Isaac Newton: The Last of the Magicians
Directed by Renny Bartlett (2013)
The Last of the Magicians is a biography of Sir Isaac Newton, with a special focus on secret papers that economist John Maynard Keynes uncovered 200 years after Newton’s death. The papers relate to Newton’s secret study of alchemy, ie the search for a “philosopher stone” that would enable the transformation of inanimate objects into living things.
According to these secret documents, Newton believed that the early Sumerian, Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations had profound scientific knowledge about both astronomy and the transformation of mass and light into one another – that this knowledge was corrupted by the insertion of false text into the holy scriptures during the third century AD. In these secret documents, Newton also reveals himself as an antitrinitarian* – which is why he had to keep them hidden. This was still regarded as heresy during the 17th century and punishable by death.
Newton’s work on the transformation of matter into light (and vice versa) anticipated Einstein’s 1905 theory of relativity.
The concept of science as a field of study was unknown during Newton’s lifetime. Instead he and his contemporaries studied “natural philosophy.” As one of the first to introduce mathematics to this filed, he’s considered one of the fathers of the modern scientific movement.
He’s credited for inventing calculus, a branch of mathematics that allows us to predict rate of change, the universal law of gravity, the science of mechanics (which explains how things move), the reflecting telescope and astronomical calculations that allow us to predict eclipses, tides and the appearance of comets.
*An antitrinitarian rejects the Trinitarian doctrine that God subsists as three distinct persons in the single substance of the Holy Trinity.