You may feel that the community has that opinion of me, but I see no evidence of it. The feedback they give me tends to be positive, and very nearly all of the people I ever attacked have been permabanned for their incorrigible trolling. The case in point was this post which stands on its merits. It's unimpeachable, esp. since when I said Newton had the good sense to leave religion out of Principia, at least I don't recall any such mention of it, and if so, it's not germane to the subject at hand, "the subject at hand" were his laws of motion and the Universal Law of Gravitation, which, as anyone who has read it knows, is intensively mathematical in nature. Exclusively. I accuse Arne for flaming by taking these facts and twisting them to further his nonsensical religious objectives, and of course to defend the trolling sscully will probably eventually be banned for. He's an icon for inventing calculus, as a means of solving the mystery that plagued Kepler in the discovery of his laws of planetary motion: what causes these orbits to be elliptical?, for propounding the laws of motion, gravity and optics. For folks who never majored in science or math the significance of this may not seem earth shattering, but it is. It completely revolutionized the way we solve technical problems. For atheists, Newton also represents the new found freedom from leaving unsolved mysteries to "the God of the gaps". Since Newton, and due to Newton, virtually every question of ontology now has some basis in science and nearly all of the mysteries of the Biblical eras have been solved -- what causes eclipses, why do frogs and locusts sometimes swarm, what causes plague, leprosy, etc., what causes earthquakes, floods and similar disasters, and so on. Neither Arne nor sscully will appreciate that the reasoning because humans are sinful has been conclusively disproven. Not only that, but through ancillary work in archaeology we find that this was a fairly limited group of people who clung to this superstitious answer (the stance of animists, if the truth be told) since Mesopotamia was unusually prone to severe flooding. That's a fact that certainly applies to Principia. It was in circulation for 26 years before Newton decided to add the religious rant in the appendix. I have a different position on why Principia was strictly a work of math and science, although it's echoed somewhere in the scholarly treatment of this question. And that is, that Newton initially got into the practice of preparing his work for publication because that was the way things were done at Trinity College. The professors had to publish the materials they were lecturing from. This also explains why Principia is laid out in the format of units, almost like a modern textbook, which builds the laws out of the progressive laying of foundations, as a long complex higher order syllogism. Also it's worth noting that Newton admits to following the ideas of Mede (with respect to Apocalyptic imagery) and through evidence of Mede's sources this traces to, say, a dozen theologians, patriarchs and scholars of antiquity. Of course the Book of Revelation is written from the voice of a person who is tripping on psychedelics, so of course the primary source for inspiring all of the fascination with bizarre symbolism is Revelation itself. It would appear to me that what Newton was trying to do was to construct some other deeply nested set of propositions--all necessarily vested in metaphysics--to try to arrive at the dream-like result of Revelation, that is, to reverse engineer the quasi hallucinatory story of how the world ends. Without arguing the point, it merely suggests to me that this is the expected way a strict adherent such as Newton might try to cope with this rather bizarre text stuck at the end of many a Bible--to break it down into functional pieces, and explain how they must interact . . . drawing, of course from his own scholarship in the Bible as a whole and his own extensive research, reading the sources Mede read, and various others Newton refers to as he develops his strange jigsaw puzzle of imagined meanings of the endless symbols in Revelation. Thank you. I have seen this paper before and was looking for this opening remark ealier, which corroborates what I know to be true but which Arne disputed since he has obviously had no reason to read Principia: With only one direct reference to God and a single mention of the Bible, the first edition of Newton’s Principia may have struck many contemporaries as an oddly secular work. And no, it is not odd at all since Newton is propounding the complexities of physics through math. This is not different than, say, Euclid, who did not need to rely on the gods to explain geometry. But it's an excellent paper. His next point is this: Did not Newton’s work inevitably lead to that famous moment over a century later when the French physicist Pierre-Simon de la Place told Napoleon (who had asked him why his work did not mention God when Newton’s did): “Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis”? This was a key point in Neil Degrasse Tyson's outstanding treatment of the questions at hand, posted earlier by Trooper, and recently by gmilam in the thread "Why don't scientists believe in God". I pick up at the natural break in the presentation, about a minute before the facts above. But the setup is essential: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASmQmYX-71Q&t=1096 Tyson renders moot the question of whether theology motivated the Principia, in the more appropriate remark that brilliant scientists like Newton did not rely on metaphysical explanations for the problems they solved, but merely for the ones they had not yet solved: again, God of the gaps. This doesn't diminish the work of the paper you posted by Snobelen which probes a whole spectrum of fascinating questions about the idiosyncratic persona of Newton and the more obscure ideas that haunted him for at least the last half of his life. It just has no bearing on the actual proofs and derivations in Principia, which are purely technical. Even motivation isn't the issue: as Tyson points out, Newton was challenged by the question of how to solve Kepler's question (why the orbits are elliptical) which was purely technical, and he did so with such enthusiasm and confidence that the answer was purely secular that he attacked the problem by inventing calculus! Another excellent quip ND Tyson adds which is even more fundamental, is his mention of Galileo's secret reply to the Inquisition[/url], sent to in confidence to his ally the Grand Duchess Christina. Tyson cites this most remarkable statement: I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them. He would not require us to deny sense and reason in physical matters which are set before our eyes and minds by direct experience or necessary demonstrations. This of course sets the bar for those Christians who feel an aversion towards fundamentalism. It's not just that there shouldn't be any conflict between religion and science--that's purely the product of 100 years of waging war on Darwin. It's that there shouldn't be any conflict between religion and common sense. This is more to the point I have been raising not only here but throughout my refutations against fundamentalism. The fundie tends to barely understand they are worshipping a most absurd principle, inerrancy of the literally interpreted Bible, rather than the more complex nature of the gods and ontology created therein, and of course they are utterly ignorant of exegesis. Thus they completely miss the point of Galileo's resolve to not fall into the pit Newton fell into--even when he faced possible torture and, say, burning at the stake--for maintaining this strict wall between science and religion . . . which he realized was critical to scientific discovery. I know you're aware of this document, but I'll post the text here for readers interested in comparing the clarity of objective thinking by a rational Galileo, in contrast to the manic rant by Newton, insofar as it concerns the question of which man had the more damaged mind. We would tend to think that Galileo, traumatized by the Inquisition, might have lost his marbles and dissolved into his own rant. But it was Newton who crosses into that semi-hallucinatory religious dream state, while Galileo ends up keeping himself together: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/galileo-tuscany.asp This, I think, is the first barrier to cross in the incessant debate about religion v science. Agree to this, and you (the indefinite you) are free from the most egregious fallacies of fundamentalism. Of course! But since Newton "had no need for that hypothesis (God)" to explain physics as he did, I think I am arguing quite a different point than the Newton scholars are. Yes it's an excellent resource, as is the paper by Cohen cited therein. And thanks for steering this thread back to the standard of posting authoritative material to support the facts posted.