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Did an apple really fall on Isaac Newton’s head?


Legend has it that a young Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree when he was bonked on the head by a falling piece of fruit, a 17th-century “aha moment” that prompted him to suddenly come up with his law of gravity. In reality, things didn’t go down quite like that. Newton, the son of a farmer, was born in 1642 near Grantham, England, and entered Cambridge University in 1661. Four years later, following an outbreak of the bubonic plague, the school temporarily closed, forcing Newton to move back to his childhood home, Woolsthorpe Manor. It was during this period at Woolsthorpe (Newton returned to Cambridge in 1667) that he was in the orchard there and witnessed an apple drop from a tree. There’s no evidence to suggest the fruit actually landed on his head, but Newton’s observation caused him to ponder why apples always fall straight to the ground (rather than sideways or upward) and helped inspired him to eventually develop his law of universal gravitation. In 1687, Newton first published this principle, which states that every body in the universe is attracted to every other body with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them, in his landmark work the “Principia,” which also features his three laws of motion.

In 1726, Newton shared the apple anecdote with William Stukeley, who included it in a biography, “Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton’s Life,” published in 1752. According to Stukeley, “After dinner, the weather being warm, we went into the garden, & drank thea under the shade of some apple trees… he told me, he was just in the same situation, as when formerly, the notion of gravitation came into his mind…. occasion’d by the fall of an apple, as he sat in a contemplative mood.”

The esteemed mathematician and physicist died in 1727 and was buried at Westminster Abbey. His famous apple tree continues to grow at Woolsthorpe Manor.


Newton’s Year of Wonders: How Isaac Newton spent a year in quarantine and changed the world with his discoveries

Notable mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton made marvellous discoveries and inventions during his lifetime. Because of his world- changing discoveries, he is recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time. Newton is most well-known for formulating the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which made him a key figure in the scientific revolution.

Though Newton contributed a lot to the field of physics, his most notable and ground breaking discoveries were formulated during his time in quarantine during the Great Plague. During this time, he made remarkable discoveries in the field of calculus, motion, optics and gravitation.

Isaac Newton stayed in quarantine for one whole year, which later become known as the Year of Wonders, or Newton’s Annus Mirabilis. He dedicated this entire year of his life to making scientific discoveries and making huge strides I formulating new theorems.

Here is a deeper look into Newton’s Year of Wonders

Isaac Newton was just 23 years old when the Great Plague of London hit the country. He was just a student at the Trinity College, Cambridge at that time. As the entire nation tried to practice their version of social distancing, the students from Trinity College were requested to head home to avoid the spread of the plague.

As the bubonic Great Plague was one of the worst outbreaks in the history of England, Newton was forced to take two long visits to Woolsthorpe to avoid being infected.

Newton’ brain thrived when he was away from his professors’ eyes. His main objective during this lockdown was to set his mind to work. During the period of isolation, Newton came up with theories which changed the world of science.

He also stressed that these forced absences were the most intellectually fruitful of his whole life. Newton enjoyed the fact that he could let his mind run free and he didn’t have to be shackled by his university curriculum while conducted any kind of research.

During his time in quarantine, Newton decided to explore the fields of optics, calculus, laws of motion and gravitation.

Newton’s experiments with prisms

One of the first things Newton worked on was to understand the properties of light better. He took this step by obtaining a prism, which were majorly sold as novelties in 1660s.

He bore tiny holes in the shutters of his bedroom in Woolsthorpe and placed the prism in such a position that only a thin beam of light passes through it. This experiment showed him that white light was made up seven different colours, which are visible to the naked eye when dispersed through a class medium.

This phenomena helped Newton develop the early design on the Newtonian telescope.

Newton’s advancements in mathematics

While taking a break from the optics experiment with prisms, Newton decided to work on some of the mathematical problems that he stumbled upon in Cambridge.

He later developed a new field of mathematics, which is today known as calculus. Though it is not clear who came up with the idea of calculus fists- Isaac Newton or Gottfried Leibniz- it is speculated that both of them independently came up with the idea during the 1660s.

Newton’s calculus included unique mathematical notations with using it majorly in geometric form based on limiting values of the ratios of vanishingly small quantities.

Laws of motion and universal gravitation

Newton spent his time in quarantine mostly thinking about how to universe works. It was during his time in quarantine that the famous Apple Incident took place.

While looking at the orchard outside his bedroom, he saw an apple fall from the tree and questioned why it falls straight to the ground. While studying about this matter in detail, he came up with the concept of gravity. He also observed that everything in the world is attracted to everything.

John Conduitt, Newton’s assistant and his niece’s husband, describe the incident as follows:

After discovering the concept of gravity, he came up with the mathematical formulas for the laws of motion, which describe the relationship between a body and the external forces acting on it.

After his year in quarantine, he wrote and published three papers related to optics, calculus and other scientific phenomena. He utilised his time in isolation to the fullest, using the extra time on his hand to make giant strides in the world of science.

Newton should be an inspiration for all the students who are currently on a break from their university life. They should learn that this time is to focus on ourselves and brush up our skills in our area of interest, even learn about unexplored topics to expand our knowledge.


The secret infatuation of Newton (Warning: Messy and unedited)

It had been a thousand years since the ending of World War 3 , the war cause a lot of damage both to the earth and to the people. The seven continents: Asia , Europe, North America , South America , Africa and Australia no longer existed due to massive nuclear bombs being dropped . In place of the continents where people lived were floating Islands called Epipléons. These islands were made using advanced technology , these islands formed a massive country called Nirvana and the capital island was called Elysium.

The system blared "Miss wake up it's time for your classes", a grunt escaped from the lips of a certain (h/c) headed female. The system noticed that she did not wake up so , the system opened the window and drew the curtains , (Y/n) fake cried and got up saying "Stupid Pororo waking me up early in the morning" the system said "Miss (Y/n) I believe it's not okay to insult a person as great as me" (Y/n) rolled her eyes "Pororo you are a robot" she said looking at the ceiling , at this the system replied "Whatever , miss it's time for you to get up it is 9 am" (Y/n)'s eyes opened wide ŝ AM . I AM LATE NOOOOO" She jumped out of bed and the system extended the mechanical arms in her closet to help her get ready as she was getting dressed she said "Pororo why did you not wake me up . " The system replied "Miss it is not my fault I have been trying to wake you up for an hour and you stayed up the whole night trying to develop your time machine" (Y/n) rolled her eyes "Don't mock me pororo one day the world will know me as the inventor of the time machine" Pororo did not say anything and quickly dressed her up. As soon as she got out of her room, her eyes laid on the note at the table

"(Y/n) we are out to Phoenix as we have some work to be done , please behave well and do not let me and your mother down . You are expected to score a high mark on your test today if you get it done we will give you an allowance of 40,000 Arives per month"

(Y/n) sighed knowing that her parents won't be back for a month at least , she needed the money to buy parts for her time machine so she decided to try her best for the test. She quickly grabbed her SWT( a tablet like object which is used in schools) and hopped on her fly-board and left through the exit of the house saying "Bye Pororo" the system replied "Goodbye miss" , as she soared through the skies she encountered Dave her best friend , she asked "Are you late today . " Dave replied "Yes I am !!" But little did she know that he was waiting for her and did not mind that he was late as long as he got to be with (Y/n) , as you see Dave had a crush on (Y/n) since they first met but was scared to confess. (Y/n) said "Dave let's race" Dave grinned and yelled "The loser gets to give the winner a treat" with that he sped and (Y/n) screamed "Not fair" and sped up as well . The duo reached the school and into the classroom at the same time , they screamed in unison "Meee" only to freeze as they felt a cold and menacing glare Miss Davinson spoke up "Miss (l/n) and mister Malvore I believe I must personally invite you and give you an award for being late ?" (Y/n) gulped as Dave spoke up "Oohh I would love to get an award" Miss Davinson glared at him as the whole class laughed and (Y/n) snorted , Miss Davinson spoke up "Silence!" The class immediately silenced, she then turned around to (Y/n) and Dave saying "Go to your seats and please do not be late again" the dup left quickly to their respective seats and Miss Davinson began explaining, (Y/n) zoomed out and thought about her time machine and then she suddenly heard "-ton was a great theologian, mathematician, astronomer, physicist and author. He developed the basic theories of physics and calculus , he was born in the 17th century , approximately 1300 years before you were born. He was famous for the story of the Apple, it is said that Newton was once resting underneath an apple tree and then an apple dropped on top of his head , this was a key factor in his discovery of gravity. " (Y/n) looked at her SWT and saw the picture of a man who looked like he was from the continent of Europe , his face matched the people from England and so (Y/n) raised up her hand and asked "Miss Davinson was Sir Newton an English man ?" She nodded "Yes Miss (l/n) he was from England" satisfied she sat down and began zooming off again.

It was the period she dreaded , History of Evolution the period where her fate was decided whether she would score enough to get the money or not. Mister Parkinson began "The test starts now, please begin it in your respective SWTs" (Y/n)'s hands trembled as she began the test. The girl was able to answer all the questions except for one which questioned 'Were Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthalensis the same thing ?' She wracked her brain but forgot the answer to such an east question, she mentally scolded herself 'Stupid (Y/n)' and then she decided to go with no , hopefully it was correct.

The bell rang and (Y/n) quickly packed her bags , she then went to Dave and dragged him to Professor Aldrich's office. Once she was inside, she greeted him "Professor Aldrich Good afternoon" Professor Aldrich nodded "Good afternoon (Y/n) and Dave we have good news And bad news which one would you prefer to hear ?" (Y/n) and Dave said in unison "Good" Professor Aldrich began "The good news is , the time machine is ready !!" The trio cheered , then he said "The bad news is we do not know if it is ready and if it really works" the trio dulled, then Dave asked "Professor , then we should try to use someone to use the machine" Professor Aldrich nodded , "Dave , son I know we have to but I don't think anyone would volunteer" Dave nodded And then (Y/n) interrupted "Professor can I go ?" Dave and the Professor both whipped their heads and said in unison "NO WAY!!" And "What. " Respectively , she shrugged "It's okay sir , I just have to use the devices and I do not think I will be in danger" Professor Aldrich contemplated "Hmm , are you willing to take the risk ?" (Y/n) nodded , then Dave interfered "But Professor , what if (Y/n) gets hurt . " (Y/n) replied "I won't, I will take devices to protect myself" after a long period of arguing and convincing , they agreed to let (Y/n) Go reluctantly.

In the evening (Y/n) returned to the office saying "Professor I am ready" Professor nodded and said "Take this watch , necklace and earring" and he handed the mentioned things to (Y/n) explaining further "The watch , if your click on the button has an expanded space where a lot of dresses , feminie hygiene things and other necessities are present , just click on what you want and that thing will appear I will always insert the required things every month . The necklace allows you communicate with us , even through time and also enables you to speak any language and the earrings help you to understand what they are saying that's it" (Y/n) nodded and stepped into the time machine , Professor Aldrich gave her a firm nod and Dave teared up a little bit but muttered out a goodbye. She closed the door and pressed on the start button , the machine was engulfed in a bright blue light and then it disappears, Professor Aldrich turned on the computer and began to communicate "(Y/n) have you reached ?" She spoke "Professor , no I have not I looked out from the window and saw that I am inside what appears to be a wormhole" then suddenly there was a high pitched sound and everything went quiet , Professor Aldrich spoke "(Y/n) can you hear me ? (Y/n) are you there . (Y/n). "

Meanwhile , Unable to bear the dizziness fainted and in the process turned off the communication system by mistake.

