expecting certain kind of evidences and are not interested in anything else.

The problem becomes even more complicated if the scientists who conduct the research are all sponsored by different fundamentalist funds. The chance to get the scientific result drops dramatically. And what if independent scientists are simply not allowed to do their researches? I am talking, obviously, about archeological and paleographic researches in the Middle East.

The ultimate goal is to give enough evidence that Byble is not a myth. Lets face it: there is no chance to do it. If one's results support this myth it means that the results are wrong or just faked.

[ Parent ]

It's still irrelevant (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:41:15 AM EST

Funding might be cause for suspicion, but the scientific studies will stand or fall based upon their scientific merits alone. I don't really know who funded Thomas' study and doesn't really matter. His findings certainly shouldn't be considered controversial, in fact they are what most people in complimentary fields expected. Now perhaps his study is deeply flawed -- I can't judge not being a geneticist -- but if that is the case, it will be other geneticists who either overturn his results or confirm them with a superior study.

As for archaeology, a field I do know something about, I've seen attacks on articles published in The Biblical Archaeology Review based upon the fact that they receive some funding from religious groups. Frankly, it's bullshit. The BAS is a very well respected foundation with solid credentials.

Of course, that isn't to say that there isn't a lot of bunko biblical science being done, but it should be dubunked by scientific means not based upon a blanket suspicion of anyone remotely connected to religious groups.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Judaism is not a religion. (1.50 / 2) (#52)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:35:38 AM EST

It is a list of 613 silly, unfounded rules that you "must" follow.

What's funny is that they do not even try to justify why these rules must be followed -- following "the Rules" is seen as an end in itself, a self-contained, self-justifying thing.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

I see what you're getting at (3.00 / 1) (#61)
by adequate nathan on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 01:32:59 PM EST

But I can't agree.

Judaism is a body of praxis on a mind-boggling scale. The "Rules" are followed because they come from God. Anyway, they only apply to Jews, so unless you choose to become Jewish you are only obligated to follow 7 (things like not murdering, eating live animals, or worshipping idols.)

I agree that, in a certain sense, Judaism has failed to respond to philosophical challenges coming from the Church Fathers. But that's rather easy to understand, given that for some 1500 years the Jews have endured ferocious bouts of persecution.

Israel Zangwill said, "The Jews are a frightened people. Nineteen centuries of Christian love have broken their nerves."

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Somewhat. (3.00 / 1) (#65)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 04:14:01 PM EST

Personally, I don't see how the modern-day Talmud relates to Biblical Judaism at all.

As far as I am concerned, the two are completely unrelated.

The Bible speaks about mankind's fall, redemtion and free will.

The Talmud is a large body of unrelated advice on how you should live your life "because God said so".

Basically, after Christ, I don't see how one can speak of Judaism at all.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Uh (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by Michael Moser on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 08:11:28 AM EST

>Basically, after Christ, I don't see how one can
>speak of Judaism at all.

... by that same logic Christianity has been outdated by Muslim religion.
Or am i missing something?


[ Parent ]

Yes you are. (4.50 / 2) (#82)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 04:42:19 PM EST

Judaism before Christ was all about messianic redemption.

After Christ, there was a sort of about-face where they basically decided that "no wait, we changed our mind; we're more interested in figuring out what sort of fish to eat on Saturdays than in absolving mankind's fall".

The name remains the same, but the spiritual ideas are completely different.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

correction. (3.00 / 1) (#83)
by Michael Moser on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 03:37:19 AM EST

>Judaism before Christ was all about messianic
>redemption.

>After Christ, there was a sort of about-face
>where they basically decided that "no wait, we
>changed our mind; we're more interested in
>figuring out what sort of fish to eat on
>Saturdays than in absolving mankind's fall".

Maimonides (lived from 1135 to 1204) formulated some 13 principles of faith, compiled from the 613 commandments

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/rambam13.html

quote:
(12) The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and the messianic era.

... It is the custom of many congregations to recite the Thirteen Articles, in a slightly more poetic form, beginning with the words Ani Maamin - "I believe" - every day after the morning prayers in the synagogue

end quote:

so you are plainly wrong.

