369 years ago, 25th of December 1642, in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, England, was the birth day of one of the greatest men ever to live on this tiny speck floating thru the cosmos. Sir Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian, has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived." Unfortunately, his birthday has been obscured by worship of fables and irrationality. Although he was an extremely religious person, his contribution to science makes him one of the strongest propagators of logic and reason.

Happy birthday, Sir Isaac!

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Comment by Dubravko J. on December 25, 2011 at 2:54pm

Nelson, that is true. It was proposed that the ten-day period between the two dates (gregorian and julian) be called "10 Days of Newton", and be a holiday season. I might go with that :D

Greg, lots of the intellectuals of that time used to be alchemists, occultist, astrologers and the kind. I guess it was a trend amongst scholars then.

Comment by Albert Bakker on December 25, 2011 at 2:59pm

Like alchemy, astrology in a historical context (history of science context) must also be understood as such. It is also much more interesting to try to understand why people - who weren't stupid - practicing it, thought that way.

Comment by Dubravko J. on December 25, 2011 at 3:02pm

Well, it was, in a way, more scientific than most of the practices. It consisted of experiments, observations, philosophy of 'inner workings of nature'... I guess it was interesting, to say the least, to more learned people.

Comment by Albert Bakker on December 26, 2011 at 4:06am

Great stuff, I envy you. I am a garbage man.

Comment by Scott A. Hunt on December 26, 2011 at 8:03am

I believe he was also fond of kicking puppies and punching old ladies. :)

Who isn't?

 

Comment by Ron V on December 26, 2011 at 1:33pm

In his work on gravity, didn't Newton propose the Flying Spaghetti Monster (but all the documents were burned by the Catholic Church)- and doesn't the FSM ultimately lead to string theory as a contemporary elaboration of noodly appendages?

 

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