(Y/n) slowly opened her eyes and realised something , she was in a meadow and that the time machine was behind her , she noticed that she must have fallen out during landing. She quickly hid the machine in a bush and then checked her watch , it said that she was in 17th century England , she looked around and noticed that the vegetation was different . it was green And had a lot of different flowers. She decides to call Professor Aldrich and as soon as it rang he picked it up saying "(Y/n)!! I THOUGHT YOU DIED" she chuckled and said "Well you were wrong , it seems I am in 17th century England and well I really have no idea what to do" the Professor kept quiet and said "(Y/n) err we ran into a problem , it seems that we can communicate only on the day when the moon is full" (Y/n)'s eyes opened widely and she screamed "YOU WHAT . " She heard Professor Aldrich wince and continue "Um and the next wormhole will open after eight years" (Y/n) was pissed off and she yelled "PROFESSOR . " Profess Aldrich replied "Yes (Y/n)?" She screamed "PROFESSOR YOU TOLD ME IT WAS RISK FREE I WILL KILL YOU ONCE THESE EIGHT YEARS PASS" the Professor winced knowing he would meet his end after eight years and said "I am sorry (Y/n)" (Y/n) shook her head and said "Now what will I do? " he replied "Uhm so you can work as a maid in exchange for food and a place to sleep in exchange" she huffed and then said "Fine then talk to you at next full moon" Professor Aldrich replied "Byee take care" and cut off the communication , she then turned on the watch and chose the option of bathroom , a large bathroom appeared and she entered it , there she took a bath and changed into the plain dress , she dried her hair and tied it into a bun. She decided to put on some makeup which was basically a mask that when applied gave you the makeup look. She then got out and chose the option of close and then checked her watch which said that there was a manor named Woolstrophe manor was a mile away , she took out her fly-board and chose the option of invisible and then flew towards the Woolstrophe manor. On her way she saw the beautiful vegetation and then soon enough she reached a manor which looked quite wealthy , she got down from it , made it dissappear and then she hid her watch with her sleeve and went towards the door. A woman responded and she asked "Yes ? Do you have any work ?" (Y/n) replied "Madam I was wondering if you have any job for me ?" She rudely replied "I do not have any job for you now leave" she begged "Madam please I have nowhere to go , my house was on fire and my parents dies please have mercy on me and I will work in exchange for food and A place to sleep that is all I ask for" the woman contemplated and said "Can you so house chores and take care of children ?" She nodded "Yes I can" the woman paused for a moment and said "Fine , you may start working" she then led (Y/n) to a room at the back of the house , it was an empty room with a vanity and A wooden bed and (Y/n) wanted to scream but kept quiet. The woman continued "I will give you a mattress and some pillows and blankets at night is that fine ?" She nodded , then the woman spoke up "I am Hannah Newton , you may call me Mistress" she nodded and replied "Yes , mistress" then Hannah continued "What is your name ?" She replied "I am (Y/n) , mistress" she nodded "(Y/n) your job is to cook and take care of the children Hannah, Benjamin and Mary" she nodded "Yes mistress", Hannah spoke harshly "The children are upstairs" (Y/n) understood what she was implying and excused herself on her way she muttered 'What a rude b!tch'. As she reached upstairs , she heard the voices of children , to approach them she took out three brownies and knocked on the door, the three children whipped their heads to see (Y/n) standing there, (Y/n) asked with a smile "May I come in?" The three whispered , Mary the eldest said "Should we let her in?" Benjamin replied "I think we should , she is very pretty and pretty ladies are very nice" Hannah nodded "I think we should" the children agreed to let her in and so Mary being the eldest said "You can! But first what have you brought for Princess Mary , Prince Benjamin and Princess Hannah?" (Y/n) smiled and mocked a bow "Princess I have brought sweets for you" with that she took out the brownies and gave it to the three adorable children. As they were eating , she told them "I am (Y/n) , may I know who you are ?" Mary said "I am Mary" then she pointed to the boy "That is Benjamin" and then at the little girl "That is Hannah" (Y/n) raised her eyebrows and said "Hannah you have the same name as your mother right?" Hannah nodded.

After they finished eating , Hannah brought her dolls and asked (Y/n) " Miss would you play with me ?" She nodded "Why not ?" Hannah smiled and brought another doll , seeing this Benjamin and Mary also asked to join.

Soon enough it was dark and (Y/n) decided to make food , she told the three children "I will make food okay ?" The trio whined "Nooo" (Y/n) chuckled , "Then how about you help me ?" Their eyes lit up and they said in unison "Yess!!" She smiled and went downstairs , the children following her behind . As she was going down the stairs , she noticed a room which had a lot of books scattered and the bed was messy , so she asked them "Whose room is that? " Benjamin replied "It belongs to big brother" (Y/n) was puzzled "Big brother ?" Mary hit Benjamin in the head and said "Our big brother Isaac" (Y/n) asked herself 'Isaac ? Isaac ? Wait is it Isaac Newton . " She was puzzled and asked them "Isaac Newton ??" This time Hannah replied "Yes Isaac Newton" (Y/n) nearly fainted , she then asked "Is he here now ?" Benjamin shook his head "No he went to Cambodi" Mary elbowed her "Noo it is Camb!tch" (Y/n) choked at this and then Hannah said "It is Cambridge University" (Y/n) nodded, her head it was the year 1661 and he went to Cambridge in 1661 so he was going to be back home in 1665 due to the Bubonic plague , she mentally prepared herself to meet one of the greatest scientists in History. Her thoughts were broken by Benjamin who tugged at her sleeve saying "(Y/n) we are hungry" (Y/n) chuckled and said "Okay onion soup and bread for dinner" and then she went downstairs to start making the food.

Phew done at last , I know this chapter was crappy at but bear with it I promise the upcoming chapters will be much better , bye bye love you all xoxo.


Did an apple really fall on Isaac Newton’s head? - HISTORY

Life & Character - Isaac Newton was born prematurely on Christmas day 1642 (4 January 1643, New Style) in Woolsthorpe, a hamlet near Grantham in Lincolnshire. The posthumous son of an illiterate yeoman (also named Isaac), the fatherless infant was small enough at birth to fit 'into a quartpot.' When he was barely three years old Newton's mother, Hanna (Ayscough), placed her first born with his grandmother in order to remarry and raise a second family with Barnabas Smith, a wealthy rector from nearby North Witham. Much has been made of Newton's posthumous birth, his prolonged separation from his mother, and his unrivaled hatred of his stepfather. Until Hanna returned to Woolsthorpe in 1653 after the death of her second husband, Newton was denied his mother's attention, a possible clue to his complex character. Newton's childhood was anything but happy, and throughout his life he verged on emotional collapse, occasionally falling into violent and vindictive attacks against friend and foe alike.

W ith his mother's return to Woolsthorpe in 1653, Newton was taken from school to fulfill his birthright as a farmer. Happily, he failed in this calling, and returned to King's School at Grantham to prepare for entrance to Trinity College, Cambridge. Numerous anecdotes survive from this period about Newton's absent-mindedness as a fledging farmer and his lackluster performance as a student. But the turning point in Newton's life came in June 1661 when he left Woolsthorpe for Cambridge University. Here Newton entered a new world, one he could eventually call his own.

A lthough Cambridge was an outstanding center of learning, the spirit of the scientific revolution had yet to penetrate its ancient and somewhat ossified curriculum. Little is known of Newton's formal studies as an undergraduate, but he likely received large doses of Aristotle as well as other classical authors. And by all appearances his academic performance was undistinguished. In 1664 Isaac Barrow, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, examined Newton's understanding of Euclid and found it sorely lacking. We now know that during his undergraduate years Newton was deeply engrossed in private study, that he privately mastered the works of René Descartes, Pierre Gassendi, Thomas Hobbes, and other major figures of the scientific revolution. A series of extant notebooks shows that by 1664 Newton had begun to master Descartes' Géométrie and other forms of mathematics far in advance of Euclid's Elements. Barrow, himself a gifted mathematician, had yet to appreciate Newton's genius.

I n 1665 Newton took his bachelor's degree at Cambridge without honors or distinction. Since the university was closed for the next two years because of plague, Newton returned to Woolsthorpe in midyear. There, in the following 18 months, he made a series of original contributions to science. As he later recalled, 'All this was in the two plague years of 1665 and 1666, for in those days I was in my prime of age for invention, and minded mathematics and philosophy more than at any time since.' In mathematics Newton conceived his 'method of fluxions' (infinitesimal calculus), laid the foundations for his theory of light and color, and achieved significant insight into the problem of planetary motion, insights that eventually led to the publication of his Principia (1687).

I n April 1667, Newton returned to Cambridge and, against stiff odds, was elected a minor fellow at Trinity. Success followed good fortune. In the next year he became a senior fellow upon taking his master of arts degree, and in 1669, before he had reached his 27th birthday, he succeeded Isaac Barrow as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. The duties of this appointment offered Newton the opportunity to organize the results of his earlier optical researches, and in 1672, shortly after his election to the Royal Society, he communicated his first public paper, a brilliant but no less controversial study on the nature of color.

I n the first of a series of bitter disputes, Newton locked horns with the society's celebrated curator of experiments, the bright but brittle Robert Hooke. The ensuing controversy, which continued until 1678, established a pattern in Newton's behavior. After an initial skirmish, he quietly retreated. Nonetheless, in 1675 Newton ventured another yet another paper, which again drew lightning, this time charged with claims that he had plagiarized from Hooke. The charges were entirely ungrounded. Twice burned, Newton withdrew.

I n 1678, Newton suffered a serious emotional breakdown, and in the following year his mother died. Newton's response was to cut off contact with others and engross himself in alchemical research. These studies, once an embarrassment to Newton scholars, were not misguided musings but rigorous investigations into the hidden forces of nature. Newton's alchemical studies opened theoretical avenues not found in the mechanical philosophy, the world view that sustained his early work. While the mechanical philosophy reduced all phenomena to the impact of matter in motion, the alchemical tradition upheld the possibility of attraction and repulsion at the particulate level. Newton's later insights in celestial mechanics can be traced in part to his alchemical interests. By combining action-at-a-distance and mathematics, Newton transformed the mechanical philosophy by adding a mysterious but no less measurable quantity, gravitational force.

I n 1666, as tradition has it, Newton observed the fall of an apple in his garden at Woolsthorpe, later recalling, 'In the same year I began to think of gravity extending to the orb of the Moon.' Newton's memory was not accurate. In fact, all evidence suggests that the concept of universal gravitation did not spring full-blown from Newton's head in 1666 but was nearly 20 years in gestation. Ironically, Robert Hooke helped give it life. In November 1679, Hooke initiated an exchange of letters that bore on the question of planetary motion. Although Newton hastily broke off the correspondence, Hooke's letters provided a conceptual link between central attraction and a force falling off with the square of distance. Sometime in early 1680, Newton appears to have quietly drawn his own conclusions.

M eanwhile, in the coffeehouses of London, Hooke, Edmund Halley, and Christopher Wren struggled unsuccessfully with the problem of planetary motion. Finally, in August 1684, Halley paid a legendary visit to Newton in Cambridge, hoping for an answer to his riddle: What type of curve does a planet describe in its orbit around the sun, assuming an inverse square law of attraction? When Halley posed the question, Newton's ready response was 'an ellipse.' When asked how he knew it was an ellipse Newton replied that he had already calculated it. Although Newton had privately answered one of the riddles of the universe--and he alone possessed the mathematical ability to do so--he had characteristically misplaced the calculation. After further discussion he promised to send Halley a fresh calculation forthwith. In partial fulfillment of his promise Newton produced his De Motu of 1684. From that seed, after nearly two years of intense labor, the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica appeared. Arguably, it is the most important book published in the history of science. But if the Principia was Newton's brainchild, Hooke and Halley were nothing less than midwives.

A lthough the Principia was well received, its future was cast in doubt before it appeared. Here again Hooke was center stage, this time claiming (not without justification) that his letters of 1679-1680 earned him a role in Newton's discovery. But to no effect. Newton was so furious with Hooke that he threatened to suppress Book III of the Principia altogether, finally denouncing science as 'an impertinently litigious lady.' Newton calmed down and finally consented to publication. But instead of acknowledging Hooke's contribution Newton systematically deleted every possible mention of Hooke's name. Newton's hatred for Hooke was consumptive. Indeed, Newton later withheld publication of his Opticks (1704) and virtually withdrew from the Royal Society until Hooke's death in 1703.

A fter publishing the Principia, Newton became more involved in public affairs. In 1689 he was elected to represent Cambridge in Parliament, and during his stay in London he became acquainted with John Locke, the famous philosopher, and Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, a brilliant young mathematician who became an intimate friend. In 1693, however, Newton suffered a severe nervous disorder, not unlike his breakdown of 1677-1678. The cause is open to interpretation: overwork the stress of controversy the unexplained loss of friendship with Fatio or perhaps chronic mercury poisoning, the result of nearly three decades of alchemical research. Each factor may have played a role. We only know Locke and Samuel Pepys received strange and seemingly deranged letters that prompted concern for Newton's 'discomposure in head, or mind, or both.' Whatever the cause, shortly after his recovery Newton sought a new position in London. In 1696, with the help of Charles Montague, a fellow of Trinity and later earl of Halifax, Newton was appointed Warden and then Master of the Mint. His new position proved 'most proper,' and he left Cambridge for London without regret.

D uring his London years Newton enjoyed power and worldly success. His position at the Mint assured a comfortable social and economic status, and he was an active and able administrator. After the death of Hooke in 1703, Newton was elected president of the Royal Society and was annually reelected until his death. In 1704 he published his second major work, the Opticks, based largely on work completed decades before. He was knighted in 1705.

A lthough his creative years had passed, Newton continued to exercise a profound influence on the development of science. In effect, the Royal Society was Newton's instrument, and he played it to his personal advantage. His tenure as president has been described as tyrannical and autocratic, and his control over the lives and careers of younger disciples was all but absolute. Newton could not abide contradiction or controversy - his quarrels with Hooke provide singular examples. But in later disputes, as president of the Royal Society, Newton marshaled all the forces at his command. For example, he published Flamsteed's astronomical observations - the labor of a lifetime - without the author's permission and in his priority dispute with Leibniz concerning the calculus, Newton enlisted younger men to fight his war of words, while behind the lines he secretly directed charge and countercharge. In the end, the actions of the Society were little more than extensions of Newton's will, and until his death he dominated the landscape of science without rival. He died in London on March 20, 1727 (March 31, New Style).