[ Parent ]

No. (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by tkatchev on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 12:11:22 PM EST

Like I said, the Jews still haven't handled the issue of Jesus Christ.

They simply changed the topic and went on arguing which food is more kosher.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

I guess it just goes to show you... (2.87 / 8) (#25)
by SleepDirt on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:35:20 AM EST

That even a genius can be brain-washed by religious non-sense.
-- "Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures." - The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Mercury and Newton's Madness (4.75 / 4) (#38)
by Valdrax on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 02:47:22 PM EST

All hopping on the Kuro5hin anti-religious bandwagon aside, it's his alchemy work which is usually attributed to Newton's shall-we-say eccentric behavior.  The man worked a lot with mercury, even eating and sleeping in the same room where he evaporated it.  He even drank it a few times in the course of his alchemical research.  His most famous work, the Principia, was written in between two great periods of mercury-induced insanity, one starting in 1667 and the latter in 1693.  Two investigators used modern forensic techniques on some hairs of Newton's to confirm the diagnosis of mercury poisoning a few years ago.  

You can find out more about this in the book "Newton's Madness" by Harold L. Klawans.

[ Parent ]

Let me guess, (5.00 / 4) (#30)
by it certainly is on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:59:51 AM EST

were these Newton manuscripts found in a cupboard next to Hitler's diaries?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

In a trunk, actually... (none / 0) (#33)
by Drog on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 12:19:58 PM EST

...before being auctioned off to Abraham Yahuda and eventually arriving at the Jewish National and University Library after his death. One thing I didn't mention is in the article is that Raphael Weiser, director of the library's manuscripts and archives department, said the library has never fully examined its wealth of Newton manuscripts. "We have thousands of volumes of Newton. We haven't researched it all."

As well, there are over forty microfilm reels of Newton papers which, as detailed in the History of the Newton Project, they intend to make available in electronic form. They also intend to produce a complete printed edition of these texts.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]

The dark side of Newton (4.25 / 4) (#41)
by izogi on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 03:27:24 PM EST

Isaac Newton is quite interesting simply because of what he's remembered for, and some of the more negative things that a lot of people don't know about him.

For example, in academic circles he was quite a stuck-up pompous guy, who was known to use his influence to block the research and funding of others whom he didn't like.

He also spent a lot of effort studying astrology at a time when the rest of the scientific world was beginning to take up more formal and reliable scientific methods. Astrology and astronomy were becoming separate pursuits to most sufficiently educated people, but not to Isaac Newton.

Once when Edmund Halley (comet discoverer) spoke badly about astrology in his presence, Newton allegedly became offended and said "Sir Halley, I have studied the matter, you have not!"

Whether he actually said that or not, it's a quote that's still frequently recited by astrologers today to associate themselves with someone whom most people associate with good science, and justify what they do.


- izogi


On the astrology problem... (3.33 / 3) (#50)
by Kuranes on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:18:19 AM EST

...you better check out what Paul Feyerabend has to say about it in Science in a Free Society(1980).

Newton's reply to Halley is, in my opinion, correct. I, for example, am atheistic and have not studied Theology, but it would be awful of me to simply say, "well, these religious guys are lunatics anyway." You see what I mean? Shamanism, Mysticism and all religions have their rights.

The problem with astrology is, you may like it or not, but it cannot be disqualified with scientific methods because it uses a different form of logic.


Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
Astrologers are frauds (3.50 / 2) (#55)
by izogi on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:49:33 AM EST

I've not heard of Paul Feyerabend's comments before but if you could provide a link I'm certainly interested. On the face of it though, I completely disagree with you.

I've heard a lot of very specific claims from some astrologers that try to justify how astrology works. For example, one claim is that the gravity of the planets affecting the water in people's bodies that effects their emotions and how they interact with the world... and naturally astrologers can say exactly what these effects are based on the date you were born and other trivial information. There are many other claims, but few if any that make any scientific sense.

I'm sure it's possible that everything I've heard to date only represents a portion of astrologers, just as there are many denominations of christianity. Maybe there are astrologers who believe in some completely unscientific and spiritual reasoning to justify astrology. But all of this reasoning and perverted logic is irrelevant, anyway. None of it matters a jot, because science can test astrology anyway.

