13. Newton’s Optics

I’ve just finished reading selections from another work by Sir Isaac Newton, Optics, guided by what Mortimer J. Adler and Peter Wolff say about it in Foundations of Science and Mathematics, Reading Plan 3 of Encyclopedia Britannica’s The Great Ideas Program (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1960). In the Reading Plan Mortimer J. Adler and Peter Wolff (I) compare the methods used by Newton in Mathematical Principles and Optics; (II) examine the law of reflection and the law of refraction; (III) consider the corpuscular and wave theories of light; and (IV) pose and discuss three questions. Here I’ll compare the methods used by Newton (summarizes I), outline the parts of Optics assigned for reading in Foundations of Science and Mathematics (includes II and III), compare the corpuscular and wave theories of light (summarizes III), and pose the questions asked in IV. For a sketch of Newton’s life see https://opentheism.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/12-newtons-mathematical-principles-of-natural-philosophy/.

The Methods Used by Newton
Both of the works of Newton considered in my readings from Great Books of the Western World, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (https://opentheism.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/12-newtons-mathematical-principles-of-natural-philosophy/) and Optics, follow the pattern of Euclid’s Elements (https://opentheism.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/1-2-euclids-elements/): they begin with definitions, axioms, and postulates and then they present a series of propositions. However they differ considerably from each other in method. Mathematical Principles is a work in mathematical physics, characterized by the mathematical development of certain tentative formulations. Optics is a work in experimental physics, characterized by the experimental development of certain general principles.
All three works employ axioms, but they are of different kinds. The axioms in Elements are self-evident truths that are universally applicable. The axioms in Mathematical Principles state the very general Laws of Motion, which form the basis of the entire science of dynamics. The axioms in Optics just state what was generally accepted in the science of optics around the year 1700.
All three works present propositions, but again they are of different kinds. The propositions in Elements and Mathematical Principles state conclusions that are to be demonstrated from general principles. Optics state principles that have been found as the result of making experiments and observations and drawing general conclusions from them by induction.
[The above is based on part I of Adler and Wolff’s guide to Optics (Foundations of Science and Mathematics, pages 181-184).]

This is an outline of the parts of Optics assigned for reading in Foundations of Science and Mathematics: Book I, Part I, Definitions, Axioms, Propositions 1-2; Book III, Part I, Queries 27-31.DEFINITIONS
Newton defines eight terms. If I use a term which you don’t know the meaning of, please ask me its meaning and if it’s a term which Newton defines, I’ll give you his definition of it.AXIOMS
Newton gives eight axioms. I’ll give here just the three which Adler and Wolff explain or refer to in Part II of their guide to Optics (Foundations of Science and Mathematics, pages 184-186).
II. The angle of reflexion is equal to the angle of incidence.
IV. Refraction out of the rarer medium into the denser is made towards the perpendicular; that is, so that the angle of refraction be less than the angle of incidence.
V. The sine of incidence is either accurately or very nearly in a given ratio to the sign of refraction.
Newton presents 39 propositions but only the first two are assigned for reading in Foundations of Science and Mathematics. They are:PROPOSITIONS
Newton presents 39 propositions but only the first two are assigned for reading in Foundations of Science and Mathematics. They are:
1. Lights which differ in colour, differ also in degrees of refrangibility. [Under Definitions, Newton defines refrangibility of rays of light as “their disposition to be refracted or turned out of their way in passing out of one transparent body or medium into another” (Optics in Great Books of the Western World, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952, volume 34, page 379).]
2. The light of the Sun consists of rays differently refrangible.
In conjunction with presenting the 39 propositions, Newton makes 38 observations. After making them, he planned to repeat most of them and to make more to determine how rays of light are bent in their passage by bodies. However he was interrupted and instead proposed some queries to assist others in their search. The last five of his 31 queries are assigned for reading in Foundations of Science and Mathematics. They are:
27. Are not all hypotheses erroneous which have hitherto been invented for explaining the phenomena of light, by new modifications of the rays?
28. Are not all hypotheses erroneous in which light is supposed to consist in pressure or motion, propagated through a liquid fluid?
29. Are not the rays of light very small bodies emitted from shining substances?
30. Are not gross bodies and light convertible into one another, and may not bodies receive much of their activity from the particles of light which enter their composition?
31. Have not the small particles of bodies certain powers, virtues, or forces, by which they act at a distance, not only upon the rays of light for reflecting, refracting, and inflecting them, but also upon one another for producing a great part of the phenomena of Nature?
Adler and Wolff consider these queries in their III, which I summarize below.