Mathematics - The origin of Newton's interest in mathematics can be traced to his undergraduate days at Cambridge. Here Newton became acquainted with a number of contemporary works, including an edition of Descartes Géométrie, John Wallis' Arithmetica infinitorum, and other works by prominent mathematicians. But between 1664 and his return to Cambridge after the plague, Newton made fundamental contributions to analytic geometry, algebra, and calculus. Specifically, he discovered the binomial theorem, new methods for expansion of infinite series, and his 'direct and inverse method of fluxions.' As the term implies, fluxional calculus is a method for treating changing or flowing quantities. Hence, a 'fluxion' represents the rate of change of a 'fluent'--a continuously changing or flowing quantity, such as distance, area, or length. In essence, fluxions were the first words in a new language of physics.

N ewton's creative years in mathematics extended from 1664 to roughly the spring of 1696. Although his predecessors had anticipated various elements of the calculus, Newton generalized and integrated these insights while developing new and more rigorous methods. The essential elements of his thought were presented in three tracts, the first appearing in a privately circulated treatise, De analysi (On Analysis),which went unpublished until 1711. In 1671, Newton developed a more complete account of his method of infinitesimals, which appeared nine years after his death as Methodus fluxionum et serierum infinitarum (The Method of Fluxions and Infinite Series, 1736). In addition to these works, Newton wrote four smaller tracts, two of which were appended to his Opticks of 1704.

Newton and Leibniz . N ext to its brilliance, the most characteristic feature of Newton's mathematical career was delayed publication. Newton's priority dispute with Leibniz is a celebrated but unhappy example. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Newton's most capable adversary, began publishing papers on calculus in 1684, almost 20 years after Newton's discoveries commenced. The result of this temporal discrepancy was a bitter dispute that raged for nearly two decades. The ordeal began with rumors that Leibniz had borrowed ideas from Newton and rushed them into print. It ended with charges of dishonesty and outright plagiarism. The Newton-Leibniz priority dispute--which eventually extended into philosophical areas concerning the nature of God and the universe--ultimately turned on the ambiguity of priority. It is now generally agreed that Newton and Leibniz each developed the calculus independently, and hence they are considered co-discoverers. But while Newton was the first to conceive and develop his method of fluxions, Leibniz was the first to publish his independent results.

Optics . N ewton's optical research, like his mathematical investigations, began during his undergraduate years at Cambridge. But unlike his mathematical work, Newton's studies in optics quickly became public. Shortly after his election to the Royal Society in 1671, Newton published his first paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. This paper, and others that followed, drew on his undergraduate researches as well as his Lucasian lectures at Cambridge.

I n 1665-1666, Newton performed a number of experiments on the composition of light. Guided initially by the writings of Kepler and Descartes, Newton's main discovery was that visible (white) light is heterogeneous--that is, white light is composed of colors that can be considered primary. Through a brilliant series of experiments, Newton demonstrated that prisms separate rather than modify white light. Contrary to the theories of Aristotle and other ancients, Newton held that white light is secondary and heterogeneous, while the separate colors are primary and homogeneous. Of perhaps equal importance, Newton also demonstrated that the colors of the spectrum, once thought to be qualities, correspond to an observed and quantifiable 'degree of Refrangibility.'

The Crucial Experiment . N ewton's most famous experiment, the experimentum crucis, demonstrated his theory of the composition of light. Briefly, in a dark room Newton allowed a narrow beam of sunlight to pass from a small hole in a window shutter through a prism, thus breaking the white light into an oblong spectrum on a board. Then, through a small aperture in the board, Newton selected a given color (for example, red) to pass through yet another aperture to a second prism, through which it was refracted onto a second board. What began as ordinary white light was thus dispersed through two prisms.

N ewton's 'crucial experiment' demonstrated that a selected color leaving the first prism could not be separated further by the second prism. The selected beam remained the same color, and its angle of refraction was constant throughout. Newton concluded that white light is a 'Heterogeneous mixture of differently refrangible Rays' and that colors of the spectrum cannot themselves be individually modified, but are 'Original and connate properties.'

N ewton probably conducted a number of his prism experiments at Cambridge before the plague forced him to return to Woolsthorpe. His Lucasian lectures, later published in part as Optical Lectures (1728), supplement other researches published in the Society's Transactions dating from February 1672.

The Opticks . T he Opticks of 1704, which first appeared in English, is Newton's most comprehensive and readily accessible work on light and color. In Newton's words, the purpose of the Opticks was 'not to explain the Properties of Light by Hypotheses, but to propose and prove them by Reason and Experiments.' Divided into three books, the Opticks moves from definitions, axioms, propositions, and theorems to proof by experiment. A subtle blend of mathematical reasoning and careful observation, the Opticks became the model for experimental physics in the 18th century.

The Corpuscular Theory . B ut the Opticks contained more than experimental results. During the 17th century it was widely held that light, like sound, consisted of a wave or undulatory motion, and Newton's major critics in the field of optics--Robert Hooke and Christiaan Huygens--were articulate spokesmen for this theory. But Newton disagreed. Although his views evolved over time, Newton's theory of light was essentially corpuscular, or particulate. In effect, since light (unlike sound) travels in straight lines and casts a sharp shadow, Newton suggested that light was composed of discrete particles moving in straight lines in the manner of inertial bodies. Further, since experiment had shown that the properties of the separate colors of light were constant and unchanging, so too, Newton reasoned, was the stuff of light itself-- particles.

A t various points in his career Newton in effect combined the particle and wave theories of light. In his earliest dispute with Hooke and again in his Opticks of 1717, Newton considered the possibility of an ethereal substance--an all-pervasive elastic material more subtle than air--that would provide a medium for the propagation of waves or vibrations. From the outset Newton rejected the basic wave models of Hooke and Huygens, perhaps because they overlooked the subtlety of periodicity.

T he question of periodicity arose with the phenomenon known as 'Newton's rings.' In book II of the Opticks, Newton describes a series of experiments concerning the colors of thin films. His most remarkable observation was that light passing through a convex lens pressed against a flat glass plate produces concentric colored rings (Newton's rings) with alternating dark rings. Newton attempted to explain this phenomenon by employing the particle theory in conjunction with his hypothesis of 'fits of easy transmission [refraction] and reflection.' After making careful measurements, Newton found that the thickness of the film of air between the lens (of a given curvature) and the glass corresponded to the spacing of the rings. If dark rings occurred at thicknesses of 0, 2, 4, 6. , then the colored rings corresponded to an odd number progression, 1, 3, 5, 7, . Although Newton did not speculate on the cause of this periodicity, his initial association of 'Newton's rings' with vibrations in a medium suggests his willingness to modify but not abandon the particle theory.

T he Opticks was Newton's most widely read work. Following the first edition, Latin versions appeared in 1706 and 1719, and second and third English editions in 1717 and 1721. Perhaps the most provocative part of the Opticks is the section known as the 'Queries,' which Newton placed at the end of the book. Here he posed questions and ventured opinions on the nature of light, matter, and the forces of nature.

Mechanics . Newton's research in dynamics falls into three major periods: the plague years 1664-1666, the investigations of 1679-1680, following Hooke's correspondence, and the period 1684-1687, following Halley's visit to Cambridge. The gradual evolution of Newton's thought over these two decades illustrates the complexity of his achievement as well as the prolonged character of scientific 'discovery.'

W hile the myth of Newton and the apple maybe true, the traditional account of Newton and gravity is not. To be sure, Newton's early thoughts on gravity began in Woolsthorpe, but at the time of his famous 'moon test' Newton had yet to arrive at the concept of gravitational attraction. Early manuscripts suggest that in the mid-1660's, Newton did not think in terms of the moon's central attraction toward the earth but rather of the moon's centrifugal tendency to recede. Under the influence of the mechanical philosophy, Newton had yet to consider the possibility of action- at-a-distance nor was he aware of Kepler's first two planetary hypotheses. For historical, philosophical, and mathematical reasons, Newton assumed the moon's centrifugal 'endeavour' to be equal and opposite to some unknown mechanical constraint. For the same reasons, he also assumed a circular orbit and an inverse square relation. The latter was derived from Kepler's third hypothesis (the square of a planet's orbital period is proportional to the cube of its mean distance from the sun), the formula for centrifugal force (the centrifugal force on a revolving body is proportional to the square of its velocity and inversely proportional to the radius of its orbit), and the assumption of circular orbits.

T he next step was to test the inverse square relation against empirical data. To do this Newton, in effect, compared the restraint on the moon's 'endeavour' to recede with the observed rate of acceleration of falling objects on earth. The problem was to obtain accurate data. Assuming Galileo's estimate that the moon is 60 earth radii from the earth, the restraint on the moon should have been 1/3600 (1/60 2 ) of the gravitational acceleration on earth. But Newton's estimate of the size of the earth was too low, and his calculation showed the effect on the moon to be about 1/4000 of that on earth. As Newton later described it, the moon test answered 'pretty nearly.' But the figures for the moon were not exact, and Newton abandoned the problem.

I n late 1679 and early 1680 an exchange of letters with Hooke renewed Newton's interest. In November 1679, nearly 15 years after the moon test, Hooke wrote Newton concerning a hypothesis presented in his Attempt to Prove the Motion of the Earth (1674). Here Hooke proposed that planetary orbits result from a tangential motion and 'an attractive motion towards the centrall body.' In later letters Hooke further specified a central attracting force that fell off with the square of distance. As a result of this exchange Newton rejected his earlier notion of centrifugal tendencies in favor of central attraction. Hooke's letters provided crucial insight. But in retrospect, if Hooke's intuitive power seems unparalleled, it never approached Newton's mathematical power in principle or in practice.

W hen Halley visited Cambridge in 1684, Newton had already demonstrated the relation between an inverse square attraction and elliptical orbits. To Halley's 'joy and amazement,' Newton apparently succeeded where he and others failed. With this, Halley's role shifted, and he proceeded to guide Newton toward publication. Halley personally financed the Principia and saw it through the press to publication in July 1687.

The Principia . Newton's masterpiece is divided into three books. Book I of the Principia begins with eight definitions and three axioms, the latter now known as Newton's laws of motion. No discussion of Newton would be complete without them: (1) Every body continues in its state of rest, or uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it (inertia). (2) The change in motion is proportional to the motive force impressed and is made in the direction of the straight line in which that force is impressed (F = ma). (3) To every action there is always an opposed and equal reaction. Following these axioms, Newton proceeds step by step with propositions, theorems, and problems.

I n Book II of the Principia, Newton treats the Motion of bodies through resisting mediums as well as the motion of fluids themselves. Since Book II was not part of Newton's initial outline, it has traditionally seemed somewhat out of place. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that near the end of Book II (Section IX) Newton demonstrates that the vortices invoked by Descartes to explain planetary motion could not be self-sustaining nor was the vortex theory consistent with Kepler's three planetary rules. The purpose of Book II then becomes clear. After discrediting Descartes' system, Newton concludes: 'How these motions are performed in free space without vortices, may be understood by the first book and I shall now more fully treat of it in the following book.'

I n Book III, subtitled the System of the World, Newton extended his three laws of motion to the frame of the world, finally demonstrating 'that there is a power of gravity tending to all bodies, proportional to the several quantities of matter which they contain.' Newton's law of universal gravitation states that F = G Mm/R 2 that is, that all matter is mutually attracted with a force (F) proportional to the product of their masses (Mm) and inversely proportional to the square of distance (R2) between them. G is a constant whose value depends on the units used for mass and distance. To demonstrate the power of his theory, Newton used gravitational attraction to explain the motion of the planets and their moons, the precession of equinoxes, the action of the tides, and the motion of comets. In sum, Newton's universe united heaven and earth with a single set of laws. It became the physical and intellectual foundation of the modern world view.

P erhaps the most powerful and influential scientific treatise ever published, the Principia appeared in two further editions during Newton's lifetime, in 1713 and 1726.

Other Researches . Throughout his career Newton conducted research in theology and history with the same passion that he pursued alchemy and science. Although some historians have neglected Newton's nonscientific writings, there is little doubt of his devotion to these subjects, as his manuscripts amply attest. Newton's writings on theological and biblical subjects alone amount to about 1.3 million words, the equivalent of 20 of today's standard length books. Although these writings say little about Newtonian science, they tell us a good deal about Isaac Newton.