The fact is that astrologers make predictions. That's what the whole point of astrology is. These predictions can be scientifically tested. They have been scientifically tested over and over again, and astrological predictions have been scientifically shown to be a load of complete hogwash.

At least most religions go to enough lengths to make sure that none of what they claim can be tested. Astrologers on the other hand spout out testable statements as part of their job, which can repeatedly be shown to have no significance or bearing on actual events. They're either frauds or have been completely taken in by wishful thinking. I get offended by them, and I think quite rightly so.


- izogi


[ Parent ]
Planetary movement and water in your body... (3.00 / 1) (#85)
by Kuranes on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 08:28:50 AM EST

The part about planetary movement affecting the water in your body is scientifically proven, which you can also read in the mentioned chapter. The point is, astrology and science get to the same conclusion using different methods, and in the conclusion that planetary movements affect you they are confirming each other of being right. The problem was: Before there was 'scientifical' evidence, it was all considered bullshit.

Did I also mention that Feyerabend (here's your dearly wanted link) spent most of his University years studying science?

Reading the article you may point out that his wife reported that he would have liked to distance himself from the book (I'm now sure it was Science in a Free Society). I want to give you the answers before you point it out: 1. It's only his wife 2. This information is a bit squishy 3. That doesn't stop it from being a great book. SO READ IT. THE INFORMATION IN THE LINK IS UNSATISFACTORY.

Please reply. It's such fun discussing those things.


Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
If that is the case (4.50 / 2) (#78)
by mayor on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 02:26:11 PM EST

Yes, anything is reasonable under some type of logic. If you have a priori that 4>10 , then of course, 4>10 is always true. The question about astrology is based on reason should be answered based on common meanings of "reason", but not on jaded meanings several centuries ago.

As for the main issue, I agree! ( I actually logged in to reply, then saw you got there first.): Newton is correct in saying that Mr. Halley should not open his mouth unless he has first studied the subject of astrology. That is common sence, just like people should not have opinion about biology unless they have studied biology.

[ Parent ]

Not in the least (3.00 / 1) (#84)
by izogi on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 05:28:14 AM EST

As for the main issue, I agree! ( I actually logged in to reply, then saw you got there first.): Newton is correct in saying that Mr. Halley should not open his mouth unless he has first studied the subject of astrology.

That would assume that Edmund Halley hadn't studied it. It's also perfectly reasonable to assume that Halley was fully aware of the general concepts and methods used by astrologers, and could see that it was a load of rubbish without having needed to waste his time becoming a practicing astrologer as Isaac Newton supposedly did.

Strictly speaking we don't know what went on on that specific occasion because it's based too much on rumour. On the other hand we do know that astrology is nonsense. If Newton supported it as he allegedly did, he'd been completely taken in by pseudoscience. His "studying" of astrology was lazily designed and unjustifiable, meaning he had no more right to open his mouth in defence of it than Edmund Halley supposedly did.


- izogi


[ Parent ]
I would like to know how the quarrel really was... (4.00 / 2) (#86)
by Kuranes on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 09:30:59 AM EST

Did Halley said something bad about astrology just to annoy Newton or did he stomp Newton becaus he used astrology when discussing about physics?
In my opionion, Newton would have been right in the first case, but not in the second. How many proof physics may find against the theories of astrology - that doesn't limit the right of people to believe in astrology as much as they like it.

Or, to quote a comment by gusnz:
"You don't preach in my university, and I won't think in your church."


Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
Different logic is merely flawed logic. (4.00 / 2) (#89)
by jjhlk on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 07:15:09 PM EST

You don't necessarily have to study something to validly state that it is hogwash; you merely have to know how other people study it.

As for the different form of logic, why? What could possibly be better or even simpler than coming out with a hypothesis (a goal) and then testing whether it is right or wrong? The religious logic is usually: "Somebody told me and they know, now I know." That logic is seriously flawed.

