Isaac Newton drops in at MIT


Alexander Pope’s couplet about Isaac Newton gives me goosebumps:
Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night;
God said: Let Newton be! and all was light.
Epitaph… Intended for Sir Isaac Newton, in Westminster Abbey

Sir Isaac: an “angel of the Lord” for science
If the “foundational scientist” Isaac Newton (1643 – 1727) turned up one day at MIT, a sort of figment of Newton’s imagination, where might the conversation go these days?
We are bandying questions with the master journalist Tom Levenson, the only man I know who has studied every word of Principia Mathematica.
Who at MIT would engage Isaac Newton on the subject of God?
Lots of people, Levenson argues.
Would Newton not take the “big bang” theory as an analog of the Bible’s story of Creaton?
Probably.
What would intrigue him most in science today?

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