N ewton's final gesture before death was to refuse the sacrament, a decision of some consequence in the 18th century. Although Newton was dutifully raised in the Protestant tradition his mature views on theology were neither Protestant, traditional, nor orthodox. In the privacy of his thoughts and writings, Newton rejected a host of doctrines he considered mystical, irrational, or superstitious. In a word, he was a Unitarian.

N ewton's research outside of science--in theology, prophecy, and history--was a quest for coherence and unity. His passion was to unite knowledge and belief, to reconcile the Book of Nature with the Book of Scripture. But for all the elegance of his thought and the boldness of his quest, the riddle of Isaac Newton remained. In the end, Newton is as much an enigma to us as he was, no doubt, to himself.

A version of this copyright article, written over a decade ago, has appeared in several editions
of the Encyclopedia Americana. The current edition (1998) citation is EA 20: 288-292.


The Biography of the Great Pioneer of Motion- Sir Isaac Newton

As a science student, I have always loved the Scientists of old, but one of my favorite is the Great Sir Isaac Newton. This man alone had contributed immensely to the growth of Science(both the physical and chemical part of it). His works have been and is still being used by today’s scientists. Due to my fancy and admiration of him, I decided to put together his biography today. So sit back and read through the life history of one of the greatest Scientist of all time- Sir Isaac Newton.

Early Life of Newton

Sir Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day, in 1643, to a relatively poor farming family. His father died 3 months before he was born. His mother later remarried, but her second husband did not get on with Isaac leading to friction between Isaac and his parents. The young Isaac attended school at King’s School, Grantham in Lincolnshire (where his signature is still inscribed in the walls.. Isaac was one of the top students, but before completing his studies his mother withdrew him from school, so Isaac could work as a farmer. It was only through the intervention of the headmaster that Isaac was able to return to finish his studies he passed his final exams with very good results, and was able to go to Trinity College, Cambridge.

Newton at Cambridge

At Cambridge he was able to pursue his interests in mathematics, science and physics. At the time the prevailing education was based on Aristotle, but Isaac was more interested in modern mathematicians such as Descartes. Isaac Newton had a prodigious capacity to consider mathematical problems, and then focus on them until he had solved the mystery behind them. His one pointed nature led him to, at times, be detached from the world. For example, he had little time for women. An early teenage romance came to nothing, and he remained single throughout his life.

Sir Isaac Newton, has been referred to as one of the greatest genius’ of history. His mathematical and scientific achievements give credence to such a view. Amongst his many accomplishments in the field of science include:

Developing a theory of Calculus. Unfortunately, at the same time as Newton, calculus was being developed by Leibinz. When Leibinz published his results, there was a bitter feud between the two men, with Newton claiming plagiarism. This bitter feud lasted until Leibinz death in 1713, it also extended between British mathematicians and the continent.

Mathematical Achievements of Newton

  • generalized binomial theorem
  • Newton’s identities,
  • Newton’s method,
  • classified cubic plane curves (polynomials of degree three in two variables),
  • Substantial contributions to the theory of finite differences,
  • Use of fractional indices
  • Used geometry to derive solutions to Diophantine equations.
  • Used power series with confidence and to revert power series.
  • Discovered a new formula for pi.

Scientific Achievements of Newton

  • Optics – Newton made great advancements into the study of optics. In particular he developed the spectrum by splitting white light through a prism.
  • Telescope – Made significant improvements to the development of the telescope. However, when his ideas were criticised by Hooke, Newton withdrew from the public debate. He developed an antagonistic and hostile attitude to Hooke, throughout his life.
  • Mechanics and Gravitation. In his famous book Principa Mathematic. Newton explained the three laws of motion that laid the framework for modern physics. This involved explaining planetary movements.

Newton Hit on the Head with an Apple.

The most popular ante dote about Sir Isaac Newton is the story of how the theory of gravitation came to him, after being hit on the head with a falling apple. In reality, Newton and his friends may have exaggerated this story. Nevertheless, it is quite likely that seeing apples fall from trees may have influenced his theories of gravity.

Newton’s Religious Belief’s

As well as being a scientist, Newton actually spent more time investigating religious issues. He read the Bible daily, believing it to be the word of God. Nevertheless, he was not satisfied with the Christian interpretations of the Bible. For example, he rejected the philosophy of the Holy Trinity, his beliefs were closer to the Christian beliefs in Arainism (basically there was a difference between Jesus Christ and God)

Newton – Bible Code

Newton was fascinated with the early Church and also the last chapter of the Bible Revelations. He spent many hours poring over the Bible, trying to find the secret Bible Code. He was rumoured to be a Rosicrucian. However, the religious belief’s that Newton held could have caused serious embarrassment at the time. Because of this he kept his views hidden, almost to the point of obsession. This desire for secrecy seemed to be part of his nature. It was only on his death that his papers were opened up. The bishop who first opened Newton’s box, actually found them too shocking for public release, therefore, they were kept closed for many more years.

Newton and Alchemy

Newton was also interested in alchemy. He experimented on many objects, using a lot of Mercury. Very high levels of mercury in his blood stream may have contributed to his early death and irregularities in later life.

Newton was made member of the Royal Society in 1703. He was also given the job of Master of Mint in 1717. He took this job seriously and unofficially was responsible for moving England from the silver standard to the gold standard.

Newton was an extraordinary polymath the universe simply fascinated him. He sought to discover the hidden and outer mysteries of life. With his sharp intellect and powers of concentration, he was able to contribute to tremendous developments in many areas of science. He was a unique individual. John Maynard Keynes, a twentieth century genius, said of Newton:

“I do not think that any one who has pored over the contents of that box which he packed up when he finally left Cambridge in 1696 and which, though partly dispersed, have come down to us, can see him like that. Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago. Isaac Newton, a posthumous child born with no father on Christmas Day, 1642, was the last wonderchild to whom the Magi could do sincere and appropriate homage.” [1]


An engraving of Sir Isaac Newton by Caroline Hulot.

Yes, Sir Isaac Newton is best known for his work on gravity, but he worked on and discovered many other scientific wonders during his lifetime (1642-1727). He was also the first scientist to be knighted, which is a great honor in England and the reason "Sir" precedes his name.


Taking criticism badly

The Royal Society was an elite group who met to share and critique each other’s work. They encouraged Newton to share his ideas.

But Newton's theories about light did not go down well. Other members of the Royal Society could not reproduce his results – partly because Newton had described his experiment in an obscure manner. Newton did not take the criticism well. When Robert Hooke challenged Newton’s letters on light and colours, he made a lifelong enemy. Newton had an ugly temper and an unshakable conviction that he was right. With his pride dented, he began to withdraw from intellectual life.


The Biography of the Great Pioneer of Motion- Sir Isaac Newton

As a science student, I have always loved the Scientists of old, but one of my favorite is the Great Sir Isaac Newton. This man alone had contributed immensely to the growth of Science(both the physical and chemical part of it). His works have been and is still being used by today’s scientists. Due to my fancy and admiration of him, I decided to put together his biography today. So sit back and read through the life history of one of the greatest Scientist of all time- Sir Isaac Newton.

Early Life of Newton

Sir Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day, in 1643, to a relatively poor farming family. His father died 3 months before he was born. His mother later remarried, but her second husband did not get on with Isaac leading to friction between Isaac and his parents. The young Isaac attended school at King’s School, Grantham in Lincolnshire (where his signature is still inscribed in the walls.. Isaac was one of the top students, but before completing his studies his mother withdrew him from school, so Isaac could work as a farmer. It was only through the intervention of the headmaster that Isaac was able to return to finish his studies he passed his final exams with very good results, and was able to go to Trinity College, Cambridge.

Newton at Cambridge

At Cambridge he was able to pursue his interests in mathematics, science and physics. At the time the prevailing education was based on Aristotle, but Isaac was more interested in modern mathematicians such as Descartes. Isaac Newton had a prodigious capacity to consider mathematical problems, and then focus on them until he had solved the mystery behind them. His one pointed nature led him to, at times, be detached from the world. For example, he had little time for women. An early teenage romance came to nothing, and he remained single throughout his life.

Sir Isaac Newton, has been referred to as one of the greatest genius’ of history. His mathematical and scientific achievements give credence to such a view. Amongst his many accomplishments in the field of science include:

Developing a theory of Calculus. Unfortunately, at the same time as Newton, calculus was being developed by Leibinz. When Leibinz published his results, there was a bitter feud between the two men, with Newton claiming plagiarism. This bitter feud lasted until Leibinz death in 1713, it also extended between British mathematicians and the continent.

Mathematical Achievements of Newton

  • generalized binomial theorem
  • Newton’s identities,
  • Newton’s method,
  • classified cubic plane curves (polynomials of degree three in two variables),
  • Substantial contributions to the theory of finite differences,
  • Use of fractional indices
  • Used geometry to derive solutions to Diophantine equations.
  • Used power series with confidence and to revert power series.
  • Discovered a new formula for pi.

Scientific Achievements of Newton

  • Optics – Newton made great advancements into the study of optics. In particular he developed the spectrum by splitting white light through a prism.
  • Telescope – Made significant improvements to the development of the telescope. However, when his ideas were criticised by Hooke, Newton withdrew from the public debate. He developed an antagonistic and hostile attitude to Hooke, throughout his life.
  • Mechanics and Gravitation. In his famous book Principa Mathematic. Newton explained the three laws of motion that laid the framework for modern physics. This involved explaining planetary movements.

Newton Hit on the Head with an Apple.

The most popular ante dote about Sir Isaac Newton is the story of how the theory of gravitation came to him, after being hit on the head with a falling apple. In reality, Newton and his friends may have exaggerated this story. Nevertheless, it is quite likely that seeing apples fall from trees may have influenced his theories of gravity.

Newton’s Religious Belief’s

As well as being a scientist, Newton actually spent more time investigating religious issues. He read the Bible daily, believing it to be the word of God. Nevertheless, he was not satisfied with the Christian interpretations of the Bible. For example, he rejected the philosophy of the Holy Trinity, his beliefs were closer to the Christian beliefs in Arainism (basically there was a difference between Jesus Christ and God)

Newton – Bible Code

Newton was fascinated with the early Church and also the last chapter of the Bible Revelations. He spent many hours poring over the Bible, trying to find the secret Bible Code. He was rumoured to be a Rosicrucian. However, the religious belief’s that Newton held could have caused serious embarrassment at the time. Because of this he kept his views hidden, almost to the point of obsession. This desire for secrecy seemed to be part of his nature. It was only on his death that his papers were opened up. The bishop who first opened Newton’s box, actually found them too shocking for public release, therefore, they were kept closed for many more years.

Newton and Alchemy

Newton was also interested in alchemy. He experimented on many objects, using a lot of Mercury. Very high levels of mercury in his blood stream may have contributed to his early death and irregularities in later life.

Newton was made member of the Royal Society in 1703. He was also given the job of Master of Mint in 1717. He took this job seriously and unofficially was responsible for moving England from the silver standard to the gold standard.

Newton was an extraordinary polymath the universe simply fascinated him. He sought to discover the hidden and outer mysteries of life. With his sharp intellect and powers of concentration, he was able to contribute to tremendous developments in many areas of science. He was a unique individual. John Maynard Keynes, a twentieth century genius, said of Newton:

“I do not think that any one who has pored over the contents of that box which he packed up when he finally left Cambridge in 1696 and which, though partly dispersed, have come down to us, can see him like that. Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago. Isaac Newton, a posthumous child born with no father on Christmas Day, 1642, was the last wonderchild to whom the Magi could do sincere and appropriate homage.” [1]


Mormon Heretic

I’ve been talking about doing a post about Abraham for a long time. People often reference Abraham when talking about things like Joshua’s Unholy War, the Priesthood Ban, or polygamy. Usually the reference is to the sacrifice of Isaac.

So, this post is to serve two purposes: (1) to show some different perceptions about the sacrifice of Isaac, (as well as some other strange stories of Abraham), and (2) to introduce some new information from Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and archaeological scholars. I’ve had fun learning about it, and hope you do to. While I believe Abraham is a prophet, I find some things that Abraham did as troubling, and I’ll point them out below.

Abraham was born in southern Iraq, and traditional lived somewhere between 2000 and 1500 BC in the city-state of Ur. Ur (located near the border of Kuwait) was surrounded by city walls. A Ziggarat (stepped pyramid) has been discovered there, and some scholars believe it may be the basis for the Tower of Babel story found in the Bible.

Abraham is a well traveled person. Born in Ur, he and his wife Sarah, left with his father Terah’s family (including nephew Lot), for the land of Haran (which is now Turkey), a journey of about 1000 miles. Abraham lived there until he was 75. Apparently, there was some sort of mass migration from Ur to Turkey, as it seems many others traveled from Ur to Haran. Abraham left Turkey for the Land of Canaan (now Israel), due to a revelation from God. But due to a famine, Abraham leaves Canaan to go to Egypt. After the famine ends, he returns to Canaan. Muslim scholars believe that after Sarah’s death, he traveled to Mecca (Saudi Arabia) to live with his son Ishmael.

