Sir Isaac Newton – the Greatest Scientist the world has ever seen!
You know what his favorite fruit was. Right?
Newton’s Shortest Biography on the Web:
- 1643: He was born on January 4th (I share my birthday with him. Can you see me basking in this faint sliver of reflected glory? Good. Elementally speaking, within you is a caricaturist struggling to break free – let it out.)
- Somewhere around 1655, he was bullied by a boy at school, challenged the bully, won the fight, and transformed from a dullard into a genius. (So shouldn’t the bully get some credit too?)
- Circa 1660: The apple fell in a garden somewhere in Lincolnshire(?) and Newton (probably) saw it fall.
- 1671: He completed the book “Method of Fluxions”
- 1687: He published Principia Mathematica.
- 1705: Knighted by Queen Anne and became Sir Isaac Newton.
- 1721: He died a bachelor. His death could’ve been caused by Mercury-poisoning. (Woof!)
Newton’s Principal Works:
- Universal Gravitation
- The Three Laws of Motion
- The First Reflecting Telescope
- Differential & Integral Calculus (Read about the Newton-Leibniz controversy in the “Myths Broken by Isaac Newton” section.)
- Newton’s Method for finding the roots of a function.
Myths Broken by Isaac Newton:
Here are some myths that he’s broken.
Graffiti is bad and only goons deface public buildings.
Wrong. The great scientists of the world do it too. Guess defacement of buildings and inventions both result from the same attitude – to challenge the existing – be it norms or knowledge.
What Newton did to a window sill in his school (King’s School) can be seen here.
Great minds don’t do well in School.
Newton did. Mostly to spite another guy in his class when he was at school.
Together we can do great things.
Hah. Check out the greats – including Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci. The greats were always in controversy. Often with those that they once were quite chummy indeed. Read about the bitter war between Newton and Leibniz (yes – of the Differential Calculus fame) here. With intelligence following a normal distribution, obviously, greatness isn’t a community thing!
Note: This controversy also inspired the book “The Baroque Cycle” by Neal Stephenson.
Newton and His Humility:
His epitaph was written by the noted English poet Alexander Pope. It reads:
Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night;
God said “Let Newton be” and all was light.
(I am sure that Newton’s scientific mind must’ve appreciated the simplicity of the verse – I am surprised that it isn’t twisted beyond shape with thou, thee, and thy! My apologies to William Shakespeare.)
Newton did know how to manage the media by speaking humbly (a trait much in demand even today.) Here’s what he had to say about his own achievements:
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
An Important Tip for all Future Celebrities:
It’s important – very important, for all celebrities to sound humble. Even if you are a great – you need the support of the un-greats, because when god was distributing wrath he wasn’t partial at all. I leave the rest to your interpretation. My recommendation – follow Newton’s footsteps.
Newton’s Religious Beliefs:
As most people who have more to do than others, Newton didn’t spend his personal time on religion – however, he also realized how he could be declared a “heretic” if he didn’t put up with the appearances – and so he did. Thus, he wrote about religion (Da Vinci too painted for the Church) – In those times, you had to keep the church in good humor if you wanted to achieve anything worthwhile.
Historian Stephen D. Snobelen says of Newton,
“Isaac Newton was a heretic. But … he never made a public declaration of his private faith — which the orthodox would have deemed extremely radical. He hid his faith so well that scholars are still unravelling his personal beliefs.”
– Source: Wikipedia.
(The scholars, of course, aren’t inventors and so they can spend their time unravelling Newton’s personal beliefs – and The Caricaturist, of course, again isn’t doing anything of earth-shaking importance, and she can write and wonder about the greats – thanks to the scholars. It’s all like an onion, you see.)
I believe that what you do when death comes prancing, is what defines your religious beliefs – everything else is just self-concept. Despite the appearance that Newton put up, he refused to take the holy orders and the sacrament. True beliefs surface at death – because then there’s no need to put up appearances for this world. Whatever you do, you do to make your future better. When you shake hands with death, you either see a future that your “specific” religious scriptures have outlined for you – or you see nothing – and it all depends on your true belief. Newton’s true belief, in all probability was that there was nothing beyond!
This of course, is a caricature blog and not a place to discuss life, death, and beliefs; so I leave you with your thoughts and with the caricature of the man who reportedly saw more than the giants that he so humbly spoke of, as he stood on their shoulders. With his intelligence he would’ve known what his statement meant – exactly.
By the way, a 4 inch sliver from the original apple tree (did he indeed remember the tree from which the apple fell? is it documented somewhere?) is now going into space (aboard the space-ship Atlantis.) Read the story here.
i would like to know what medium do u use….thank u…
any…but pencils for the caricatures you see here:)
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Thanks for stopping over:-) I’ve seen you at Viv’s blog and have appreciated your thoughtful comments.
I look forward to meeting you again – either at your blog or mine:-)
Viv sent me here, Shafali.
You art and wit will entice me to return . . .
Conshohocken, PA USA
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It’s a beautiful picture of a tree with a story:)
You might want to check out this apple tree – it’s the same one…well, almost:)
I was waiting for your comment:) I knew you’ll have something interesting to share about Newton’s life and works. Thanks for the info-byte about the apricot being the real inspiration.
About being a heretic – and Newton’s interpretation of religion:
Though I prefer not to think of what I’d do when I die…I might accept the afterlife concept:) I’d follow the advice of my favorite fictional hero Taita and spread my risk! Agnosticism essentially allows you to change directions – quickly – according to then need of the hour.
But all this aside, I think if I were unattached, as Newton was, I too would refuse to toe the line drawn by the religious lot.
Lovely pic, made me smile!!!
I think I am a heretic, but these days it doesn’t seem to matter at all.
Newton’s apple tree has a scion in the Cambridge Botanical garden; I took a pic of it last year I ought to post at my blog some time.
I do wonder also how he escaped the clutches of the mamas determined to marry off a daughter…..Maybe like Da Vinci, he was orientated a little differently.
I also think the apple/gravity story is an engineered one to act as counterpoint to the Adam and Eve and the apple in the garden of Eden tale: effectively a second loss of innocence for mankind.
That said, the original apple was probably an apricot,, another mistranslation….
I had now idea that Mr. Newton was such an interesting character. Obviously I need to get back to reading the occasional book!
I love the statement “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” It’s something you wouldn’t hear today unless it was scripted for a politician and tested on audiences beforehand.
A wonderful charicature and fascinating article, Shafali.
Hi Mr. Mills,
You are the love of my blogging life (I know you’ve got some serious stalkers too – and I just won’t be able to compete with them!)
I guess Newton was an excellent politician too. If he hadn’t been one, he probably wouldn’t have written for the church while “practicing the black magic” of science under their very noses. I think he scripted the statement himself (with scribes being in short-supply then) and ensured that the word went out:)
Thanks again for your visit and appreciation.
Fantastic caricature of Newton Shafali! Newton and I have one thing in common- our favorite fruit! 🙂 (I actually named one of my dogs after that fruit haha)
“I believe that what you do when death comes prancing, is what defines your religious beliefs – everything else is just self-concept.” I definitely agree with you on this, we can talk & talk about our religious beliefs but it is that moment which truly defines it…
I remember…the cute n cuddly Chuck and Apple:)
About the defining moment – I’ve also heard about some sworn atheists who converted into believers when they were on their death-bed.