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Colloquium Series Seminar

Isaac Newton and the Origin of Civilization
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
4:00-5:00 PM
on Zoom Off Campus Location
Isaac Newton, who renovated the foundations of mathematics,
optics, and mechanics in the 17th century, aimed also to
overturn the entire history of civilization. By the late 1690s
Newton had become convinced that the natural rate of
population growth implied that elaborately organized social
life had not arisen until near the time of Solomon’s kingdom.
He canvassed ancient texts for words that could be pruned and
transformed into supporting evidence – deploying in the
process the earliest known procedures for handling discrepant
data, and reconstructing the very plan of Solomon’s temple.
Here we will find Newton’s unorthodox religious convictions
interacting in complex ways with the new methods that he had
introduced into experimental science. And we will also see
how the most sophisticated of techniques can produce error
when data is massaged to fit a strongly-held conviction.

Zoom link:

Passcode 123456

Speaker(s): Jed Buchwald (California Institute of Technology)
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: Mathematics
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Mathematics