One story not found in the Bible, is the story of Abraham destroying his father’s idols. Mormons are familiar with the story from the Book of Abraham, but similar stories are also found in the Jewish Midrash, and Muslim Koran. The Midrash is a book composed by ancient Jewish rabbi’s to explain passages of scripture. Not only does the Midrash explain interpretations of scripture, but often further explains stories, or introduces new parts of a story. The Koran also tells of this story of Abraham destroying his father’s idols. Previously, I speculated that Joseph could have found a Muslim text in translating the Book of Abraham, but it easily could also have been a Jewish fragment of the Midrash as well.

Abraham is credited for being the “founder of monotheism,” as well as the founder of the 3 great western religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. There is an old cable series (1994) from the network A&E called Mysteries of the Bible which has a show about Abraham. William Dever, Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology, at the University of Arizona, states that monotheism was a unique religious idea in 2000 BC. (Note these quotes are taken scattered throughout the video. I have tried to put similar quotes together for clarity in this post.)

“There is nothing like the ethical monotheism of the Hebrew prophets anywhere in the ancient world. If you want to believe in the uniqueness of the Bible, this is a good point to begin with, it is a fact. There is nothing like this anywhere else.”

Walter Zanger, a Jewish scholar concurs with this opinion. “Every other country in the world, every other civilization had gods whom you had to feed, to sacrifice to them. Abraham had a god who gave him law and behavior. The introduction of a single moral law for king, for commoner, and even for God is a milestone in the history of the world.”

Dr Nahum M. Sarna, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Brandies University. “How did one man, stand up against all cultural and religious notions and accepted views of the time. That’s a question that there just is no answer. You can ask the same question about every innovator every founder of a new religion, every revolutionary. We just have no answers. These are abiding mysteries.”

While the Bible seems to indicate that Adam down to Abraham were all monotheists, some scholars disagree. Jewish scholar Walter Zanger makes a case that Abraham was not a true monotheist. He says,

“It’s hard to talk about Abraham as a monotheist. Abraham had an agreement, a covenant with his one god, who is the Lord. Abraham didn’t say, or believe as far as we know, that there weren’t other gods. All the evidence is that there were other gods for other people. And Abraham’s god never insisted on exclusivity.”

The narrator, Richard Kiley continues, “While experts disagree over whether Abraham was a true monotheist, the Bible does not indicate if he worshipped other gods. It only tells us that led by his fervent faith in his one god, that Abraham informs his family that they will be leaving their secure, familiar world behind.”

The Law of Circumcision

Circumcision is not unique to Abraham, and in fact the practice dates before this story in the Bible. Scholars say that the difference in the Abrahamic story is that it attains some sort of spiritual blessing. I’m not trying to be sacrilegious here, but I have to tell you that this idea has to be one of the strangest spiritual blessings that man has ever known.

Why couldn’t God have pierced the ear, asked for a tattoo, or some other sign? I just don’t understand why God or any man thinks it’s a good idea to put anything sharp near a person’s genitals. Before I get into the scriptural account, I want to talk about a few things regarding circumcision.

Most of us are appalled by female circumcision, which usually involves removal of the clitoris (which gives pleasure to women during intercourse.) Not all Muslims support the practice, but it is quite common among African Muslims. The practice of female circumcision pre-dates Christ and Islam, and seems to have originated in Egypt. Its main purpose is to keep women virtuous by making sex not enjoyable. It seems completely barbaric and incomprehensible to me.

Male circumcision is being discouraged in western countries because it seemingly has no medical benefit. However, medical opinion is changing. There are several studies showing that AIDS infections have been decreased by 60% in Africa due to a new campaign to promote male circumcision, as seen in this NY Times article. Another study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that male circumcision has the benefit of reducing herpes infections, as well as human papillomavirus (which causes genital warts).

The Biblical account makes no reference to medical benefits, but says the Law of Circumcision is part of the spiritual covenant where God covenants with Abraham to make him a leader of many nations. The DVD talks about the ancient practice of male circumcision, making it clear that it was a practice common to Middle Eastern people prior to Abraham.

Circumcision was already widely practiced in the Middle East at Abraham’s time as a ritual of passage to adulthood, or a premarital rite. But when Abraham circumcised himself at the age of 99, the ritual acquired a new spiritual meaning.

Dr. Mark Brettler, Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Brandies University, “What is unique in terms of the Bible is not so much the physical circumcision itself, but rather that circumcision was considered to be a central part of the covenant.”

This is my covenant which you shall keep between me and you, and your descendants after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised. It shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He that is 8 days old among you shall be circumcised.” Genesis 17:12.

Rabbi David Wolpe, lecturer at the University of Judaism. “One of the reasons that circumcision is a mark on the generative organ is, that God says to Abraham, ‘you’re going to be the head of a great nation, and I want you to always remember that it comes from you and your loins, and I want a mark of your commitment at the very place where this great nation will spring from.'”

Some time after Abraham’s circumcision, Sarah became pregnant, giving birth to Isaac. I suppose it could be argued that in Abraham’s case, it may have helped Sarah get pregnant. However, Abraham had previously fathered Ishmael through his slave-servant Hagar. While I have plenty of problems with polygamy, and slavery, I’m going to ignore these issues for the purposes of this post. (FYI, I don’t believe God was happy with either polygamy or slavery.) Regardless of whether people support my position on slavery and polygamy, I’ll assume that both were culturally innocuous for this post.

The Mistreatment of Hagar

Throughout history, jealousy between polygamist wives has always been a problem. In the Bible, there are several instances of jealousy, such as David, Solomon, and Israel’s (Jacob’s) wives. Sarah was greatly jealous of Hagar after Hagar conceived Ishmael, and ordered Abraham to send Hagar away (to die) on 2 occasions. What is most ironic is that Sarah asked Abraham to take Hagar as a wife, and then blamed Abraham. The following account is from an NIV bible, Genesis 16:1-11.

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.

So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.

Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

Your servant is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar so she fled from her. The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.

And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”

The angel of the Lord also said to her: “You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery.

This angelic appearance to Hagar receives far too little notice in Judaism and Christianity. What is so amazing to me is that Hagar received the vision, not Abraham. Hagar chose the name (via the angel), not Abraham. The Hebrew version of the name is Yishma’el, meaning “God has hearkened”. In Arabic, his name is Ismael. Isma in Arabic means ‘to listen’ i.e answer prayer, and ell is derived from the Hebrew word el, meaning God.

Who is the righteous one in this story? To me the answer is Hagar. Hagar returns to Abraham, and the Bible story says that 13 years after Ishmael’s birth, Sarah becomes pregnant with Isaac. (The Koran seems to put the births of Isaac and Ishmael closer together— more on that in a bit.) At any rate, Sarah once again casts out Hagar and Ishmael, this time for good, referring to Hagar with the derisive term of slavewoman, rather than maidservant as in chapter 16. The DVD narrates this incident.

“So she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this slavewoman and her son. For the son of this slavewoman shall not be heir with my son, Isaac. [Gen. 21:10]

Walter Zanger, “Sarah is very strong in the house. When she herself had a son, she was strong enough, and smart enough to know that the firstborn son, Ishmael, would naturally take the birthright. But she also knew that God had promised it to her son, and therefore she was strong enough to ensure that the woman got thrown out, with her son.”

“And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, ‘Be not displeased because of the lad, because of your slavewoman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you. For through Isaac, will your descendants be named.” [Genesis 22:11-12]

The heart-rending moment, when Abraham sends the Egyptian slave Hagar, and their son Ishmael into exile will sow the seeds of conflict between Jew and Muslim, which on occasion will bear bitter fruit in centuries to come.

It is hard for me to reconcile that God would go along with sending a mother and child into the desert. But just as Joseph thrived in Egypt, it seems to me that Ishmael had a few miracles ahead of him in Saudi Arabia. The more I learn about this story, the more I am amazed at God graciousness in protecting Ishmael and Hagar. We Christians and Jews fail to recognize God’s hand in dealing with the Arab nations.

I’d like to emphasize another scripture about Ishmael that is ignored by Christians. In Genesis 21:12-13, “But God said to [Abraham], “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

Did you get that? God said, “I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also.” The Arab nations claim their father is Ishmael. Ishmael had 12 sons— the 12 tribes of Ishmael, who became the great nations of the Arabs. God’s promises to Ishmael are in the Bible, yet I have never seen anyone emphasize this. The Koran has a similar, but more miraculous version of this event, and I was a little astonished to see that it is also in the Bible. First, let’s go over the biblical account in Genesis 21:14-20,

Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.

When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob.

God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.

Are Arabs God’s chosen people, as well as the Jews? Genesis seems to support that idea. The Islamic version of this story is even more amazing. First of all, I did not realize that the pilgrimage to Mecca was so tied to Ishmael and Abraham. As I was transcribing some of these quotes from the DVD, one of the Islamic scholars had a thick accent, and I couldn’t understand what she was saying, so I asked my friend Ann, who I mentioned in a previous post about Arabs and Persians, what the name of the temple was in Mecca. She then told me the story of Ishmael and Hagar, and how it relates to the pilgrimage. I was even more astonished to discover that this well mentioned in Genesis is the well in Mecca.

Each year during the Hajj (the ritual pilgrimage) to Mecca, pilgrims re-enact Hagar’s (or Hajar, in Arabic) desperate search for water for her infant son, running seven times between two hills and drawing water from the well of Zam Zam. Ann told me that the Islamic version of the story holds that Ishmael was a baby, rather than a teenager in the Genesis account. During this desperate search for water, the baby Ishmael just kicked his feet on the ground (as toddlers would do), and a spring of water came forth. To me, it sounded almost like the story of Moses getting water from the rock. The full story is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari. The well Zam Zam is still there today, and it is illegal to sell the water outside of Saudi Arabia, as it is considered so sacred.

The name of the well comes from the phrase Zom-Zom, meaning ‘stop flowing’, a command repeated by Hagar during her attempt to contain the spring water.

According to Islamic tradition, Abraham rebuilt the Bait-ul-Allah (House of Allah) at the site of the well, a building which had been originally constructed by Adam, and today is called the Kaaba, a building towards which all Muslims around the world face in prayer, five times each day. The Zamzam well is located approximately 20 meters east of the Ka’aba.

I love these quotes from the DVD.

Dr. Wadad Kadi, professor of Islamic Thought, University of Chicago, “Abraham’s message is the same as Muhammad, articulated at a different time to a different nation, and a different language.”

Abraham’s spiritual odyssey inspired both Judaism and Christianity. Abraham is also a founder of Islam. According to Muslim belief, Abraham and Ishmael helped build the Ka’aba, the holy shrine at the center of the great mosque in Mecca. They believe that Abraham literally laid the foundation for what in Islam is the most sacred spot on earth.

Kadi, “Abraham developed the true faith, and it is the true faith that Muhammad eventually preached, as part of the message that he received from God. So Abraham’s role is absolutely one of the cornerstones of Islamic tradition.”

Perhaps the fact that all 3 of the west’s great religions draw upon the story of one man for inspiration holds out a promise that the 3 faiths will someday live in harmony together as God promised to Abraham in the Bible.

“By your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves because you have obeyed my voice.” Genesis 22:18.

Human Sacrifice

Abraham is set up as a model of righteousness for attempting to follow a command of unimaginable horror— taking the life of his own son. It is terrible to think about. I have found some alternate interpretations, and I want to share some of them below. I’m not so sure I believe that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac or Ishmael (apparently there is a disagreement among the religions). However, I do accept that God saved Abraham from making a terrible mistake. To me the most important idea is that God saved Abraham’s son, but I don’t believe God would command anyone to kill their own child. From the DVD,

The words will haunt us today, as they have haunted the human imagination for thousands of years. “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22:1

Rabbi David Wolpe, “the binding of Isaac, though it is only some 20, or 22 verses, is in the Jewish tradition, the most commented incident in the entire Bible.

Walter Zanger, “It is impossible for modern man to explain that story. It is impossible to deal with. I can see this historically, but I can’t feel it personally. It’s too horrible.”

Wolpe, “One of the strange things is that although Isaac is the one who is going to be sacrificed, the focus is really on Abraham, because the truth is, that we really feel it is harder in this case to be the sacrificer than to be the victim. Isaac is a figure of simple, almost pathetic trust, and Abraham is a father that is torn between his love to a son, and his duty to a god who has given him a terrible command.”

Isaac carries the wood to a place of sacrifice, while Abraham carries the fire, and the knife. Isaac then asks his father one of the most heart-rending things in the entire bible. “He said behold the fire and the wood, but where is the Lamb for a burnt offering. And Abraham said, ‘God will provide the lamb’ for a burnt offering, my son.’ So they went both of them together. [Gen 22:8]

Abraham builds an altar, and places his son Isaac on top of it. Then Abraham took forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But an angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham.’ And he said, ‘Here am I.’ He said, “do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me. [Gen 22:12]

We will never know what happened after that terrifying moment. Did Abraham and Isaac weep? Did father and son embrace through their tears. We know only that Isaac was spared.

