Legendary scientist Sir Isaac Newton once predicted the world would end in 2060 – and people are terrified that he might be right.
Many people have predicted the end of the world, from St.John the Divine in the first Century AD to random “time travellers” on TikTok.
But while you might not take most of these prophecies seriously, when the father of modern science predict the end of all things it’s probably worth paying attention.
Sir Isaac Newton, who made numerous pioneering discoveries in physics and mathematics, believed that the world as we know it will end in 2060.
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That might have seemed like a long way off when he wrote down his detailed calculations in 1704. But today it’s just 37 years away. Many of us will still be alive when that date rolls around.
Recent surveys suggest that roughly one in seven people believe the world will come to an end in their lifetime.
Newton used his close study of the Bible and other religious writings to calculate a specific date when the world we know would come to an end and be replaced with a literal “Kingdom of Heaven” on Earth.
He believed that in the middle of the 21st Century, Christ would return and reign for a millennium, and the Jewish people would build “a flourishing and everlasting Kingdom” in Israel.
Newton wrote, in the antique English of the period: “So then the time times & half a time are 42 months or 1260 days or three years and an half, recconing twelve months to a yeare and 30 days to a month as was done in the Calendar of the primitive year.
“And the days of short lived Beasts being put for the years of lived [sic] kingdoms, the period of 1260 days, if dated from the complete conquest of the three kings A.C. 800, will end A.C. 2060.
“It may end later,” Newton wrote, “but I see no reason for its ending sooner”.
Newton expert Stephen D. Snobelen explained that scholars have known about Newton’s prediction for many years, but it’s only become known to the wider public comparatively recently.
“For many, the revelation that Newton was a passionate believer who took biblical prophecy seriously came as something of a shock,” he wrote.
Snobelen added that scientists are still making apocalyptic predictions: “Curiously a couple months after the 2060 story broke, Sir Martin Reese, one of today’s leading scientists, published a book entitled Our Final Hour ( titled Our Final Century in the UK) in which he argues that the human race has only a fifty-fifty chance of surviving the 21st century”.
With wars, and rumours of wars, filling our news daily – and the threat of a new pandemic haunting scientists’ nightmares – it’s easy to believe the world could be ending any day now.
At least, if we’re to believe one of the smartest ever Britons, we’ve got a good 30 years left.