Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Does Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation conflict with any contemporary Christian beliefs?

If not, then is this one of many examples where religion/theology and science/philosophy can coexist, as Aquinas and Averroes argued?

"Newton wrote the 'Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica', in which he described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics. The unifying and deterministic power of his laws was integral to the Scientific Revolution and the advancement of heliocentrism."

The law of gravity became Newton's best-known discovery.

But he warned against using it to view the universe as a mere machine, like a great clock. He said, "Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done."

He devoted more time to the study of the Scriptures than to science, and said, "I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily."



Geez - so much for me providing information to try to help people.

Update 2:

Why are people bringing up evolution? My question concerns Newton - he didn't develop any theory of evolution, did he?

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Science is not against the concept of God, because the laws of Nature are axiomatic truths but science has not explained how these laws are made and who has made these laws. Science only explains through experimentation the pre-existing truths in a rational manner. It has not been able to create something from nothing nor has been able to give a form to matter violating the set laws of Nature.

    It is absolutely wrong to think that physics and theology are contrary to each other. Both are concerned with truth, where as philosophy deals with a greater truth than that in science. The real substance in every religion is the philosophy part and not the ritual or code of conduct part.

  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, in a scientific way Newton's Law killed Cristianity (and Darwin too). Philosofically, Nietzche killed the philosophy behind Christianity (read "the antichrist").

    Christian people has the legitimate rights to believe in whatever they want to as long as they don't harm others.

    Religion/theology and science/philosophy can coexist as long as religious/theologists don't torture or set people on fire or don't try to stop scientific progress (like, e.g. promoting "intelligent design" in schools).

    Just remember Giordano Bruno (read the link below from Wikipedia). As far as I know, scientist/philosophers never did the same and they don't plan to. They promote free thought and tolerance.

    Contemporary Christian beliefs still conflicts with science, they just don't have the power to do the horrible things they did to people "in the name of God".

  • 1 decade ago

    PROVEN SCIENCE is not the problem. The effects of gravity are seen and felt and its existence is easily proven.

    However - the major faulty science of evolution is forced to work when it does not. They assemble the theory - conjure up hypotheticals and engage them as fact because of a false belief (or personal belief) and will use every ounce of the weight men give to people who hold a piece of paper calling them a professional.

    I have seen genius people do incredibly stupid things. Pencil pushers with degrees in all manner of sciences and engineering draft up projects that look great on paper but fail the test in the real working environment. And they seldom learn from their mistakes.

    They think "I got a degree and Its impossible for me to not be right".

  • Curly
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    When the guy named "Job" in the bible was around the leading scientific theories were that the earth rode on the back of a giant tortoise, or on the back of a giant elephant.

    He wrote that the earth is suspended over nothing.

    I think that any theoretical "god" that is categorically invalidated by direct observation is problematic. I think the real God made a consistent system, and that any true Divine revelation must be consistent. The real God is a being whose native language is absolute truth, and error or insconsistency, is inconsistent with divinity.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You have Newtons crowning achievement, in one word, 'gravity'. He built the word from scratch. No one had used that definition of that word before he made it from scratch. In his head. Prior the the word 'gravity', people used the phrase, 'God's Will' to answer certain questions reletive to the word 'gravity'.

    Contemporary Christian thought benifits from focusing on the science Newton built, but not the theological chaos that ensued, and continues. And he did it all, with one word.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think it explains and confirms certain events in the bible. Like the earth stopping rotation for a bit, plagues of Egypt, the one land mass breaking into continents shortly after Noah and Noah's flood. I think his theories compliment and confirm these events.

  • 1 decade ago

    I wonder what will happen to that law of gravity when the earth is rolled up like a scroll by God.

  • 1 decade ago

    Um. Not gonna read all of that, but many highly respected scientists beleive in Intelligent Design because it is the only logical conclusion.

  • lenny
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It conflicts with beliefs like the sun stopping/reversing, or people walking on water or floating up into the sky, etc.

    They just call these things miracles and move on.

  • 1 decade ago

    Newtonian Physics = "This is paper" while holding up a sheet of paper.


    I tend to be more of a quantum physicist if anything.

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