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Why did Isaac Newton believe that the world would end in 2060 ?

By T.K. Randall
May 22, 2023 · Comment icon 15 comments

The man himself. Image Credit: Bonhams
The celebrated physicist revolutionized our understanding of gravity, but he also had a few more 'out there' ideas.
Newton, whose laws of motion and gravitation would go on to dominate our understanding of the physical universe for several centuries, is also known to have kept extensive notes on several 'alternative' subjects including alchemy - the precursor to modern chemistry - and biblical apocalypse theory - which concerned predictions of the end of the world.

Many of his writings concerning the latter were never meant to be seen by anyone else, but they provide an intriguing window into some of his personal spiritual beliefs and thought processes.

They, among other things, reflected his attempts to predict when the world would end based on his Protestant understanding of the Bible.

In one series of notes, he concluded that 2060 was a possible date for the apocalypse, or more specifically, the end of an era of Earth's history.
"Prop. 1. The 2300 prophetick days did not commence before the rise of the little horn of the He Goat.

2 Those day [sic] did not commence a[f]ter the destruction of Jerusalem & ye Temple by the Romans A.[D.] 70.
3 The time times & half a time did not commence before the year 800 in wch the Popes supremacy commenced
4 They did not commence after the re[ig]ne of Gregory the 7th. 1084
5 The 1290 days did not commence b[e]fore the year 842.
6 They did not commence after the reigne of Pope Greg. 7th. 1084
7 The diffence [sic] between the 1290 & 1335 days are a parts of the seven weeks.

Therefore the 2300 years do not end before ye year 2132 nor after 2370. The time times & half time do n[o]t end before 2060 nor after [2344] The 1290 days do not [end] before 2090 nor after [2374]."

"Newton was convinced that Christ would return around this date and establish a global Kingdom of peace," wrote Prof Stephen D. Snobelen of the University of King's College in Halifax.

"Babylon' (the corrupt Trinitarian Church) would also fall and the true Gospel would be preached openly."

Source: IFL Science | Comments (15)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by and-then 1 year ago
That's good advice and I plan to try that this summer.  One certainty is that things won't improve from here.  It's become depressingly repetitive at this point.  I don't really "wait on the world to end" as an occupation   I just have faith that the predictions of Christ's return are going to prove true in the not too distant future.  Until then, life goes on as usual.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Sherapy 1 year ago
Certainly one should stay informed of the world, but too much negative information overload can cause issues. The brain is wired to pay more attention to negative information as it triggers an instinctual fight or flight response meaning we are more likely to dwell on negative info (NI) which taken to far can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress and depression, it can create feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, it can inspire one to start to feel like there is nothing they can do to change the situation and perhaps even in some cases behave in ways that are harmful to self and others. It ... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Rolci 1 year ago
Couldn't have put it better myself. I've not owned or watch a brainwashing machine (TV) for 20 years. Nor have I ever followed news online. Not seeing a single ad on any of my devices ever is just the cream on top. The freedom this give comes out nicely when you talk to someone plugged in deep. " hopelessly dependant on the system, that they will fight to protect it."
Comment icon #9 Posted by equshemonius 1 year ago
I don't know why he put a date on the end but I predict that the world will end eventually. All the mystical times are delusional without any basis in fact. Science indicates sometime far in the future barring a random or as of yet unseen event. It's a shame that so many brilliant people in the past based their calculations on mystical events instead of reality.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Ajay0 1 year ago
Newton was a religious person from what I remember reading. Imo, it's possible that he may have logically speculated and foreseen that future weapons augmented by rapidly developing science and technology, would be capable of inflicting heavy casualties of an unprecedented level, and thereby wipe out huge sections of humanity. This speculation may have led him to give such a prophesy back then.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Piney 1 year ago
He was into the occult and Bible codes or math, which was common at the time. He also suffered a nervous breakdown hinting at a bit of mental issues.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Wistman 1 year ago
His occult studies, voluminous but unpublished during his lifetime, consisted primarily of Alchemical work.  Some see this study as precursor to Chemistry as a scientific discipline, though it isn't apparently a simple correlation.
Comment icon #13 Posted by lightly 1 year ago
Sure looks that way…but, they only gotta be right  once!*
Comment icon #14 Posted by Tom1200 1 year ago
was he right?
Comment icon #15 Posted by Indiogene 1 year ago
Isaac Newton along with Leonardo Da Vinci predicts 2070 through a global flood, they're not the only ones predicting the end times are closer than one thinks, and 2023 has a lot of signs we have to watch for to indicate the end is near.

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