What world-famous mathematician believed in intelligent design and creation and wrote this?
“Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds beasts & men have their right side & left side alike shaped (except in their bowells) & just two eyes & no more on either side the face & just two ears on either side the head & a nose with two holes & no more between the eyes & one mouth under the nose & either two fore leggs or two wings or two arms on the sholders & two leggs on the hipps one on either side & no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel & contrivance of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom & the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside an hard transparent skin, & within transparent juyces with a crystalline Lens in the middle & a pupil before the Lens all of them so truly shaped & fitted for vision, that no Artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light & what was its refraction & fit the eys of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with man kind to believe that there is a being who made all things & has all things in his power & who is therfore to be feared.”
This writer was one of the most brilliant and incisive thinkers of all post-Flood men who ever lived. He was a renowned mathematician, physicist, astronomer, and philosopher. Who was he?
These words appeared in the “Of Atheism” section in the essay A short Schem of the true Religion by Sir Isaac Newton (1643 – 1727).
Newton discovered and developed differential and integral calculus to help solve problems in celestial mechanics. His 1687 book Principia Mathematica is one of the most important scientific treatises ever written. In it he developed classical mechanics, universal gravitation, and the three laws of motion. He derived Kepler’s laws of planetary motion from his theory of gravity, conclusively demonstrating heliocentrism.
Newton’s mathematical work also includes the binomial theorem, his method for approximating roots, and power series. He also made fundamental discoveries in optics. He constructed the first reflecting telescope and devised a theory of color from his observation that prisms separate visible light into colors.
A translation of the Latin inscription on Newton’s tomb in Westminster Abbey is
“Here is buried Isaac Newton, Knight, who by a strength of mind almost divine, and mathematical principles peculiarly his own, explored the course and figures of the planets, the paths of comets, the tides of the sea, the dissimilarities in rays of light, and, what no other scholar has previously imagined, the properties of the colours thus produced. Diligent, sagacious and faithful, in his expositions of nature, antiquity and the holy Scriptures, he vindicated by his philosophy the majesty of God mighty and good, and expressed the simplicity of the Gospel in his manners. Mortals rejoice that there has existed such and so great an ornament of the human race!”
Newton was a brilliant scientist making fundamental discoveries in many fields. His conclusions about nature based on his studies are worth considering. As the above quote and those below show, he was a convinced creationist.
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”
– Sir Isaac Newton. Principia Mathematica (1687)
“It is the perfection of God’s works that they are all done with the greatest simplicity. He is the God of order and not of confusion.”
– Newton quoted in Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (1983) by Richard S. Westfall, p. 326.
“God created everything by number, weight and measure.”
– Translation of a Latin phrase Newton wrote in a student’s notebook. Quoted in Symmetry in Plants (1998) by Roger V. Jean and Denis Barabé, p. xxxvii.
“The main Business of natural Philosophy is to argue from Phenomena without feigning Hypotheses, and to deduce Causes from Effects, till we come to the very first Cause, which certainly is not mechanical.”
– From Opticks (Query 28) by Newton, 1704
Commentary on Newton’s Quotes
Like Paul in Romans 1:19-20, Newton argued for the existence of a Creator based on common evidence in nature that everyone sees. In fact, Newton said atheism is “senseless.” “Senseless” means it makes no logical sense to a rational mind. One of the world’s top thinkers asserted that the only sensible position is that of a Creator and Designer.
Newton remarked that this was the conclusion of the vast majority of men throughout time. This point is significant. Creationism is not a minority opinion throughout history.
The arrogance and hubris of today where man thinks he’s so advanced and despises the wisdom of previous generations regarding the existence of a Creator is an anomaly of history. The vast majority of mankind throughout history has known that there must have been a Creator. It’s common sense based on looking at what has been created, just as the Apostle Paul, President Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Sir Isaac Newton, and innumerable others have argued.
Charles Darwin, who published his infamous tome in 1859, a little over a century after Newton’s death, would have done well to have listened to his deceased countryman’s arguments. Today’s intellectuals would also do well to pay heed to one whose intellectual prowess far exceeded their own.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the third installment in the Famous Thinkers series highlighting great men of the past who believed in a Creator.
Read the prequels:
1. Famous Thinkers – Former U.S. President Supports Intelligent Design
2. Famous Thinkers – Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
Read the sequel:
4. Famous Thinkers – Theologian Testifies for Creation
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Saturday August 20, 2011 A.D.
Read my August 2011 newspaper column:
Ark Encounter Park.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)