Happy Birthday, Newton!

Newton said, ‘We build too many walls and not enough bridges.’ Newton probably had asperger’s syndrome. He did not have enough bridges in his brains that worked for physics, alchemy and theology. Different areas of his brains worked independently, but each with intense local power. If his brains were integrated, he wouldn’t have been Newton., he would be just another farmer.


  1. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    England still used the Julian calendar when Newton was born, so it isn’t actually his birthday until January 4th.[?]

  2. says

    Newton was a very strange individual. In his writings he seems to be the very paradigm of rationality but in the way he lived his life he often seems to be the very opposite. If I were alive at the time, I don’t think I would have liked him over much or would have got on with him that well, but that’s not to say he was not a great man. His greatest achievement was to produce a theory that could account for not only why an apple falls and why terrestrial physics behaves in the way Aristotle thought, but also why the moon does not fall and why non-terrestrial physics works the way Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler thought. This idea that “heavenly” and “earthly” physics works the same way had a profound effect in undermining the church’s assumed expertise over the former. He must have realised this but I doubt that it worried him for although he believed there was a god he was in no sense a conventional Christian.

  3. crayzz says

    I never liked the idea of diagnosing mental illness in historical figures, largely because we only see snapshots of history, and those snapshots are often going to deviate from “normal” behaviour. Because of this, our data is biased towards those sorts of illnesses.

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