At 12:01 AM 12/24/00 -0500, Pat Sloane wrote:
>In a message dated 12/23/00 8:15:09 PM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask]
> > precisely.  newton was the last of the magi, but, having discovered some
> >  remarkable and remarkably consistent formulas for physical actions, got
> >  appropriated by his successors as the founder of modern physics.  he was
> >  not only an alchemist, but a millennial calculator, and when at the end of
> >  the 19th cn, these writings were discovered, they were essentially buried
> >  by historians of science who wanted him to represent "objectivity."
> >
> >  richard
>Why the _last_ of the magi? Can't we extend the list by including, at least,
>Einstein, Heisenberg, and Feynman?

i meant the magus tradition traced by frances yates to which she attributes
the origins of modern science.  i don't think that any of the fellows on
your list considered themselves in the tradition of hermes trismegistus.

>There's one book about Newton's alchemical
>experiments, but I haven't read it and can't recall the title. I think it
>also covers his euqlly hush hush religious beliefs. I've seen him called a

judaizer.  i'd like the reference.

>but hard to know what that means in absence of further

judaizer is one of the patristic names for millennialists (since the jews,
being so literal minded, had this quaint and quite subversive notion that
the messianic era wd be on earth).

>If you think of references on the millennium-calculating, let
>me know.

Frank Manuel wrote a book called The Religion of Isaac Newton.

>Anything on Newton on your web site?

no, but there shd be, and there will be in the book i'm writing.

>I think what we might be agreeing on is that science is in large measure an
>art. IMHO, those 19th century folks who wanted to make everything
>"scientific" did real damage, whether it's Hermann Gunkel's "scientific"
>approach to Psalms or Wilhelm Ostwald's "scientific" approach to color.
>Ostwald seems to really love color and the visual arts, except that he thinks
>they're rather disreputable unless they can be shown to be "scientific."

look at the long-term problems and inherent weaknesses that otherwise
brilliant analysts like marx and freud imbedded in their work by trying to
make it scientific.  and, of course, in the hands of zealots like the
communists, it was precisely the objective, scientific nature of marx's
history and theory that gave them the warrant to force the truth on so many