Science: World to last at least until 2060

posted at 5:42 pm on June 20, 2007 by Bryan

When it ends, women, children, minorities, and the poor are sure to be hardest hit.

Three-century-old manuscripts by Isaac Newton calculating the exact date of the apocalypse, detailing the precise dimensions of the ancient temple in Jerusalem and interpreting passages of the Bible — exhibited this week for the first time — lay bare the little-known religious intensity of a man many consider history’s greatest scientist.

Newton, who died 280 years ago, is known for laying much of the groundwork for modern physics, astronomy, math and optics. But in a new Jerusalem exhibit, he appears as a scholar of deep faith who also found time to write on Jewish law — even penning a few phrases in careful Hebrew letters — and combing the Old Testament’s Book of Daniel for clues about the world’s end.

The documents, purchased by a Jewish scholar at a Sotheby’s auction in London in 1936, have been kept in safes at Israel’s national library in Jerusalem since 1969. Available for decades only to a small number of scholars, they have never before been shown to the public.

In one manuscript from the early 1700s, Newton used the cryptic Book of Daniel to calculate the date for the apocalypse, reaching the conclusion that the world would end no earlier than 2060.

“It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner,” Newton wrote.

Well, I can think of one reason it might end sooner.


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whew! I’ve been worrying about the End of Days for months. I can now breathe easier – by 2060, I’ll probably be dead or close to it. sarc off/

pullingmyhairout on June 20, 2007 at 5:45 PM

Hmmmmmmm…..I’ll be one hundred and…………bout damn time.

Limerick on June 20, 2007 at 5:48 PM

Does this fit into AlGores global warming schedule?

Kini on June 20, 2007 at 5:50 PM

Al Gore only gives us about 9 more years. His assessment is more based upon religion than science as well.

lorien1973 on June 20, 2007 at 5:54 PM

Was he counting leap years? If not…WE’RE ALL DOOMED!!!!

robblefarian on June 20, 2007 at 5:55 PM

“This most beautiful system [The Universe] could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” – Isaac Newton

“The system of revealed truth which this Book contains is like that of the universe, concealed from common observation yet…the centuries have established its Divine origin.” – Isaac Newton

• The Newton Collection at JNUL – Jewish National and University Library
• Papers Reveal Newton’s Religious Side – AP
• The World Will End In 2060, According To Newton – This Is London
• The Newton Project – Imperial College London.

abinitioadinfinitum on June 20, 2007 at 6:01 PM

I want to see the math on that one… then again, I ain’t gonna pretend I’m smart enough to second guess Newton.

frankj on June 20, 2007 at 6:01 PM

Newton failed to grasp relativity,
and went off into crank religiosity,
so he reliabilty about predictability
is a wormy little apple of obscurity.

Burma Shave.

profitsbeard on June 20, 2007 at 6:06 PM

We can comment for another 53 years.

Entelechy on June 20, 2007 at 6:11 PM

If the world does end before 2060, the libs will blame it on Boooooosh.

Mallard T. Drake on June 20, 2007 at 6:12 PM

It’s got to last until 2106.

I’ve made plans to live 125 years and I don’t want Newton cutting me 46 years short.

JadeNYU on June 20, 2007 at 6:17 PM

The ancient Mayans and the pyramid prophesies say the world will end December 23, 2012. Go figure!

abinitioadinfinitum on June 20, 2007 at 6:21 PM

Stupid Mayans and their silly math only had us lasting until 2012! Ha, chalk one up to Western Civ!

Nethicus on June 20, 2007 at 6:21 PM

“….the world would end no earlier than 2060.”

Maybe. Maybe not.

