Just how crazy WAS Sir Isaac Newton?

Discussion in 'History' started by Magical Realist, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    "Newton’s biography is a catalog of the symptoms of bipolar (or manic depressive) disorder, an illness he suffered from most of his life. Romantic writers often called manic depression ‘a disease of men of genius’, while others considered it an essential element for creativity. It was argued that depression made one a perfectionist and mania led to intense periods of productivity, faith in ones own talent, and the need to prove oneself right.

    This may be partly true, but no matter how many creative inspirations one gets from the manic state and how extraordinary the achievements are as a result of it, one thing is clear to all who suffer from it – this is an illness that can destroy lives and cause tremendous pain for all connected to the sufferer.

    Newton exhibited signs of bipolar disorder early in life; he was a solitary child who didn’t engage in games with other children. He spent most of his time alone, building miniature mills, machines, carts, and other inventions. He was high strung, egotistical, and dominant. He experienced attacks of rage, which he directed toward his friends and family. He later recalled ‘threatening my father and mother to burn them and the house over them.’

    Newton also had intense moments of remorse, when he made long lists of his ‘sins’ or wrongdoings. His list recorded ‘striking many’, ‘punching my sister’, ‘peevishness with my mother’. His violent temper made him unpopular and his peers and the servants rejoiced when Newton left home for Cambridge.

    At Cambridge, Newton made only one friend among his fellow students. His notebooks on his college years document anxiety, sadness, fear, a low opinion of himself, and suicidal thoughts.

    After his appointment as Fellow of the University in Cambridge, Newton continued to have manic episodes, often forgetting to eat. Such events were usually followed by a collapse into depression, and he would become enraged by any criticism of his work. As a result, he would withdraw from the scientific community and refuse to continue his research.

    Despite his success and recognition, Newton was afraid to expose his work to the criticism of fellow scientists. He kept his calculus secret until Leibniz made a claim of discovering it first. And if it wasn’t for his astronomer-friend, Edmund Halley’s encouragement, he probably wouldn’t have published his most important work, the Principia.

    Newton avoided the company of others. When he had to interact with people, he contributed little to conversations. His relationships with other scientists were tyrannical. He would refuse to speak to those who dared to disagree with him. Newton sought quarrels with friends and foes alike.

    There were two people in Newton’s life whom he loved. One was his niece, Catherine Barton, who became her uncle’s housekeeper in London, and the other was a Swiss mathematician – Fatio de Duillier, who was only 25 years old when he met Newton. Because of the great emotional intensity of their relationship, and the fact that neither man ever married, some of Newton’s biographers suspect their relationship was homosexual in nature, but there is no proof.

    Newton had a strong aversion to fame and requested that his papers be published anonymously. This is what Jane Jakeman writes about Newton’s tendency for secrecy and anonymity in her book ‘Newton’:

    ‘In 1696 Leibniz and a Swiss mathematician, Johann Bernoulli, set up a mathematical problem as a challenge to any European mathematician to try to solve. Other famous mathematicians were unable to even come near an answer. Newton was sent the problem when he was in the throes of his busiest time at the Mint and came home exhausted from a hard day’s work. But he had solved it by four o’clock the following morning. He published the answer anonymously, but Bernoulli guessed who had solved it: he said that he recognized ‘the lion by its claw.’

    At times of depression, Newton hallucinated and had conversations with absent people. He became obsessed with religion and immersed himself in alchemy. He spent 25 years in the study of alchemy in secret, searching for mysterious elixirs and writing thousands of pages on the subject.

    Like many people with bipolar disorder, Newton developed grandiose delusions. In his notes on alchemy and religion he wrote that he was appointed by God to bring His truth to the world.

    The scientific truths that Newton uncovered during his lifetime have raised him to demigod status, but it was at a price. He suffered immense pain and torment due to his mental disorder. William Blake wrote, ‘Without contraries [there] is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.’ This reminds us that the great Sir Isaac Newton was human too."--http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/the-madness-of-sir-isaac-newton/

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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    What about Einstein, Bohr, Hubble and on and on , they never had any problems and did quite allot to help science.
     
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  5. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Really? How would you know something like that?
     
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  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Ever read about them?
     
  8. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member

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    Newton stuck a needle in his eye to put pressure on the eyeball as part of his research into color.

    Yeah, he was pretty crazy.
     
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    So you're saying they had no problems because you didn't read about it? lol!
     
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    "Albert Einstein is sometimes thought to have had Asperger syndrome, despite forming close relationships with a number of people, marrying twice, and being outspoken on political issues. According to Baron-Cohen, "passion, falling in love and standing up for justice are all perfectly compatible with Asperger syndrome",[33] although he notes that Einstein's delayed language development and educational slowness may be more indicative of high-functioning autism.[9]

    Fitzgerald describes Einstein's interest in physics as "an addiction", and says that it was important for him to be in control of his life. He also points to Einstein's lack of tact and social empathy, and his occasional naivety, as further traits he had in common with people with autism spectrum disorders.[8] Ioan James adds that Einstein was much better at processing visual information than verbal; Einstein himself once said "I rarely think in words at all".[9]

    In her 1995 book In a World of His Own: A Storybook About Albert Einstein, author Illana Katz notes that Einstein "was a loner, solitary, suffered from major tantrums, had no friends and didn't like being in crowds", and conjectures that he may have had some form of autism."
     
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    The only color you'll see after sticking a needle in your eye is black.
     
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    There's that funny thing which means they don't know but won't say so. It is a guess.

    Another conjecture with no known FACTS from and doctors to substantiate that either.
     
  13. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Supposition is what deviates Soft Sciences from Hard Sciences.
     
  14. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    The term Aspberger's was rendered obsolete in 2009, so this query is nonsense. Even soft sciences like clinical psychology have self-correcting mechanisms.

    As for Einstein's remarkable brain, "the inferior parietal lobe was 15 percent wider than normal, an area believed to be involved in mathematical reasoning." source: Wikipedia 'Albert Einstein's brain'. This much we already knew, from the evidence of how this individual behaved and excelled in mathematical reasoning despite an early academic career that was undistinguished and actually late to develop in this area.
     
  15. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    For more detailed information about Isaac Newton's secretive (he was secretly an Alchemist for 25 years, and also a heretic), depressive and occasionally vindictive personality, read 'Sir Isaac Newton: The Feuds' on h2g2.
     
  16. madethesame Banned Banned

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    hello this may help
    search capt ajit vadakayil newton
     
  17. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    Einstein had some really messed-up relationships with women. He was like a Jerry Springer guest for at least a little while.
     
  18. madethesame Banned Banned

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    maybe
    calculus was not invented by Newton
     

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