The Corpuscular and Wave Theories of Light
In Query 29 (see above) Newton refers to the corpuscular theory of light, adding, “For such bodies will pass through uniform mediums in rights lines without bending into the shadow, which is the nature of the rays of light.” Adler and Wolff observe that this characteristic of light is easily explained by the corpuscular theory of light but gives some difficulty to its great rival, the wave theory of light, which will be encountered in the next reading in this series.
One consequence of the corpuscular theory is that light travels more swiftly in a denser than in a rarer medium. However according to the wave theory light travels more rapidly in a rarer medium than in a denser one. In 1850 Foucault performed an experiment which showed that the speed of light is greater in air than in water, thus supporting the wave theory. However since then additional phenomena have been discovered which cannot be reconciled with the wave theory. Thus the nature of light is still in doubt.

Questions about the Reading
1. What is the method employed by Newton to prove the axioms in the Optics?
2. How does the law of refraction explain the bent appearance of a stick in water?
3. Are there any practical consequences of the different refrangibility [capability of being refracted] of light rays of different color?


God’s Plan for Man — Supplement Four (for Lessons Seven and Eight)

In our after-breakfast study of Finis Jennings Dake’s God’s Plan for Man (Lawrence, Georgia: Dake Publishing, 1949) this morning, my family and I finished considering Supplement Four, which follows Lessons Seven and Eight. Lesson Seven had been on the rebellion and overthrow of the first social system (the one ruled over by the angel Lucifer), and Lesson Eight had been on the re-creation of the Earth. Supplement Four considers three ways in which saints add to the glory of Lucifer, whom we call Satan) and ten miscellaneous Bible questions.
This report consists of brief summaries of what Dake says about the three ways, supplemented in square brackets by comments from our discussion or by me personally. Biblical quotations are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.

I. Saints Add to Satan’s Glory by Giving in to Him
1. Saints glorify Satan through unbelief. Most believers discourage others from expecting too much from God, telling them to be satisfied what the Heavenly Father sees fit to give. Some even argue that miracles, healings, gifts, and supernatural and inspirational powers were for the apostles only and not for us today. We must believe the Gospel’s promises of such benefits if we are going to attain them. [We agreed with Dake.]
2. Saints glorify Satan through fear of sickness, pain, trouble, and death. Satan gets people to think about sickness, failure, etc.; their thinking about such conditions leads them to talk about them; and soon the conditions materialize. [We agreed only partly with Dake, our agreeing that thinking about sin produces sin but not agreeing that thinking about sickness produces sickness.] Think right thoughts and you will have no acts that you will regret. [We agreed with Dake on this.]
3. Saints glorify Satan by giving in to him in times of temptation. No sin is committed until lust hath conceived and sin is finished (James 1:13-15). People under attack from demons should resist the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9). [We agreed with Dake.]
4. Saints glorify Satan by permitting him to keep them sick. No child of God has to be sick or stay sick (Psalms 91; Matthew 8:16-17; Matthew 21:21-22; John 15:7; Romans 8:11.). Christ came to destroy the works of the devil and give life more abundantly, and those who do not permit Him to complete this work in them are causing the work of Christ to be a failure in them (John 10:10; 1 John 3:8; Acts 10:38) and thus glorify Satan more than they glorify God. [Although we agreed with Dake that Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, we didn’t agree with him that the passages which he cited show that those who don’t ask for and receive healing are causing the work of Christ to be a failure in them.]
5. Saints glorify Satan by permitting him to rob them of the wonderful material benefits promised them by God. If God has promised and provided material blessings for all men, particularly His own children, then all believers can have these blessings. If they do not receive them, it is not God’s fault but their fault for permitting themselves to be defeated by Satan. The following passages prove that natural blessings are promised every child of God: Psalms 1:3; Proverbs 3:9-10; Malachi 3:10-11; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6; 3 John 2. [Although we agreed with Dake that God promises and provides material blessings for believers, we felt that Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane suggests that we should qualify our requests to God with the provision that He provide just what is in accordance with His will.]