“And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns, and Abraham took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.” [Gen 22:13]

Perhaps no story in the Bible has inspired as great an outpouring of speculation as the binding of Isaac, of ancient times to our own.

Wolpe, “The protestant theologian Kierkegard at the beginning of his book, “Fear and Trembling”, imagines a scene in which Abraham takes Isaac, and binds him on the altar and says to him, ‘I hate you–I’ve always hated you. I can’t stand you, and now is my chance to kill you! And now I’m going to do it. And he starts to kill him, and God stops him just as he does in the Bible. And then, Abraham unties Isaac and holds him and crying, says to him, ‘I thought it was better that you should hate me, than that you should hate God.'”

But what is the meaning of the Biblical story of the binding of Isaac? Some scholars believe that it was a statement by the editors of the Bible 1000 years after Abraham against a gruesome practice of their own time.

William Dever, Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Arizona, “Child sacrifice was fairly common throughout the ancient near east. And in fact at Carthage in North Africa, a Jewish cemetery has been found with small urns containing the burned bones of infants and the inscriptions accompanying these burials make it clear that parents had sacrificed a child to one or another of the gods to bring them good fortune.”

Scholars have sought to probe the seemingly baffling mystery of how any parent could sacrifice his own child?

Brettler, “As horrific as this might be to us, we can really see this as a very significant religious notion, where a person is coming and is saying to God, ‘God you have given me that which is most valuable, namely a child. I am going to return it to you.'”

Dever, “I think the editors wanted for us to believe that child sacrifice was never practiced. And yet the very critique of the prophets against it is proof of the fact that the practice was common. You don’t complain about something unless there was a real problem.”

Whatever the motive of the editors to set down the story of the binding of Isaac, its impact on all 3 great western religions is immeasurable. Today a mosque known as The Dome of the Rock, built in the 7th century in Jerusalem, enshrines the site on the mountaintop where the life and death drama is said to have taken place. However, according to the Islamic holy scripture, the Koran, it is Abraham’s other son, Ishmael, who was bound and almost sacrificed on this very rock.

Dr. Wadad Kadi, professor of Islamic Thought, University of Chicago, “In the Koranic version, there’s a general tendency to accept that Ishmael to have been that son, rather than Isaac. Isaac is accepted as a prophet, but the binding itself seems to have been Ishmael.”

Christians believe that Mount Moriah was the site of Calvary, while the Jews consider this the location of their holiest shrine, Solomon’s temple. All three religions have found profound importance in Abraham’s profound ordeal.

Wolpe, “After the binding of Isaac is over, God and Abraham in the Bible never speak again. Perhaps after this, Abraham and God have nothing to say again. ‘I did what you wanted, I fulfilled the mission, but now what else is there to say.’ But one commentator notes that after this story, Abraham and Isaac never speak again. After this, no matter how much Isaac understood that Abraham needed to do it, there was a sense that they could never be as close again.

According to one old rabbinic tale, when the aged Sarah hears that her beloved son Isaac was almost sacrificed by Abraham, the shock and horror of it are too much for her. In the Bible, we know only that soon after the binding of Isaac, Sarah finally dies.

In today’s world, anytime someone claims that God commands them to kill someone, we immediately assume they are mentally ill. Yet if the story is in the scriptures, we call them a prophet, and glory in their amazing obedience. I just don’t get it. My personal opinion is that Abraham was misled, and I want to point out some other opinions on the subject.

  • Protestant theologian Kierkegaard said, “Though Abraham arouses my admiration, he at the same time appalls me.”
  • Rabbi Yosef Ibn Caspi (Spain, early 14th century) wrote that Abraham’s “imagination” led him astray, making him believe that he had been commanded to sacrifice his son. Ibn Caspi writes “How could God command such a revolting thing?”
  • According to Rabbi J. H. Hertz (Chief Rabbi of the British Empire), child sacrifice was actually “rife among the Semitic peoples,” and suggests that “in that age, it was astounding that Abraham’s God should have interposed to prevent the sacrifice, not that He should have asked for it.” Hertz interprets the Akedah as demonstrating to the Jews that human sacrifice is abhorrent. “Unlike the cruel heathen deities, it was the spiritual surrender alone that God required.”
  • The early rabbinic Midrash Genesis Rabbah imagines God as saying “I never considered telling Abraham to slaughter Isaac (using the Hebrew root letters for “slaughter”, not “sacrifice”)”.
  • Rabbi Yona Ibn Janach (Spain, 11th century) wrote that God demanded only a symbolic sacrifice.
  • In Jeremiah 32:35, God states that the later Israelite practice of child sacrifice to the deity Molech “had [never] entered My mind that they should do this abomination.”
  • In some later Jewish writings, most notably those of the Hasidic masters, the theology of a “divine test” is rejected, and the sacrifice of Isaac is interpreted as a “punishment” for Abraham’s earlier “mistreatment” of Ishmael, his elder son, whom he expelled from his household at the request of his wife, Sarah. According to this view, Abraham failed to show compassion for his son, so God punished him by ostensibly failing to show compassion for Abraham’s son. This is a somewhat flawed theory, however, since the Bible says that God agreed with Sarah, and it was only at His insistence that Abraham actually had Ishmael leave.
  • In The Last Trial, Shalom Spiegel argues that these commentators were interpreting the Biblical narration as an implicit rebuke against Christianity’s claim that God would sacrifice His own son.
  • In The Binding of Isaac, Religious Murders & Kabbalah, Lippman Bodoff argues that Abraham never intended to actually sacrifice his son, and that he had faith that God had no intention that he do so.

Finally, I want to add one last piece of information regarding Abraham. After the death of Sarah, he bought some land located in Hebron, which is part of the Gaza Strip in Israel. The Bible records that Sarah is buried there. According to Islamic tradition, Abraham left Israel and helped build a temple in Mecca, along with his son Ishmael. Abraham was later buried near his wife Sarah, in Hebron (in the Gaza Strip) according to Genesis 25:9. Ishmael’s death (at the age of 137) is also recorded in the Bible in Genesis 25:17-18.

So, what do you think of Abraham and how he relates to circumcision, Hagar, and human sacrifice?


Did an apple really fall on Isaac Newton’s head? - HISTORY

Valiencian Legendary Partier Elite+

Wolfy Heroic Partier Elite+

⛧ WOLFY ⛧

Slimez Champion Partier Elite

Please tell me if I interpreted your characters right.

I'm new to the whole story sign ups thing and I've never interpreted other visions into my own words.

Chapter Two - What Are You Wearing? Is Out!

Order of Appearance:

Isabelle Jonson - My own
Fletcher Pine - My Own
Fantasma Raeford - @Boriiii
Lambert Omysha - @Casmi
Walker Vince - @PepperPancake
Wren Kleos - @HelloColdWorld
Clove Woods - @Val
Isaac Newton - @Wolfy

Wolfy Heroic Partier Elite+

⛧ WOLFY ⛧

Valiencian Legendary Partier Elite+

PepperPancake Heroic Partier Elite

Please tell me if I interpreted your characters right.

I'm new to the whole story sign ups thing and I've never interpreted other visions into my own words.

Chapter Two - What Are You Wearing? Is Out!

Order of Appearance:

Isabelle Jonson - My own
Fletcher Pine - My Own
Fantasma Raeford - @Boriiii
Lambert Omysha - @Casmi
Walker Vince - @PepperPancake
Wren Kleos - @HelloColdWorld
Clove Woods - @Val
Isaac Newton - @Wolfy

Im liking my characterrrr. />good job with the story so far />

Review: ‘The Orville’ Finds Itself In “Identity, Part 2”

Struggling to fight off an invasion of technologically advanced hostile aliens, Captain Mercer and his crew are forced to seek help in the unlikeliest of places.

Within the constraints imposed by the realities of the sci-fi genre and television in general, “Identity, Part 2” brings the conflict begun in Part 1 to a gripping, action-packed, and satisfying conclusion that could have long-lasting ramifications for the series as a whole. Fans of slam-bang, cinema-quality science fiction action will have nothing to complain about here.

Kelly and Ed in “Identity Pt. 2”

Warning: There is an old Earth custom called SPOILERS, and they have a beginning—right now!

It is said that in comedy it isn’t the joke but the delivery, and the same applies to sci-fi dramedies. “Identity, Part 1” set up the story in such a way that, given the exigencies of televised storytelling and the necessities of plot, there was only a limited number of ways that the story could have resolved. In that sense, “Identity, Part 2” was completely predictable. But it’s not really the plot points that make an episode enjoyable—it’s how you get from point to point that matters. And in this regard, “Identity, Part 2” delights and entertains admirably.

Anyone who has watched a lot of science fiction knew ahead of time what had to happen in “Identity, Part 2.” Humanity could not wind up being annihilated. The crew of the Orville had to be instrumental in stopping the Kaylon invasion. More to the point, Isaac had to somehow turn against his Kaylon superiors in order to allow the Planetary Union to prevail. This episode was mid-season, and there have been no rumors that Mark Jackson was leaving the show, and he’s a series regular, so it was very unlikely that he would end the episode as a villain. Dialing down to a finer-grain level, it was clear that the Finn boys would need to be instrumental in turning Isaac from a mere follower of Kaylon Primary to a choice-maker all his own. And there needed to be a honking big space battle.

These things needed to happen and did, to no one’s surprise. But it’s not the joke. It’s how you tell it that matters.

Ed, Marcus, Claire and Talla in “Identity Pt. 2”

STEP ONE – ESTABLISH THE STAKES

“Identity, Part 1” established that the Kaylon are on a mission to eradicate all biological life in the galaxy, starting with Earth and the Planetary Union. This episode needed to reiterate that threat at the outset, as well as ask a lingering question: If the Kaylon want to exterminate all biologicals, why is the Orville crew still alive?

The question is raised in force when Ty Finn attempts to find Isaac, is detained by a Kaylon soldier, and Talla tries to rescue him and gets blasted by one of their head cannons. The stunt work here is impressive—Talla is blasted back at least 20-30 feet. I felt it viscerally in my chest when she was hit, and winced at the pain she must have felt. Very effective.

Captain Mercer banks on the fact that the Kaylon must need them alive for some reason, and persuades one of the guards to let them take the unconscious Talla to sickbay. There, Dr. Finn has the opportunity to once again scold Isaac for unfeelingly betraying the Orville’s crew, and especially her sons. I would have said this was a futile effort since the Kaylons have no emotions, but it was pointed out in a comments thread elsewhere that you can’t argue with success—ultimately, what turns Isaac is his loyalty to Ty Finn. I might not like it, but Dr. Finn is on the right track here.

Later in the briefing room, we finally get our answer: The Kaylons need the bridge crew to persuade Union Central to lower their defenses, and they need the rest of the crew as bargaining chips to force the bridge crew to cooperate.

The crew gathered by Kaylon Primary in “Identity Pt. 2”

I squeed a little when I recognized Carlos Bernard, who will always be Tony Almeida from 24 to me, as the captain of a Union ship that the Kaylon try to use the Orville crew to bamboozle. Captain Mercer slips a code phrase into their communications, but the Kaylon pick up on the subterfuge, and the USS Roosevelt and Captain Marcos are dispatched quickly by just two Kaylon attack spheres.

In retaliation for Mercer’s deception, Kaylon Primary orders a random Ensign Extra to be shoved out the airlock without a space suit. It is here that we see the first stirrings of Isaac’s dissatisfaction with the Kaylon plan. Isaac seems cool with the idea of exterminating all biological life in the galaxy, but he balks at the idea of killing these particular individuals. Perhaps there’s a lesson in there for us all: It’s harder to hate someone when you know them by name and have a relationship with them faceless people are easier to despise.

The Kaylons in this scene struck me as Evil C-3POs, and from then on, I couldn’t get that image out of my mind.

Kaylon Primary takes Isaac to task for his apparent sympathy and mercy for Ensign Extra. But Isaac marshals a logical argument. “Primary, I am the only Kaylon who has interacted with the biologicals for an extended period of time. To kill a member of their crew as a punitive measure carries the danger of inducing heightened resolve in the others. I did not consider it a worthwhile risk.” This made sense to me. But it did not to Kaylon Primary, as he assigned Isaac homework—the reading of Alex Haley’s Roots. Even though Isaac does not see “authoritarian proclivities” in Ty and Marcus Finn, Primary argues that the biological imperative to enslave others is written into human DNA. Biology is destiny, according to Primary. Or in AI terms, your programming determines your actions. Isaac will, of course, prove this wrong.