The world will probably end before this argument is settled:


This thing [a scale model of our solar system] is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you, as an atheist, profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker! Now tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?” – Isaac Newton [1642-1727]

locomotivebreath1901 on June 20, 2007 at 6:22 PM

Those crazy religious nuts can’t possibly know anything about science!!1!1 What? He was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist, regarded by many as the greatest figure in the history of science?

jdpaz on June 20, 2007 at 6:24 PM

Matt 24:36

infidel4life on June 20, 2007 at 6:34 PM

Matt 24:36

infidel4life on June 20, 2007 at 6:34 PM

You are a Christian, I owe you an apology sir, I thought you were being sarcastic in the Walid Shoebat post.

abinitioadinfinitum on June 20, 2007 at 6:54 PM

Right around the time Newton decided to transmutate lead into gold, he went nutty. Something to do with Mercury poisoning. Anyway, he even admits that in his later years he was a shadow of what he once was. So, if this is from his later years, chances are that they are a product of his declining mental state.

In other news, Tesla thought that the atom couldn’t be split.

All kinds of nutty stuff some of the greatest minds in the world couldn’t grasp, even though they were on the precipice of understanding.

If he’s right, though, I’ll be 90 so it’s ok.

Krydor on June 20, 2007 at 7:37 PM

It’s got to last until 2106.

I’ve made plans to live 125 years and I don’t want Newton cutting me 46 years short.

JadeNYU on June 20, 2007 at 6:17 PM

You’ll have to move to Japan if you want to make it to that age buddy. Some say sushi is the reason for long life in Japan but Tomoji says no alcohol and plenty of vegetables.

Drtuddle on June 20, 2007 at 7:54 PM

I will be dead way before 2060. I probably will be dead by 2030. Shoot I’ll probably be dead by 2020 only living to 60. But regardless when I die I know where I’m going.

I do feel in my gut that Daniel & Revelation will be fullfilled by 2020. We may not know the day or the hour, but we can know the season.

FLLaw33870 on June 20, 2007 at 8:25 PM

Newton (and other prominent scientists of that time) did not consider themselves mere scientists. They believed that they could resolve all issues surrounding their field of study. This included philosophical, theological and biblical implications. So this is not so surprising.

Newton himself said that he could see so far because he stood on the shoulder of giants. We can see further now because of giants like him. Even though this might seem like a crackpot scheme to us now, at the time this would have seemed mainstream. That we are surprised by this stuff may be an indication that we’ve lost a sense of how we got to where we are.

cmay on June 20, 2007 at 8:33 PM

abinitioadinfinitum on June 20, 2007 at 6:54 PM

No worries, just about everything I say is sarcastic.
;-)

infidel4life on June 20, 2007 at 8:54 PM

2060? By God, the man was an optimist!

Blacklake on June 20, 2007 at 8:56 PM

Newton’s faith is anything but news. My daughter did a 7th grade paper on him, which was supposed to be 3 pages. She came to me very upset the night before it was due saying she couldn’t cut any of it out, and she had 8 pages, and it was about evenly split between his myriad scientific achievements and his Christianity.

Krydor, that garbage is getting fairly tired, you know. Newton wrote and spoke of Christianity, divine creation, and the scientific evidence supporting same regularly throughout his entire adult life.

I understand how necessary it is for you to think that anyone who claims a faith must be deranged, but it simply isn’t so. The only thing about that which troubles me, is that on the day you find out how wrong you are, it will be too late.

Freelancer on June 20, 2007 at 9:40 PM

I’m sure this pisses off our rabid evolutionist friends… knowing that one of the greatest and most known scientists of all time was a big time believer in a literally true Bible.

In other news, Tesla thought that the atom couldn’t be split.

Krydor on June 20, 2007 at 7:37 PM

In other news, the (evolutionary) idea of “junk DNA” is finally all but completely flushed down the scientific toilet. We’ve said it for some time, but it’s been harder for the evos to deny lately.

RightWinged on June 20, 2007 at 10:35 PM

Oh btw.. Newton was wrong… We all know the world ends December 21, 2012.

RightWinged on June 20, 2007 at 10:38 PM

Did he make the calculation under the Julian calendar the English were on until 1752, or under the Gregorian? If so, we’ve got an additional twelve days to chill out.