II. Saints Add to Satan’s Glory by Advertising His Works and Magnifying His Power
1. Saints add to Satan’s glory by being living testimonies of the power of Satan. If sickness, sin, defeat, poverty, and failure in life are the works of the devil, then when these things are manifest in the life in the lives of people who claim to be Christians, they glorify Satan more than God. [See my comment on I, 4, above.]
2. Saints add to the glory of Satan by being his tools at times. In Matthew 16:21-23 Christ rebuked Peter for allowing Satan to influence him to try and stop Jesus from going to the cross. Every time a believer takes part in any division, strife, malice, hatred, or wrongdoing, he is being used by satanic powers.
3. Saints add to Satan’s glory when they propagate false doctrines. Any doctrine that is in the least out of harmony with revealed truth should not be tolerated in the life of a child of God. [Although we agreed with Dake on this, we observed that genuine Christians may disagree on what the Bible reveals, noting that Dake himself held some unorthodox beliefs.]

III. Saints Add to Satan’s Glory by Failing God in Life and Work
1. Every excuse for unbelief and every argument that throws any reflection on God’s will for the best good of all creation is helping Satan keep men in unbelief and bondage to sin, sickness, poverty, and failure in life.
2. All failure in trusting God in times of temptation, sickness, trial, and suffering and all insinuations that God is responsible for these things rob God of man’s respect and add to Satan’s glory.
3. Unconcern for lost souls, failure to live and walk in the Spirit and thus live victorious over sin, disease, and failure in life, and disobedience to God in not coveting the best gifts and the endowment of power for service, all help build up the kingdom of Satan.

Hindrances to Answered Prayer and How to Overcome Them
The hindrances to answered prayer are Satan, demons, fallen angels, doubt, unbelief, and false doctrines among Christians concerning God and answered prayer.
https://opentheism.wordpress.com/2019/06/08/gods-plan-for-man-the-doctrine-of-satan/, 11, tells how to overcome Satan. Review it and doggedly carry out the instructions given in Scripture on this point. Above all, be careful that you have Scripture to prove every part of your faith and every detail of doctrine, and then it will be truth that will set free.

9. Montaigne’s The Essays

I’ve finally read another selection assigned in Religion and Theology, Reading Plan 4 of Encyclopedia Britannica’s The Great Ideas Program—Michel de Montaigne’s The Essays. It was my second look at a selection of Montaigne’s essays in my current reading from The Great Books of the Western World guided by The Great Ideas Program. The first was when I was working through Reading Plan 1, A General Introduction to the Great Books and to a Liberal Education. I introduced my report on that reading with this quotation from The New Encyclopedia Britannica: “In the 20th century, [Montaigne] is fully recognized in all his aspects as a great writer, and his public is worldwide. Most of his readers see him as friend, mentor, and master of the essay, of the ‘art of being truthful,’ and of the art of living.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1974, volume 12, page 396)
In Religion and Theology Mortimer J. Adler and Seymour Cain comment on three of Montaigne’s essays [I – XXXI on judging divine ordinances, I – LVI on prayers (their commenting separately on what he says in it about prayers and on what he says in it about the reading and the translation of the Bible), and II – XIX on liberty of conscience] and consider four questions about what he says in them. Here I’ll sketch Montaigne’s life, comment on the three essays guided by what Adler and Cain say about them, and pose the questions that Adler and Cain consider.

