Apocalypse: Newton


You may remember our recent greatest hits list of apocalyptic predictions that, thankfully, didn't come true. Among others, the false prediction hall of shame included such luminaries as Billy Graham (he said the world would end in 1998), Harold Whisenant (author of 88 Reasons Christ Will Come Back in 1988) and a talking carp. Now we can add one more name to that list: Isaac Newton. Looks like that apple hit him on the head harder than we thought: not only did Newton lay the groundwork for classical mathematics and describe gravity, the laws of motion and optics, he also conducted extensive study of the apocalyptic Book of Daniel, and concluded that the world would end 1,260 years after the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire in western Europe in 800 AD. If Newton is right, that gives us until about 2060 to finish up our business here on Earth (look busy, everyone). Of course, Newton cultivated a hobbyist's interest in lots of since-disproven notions of his day like alchemy, the idea that lead can be turned into gold. Seeing how well that panned out (no pun intended), we're hoping he's equally on track with this end-of-world stuff. (We'll let you know as soon as we find out.)