OT somewhat, but I've studied the beginnings of Christianity and I can tell you, it is an obvious creation of man. Just read the first chapter of Asimov's Guide to the Bible. Then you too can have an opinion ;) Asimov told me and he knows... uh oh. What is so different here?

The primary difference between the Pope telling you something and Asimov telling you something is that Asimov researched it thoroughly, basing his research from the scientific pool of knowledge: Which should have a higher chance of being correct than not.

[ Parent ]
Familiar (3.00 / 1) (#57)
by the on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 10:12:30 AM EST

For example, in academic circles he was quite a stuck-up pompous guy, who was known to use his influence to block the research and funding of others whom he didn't like.
Sounds like just many other talented scientists with power and influence.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
Little known fact... (none / 0) (#45)
by ThreadSafe on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 06:29:26 PM EST

Newton (along with Leonardo da Vinci, Debussey) is one of a very long list of illustrious names who have at one point been Grand Master of the Pierre de Sion.

Make a clone of me. And fucking listen to it! - Faik

Ah, yes. (5.00 / 3) (#47)
by pyramid termite on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 09:03:47 PM EST

But didn't you find it curious that the last ones were such non-entities? Perhaps the Pierre de Sion is a hoax dreamed up by these non-entities. Perhaps this list of illustrious names has been given us to make it appear like a hoax. Perhaps the real Grand Master is a well known person who has decided to allow a non-entity to appear as the Grand Master.

Circles within circles. This whole business is fascinating and rather uncertain. Some of it is bound to be true and some it bound to be false - but which?

All I can say with any certainty is that around the time of the Crusades, something happened that was a major shock and important factor in the events of those times and it was covered up so well that we don't really know what it is.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
come again? (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by crayz on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:02:44 AM EST

All I can say with any certainty is that around the time of the Crusades, something happened that was a major shock and important factor in the events of those times and it was covered up so well that we don't really know what it is.

This sounds interesting. Could you point me in the direction of more information?

[ Parent ]

I tend to subscribe to the theory (none / 0) (#91)
by leviramsey on Wed Jun 11, 2003 at 02:20:23 AM EST

...that the Templars found various writings similar to the Dead Sea Scrolls (possibly with a far greater claim to be the basis of Christianity than the New Testament), and that the Templars essentially live on in the form of Freemasonry today.

Basically, The Hiram Key scenario... I'd like to visit Rosslyn sometime...



[ Parent ]
Ok, so you've read... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 05:29:15 PM EST

...Holy Blood, Holy Grail now I suggest you read Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. Oh, not to nit pick, but it's Prieure du Sion.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
yes (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by sinexoverx on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 06:30:58 PM EST

Alchemy is a mixture of philosophies (epistomology and ontology among others) but it also has a hint of science. There is a physical connection but it is highly hypothetical and somewhat personal. It is probably the most misunderstood of the wacko sciences. I would need titanium underwear to post an article about it on k5. But the most important reason for not writing an article on it is that it is a personal subject. A person only gets out of it what they put into it. 99.999% of people have no business even reading about it. If you want to learn about it, most any library has books on it. Just remember that the books are all wrong. HAHA. I make myself laugh sometimes.

Guh. (1.00 / 1) (#51)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:31:04 AM EST

Go back to your cave. Occultism is several millenia obsolete.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Caves (none / 0) (#62)
by sinexoverx on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 02:19:10 PM EST

... are actually quite comfortable in the cold of winter. How is yours? I am not an occultist, an atheist or a gnostic. I can't really tell if you were saying you were a gnostic from your other post or just taking their point of view. Gnostics? Geh! Alchemy is a strange subject. If you look at any historical alchemical texts you can see that it appears to be laughably stupid. Pictures of strange experiements with odd creatures and descriptions of obviously wrong chemistry. But at it's core is a very interesting philosophy that got mangled over time. You have to dig through layers of occultic and even christian judeo mumbo jumbo to get to it but it is there. But even the history of alchemy is interesting because it was the precursor to chemistry just as astrology was to astronomy. Lots of our great astronomers of history were also astrologers. I don't mix magical potions or consult my horoscope. The fact that Newton was an alchemist should clue you in that the lines between alchemy and chemistry are not as distinct as you want to believe. Was Newton a wacko? Perhaps. I do know that he did become head of the mint of England in his later days and so maybe he really did want to change lead into gold. More likely he was just interested in metalurgy. You sure have some chips on your shoulders.

