In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.
1643 – 1727
Sir Isaac Newton’s mother wanted him to become a farmer, but the English boy was miserable at it, so thanks to the urging of an uncle, Newton was allowed to go back to school, and the world is indebted to him for it. As one of the greatest minds of the Scientific Revolution, Newton’s principles of gravity were unparalleled, and his book Principia became one of the most important scientific books on physics ever written.
It was during his own private research, back home on the farm after college, that Newton developed infinitesimal calculus, his theories on light and color and much of his research on gravity. Fear of the Black Plague at Cambridge, his alma mater, drove him home and kept him healthy while his fiery genius set to work inventing, developing, testing, and theorizing. Newton was foremost a mathematician and physicist, but interestingly enough spent a number of years fascinated and focused on alchemy, or the transformation of matter, which is now considered a pseudoscience.
Isaac Newton rose to international and unchallenged fame in his lifetime, but even more so afterward. Though Albert Einstein later refuted some of Newton’s theories, Newton undoubtedly laid a framework for other scientists to push the limits of thought to discover just how vast the universe really is. He has been called an “extraordinary genius.” He was not only influenced by Plato and Aristotle, but also held in the same esteem and likened to their own great minds.
As a blind man has no idea of colors, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.
What Descartes did was a good step. You have added much several ways, and especially in taking the colours of thin plates into philosophical consideration. If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.
I have studied these things – you have not.
God who gave animals self motion beyond our understanding is without doubt able to implant other principles of motion in bodies [which] we may understand as little. Some would readily grant this may be a spiritual one; yet a mechanical one might be showne, did not I think it better to pass it by.
God / mechanical / motion / spiritual / understanding
This principle of nature being very remote from the conceptions of philosophers, I forbore to describe it in that book, least I should be accounted an extravagant freak and so prejudice my readers against all those things which were the main designe of the book.
book / nature / Philosophers / readers
A vulgar mechanick can practice what he has been taught or seen done, but if he is in an error he knows not how to find it out and correct it, and if you put him out of his road he is at a stand. Whereas he that is able to reason nimbly and judiciously about figure, force, and motion, is never at rest till he gets over every rub (from a letter dated 25 May, 1694).
Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is truth.
Tis much better to do a little with certainty & leave the rest for others that come after than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.
If I have done great things it’s because I was standing in the closet of smart men taking notes and then publishing their ideas as my own.