HB, Sir Isaac

Well, sorta. In the old-style, Julian calendar, which was the system of dating is use at the time, today would be the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton. That date translates to 4 January 1643 in our current calendar.

Mr. Newton (sounds funny, hunh?) described some of the most important scientific concepts in human history:

  • Mechanics (Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687) which accounted for movements of stellar objects;
  • Gravitation or, more technically (I think), “gravity,” which provides a generally workable account of the attraction between objects predicated on the differences in their masses; to be sure, this was modified later by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity;
  • Calculus, the description of mathematical functions that are the basis for much of our understanding of science and technology; there must’ve been something in the air, ’cause Sir Isaac came up with this about the same time that Gottfried Leibniz had it.

In a slightly ironic turn, some folks recommend that people celebrate Newtonmass as an alternative to Christmas, despite Newton’s religious views that embrace theism.

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Filed under Amusements, Atheism, Birthdays, Notes and comments, Science

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