the illusion of hope
Does anyone else find it strange that Richard Dawkins is using his latest piece in the New Statesmen to heap praise on Issac Newton?
Not to be too obviously self promoting — but you will find a little more discussion of some of the more tangled threads of the Newton/Jesus Dec. 25th nexus at http://inversesquare.wordpress.com/2007/12/25/christmas-eve-isaac-newton-blogging-my-man-izzys-war-on-christmas/
The short form: In the Gregorian calendar (ours), Newton was born on the 4th of January, and it is only England’s backwardness in 1642, with the stubborn insular insistence on using the old style calendar that preserved the Christmas day tradition for Isaac. Which, of course, fits nicely with the Jesus story, as th 25th is a courtesy date, rather than anything like a meaningful historical claim.
But I share Dawkins’s ultimate sentiment. Happy birthday (after) Isaac!
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