Steve LLamabutcher on June 20, 2007 at 11:03 PM

RightWinged,

The point of your post was what, exactly? That Tesla was correct and atoms couldn’t be split or I should be selling my worldly stuff around 2059 because Sir Issac Newton says so? Because, you know, my point was that even the greatest minds known to man have been incorrect on occasion.

Nice cherry picked data on your controversey teaching website with a fundamentalist Christian bent.

Krydor on June 20, 2007 at 11:17 PM

RightWinged,

The point of your post was what, exactly? That Tesla was correct and atoms couldn’t be split or I should be selling my worldly stuff around 2059 because Sir Issac Newton says so? Because, you know, my point was that even the greatest minds known to man have been incorrect on occasion.

Nice cherry picked data on your controversey teaching website with a fundamentalist Christian bent.

Krydor on June 20, 2007 at 11:17 PM

Nothing in my post indicates I meant to imply anything about Tesla or about Newton’s prediction. Nice try.

Cherry picked data? The site isn’t teaching “controversy”, it’s highlighting news in mainstream science that, among other things, overturns and calls in to question evolutionary assumptions.

The point, admittedly is not that specific to this topic, but I felt it related when talking about conventional wisdom being wrong. The “junk DNA” noise has been used for a long time as one of the big “proofs” of evolution by it’s proponents speaking of “evolutionary leftovers”. In recent years complexity and what to an unbiased mind would appear to be design has revealed itself more and more as the “junk DNA” idea gets shot down with actual study, setting aside the old evolutionary assumptions.

Do I pretend the site I link to doesn’t have their own editorial bend? No. The same way HotAir doesn’t pretend it’s not a conservative blog. But their analysis aside, they are linking to and quoting information from mainstream scientists, not those scary creationists seeking to force you to be baptized.

RightWinged on June 20, 2007 at 11:39 PM

There are two things to be said about predictions of the apocalypse:

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

- Matthew 24:32-34

The fig tree is commonly considered a reference to Israel. Jesus, during the time of teaching the twelve, commanded a fig tree to wither because it bore no fruit. This is viewed as a prophecy of the withering of Israel following Christ’s crucifixion, because of their lack of fruit, or faith in the Messiah. The verse above referring to the fig tree “putting forth leaves” is then the restoration of the nation of Israel, which Newton agreed was a harbinger of the coming of end times. This passage provides a warning that the end is within sight, as it were. The phrase “this generation” has been debated ad nauseum, whether is means 20 years, 40, 50, 70 or 100. Many more people in evangelical circles agree that the “generation” began in 1948, with the League of Nations returning Israel to its historic home. Obviously then, the generation in question is longer than 50 years.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

- Matthew 24:35, 36

Two simple statements immediately follow the previous passage. God’s Word is more durable than Heaven and Earth, and a proscription against attempts to precisely predict the date of His triumphal return.

Based on Newton’s words “It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner,” it would not seem that he violated that stricture.

Freelancer on June 21, 2007 at 1:07 AM

Eh, just a another religious fanatic who does nothing to promote science.

hadsil on June 21, 2007 at 1:19 AM

Oh yeah? Yogi Beara said, “Da woild ain’t ovah till it’s ovah.”

At least the end of the world will mean the end of the libs, right?

unamused on June 21, 2007 at 1:20 AM

teh skiiieee ees fah-liiiiing! [/moonbat]

Black Adam on June 21, 2007 at 2:40 AM

The Inca said it would be in 2012, and Nostradamus said it would be in the 1990s……. Ain’t happened yet!

Confederate on June 21, 2007 at 9:20 AM

RW,

Dude, this is supposed to be a thread about Issac Newton. It’s not supposed to be about your pseudo-scientific hobbyhorse, and that’s my point.

Was there a reason you singled out my Tesla comment or were you just looking for somewhere to link to a creationist website in a topic I was involved in?

Krydor on June 21, 2007 at 10:54 AM

Run and hide Krydor

RightWinged on June 21, 2007 at 5:10 PM