In this scene, we also learn that Isaac chose his own “designation” to honor Sir Isaac Newton, one of humanity’s most brilliant scientists. Kaylon Primary orders him to choose a new designation, but he doesn’t, and in a later scene he is still addressed as Isaac by a Kaylon soldier.

Isaac and the Primary in “Identity Pt. 2”

STEP TWO – FAILED ESCAPE ATTEMPTS

So now we have the Orville crew held captive in the shuttle bay, inside a ship streaking through quantum space at the head of an invasion fleet bound for Earth. What needs to happen?

As a writer you can’t allow the Orville crew to be passive observers in their own show they need to demonstrate agency. But they cannot succeed immediately or easily, because that would be boring. You need them to fail in order to keep the stakes of the episode high. But they can’t fail through imbecility their escape attempt needs to be plausible and daring. So how did they do?

The escape attempt makes excellent use of Yaphit, who up until now has been around for little more than comic relief. Here’s an endlessly pliable character who can mold into any shape, and aside from first season’s “Cupid’s Dagger,” has barely used his ability. Here, he oozes through conduits to the armory to retrieve weapons, then oozes through more conduits to send a message to Union Central. When Kaylon soldiers threaten Ty Finn, who has pluckily come along to assist as the only person small enough to fit inside the USS Orville’s version of a Jefferies tube, Yaphit leaps (!) onto the soldier, oozing into his joints, and short-circuiting him from within. In the process Ty is captured, and a helpless Yaphit slowly oozes out of the soldier, charred and unconscious.

Yaphit takes action in “Identity, Pt. 2”

Meanwhile, Gordon and Kelly take a shuttle to try to contact the Krill, who will eventually have to face the Kaylon threat too perhaps they can join together to stop the Kaylon now when they still have a chance. Gordon and Kelly’s mission features some cool, jazzy effects as they take the shuttle out of the bay at quantum speeds. But despite the effects, this section felt the most like someone just checking off a box on a plot form somewhere. Repeatedly, Gordon warns Kelly that something must not be done, that it’s too dangerous, that it’s never been successfully tried, that it’s just a theory. Repeatedly, she tells him to do it. Repeatedly, it succeeds.

There is some great dialogue when the two of them finally stand before the Krill Captain, who finds them drifting without power in the middle of nowhere, thanks to plot magic. The Krill, with their religious worldview, have a distinctly different way of looking at things than the Planetary Union does, and that’s fun to see. Plus, any chance to get in some Avis jokes is worth taking the time to do.

Kelly and Gordon ask the Krill for help in “Identity, Pt. 2”

STEP THREE – ISAAC MUST TURN

Kaylon Primary now orders Isaac to kill the captive Ty Finn, and it is here where a line is crossed that Isaac cannot countenance. Exterminate every other living being in the galaxy? Okay fine, I’ll help. But kill Ty Finn? No, that’s going too far.

Some folks online have speculated that the reason we never saw Isaac personally killing anyone onboard the Orville was that he did not have head cannons. That theory is proven incorrect here, as Isaac easily dispatches Kaylon Primary and probably a dozen Kaylon soldiers. Isaac then sets off an EM pulse that shuts down all the Kaylon on the Orville, including himself. It is a noble sacrifice to enable the humans to escape.

There are some niggling questions regarding the Kaylon invasion. Once the threat of total annihilation is on the table, there is very little incentive for your opponents to hold back or to ever go along with anything you say. It seems that a logic-driven race would figure this out fairly quickly. Isaac did. Why didn’t Primary? And how many actual Kaylon would fit in their fleet and was it enough to wipe out the Planetary Union and then move on to take out the rest of biological life in the galaxy? The whole plan seems entirely reliant on surprise, but even if they succeed with the attack on Earth, the secret of their plan is out. And after Isaac took out the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary on board the USS Orville, who was commanding the rest of the Kaylon fleet? And how did the rest of the Kaylon not immediately notice their top leadership were deactivated? A lot of things about the Kaylon don’t make much sense when you think about it at any length.

But please believe me when I say this: Don’t let that sour you! Because if you don’t think about it, the rest of this episode is a hoot.

Ty hugs Isaac in “Identity, Pt. 2”

STEP FOUR – BIG HONKING SPACE BATTLE

Seth MacFarlane and the other producers on The Orville have repeatedly said in interviews that production on the space battle that takes up the last part of this episode started at the very beginning of the season, and it shows. This is an epic battle of epicness, and it is remarkably well staged, filmed, and presented. The effects work on Season 2 of The Orville has been exemplary, and here they pull out all the stops.

It coalesces into three full fleets of ships all shooting at each other and maneuvering around each other, and lots of ‘splosions. At no time is it confusing! It all makes sense and is easy to follow. The Union ships are blue-grey lozenges, and fire blue lasers. The Kaylon Ships are spheres with red glowy bits, and fire red lasers. And the Krill ships that show up to save the day are green tropical fish shapes, and fire green lasers.

Ed yells things like “Increase lateral power! Phase-lock the deflectors!” And the crew yells out, “Aye sir!” and “We’re not going to make it!” Ed orders the self-destruct. The Krill save the day. Gordon flies a Krill fighter and quotes Top Gun. It’s all big, silly, epic, pew-pew space combat fun. The design of the Orville bridge and the cockpit of the Krill fighter allows for the stuff going on in the background to stream around the characters in an amazing way. As the Orville banks and swerves around the ‘splosions, you see things flash by the front window and then past the port in the ceiling a moment later. It makes the whole thing feel very immersive and exciting. I was on the edge of my seat both times I watched the episode.

And our heroes triumph at the last minute. So what more can you ask?

The battle for Earth in “Identity Pt. 2”

STEP FIVE – BIG RESET BUTTON?

The big question left for the episode after all the boxes have been checked is: will they push the big, red reset button at the end to put everything back the way it was before the episode started? And thankfully, all indications are they will not. New relations have been started with the Krill. And though that’s less significant in The Orville than, say, opening a dialogue with the Romulans in Star Trek: The Next Generation, because our history with the franchise is thinner, it is a big turning point for the show. And just like the Battle of Wolf 359 was not the last we heard of the Borg, indications are we have not heard the last of the Kaylon.

And yes, Isaac is back on the crew of the Orville, but the closing scene with Dr. Finn shows that fully trusting him again is going to be a process. Claire tells him: “There’s an old human custom called forgiveness. It too takes time. But it must have a beginning.” Dialogue earlier in sickbay established that many of the Orville’s crew will not soon forget that the reason they needed to be saved by Isaac is that Isaac first betrayed them all to an enemy who wanted to exterminate them. That cannot, and should not, be lightly forgiven.

Isaac and Clarie begin the healing process in “Identity Pt. 2”

CLOSING THOUGHTS

My biggest concern going into this episode was whether or not Isaac would magically gain emotions and learn that he truly loves Dr. Finn and her boys, and that this would be what turned him against his masters. I felt that this approach would violate what was special about the Isaac character when compared to other science fictional AI’s. The jury is still out on that concern, but I have reason to hope.

In an earlier review, I wrote that Isaac had not experienced true character growth so far in the show’s two seasons. This episode marks the first, huge step of growth for Isaac. He has assessed his values as well as the direction that his culture was taking him, and has decided for the first time which way he personally wants to go. He has taken agency and struck out on his own path. And it is at great cost, as the melancholy of the final scene makes clear.

Thankfully, he seems to have taken these steps for logical rather than emotional reasons. If that continues to be the case, I will be glad.

This episode is everything it needed to be. It brought an epic story to a satisfying conclusion, and while its outline was predictable, the way it got from point to point was thrilling. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. It’s not the joke, it’s how you tell it. And this was a story well told.

The USS Orville in “Identity Pt. 2”

BRIEF BITS

  • Director Jon Cassar also directed “Identity, Part 1.” It is far more common for a two-parter to be directed by two different people.
  • Carlos Benard’s cameo was thanks to Cassar, who had worked with the actor for years on 24 where he was a producer and director.
  • Captain Mercer mentions “Directive 98,” and later uses a Union code-phrase, “thirteen button salute,” which the Kaylon recognized was a code indicating the ship was under hostile control.
  • Named Union starships in this episode include the USS Roosevelt, USS Spruance, USS Hawking, and USS Quimby,
  • The effects in this episode are great, but the shuttle still looks like a minivan, and it’s hard to tell what direction it’s heading.
  • Isaac tells Ty that the code to unlock the shuttle bay doors is Alpha-One-Four-Omega-Six – but when Ty enters the code, he only hits three keys, including what looks like ENTER.
  • When the shuttle winds up in Krill space without any power, Gordon says that without life support, they have only 15 minutes of air in the shuttle. This seems implausible, and if true, a major design flaw. Plus, aren’t the shuttles able to cloak? How did the Kaylon track them?

Carlos Bernard as Capt. Marcos of the USS Roosevelt

QUOTABLES

  • “Good bagels, too.” Gordon Malloy describes the glories of New Jersey. As a New Yorker, I’d beg to differ.
  • “This is the twenty-fifth hour for Earth.” Kelly describes their predicament poetically.
  • “If the big dipper’s not there, I’m kinda useless.” Gordon and I have something in common!
  • “You are a godless race of sub-creatures well-trained to lie and deceive. But you are now my prisoners. Avis has been generous today.” “See? Avis! I told you I wasn’t making that up.” Krill Captain, and Gordon to Kelly
  • “Scanners cannot penetrate their hull.” “Do eenie-meenie-miney-mo! Pick a spot!” Ed Mercer on target selection
  • “Just a walk in the park, Kazanski!” Gordon, channeling his inner “Top Gun.”
  • “All right buddy! Time to wash your mouth out with GORDON.” Ew. Just, ew.
  • “My actions have eliminated the possibility of returning to my planet. And the actions of the Kaylon have eliminated my wish to do so. I have no home.” Isaac

Isaac at the end of “Identity Pt. 2”

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I have always liked this show. Now. I love it.

I can’t believe it took me this long to realize the other joke in the name “Avis”: “avis” is Latin for “bird.” So the Krill basically worship the Great Bird of the Galaxy.

‘Facepalm’…I had no idea either.

That’s deft, subtle and actually hilarious.

TG47 the more you know. You learn something new every day ^_^

Avis is a name of a car rental company. Its a joke on the show.

That was the obvious joke, especially with Gordon saying ‘We try harder’ in an earlier episode.

To me, that was just more dated 80s and 90s style Orville humour. (Is their target demographic really in their 40s?)

But a play on ‘the great bird’, is in entirely different league.

Yes: the car rental company is the diegetic joke made by Gordon, and also the joke for the general/casual audience. The Great Bird is the additional joke, non-diegetically aimed at the geek audience (us). That’s why I said “the other joke” in my initial post.

We’re thinking the same way.

What I don’t get is why McFarlane and Co. are going for a diegetic joke involving a company slogan that Avis Car Rental doesn’t even use much anymore.

Sounds like a way to turn off the target 18-40 market.

Yeah, that’s the way I always saw it, He’s Avis, the ‘Second-best’ god! -p

But still, a helluva show, and even while paying ‘homage’ to ST, seems like these guys have now become their own thang. Have even come to appreciate McFarlane’s sorta ‘sophomoric’ sense of humor… and it’s OK, ‘cuz he lets you in on the joke!

Good catch. I was wondering about that.

Oh well done.. Didn’t realise either.

The Orville gets a big win.

Also, it’s interesting that Isaac took his name from Newton. I had assumed that, at least outside the fiction, he was named after Asimov. But then, he and the Kaylons certainly don’t seem to have anything like the Three Laws, so Newton makes more sense… though I assume Isaac was not aware of how much of Newton’s writings concerned theology and alchemy!

I was thinking that too. I thought Asimov’s famous rules for robots would come into play. Avis knows the Kaylons are in need of them. Will Isaac end up being The Law Giver to the Kaylons?

oh please! oh please let Isaac be the Kaylon Moshe.

The space battle was pretty amazing. MacFarlane found a way to do Wolf 359 as it was intended to be. I always felt like the battles from TNG/DS9/VOY always felt jumbled and confused, but lacking the sort of epic punch you want in a big space battle. Orville really managed to present the chaos of battle, but in a fun and well-thought out way.

I agree. I think it was one of the best space battle I saw. It was spectacular, very focused around the Orville but still with a broader view of the battle.

So what more can you ask?

A plot that didn’t come out of a 25-cent gumball machine.

Oh, no! Isaac’s turned evil!

Oh, yay! He turned back to being good!

He’s a robot with no feelings, except for the wittle boy who wuvs him.

Did he turn evil, or was he biding his time? He didn’t kill anyone other than Kaylons. And if he’d stayed deactivated, everyone would be dead.

He went along with the Kaylons’ plan to exterminate all biological lifeforms. There’s no evidence that he was biding his time. And, in any case, his delay in helping the Orville crew was not productive. He could have helped them much sooner.