Michel de Montaigne

Montaigne was born Michel Eyquem on February 28, 1533, in the Château of Montaigne near Bordeaux. His father was a prosperous merchant and lord of the seigneury of Montaigne, and his mother was descended from a family of Spanish Jews that had recently converted to Catholicism. He was their third son, but by the death of his older brothers became heir to the estate.
Montaigne was brought up gently and until he was six was taught to speak only Latin. At that age he was sent to the Collège de Guyenne in Bordeaux. After seven disappointing years there, he studied law at Toulouse. In 1554 his father obtained a position for him in a new tax court in Bordeaux. In 1557 the court was abolished and its members were absorbed into one of the regional bodies that composed the Parlement of France, the king’s highest court of justice.
In 1565 Montaigne married Françoise de La Chassaigne, whose father was also a member of the the Parlement of Bordeaux. Although fond of women, he accepted marriage unenthusiastically as a social duty. However he lived on excellent terms with his wife and bestowed some pains on the education of their daughter, Léonore, the only one of six children to survive infancy.
In 1568 Montaigne’s father died, leaving him the lord of Montaigne. Two years later he sold his Parlement position, abandoned the name of Eyquem, and retired to his estate, intending to collect his ideas and write. While there (1571-1580) he wrote the first two books of the Essays, which were published in 1580 at Bordeaux.
The year after publishing the Essays Montaigne left the estate for extensive travel determined to find relief from internal disorders that had been troubling him. In 1581 while he was at La Villa in Italy, he learned that he had been elected mayor of Bordeaux. Returning there he served as mayor efficiently and was re-elected to a second term, which ended in 1585. He again retired to Montaigne but shortly after was driven from his estate by the plague.
Montaigne had begun revising the Essays almost immediately after their publication, perfecting their form and added new ones. While in Paris in 1588, he supervised the publication of the fifth edition of the Essays, the first to contain Book III. However he continued working on the Essays after returning to his estate, not writing any new books or chapters but adding numerous passages.
Sometime after returning to his estate in 1588, Montaigne was stricken with quinsy, which brought about a paralysis of the tongue. On the evening of September 13, 1592, he had his wife call together some of his neighbours so that he might bid them farewell. He requested mass to be said in his room and died while it was being said. He was 59.
The above is taken from the report which I made on the first selection of essays that I read from The Essays, https://opentheism.wordpress.com/2017/12/08/9-montaignes-the-essays/.

The Essays

On Judging Divine Ordinances
Montaigne classes as tellers of fables those who attribute reasons to God for the occurrence of our good and evil fortune, observing, “God, being pleased to show us, that the good have something else to hope for and the wicked something else to fear, than the fortunes or misfortunes of this world, manages and applies these according to His own occult will and pleasure, and deprives us of the means foolishly to make thereof their own profit. And those people abuse themselves who will pretend to dive into these mysteries by the strength of human reason.” (The Essays, in Great Books of the Western World, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952, volume 25, page 98). Adler and Cain agree with Montaigne, commenting, “From the religious point of view, the best thing is to accept whatever happens as the will of God, without presuming to know the inscrutable divine purposes and meanings behind events” (Religion and Theology, in The Great Ideas Program, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1961, volume 4, page 146). I also agree with Montaigne, but I don’t agree with Adler and Cain that everything that happens is the will of God.

On Prayers
Montaigne encourages the use of the Lord’s Prayer and discourages our praying while our souls are impure and our praying for God’s help in our endeavours without considering whether what we want is just. Regarding the former, he notes that the Lord’s Prayer was the only prayer that he used regularly. Regarding the latter, he observes, “He who calls God to his assistance whilst in a course of vice, does as if a cut purse should call a magistrate to help him, or like those who introduce the name of God to the attestation of a lie” (The Essays, page 156). In agreeing with Mointaigne, Adler and Cain emphasize that prayer is a spiritual matter, concluding, “It is our whole life that attests to our devotion, repentance, at-one-ness with God. God finds the sacrifice of a contrite heart more pleasing than a stockyard full of burnt offerings or other outward show” (Religion and Theology, page 147). I also agree with Montaigne (and with Adler and Cain).
Midway in the essay, Montaigne comments on the increasing availability of the Bible. He criticizes the casual reading of it and affirms that only select people should study it and write about religion, observing, “A pure and simple ignorance and wholly depending upon the exposition of qualified persons, was far more learned and salutary than this vain and verbal knowledge [of ordinary people from translations into their own language], which has only proved the nurse of temerity and presumption” (The Essays, page 154). Adler and Cain observe that Montaigne was just supporting the policy of the Roman Catholic Church of his day and further on (in the questions about the reading; see below) consider whether ordinary believers can understand the Bible.

On Liberty of Conscience
Montaigne opens this essay by observing that in the current religious civil war good intentions resulted in vicious effects. He devotes most of the essay to a consideration of the noble qualities of Julian the Apostate, the Roman Emperor who renounced the Christian faith and tried to restore paganism. On the topic, he points out that although Julian allowed freedom of religion to inflame dissension between Christians with different beliefs so that they wouldn’t unite against him and paganism, the princes of Montaigne’s day allowed it to lessen dissension and thus to encourage peace, concluding, “I think that it is better for the honour of the devotion of our kings, that not having been able to do what they would [establish that the religion of country must follow that of its ruler, according to Adler and Cain], they have made a show of being willing to do what they could” (The Essays, page 326). Besides summarizing the essay, Adler and Cain observe regarding its focus on Julian, “Montaigne sees Julian as the prime example of the Christian tendency to approve all emperors who were pro-Christian and to condemn completely all emperors who were anti-Christian. Montaigne demonstrates that it is possible to give a perceptive and honest account of a man whom he considers ‘wrong throughout’ in religious matters” (Religion and Theology, page 149). I agree with them.

