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40+ Witty Isaac Newton Quotes on Science, Mathematics, and Religion

World-renowned English mathematician, scientist, astronomer, theologian, and natural philosopher, Sir Isaac Newton, was born on January 4th, 1643 in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England. Raised on rural farmland, Newton’s formal education began when he enrolled at the King’s School in Grantham, then going on to pursue his degree at the University of Cambridge’s, Trinity College in 1661. Through his studies, Newton discovered a fascination with natural philosophy. When the Great Plague took over England, forcing Newton back home, he used his newfound knowledge to fuel his formulations on calculus, light, and color. Furthermore, this period of time spent on his farm produced the famous story of the apple falling on Newton’s head, spurring his theories on the relationship between the planet and gravity.

In 1667, Sir Isaac Newton returned to Cambridge where he built the first reflecting telescope in 1668 and became a professor of Mathematics in 1669. After presenting his telescope to the Royal Society of London in 1671, he was invited to become a lifelong member. Many years later in 1687, he published his most famous work, The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, which established the three laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation. Newton’s Principia went on to be a foundational part of the European Enlightenment and laid the path for a scientific revolution through what would be known as the classical mechanics of modern physics and planetary motion.

A new chapter of his life began in 1689 when Newton was elected to represent Cambridge in Parliament. Years after he was named the warden of Royal Mint, encouraging him to move to London where he was promoted three years later to the master of Royal Mint.  In 1703, his famous opposer, Robert Hooke, passed away, allowing Newton to step up as the president of the Royal Society. Within a year Newton published Opticks, a book outlining his earlier studies and experiments on light, color, and refraction that Hooke had publicly criticized. The following year Isaac Newton was knighted by Queen Anne of England, and 20 years later on March 31st, 1727, Newton died in his sleep.

Well-known for his scientific works and studies of biblical chronology, Newton went down in history as an incredible scientist, mathematician, and theologian. Uncover a quote or saying from the famous Sir Isaac Newton below that will spark inspiration, motivation, and wisdom.

Isaac Newton Quotes
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Isaac Newton Quotes on Science and Mathematics

“I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people.”

“To me, there has never been a higher source of earthly honor or distinction than that connected with advances in science.”

“We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.”

“To any action, there is always an opposite and equal reaction; in other words, the actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal and always opposite in direction.”

“A passion for calculus can unlock new worlds.”

“I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phenomena, and I frame no hypotheses; for whatever is not deduced from the phenomena is to be called a hypothesis, and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy.”

“The proper method for inquiring after the properties of things is to deduce them from experiments.”

“An object that is at rest will tend to remain at rest. An object that is in motion will tend to remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.”

“It is the weight, not numbers of experiments that is to be regarded.”

Sir Isaac Newton was asked how he discovered the law of gravity. He replied, “By thinking about it all the time.”

“What goes up must come down.”

Insightful Isaac Newton Quotes on Life

“I know not how I seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with while the vast ocean of undiscovered truth lay before me.”

“Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is truth.”

“Truth is the offspring of silence and meditation. I keep the subject constantly before me and wait ’til the first dawnings open slowly, by little and little, into a full and clear light.”

“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”

“Live your life as an exclamation rather than an explanation.”

“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent.”

“No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.”

“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

“‘Tis much better to do a little with certainty and leave the rest for others that come after, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of anything.”

“Genius is patience.”

Attributed to Newton from his letter to scientist Robert Hooke: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”

“You have to make the rules, not follow them.”

“What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.”

“My powers are ordinary. Only my application brings me success.”

“We build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

“If others would think as hard as I did, then they would get similar results.”

“Errors are not in the art but in the artificers.”

“If you are affronted it is better to pass it by in silence, or with a jest, though with some dishonor, than to endeavor revenge. If you can keep reason above passion, that and watchfulness will be your best defenders.”

“Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.”

“A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true.”

Isaac Newton Quotes on Nature and Religion

“As a blind man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.”

“He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God, but he who really thinks has to believe in God.”

“I believe the more I study science, the more I believe in God.”

“Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.”

“In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.”

“No sciences are better attested than the religion of the Bible.”

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.”

“The seed of a tree has the nature of a branch or twig or bud. It is a part of the tree, but if separated and set in the earth to be better nourished, the embryo or young tree contained in it takes root and grows into a new tree.”

“The more time and devotion one spends in the worship of false gods, the less he is able to spend in that of the True One.”

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

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