[ Parent ]
I found... (none / 0) (#68)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 05:23:52 PM EST

...that without question the best source of information about alchemy and the hermetic arts is to be found in Carl Jung's works on alchemy, which reproduce a lot of text and illustrations from original works. So much of what is available from explicitly occult sources is dependent upon 19th century revisionist works of a decidedly Masonic or parlor mysticism bent. I'd recommend Alchemical Studies, Mysterium Coniunctionis, Aion, and Psychology and Alchemy.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
hmmm... my links got fouled up (none / 0) (#70)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 05:50:56 PM EST

...and I don't really want to redo them, so you'll just have to look those book up.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
This isn't alchemy, it's Biblical Fundamentalism (3.75 / 4) (#56)
by rdmiller3 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:30:18 AM EST

...and the reason he was reluctant to write down the date of the end of the world was because he "knew" that he couldn't hit it right on because the bible quotes Jesus saying that no one, not even he knew that day but only "the father" would know. This isn't alchemy nor any long-since-discarded philosophy. It's biblical fundamentalism, and it's alive and well today.

Why would he spend so much effort on biblical prophecy and the 'bible code'? Because the foundation of biblical fundamentalism is their belief that their scripture, every conglomerated and translated word in the King James Version, is "Truth".

Very few fundamentalists though will resort to divination techniques like the 'bible code'. It's a sad testimony of a beautiful mind, trying to reconcile his belief in the divine origin of scripture with his observations that, if taken at face value, the scripture was anything but divine.

So much wasted! This is the result of "faith".

Uhhh, no (4.50 / 2) (#66)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 04:50:38 PM EST

Newton may well have believed that the scriptures had a divine origin, but not in a fashion that has any relation whatsoever to today's biblical fundamentalists. His approach to biblical analysis was conducted according to the beliefs and practices of the occultic sciences of his day which had the their roots in the Hermetic arts and the medieval Jewish practice of Kabbalahism. If you knew anything at all about the above, you'd know that biblical literalism -- the hallmark of contemporary Christian fundamentalists -- is precisely to miss the point.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
i can imagine Newton now.. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
by zephc on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:05:34 PM EST

"God has given me... The Holy Power of Calculus!!"

Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by tebrow on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 09:49:07 PM EST

I suppose even divine power does have limits.

[ Parent ]
-ot- Put you in my sig. (none / 0) (#77)
by mold on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:42:16 AM EST

Hope you don't mind :-)

---
Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
[ Parent ]
this makes me wonder (none / 0) (#79)
by ibbie on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:34:55 PM EST

...if his abacus was y2k compliant. (:

--
george washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but he also admitted doing it. now, do you know why his father didn't punish him? because george still had the axe in his hand.
Just goes to show... (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by Alhazred on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 11:14:32 AM EST

that even very brilliant thinkers in their narrow fields should not be assumed to be either rational nor even competent in other areas.

IE, Newton was a great mathematician and physicist, and a real nutcase and loser in most other respects. Actually all of this is not recent news, just go do a bit of research on the infighting between Newton and Leibnitz, and the circus surrounding many of his scientific publications. Newton was always known as a giant egotist and general ass. Basically he got away with it because he was also a genius and it fit the political and social agenda of 17th century Britain to emphasize his good points and forget about the rest.

If I want religious advice I'll go to an expert in that field, whereas if I want to know about physics, I'll consult a physicist, it only makes sense.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.

the mental image I got (1.00 / 2) (#88)
by phred on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 07:16:25 PM EST

was snoopy rising out of the pumpkin patch during "the great pumpkin". Analysis welcome.

My sig says it all (1.00 / 1) (#90)
by dh003i on Tue Jun 10, 2003 at 10:04:46 PM EST

Even the most prodigous among the genius' can be made into a complete imbecile by an irrational and illogical belief in religious humbug.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

Newton Predicted End of the World in 2060 | 91 comments (79 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
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