Questions about the Reading

1. Is religion, for Montaigne, a purely spiritual matter, without relation to the everyday, empirical world?
2. Does prayer have any effect?
3. How does Montaigne regard the social effect of religion?
4. Can ordinary believers understand the Bible?

The Seventh Day—God Rests and God’s Plan for Man

The last two mornings my family and I considered what Finis Jennings Dake says his God’s Plan for Man (Lawrence, Georgia: Dake Publishing, 1949), which we’re studying in our after breakfast Bible reading time, about God’s day of rest after the six days of creation described in Genesis 1 and about His purpose in restoring the Earth and His plan for it.

VIII. The Seventh Day of Rest (Gen. 2:1-3)

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
The seventh day was a day of rest for God, not that He needed rest, but because His work of restoring the Earth and its inhabitants was finished.

The order of all the Creative Ages is as follows:
1. The original creation and perfection of the heavens and the Earth all things therein as when Lucifer ruled before the six days (Gen. 1:1).
2. The Earth part of the creation made chaos and imperfect and all life destroyed in the Earth because of Lucifer’s rebellion (Gen. 1:2).
3. The restoration of the Earth to perfection and the creation of new life to take the place of that which was destroyed (Gen. 1:3-2:25).
[The above is based on Dake’s version of the gap theory of creation. For summaries of it and two other popular theories of creation, see https://opentheism.wordpress.com/2019/06/17/gods-plan-for-man-supplement-three-creation-theories/.%5D

IX. Why the Earth Was Restored to a Habitable State
The Earth was restored to a habitable state because God had originally intended that ut should be inhabited. “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18).
God had started with a purpose that the Earth be established by free moral agents to whom He could reveal Himself and show the riches of His grace, and who would serve Him of free choice, and He continued the original purpose by making a new creation when the old one had to be destroyed.

X. God’s Plan for the New Social System on Earth
God’s plan for the new social system was the same as it was for the first social system—that all free wills consecrate themselves to the highest good of being and of the universe.
God planned to make the new creation an example to all angelic powers (Eph, 3:10-11; 1 Cor. 4:9). He planned to manifest His grace and goodness to man and make him ruler of all the Earth (Ps. 8:3-7). He planned that man should be faithful to his responsibility if he so desired and that he should be greatly rewarded and continue to rule over all or, if he failed, he should be punished according to the law. He also planned redemption for man should he fall.
[Dake expands on God’s plan for Adam, quoting Genesis 1:26-29; 2:15-17 and from Psalms 8:3-9, and on His plan for man under the title “Adam the New Ruler of the Earth.” Although my family and I read and discussed the entire exposition, I’m including here only its concluding paragraph. It follows.]
“If man would only realize the future that can be his, if he would simply submit to God and lay down his arms of rebellion, there would be few, if any, but what would wholeheartedly surrender to God and conform to His eternal will. But because the devil keeps man occupied with trifling and temporary things and makes him think that there may not be a future, he causes man to neglect God and the essentials of life and by so doing causes man to be cut off from his rightful inheritance in Christ. If one chooses to have nothing to do with God and His plan for man, the God has planned to separate him from society and carry on His eternal purpose with those who will choose a part in the plan.” (Dake, page 141)

12. Newton’s Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

“Occasionally in the history of thought there occurs a moment when some man or some book shatters preceding tradition by a great leap. Such a moment certainly occurred with the publication of Newton’s Mathematical Principles” (Mortimer J. Adler and Peter Wolff, Foundations of Science and Mathematics, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1960, page 161). I’ve just finished reading the passages in that work assigned for reading in Foundations of Science and Mathematics, Reading Plan 3 of Encyclopedia Britannica’s The Great Ideas Program.
In the Reading Plan Mortimer J. Adler and Peter Wolff (I) quote tributes paid to Sir Isaac Newton by the astronomer Edmund Halley and the poet Alexander Pope; (II) summarize Newton’s accomplishments; (III) discuss the characteristics of Newton’s method; (IV) discuss some of the characteristic concepts of Newton’s physics; and (V) pose and discuss three questions. Here I’ll sketch Newton’s life, outline the passages in Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy assigned for reading in Foundations of Science and Mathematics, and pose the questions asked in V.

