Would Isaac Newton be welcome in science today?


Isaac Newton made some pretty impressive contributions to science despite holding these views:

Newton considered himself to be one of a select group of individuals who were specially chosen by God for the task of understanding Biblical scripture. He was a strong believer in prophetic interpretation of the Bible, and like many of his contemporaries in Protestant England, he developed a strong affinity and deep admiration for the teachings and works of Joseph Mede. [Biblical scholar who predicted the end of the world by 1716–PK] Though he never wrote a cohesive body of work on prophecy, Newton’s belief led him to write several treatises on the subject, including an unpublished guide for prophetic interpretation entitled Rules for interpreting the words & language in Scripture. In this manuscript he details the necessary requirements for what he considered to be the proper interpretation of the Bible.

In addition, Newton would spend much of his life seeking and revealing what could be considered a Bible Code. He placed a great deal of emphasis upon the interpretation of the Book of Revelation, writing generously upon this book and authoring several manuscripts detailing his interpretations. Unlike a prophet in the true sense of the word, Newton relied upon existing Scripture to prophesy for him, believing his interpretations would set the record straight in the face of what he considered to be “so little understood”. In 1754, 27 years after his death, Isaac Newton’s treatise, An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture would be published, and though it does not argue any prophetic meaning, it does exemplify what Newton considered to be just one popular misunderstanding of Scripture.

Many Americans hold views like these. I wonder why we scientists don’t publicly acknowledge that they too can contribute to science. I wonder why we insist people must think a certain way to be scientists. I wonder how many people we turn away because of this attitude.

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