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Issac Newton

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There are, however, many facets to this man’s life, other than being a scientist, that are worthy to know. Perhaps that is what truly causes mankind to label an individual the greatest. Possessing not only scientific prowess but also religious and philosophical ponderings, Newton is still a focus of conversation in academic and theological circles nearly 300 years after his death. While people will certainly argue that Sir Isaac Newton should not be considered the greatest, the author of this paper will argue that he is certainly worthy of that title based on the magnitude of his scientific discoveries and the depth of his wisdom and thinking. Sir Isaac Newton, from England, made his mark on the areas of physics, mathematics, astronomy, natural philosophy, alchemy, and theology. That is quite an impressive resume to say the least. One interesting item to note when comparing Newton to other geniuses of the modern era is the fact that he really did not demonstrate his phenomenal abilities until after adolescence. In fact, he lived a rather normal and dull academic life through primary and secondary school. It was not until his time at Trinity College, beginning in 1661, that he began to really excel and get noticed. During this time period, academic life was dominated by the teachings of Aristotle, Descartes, Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. Being somewhat of a loner, Newton spent much of his waking hours devouring the teachings of these great men. This is likely when he developed such a broad academic interest. It is amazing to consider all of the various fields previously mentioned that Newton ended up excelling in. Of course, he did not just excel in them. he ended up altering and changing the face of each of these disciplines, as we know them. It was during his time at Trinity that Newton discovered the binomial theorem in mathematics. He then, during these brief four years of undergraduate work, began to develop infinitesimal calculus. Even with these major accomplishments, amazingly he still graduated relatively unnoticed and simply returned to his family home. It was there that he spent two years engrossed in theories on calculus, optics, and the law of gravitation. Upon completing them, he was lured back to Cambridge and became a fellow at Trinity. It was in this capacity that in addition to his scientific pursuits, he became intrigued by philosophy and theology. This was likely due to the fact that in England during this time period, fellows were required to become ordained priests in addition to carrying out their academic duties (Morrison 133-135). Even though he was heavily influenced by religion and philosophy during his time as a fellow, his pursuits in the areas of physics and mathematical theory continued to dominate his time. Later in his life, however, he began to write volumes on his philosophy about religion. In fact, during the 1690s he wrote a series of religious writings that dealt with the literal interpretation of the Bible. Some of his religious writings were published. others were so controversial that they remained unpublished. That is the nature of a genius, however. His thought process revolutionized the way in which the religious world looks at theology. Since the field of theology is slow to change in comparison to the scientific world, however, much of his work was so groundbreaking that many critics of Newton arose and countered his arguments. Finally, it