Sir Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day, 1642, in the English town of Woolsthorpe. His father, a farmer, died a few months before his birth. In 1645 his mother remarried and left him with his maternal grandmother at Woolsthorpe. In 1656 his stepfather died and his mother returned to Woolsthrope to take care of the farm. She took Isaac out of school and brought him home so that he could prepare himself to manage the farm. However before long she realized that he wasn’t suited for farm life and sent him back to school. In 1661 he entered Trinity College in Cambridge University, and he graduated in 1665.
Newton wanted to stay on at the university to continue his studies but it was closed because of the Black Plague and he returned to Woolsthorne. In the eighteen months that he was there, he conducted experiments in optics and chemistry and continued his mathematical speculations. During the time he hit upon a new mathematical tool, now called calculus; began working out the law of attraction between all objects in the universe, the law of gravitation; and experimented with light, succeeding in showing that a beam of sunlight is made up of bands of colour from red to violet which he called the spectrum.
After the plague ended Newton returned to Cambridge and continued working on light and colour. This work led to the discovery of the reflecting telescope. In recognition of his work in mathematics and optics (the science of light), he was appointed professor of mathematics at Trinity College in 1669. Although he experimented mainly with optics, his mind always returned to the problem of gravitation. Finally he completed the mathematics of the laws of gravitation Using this law, in 1682 he proved mathematically a law of planetary motion that had been figured out by the astronomer Johannes Kepler in the early 1660’s. Encouraged by friends, in 1685 he plunged into the task of writing a book explaining his work on planetary motion, gravitation, and other matters. The book, The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, appeared in 1687 and “is not only Newton’s masterpiece but also the fundamental work for the whole of modern science” (“Newton, Sir Isaac,” Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1974, volume 13, page 19).
In 1696 Newton was appointed Warden of the Mint and, although he didn’t resign his Cambridge appointments until 1701, he moved to London and from then on centred his life there. He was made Master of the Mint in 1699, became president of the Royal Society in 1703, and was knighted in 1705. When he died in 1727 (March 20), he was buried in Westminster Abbey, among the great men of England. A statue of him stands today in the hall of Trinity College, Cambridge University.

Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

[Newton defines the quantity of matter, the quantity of motion, the vis insita or inertia of matter, an impressed force, a centripetal force, the absolute quantity of a centripetal force, and the accelerative quantity of a centripetal force; and he distinguishes between absolute and relative time, absolute and relative space, absolute and relative place, and absolute and relative motion.]

LAW I. Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it.
LAW II. The change of motion is proportional to the motive force impressed; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impressed.
LAW III. To every action there is always an equal reaction: or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.
[Newton also gives six corollaries to the three laws of motion and a scholium, but I didn’t work through them.]

RULE I. We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.
RULE II. Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes.
RULE III. The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intensification nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiences, are tio be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.
RULE IV. In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either may be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.
[Adler and Wolff call these the rules of simplicity, consilience, empiricism, and induction. They observe that Rules 1 and 2 are so closely related that they might almost have been combined into one rule and that Rules 3 and 4 also belong closely together with Rule 4 just reaffirming Rule 3.]

[Newton summarizes the motions of the sun, planets, moons, and comets.] This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.… This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God. [Newton considers the attributes of this God.]
Hitherto we have explained the phenomena of the heavens and of our sea by the power of gravity…but hitherto I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phenomena, and I frame no hypothesis. [Adler and Wolff maintain that Newton does make hypotheses in the sense of tentative formulations to be explored mathematically and verified or disproved by experiment but agree that he doesn’t make them in the sense of fictional explanations such as nature’s abhorring a vacuum.]

Questions about the Reading

1. How does Newton describe his method of reasoning? [see RULES OF REASONING IN PHILOSOPHY above.]
2. Does Newton continue the “Keplerian revolution”?
3. How does Newton distinguish between absolute and relative motion?