While I do agree with your sarcastic assessment, I honestly do believe that when push came to shove that Issac was going to have no part in the actual destruction of biological life. He obviously had doubts all along with the plan. I got that from the beginning of part 1. It just so happened that his first opportunity for direct involvement was when it came to Ty. He did argue against putting the red shirt in the airlock. That feeling was only going to grow.

But, Isaac’s mission aboard the Orville was to gather information in order to asses whether humanity should be exterminated, and he was aware of it all along. That means that he effectively lied on a daily basis to all of his shipmates. That basically makes Isaac a sociopath. Even if he had doubts about executing the plan to exterminate humanity, he still went along with it. And, then, they just bring him back aboard the ship to serve at his post at the end. And no explanation was offered for why Ty seems to have been the reason that Isaac turned good. Isaac doesn’t have emotions, and Ty is no more important than the crew members who got killed when the Kaylon boarded the Orville, so what’s the reason? The whole thing is cheesy and meaningless. They’re just relying on everybody being familiar with the old trope of an innocent child melting a bad man’s icy heart. And apparently they were right to rely on that, judging by the comments here.

No, it makes him loyal to his people. Further, we do not know at what point Issac was made aware of the real plan. Was it before he ever went on board or was it after his people reactivated him? It was already established that his relationship with the crew was affecting him. Especially Finn and her kids. That said, it was indeed a tired trope. One that everyone could see coming once the situation was set up in part one. And since the show is now striving to be nothing more than a TNG clone, I would expect nothing less.

No, it makes him loyal to his people.

What’s the difference? Acting like a sociopath in service to people who want to exterminate my species isn’t any better than simply acting like a sociopath. Arguably it’s worse. I suppose it’s possible that Isaac was kept in the dark about the whole extermination part of the plan until after he was reactivated. Though, if we go by the dialogue, Isaac says in Part 1 that his mission aboard The Orville was to gather data in order to determine if humanity should be exterminated. He gives no indication that he was kept ignorant of the extermination part.

I guess what it comes down to is your definition of a sociopath. If we follow your definition then V’ger was a sociopath as well. And remember, that dialog you cited from part was was said AFTER he was reactivated. And it makes sense that he would not indicate that he was kept in the dark about the true plan. It doesn’t matter at that point. And even if he did know, it very well could be that after interacting with the crew he was gambling that the decision would be to not exterminate the biologicals. So why risk alienating himself from his people when it may not be necessary? The only way Issac is in an undefendable position is if he boarded the ship knowing the decision was already made. And even that makes no sense because if the decision was made they would just send their mecha-armada out immediately. No need to interact with them at all.

Well, if I were in Isaac’s position, and I thought that exterminating humanity was a bad idea, I’d go back home to Kaylon and tell them to nix the plan. If I keep going along with the plan to exterminate humanity, and deceive my shipmates every day, and then I shut down one day unexpectedly, and the Kaylon go ahead with the plan, then I’m complicit. I could have tried to stop it, but I didn’t. It is possible that Isaac didn’t know about the plan. That’s his only defense for why he shouldn’t be considered complicit, IMO. Too bad the episode left that point ambiguous.

Or, you report back elements that you think would lead to a decision to not exterminate them. It’s not as black and white as you are making it out to be. Anyway, the show currently isn’t worth such a lengthy discussion about this.

You really missed the true incongruity about the Kaylons being the very thing that they were afraid the biologicals were doomed to become.

You mention that they, Isaac’s creators, deactivated him, the only real cybernetic lifeform, but it doesn’t sink in that in that single act the Kaylons reveal themselves to be irrational and ultimately lying to everyone, including themselves.

They believe, as his creators, they have the right to do that to him “because he served his function” but claim their own biological creators didn’t have the right to deactivate them when they determined the Kaylons stopped serving their function.

You are being illogical when you claim Isaac was part of a predetermined plan to exterminate biologicals at his birth. If this was so it made absolutely zero sense to deactivate him, the perfect mole, as the extermination had not yet been served.

I didn’t miss any of those things.
And I don’t think I’ve misrepresented the plot here.
There are various ways that the Kaylon could have gone about exterminating humanity. Whether those ways should involve keeping Isaac aboard the Orville as a mole, or debriefing him in order to determine whether humanity should be exterminated, is not an argument that I was making. My only point regarding the Kaylon’s plan being stu-pid was that there’s no good reason for them to reveal to the Orville crew that they plan to exterminate humanity, as it leaves the crew no incentive to cooperate.

Ah so, you are really objecting to the comic book & Bond villain trope where the villain is so sure of his intellectual superiority that he can conceive of no possible negative blowback from revealing all to revell in the plan’s perfection?

Also, they absolutely did not deactivate Isaac to trick Mercer into bringing him in for a debriefing. They deactivated him because they had already debriefed him, remotely. He served his function, which included data gathering AND debriefing.

But wasn’t it clear, in the deactivation of Isaac, that the Kaylons are logically inconsistent and irrational? Their seeming hyper-rationality is a fraud which is why it didn’t surprise me that they’d do something else inconsistent with it.

If you’re going to write so many comments on Orville pages, I would recommend paying a bit more attention to the episodes. Maybe you missed the episode ‘A Happy Refrain.’ In that episode, we learn that Isaac’s subroutines have adjusted to Claire’s presence, which then interferes with his programming when she is gone. So Isaac is capable of a rudimentary form of emotion or bonding, even if the Kaylons don’t call it that. Thus in the two-parter, Isaac’s attachment to the Finns came into conflict with his Kaylon directives, and we watched how that played out. Do know for sure this it what happened? No, there is some uncertainty, which makes it interesting. But there is enough there that your flippant responses are unwarranted.

So, at the eleventh hour, Isaac turned against his people and their plan to exterminate humanity because killing the Finns would have caused temporary inefficiency in his programing? That’s an even dumber plot point than pretending he has emotions. Isaac knows that his programming can be totally rebooted and rid of all glitches, inefficiencies and whatnot in an instant, as we saw in the episode. In any case, program subroutines interacting with other subroutines hardly amounts to emotions. Isaac is a robot. He doesn’t have emotions, which is the point of his character — the logic vs. emotions, head vs. heart, logos vs. pathos struggle that TOS introduced with Spock vs. McCoy and other human shipmates, such as in “The Galileo Seven.” All of Isaac’s interactions with humans on the Orville are premised upon him not having emotions. That’s what makes him different and what makes his scenes have any meaning. Isaac doesn’t understand humor, because he doesn’t have emotions. “Funny” has no meaning for him. That’s why there are scenes with the crew playing practical jokes on him, where he doesn’t understand the point, and then responds by cutting off Gordon’s leg. Isaac doesn’t understand compassion, empathy and affection because he doesn’t have emotions. That’s why he hurt Dr. Finn when they started dating, before that stu-pid thematic reversal in “A Happy Refrain.” Isaac’s lack of emotions is what makes all of those scenes have any significance. If Isaac has emotions, then there’s not much dramatic point to his character.

Now, I’m wondering if Ed, Kelly and Gordon may be drawn in to the diplomatic dialogue with the Krill just because they were ‘first through the door’.

Not to mention Ed’s star-crossed Krill romantic interest.

Lots of grist for the mill there: both humour and drama.

“Lots of grist for the mill there: both humour and drama.”

Except they jettisoned the humor and it doesn’t look like they have any plans to return to it. Which, again, is unfortunate.

Just because things on “the Orville” can get serious, doesn’t mean it’s stuck there.

Really loved the second part to this! Gotta say both this show and Discovery was on fire this week and on the same day at that. This show, like Discovery, is definitely finding its groove this season.

I will say I wasn’t too surprised over the conclusion because it was only so many ways they could go with it. Either it was going to be a simulation (and I really REALLY didn’t want it to be that) or that Issac was going to betray his people and help them. I never once bought the idea Issac would stay evil or be killed. That was never in the cards. I thought MAYBE the third option would be they just reprogram him to help them and then it would excuse Issac of having feelings but I guess, well, the emotional impact wouldn’t have been strong enough if he didn’t do it on its own.

And I know this is going to be weird to say but I felt a little bad for Issac at the end but it really opens up where he will go from this point on.

But yeah great episode and that combat sequence was amazing. Not quite Star Wars lol but pretty up there and AFAIK their first big battle sequence on the show. Orville is doing a much better job of being a comedic show but still have the dramatic moments and stories really count. It has come a long way in a very short time.

Tiger2 I agree with you. The Orville is way better now than it used to be. The show is starting to feel like its own thing instead of just being a blind imitation of Star Trek. It can have some comedy but not too much.

Yeah I think thats when we know the show will be a true success when people stop looking at it as a Star Trek copy cat and just work completely on its own. Ironically like how TNG was able to come out from the TOS shadow and just became respected as its own entity.

It’s also following the TNG pattern of a first season of derivative and off-key episodes before finding its own ground.

No, the pattern here is they showed their potential in the first season and in the 2nd season decided to move away from what was making the show work. The 2nd season is still WAY worse than the first.

Except they are going in reverse. Their first season they were doing their own thing. A comedic homage to TNG. No one had done that before. And they were on the right track. Then they decided to abandon that track and go straight for TNG rip off. All the high budget Star Wars space battles won’t change that.

. Professor Spock, how can you feel like this show is anything BUT a blind imitation of TNG? I honestly don’t see that. Last season when they went for the comedy, it was trying to be its own thing. They had their own twist on the genre. But now, they abandoned their own thing and became TNG lite.

“Orville is doing a much better job of being a comedic show but still have the dramatic moments and stories really count.”

I hate to use this phrase but I cannot think of another one… Are we watching the same show? I ask this because you said it’s doing a “BETTER” job at being a comedic show. How? There are less jokes than ever before (and before they needed to lean even more to the joke side) and most of the jokes aren’t working. Gordon has essentially become the “joke guy” with his pee corner and Avis joke. Both of those worked. But, like most of the jokes this season, the others did not. Regardless if one thinks the show ought to go more for comedy or drama, there is no way I can think of to conclude the show currently has gotten better at the comedy. The fact is, they have been turning away from it. Big time. It is not a comedic show with dramatic elements. I wouldn’t even go so far as to say it’s a dramatic show with comedic elements. Since the jokes are so few and far between it’s a drama that attempts to land a laugh once or twice each episode.

To me, the past few episodes have been a turning point for the show, and this episode capped it. In many ways, it reminded me of Best of Both Worlds – especially in the cliff hanger of Part 1. Characters are coming into their own, dialogue is becoming sharper, and the mix of comedy and sci-fi/drama has become far more natural. With Discovery really coming into it’s own in the 2nd season, The Orville finding it’s groove as an enjoyable (and at times great) homage to TNG-era Star Trek, the Expanse returning to Amazon Prime sometime later this year, and multiple other Star Trek shows in the works, it’s a really great time to be a sci-fi (and especially Star Trek) fan!

The design of the Orville’s “conduits” (i.e. Jeffries tube) seems, well, not great. The Jeffries tubes were never bastions of space, but they were at least designed for adult humans to crawl around in. The Orville’s conduits are so small that only a child or Yaphet can make their way through them – which kind of begs the question, why are they so small – seems to defeat the purpose of their existence. Also, it appears the opening of the conduits are way small than the actual conduits themselves… Unfortunately, the answer to this is simply that the plot needed to find away to get Ty involved.

I wonder if there are different speeds to the Quantum Drive as with the Warp Drive, and if their is a hard limit on the max speed (i.e. the asymptote that is Warp 10). When the shuttle rerouted all power to the Quantum Drive to go faster, how fast was it actually going?

Pretty much all of the Union ships we saw shared the same design, with some being smaller and others being bigger. The only major design difference was that some ships only have 2 “rings” as a part of the Quantum drive, whiles other’s have 3. Not sure if the similarity in design is purely a budgetary issue, lack of creativity, or simple an acknowledgement that if a design works, stick with it! With that being said, I much prefer the diversity in design of Federation ships.

It was mentioned in a Season 1 episode (same episode that involved the practice jokes) that Kaylon’s don’t have eyes, and Isaac simply had the blue lights to make him appear more relatable. With all of the other Kaylon’s have (evil!) red eyes, I wonder if they two were also trying to appear more relatable? Which begs the question, why?

The space battle was pretty epic, though it lacked some of the artistry seen in other shows – such as DS9, the Expanse, and especially Battlestar Galactica (the 2005 version, not the 1978 version). One of my biggest complaints of Discovery’s season 1 was the lack of any truly epic battle sequences. While the Battle at the Binary Stars was pretty good, the f/x in season 1 were done in such a way as to make many “space” moments unnecessarily dark, blurry and confusing. I’d love to see a similar battle like this one on The Orville done with Discovery’s budget.


Watch the video: Did an Apple Really Fall on Isaac Newtons Head?নউটনর সই বছর পরন আপল গছট এখন জবত (January 2022).