Delve into a frighteningly brilliant but deeply troubled mind…
This documentary reveals a very different Isaac Newton from that of popular myth – a much more fascinating and complex man than the powder-wigged puritan of the history books.
Discoveries uncovered in this documentary piece together the dramatic and tragic tale of Newton’s dark genius. The great Sir Isaac Newton spent only a relatively small part of his life studying science. The rest he devoted to the ancient art of alchemy, heresy and predicting and praying for the end of the world. This documentary looks at this extraordinary period of Newton’s life when, at the height of his genius, he turned to alchemy and theology.
Newton locked himself away to pour over the apocalyptic books of the Bible, maniacally searching for the date of the end of the world – an event for which he constantly prayed. Decoding long-hidden manuscripts, this documentary reveals Newton’s prediction of the apocalypse.
At the heart of this documentary is an amazing paradox. How could a man driven by religious zealotry go on to develop our rational notions of science, and in turn destroy the notion of an omnipresent God, which he held so dear?
A BBC documentary uncovers, for the first time, the original manuscript where Newton forecast the date of the end of the world. Newton, the father of modern mathematics, dedicated a large part of his life to a quest to decode the Bible which he believed to be the word of God. For over 50 years, he studied the Bible trying to unravel God’s secret laws of the Universe.
He was fanatical in his quest to discover the date for the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world. Scholars have spent years trying to unravel Newton’s writings on the Book of Revelation to establish when he thought the apocalypse was coming. For the first time, Newton: The Dark Heretic reveals the date he forecast is within many people’s lifetimes – 2060.
The BBC was given rare access to Newton’s original manuscripts in the Hebrew National Library in Jerusalem. Buried in his papers, Dr Stephen Snobelen, from the University of King’s College in Nova Scotia, found the original document where Newton had written down his prediction. In 2060, Newton believed the dramatic events forecast in the apocalyptic Book of Revelation would occur: massive plagues and fires; the terrible battle of Armageddon between good and evil and the destruction and eternal damnation of the wicked.
Producer Malcolm Neaum says: “Newton prayed daily for the end of the world which he believed would herald the Second Coming of Christ. This would usher in the 1000 year rule of the Saints and Newton believed he would then take his place as Chief Saint.”