It is no secret that Isaac Newton was a genius of physics and mathematics, but few know that he also had a darker and more bizarre side. Between alchemy, occultism and studies on biblical prophecies, the dear scientist that we all remember for history (invented) on the apple tried to predict nothing less than the end of the world.
Part-time conspiracy theorist
In some of his private notes, probably never intended to be made public, Newton tried to predict the Apocalypse based on his Protestant understanding of the Bible and related events. In one of these notes, the scientist referred to the year 2060. It is important to emphasize that Newton did not exactly predict the destruction of the world in 2060, but the end of the world as we know it. Somehow, the end of an era.
Around that date, he wrote, Christ would return to establish a global kingdom of peace. Around 2060 the "Babylon", or the corrupt Trinitarian Church, would have fallen leaving room for the spread of the true Gospel. Why did he not publicly disseminate these notes of him? Probably out of wise prudence: religious fervor yes, but also awareness that making mistakes Forecasts brings discredit.
Newton: the human side of a genius
Ironically, Newton's truly "self-fulfilling" prophecy is that his predictions fail by placing him in the category of those "imaginative" men who jeopardize the credibility of certain visions. But this also shows us the human side of a genius who, like everyone else, had his quirks and passions.
To better understand Newton's predictions, it is helpful to consider the historical context in which he lived. In the XNUMXth century, alchemy, occultism and biblical prophecy were subjects of great interest to many intellectuals. Thus, it is not so surprising that Newton devoted himself to the study of these subjects in addition to physics and mathematics.
In any case, his theories have been the subject of study and discussion among experts. They are fully part of his cultural and intellectual heritage: they show us a cross-section of his complex and creative mind, and that's okay. Even great geniuses can have a mysterious and fascinating side.