Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Quest for Truth

The year was 1663. A Professor at Cambridge was discoursing passionately on natural philosophy, a subject better known to us as Physics, to a class of sophomores. The principles formulated by the great Greek polymaths, which had been an integral part of the textbooks in Europe for more than half a millenium, formed the topic of discussion.
To be more accurate though, it was probably more of a lecture than a discussion. The students were rapt with attention drinking in each word. The more conscientous among them did well to make meticulous notes. One such student, in the backbenches, stopped abruptly midpage,perhaps out of boredom, left a dozen pages empty and wrote the following words in Latin on top of a fresh page -

Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae
(Some Problems in Philosophy)

Amicus Plato Amicus Aristoteles Magis Amica Veritas
( I am a friend of Plato, I am a friend of Aristotle.
But Truth is my greater friend )

The young man was none other than Isaac Newton.
More about him later.

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