Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Happy Birthday Issac Newton
He was born on Christmas day, 1643 (by the calendar in the works then . . .actually Jan 4 now). No shepherds came. No star alerted the masses. No wise guys. No frankincense nor Murray. But we do know that he was born on this day. Records show it. We have his school records (not so hot either!). And of course we have all of his work published in The Principia. We have eyewitness accounts of his lectures and his letters. We have his journals including the entry about the apple (which did not hit him on the head).
All in all Newton was undoubtedly a real person and we’re thankful for his work which has given work to all those teaching introductory physics for centuries after his death.
On the other hand there is NO record of Jesus having been born on December 25th. The story with the manger and the no room at the inn is pure myth. No eyewitness accounts. No letters from Mary. No love notes from Joseph (well that’s probably understandable). No mention in the historical records of the time in question. Jesus left us no writings of his own (which seems strange) and the ‘eye witness’ accounts of his lectures were actually written years after his alleged death. Who knows how much the writings of Paul, John, and Ringo were massaged over the years by a church struggling for survival.
So happy birthday Isaac. For me your work and your life are more real and hold much more importance than the passing on of a popular myth for the perpetuation of those creating and supporting the myth.