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Still Waters

Was Isaac Newton a scientist or a sorcerer?

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Often wrongly portrayed as a cold rationalist, Isaac Newton is one of history's most compelling figures. It is true that he was capable of the most precise and logical thought it is possible for a human to achieve: his three years of obsessive work that gave birth to the Principia, containing his theory of gravity, stand as the greatest achievement in science.

Just as certainly, though, he was also consumed with what we would now view as completely unscientific pursuits: alchemy and biblical prophesy.

http://www.guardian....entist-sorcerer

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It was my understanding he was both. He was an alchemist.

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It was my understanding he was both. He was an alchemist.

You also forgot physicist. mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, theologian and all round good guy. :tu:
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All I know is that Sir Isaac Newton was a really, really smart person. :yes:

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Alchemy was, at that time, indistinguishable from chemistry, just as astrology and astronomy were also, once, one and the same thing. Modern science rejects both alchemy and astrology and would not consider anyone following these pursuits as a scientist, However Newton was a scientist and we have to view him as he would have been seen in his life time.

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Alchemy was, at that time, indistinguishable from chemistry, just as astrology and astronomy were also, once, one and the same thing. Modern science rejects both alchemy and astrology and would not consider anyone following these pursuits as a scientist, However Newton was a scientist and we have to view him as he would have been seen in his life time.

I like your reply Waspie, Newton was simply a studious of God's Creation (as meant in his times). For him there was no difference between Mechanics and Alchemy, the study of objects motion and the Bible. They had the same dignity for him (and maybe the aspects of the physical world were even less important).

To me, the real difference between (serious) alchemy and chemistry is only that in the latter there's a separation between matter and spirit.

Unfortunately this is the result of the "Age of Enlightenment" (I know that Newton was part of it, but I mean that the offspring from the original Enlightenment gave as a result an ostracism to spiritual beliefs and produced a new "religion": Materialism).

Alchemists used (invented) the scientific method; the only difference with Chemistry was their goal: Chemistry investigates and sticks to the physical world, while Alchemy used it as a metaphor for Man's improvement.

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Newton was way ahead of his time.

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