The Royal Society considered Newton's writings on Alchemy not fit to be printed

Stabroek News
August 2, 2001

Dear Editor,

Mr. Alfred Bhulai has once again written voluminously to both dailies about his religious activities at the Faculty of Natural Sciences (FNS) at the University of Guyana.

He believes that Mr. Justin DeFreitas and I cannot recognize that the FNS resolution at UG made no reference to religion. It doesn't take much to understand what happened; Bhulai made a unique interpretation of the resolution and introduced creationism from a Christian perspective at the University.

Bhulai speaks a lot about Sir Isaac Newton and applies his favourite description of people to those wary of Newton; they were "plebeian," he declares.

There is little doubt that Newton is one of history's most outstanding scientists but the people who thought Newton had gone mad may not have been referring to his scientific work. They may have heard him say that he felt like "threatening my father and mother Smith to burn them and the house over them." Anyone would question the sanity of a person who premeditates murder, especially of his parents.

Newton was never able to forgive his stepfather Barnabas Smith, a Christian Reverend, for causing his mother to abandon him (Newton) to his grandmother so that she can move in with the Holy Reverend.

The creationists' technique of linking great names to their cause continues with Bhulai saying that John Maynard Keynes, provost at Cambridge University discovered that the great scientist had written about "advanced theology."

But Bhulai left out the main pieces of this story, including the parts explaining why the people around Newton were not "plebs" but perhaps were merely skeptical. Mr. Bhulai wrote that Newton was a "religious" man but scholars know that Newton was a good many other things as well.

In 1936 a cache of writings by Newton came to auction at Sotheby's. The collection contained Newton's personal notebooks and journals. The highest bidder was Keynes.

After reading Newton's notes, Keynes in 1942 told the shocked (non - plebeian) audience at the Royal Society Club: "Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians."

The "secret writings" revealed Newton's hidden agenda of mysticism, his consuming passion was alchemy. Holed-up in his live-in laboratory near Cambridge, Newton, scholars say, indulged in occult literature and laboured (unsuccessfully) to produce the legendary "Philosopher's Stone" which he would use to convert base metals to gold!

Newton wrote over a million words on alchemy, much more words than he produced on calculus and mechanics. After his death the Royal Society (non - plebeian) deemed his writings on alchemy "not fit to be printed."

Mr. Bhulai's "religious man" was considered by some to be a heretical theologian. Newton believed that the concept of a Holy Trinity corrupted Christian doctrine. He developed contempt for conventional Christianity and for Roman Catholicism especially. Newton was extremely secretive and his disbelief in Jesus' divinity was only revealed on his deathbed when he refused last rites.

Newton became obsessed with Scripture around the same time he wrote to a friend that his interest in science had "worn-out." His colleagues found him to be easily irritated and overly sensitive to the slightest criticism of his work. He was also intent on pursuing ruthless vendettas against his enemies (both real and imagined.) He repeatedly accused his close associates and friends, John Locke and Charles Montagu, of deceiving him and attempting to harm his reputation.

Luckily, he was able to recover from both a nervous breakdown in 1675 and his paranoid delusions by 1693. History does not recall Newton ever being romantically involved and it is believed that he died a virgin.

After his death, Newton's burial site was moved and during exhumation it was discovered that his body was contaminated with massive amounts of mercury resulting from his efforts at alchemy. Experts believe that mercury poisoning may explain his weird behaviour and religious fixation in his late life.

This view of Newton is not meant to minimize the unquestioned genius of this scientist; Newton is undoubtedly one of the most important contributors to modern science. It is meant only to demonstrate that creationists are in the habit of using only specially selected pieces of information which support their point of view.

Mr. Bhulai ended his letter with the supposed conundrum: I win, I win; I lose, I lose. You win, you lose; you lose, you lose. This argument is hardly original; it is a rehash of Blaise Pascal's (1623- 1662) Argument of the wager:
If I wager for and God is-infinite gain;
If I wager for and God is not-no loss.
If I wager against and God is-infinite loss;
If I wager against and God is not-neither loss nor gain.
This is not a "conundrum" for evolutionists, as Mr. Bhulai posits. It is one for atheists (which I am not.) I have heard atheists respond that they will not live this life as a contingency plan for the next. They will not lose, they argue, because they will live this life to its fullest. They do not care for a promise of an afterlife from a book written by dubious sources and which, in this century, has been largely discredited.

The editor of the Stabroek News has taken the unusual step of publishing my private email address. I do not know why I was singled out for such exceptional treatment. My mailbox is now filled with all manner of psychotic rants including threats about my political views. I have blocked all incoming mail.

What Stabroek News has done is to encourage what is known on the Internet as "spamming," an act considered to be mischievous and childish. Those genuinely wishing to know more about the creation/evolution debate should write to the newspapers letters' columns where these debates are being carried on.

Yours faithfully,
Lutchman Gossai

Editor's note
We regret the publication of Mr Gossai's e-mail address. It must have followed his name in a letter and been left in by accident. We apologise for any inconvenience suffered.