The Work of the Six Days

The last two mornings my family and I considered the work that God did in the six days of creation in Genesis 1:3-31 guided by what Finis Jennings Dake says about them in his God’s Plan for Man (Lawrence, Georgia: Dake Publishing, 1949), which we’re studying in our after breakfast Bible reading time. Dake’s describing things as being restored instead of as being created follows from his view that Genesis 1:2 refers to God’s flooding the Earth after its ruler, Lucifer, rebelled against Him. Other Bible scholars view Genesis 1:3-31 as describing the original creation referred to in Genesis 1:1.

II. The Work of the First Day—Light Restored (Gen. 1:3-5)

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (KJV; all Biblical quotations are from the KJV unless otherwise specified)

The work of the first day was the restoration of light and the division of light and darkness on Earth as it had been when Lucifer ruled and before the curse of total darkness on the Earth in Genesis 1:2. “Let” denotes permission, not creation, and indicates that God is permitting judgment to cease and the sun, moon, and stars to shine on the Earth again as they had when God created them in the beginning.

III. The Work of the Second Day—Firmament Restored (Genesis 1:6-8)

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

The work of the second day is the restoration of the firmament or clouds to hold the waters again that had fallen on the Earth to cause the flood of Genesis 1:2. The firmament had been created in the beginning to hold moisture to water the Earth (Job 38:25-28) and in Day 2 was restored to its original purpose. This was done by making, not creating, the clouds.

IV. The Work of the Third Day—Earth and Vegetation Restored (Genesis 1:9-13)

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

The work of the third day was the restoration of the Earth from being covered by water and the restoration of the vegetation that had grown on the Earth when Lucifer ruled before the chaos of Genesis 1:2. At the rebuke of God, the waters that had not been put in clouds on Day 2 fled and hasted away to go into the low places of the Earth. God then set bounds around the waters that they should be confined from covering the Earth (Psalm 104:5-9).
When the dry land appeared vegetation could be planted and grown for the sun was already shining. The purpose of the vegetation was to sustain life on the restored Earth. In all likelihood, the life germ in seeds was destroyed in the chaotic period of Genesis 2. Thus all vegetation on the restored Earth would be absolutely new, as is stated in Genesis 2:5, “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.”

V. The Work of the Fourth Day—Solar Regulation Restored (Genesis 1:14-19)

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

The work of the fourth day was the restoration of the solar system in connection with the restored Earth. The sun, moon, and stars had given light on the Earth and regulated times and seasons through the rule of Lucifer, but in the curse of Genesis 2 they had been withdrawn from shining on the Earth. Here God commanded them to renew their original creative purpose. Some translations read, “God had made two great luminaries…and God had fixed them,” indicating that God had created them before the fourth day. [The passage raises the question of whether the sun, moon, and stars were created on the first day or on the fourth day. Dake’s explanation is a common one. Another explanation is that they were created on the first day but not given a purpose until the fourth day.]

VI. The Work of the Fifth Day—Fish and Fowls Restored (Genesis 1:20-23)

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

The work of the fifth day was the creation and formation of new sea animals and fowls. In this passage we have the second creative act [bara, “created” being used as in 1:1 instead of asah, “made” between 1:1 and 1:21]. Between the two creations God merely restores the day and night, firmament, the Earth and vegetation, and solar regulation. Now, having fixed the realms where fish and fowls were to live, He creates them and makes them to reproduce their own kind and live according to certain laws. [Another explanation of the use of bara here is that it indicates the beginning of a new stage in Creation, the creation of living beings.]

VII. The Work of the Sixth Day—Land Animals and Man Restored (Genesis 1:24-31)

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

The work of the sixth day was the creation and formation of new land animals and man to take the place of the animals and inhabitants of the Earth when it was ruled over by Lucifer, the naming of all things by Adam, and the giving of commands by God to the new creation. The bodies of man and all animals were formed out of the dust and the life was created (Genesis 2:7,19).
Genesis 1 states what God is and some things as to how He created and made all new things, and Genesis 2 goes into more detail telling how He did the work of forming and creating man and animals and the planting of a garden; that is, it explains more fully the work of Days 3, 5, and 6.
[Just as verses 11 and 12 attributed the production of vegetation to the land, verse 24 attributes the production of animals to it. However verse 25 observes that God made the animals. John H. Sailhamer comments, “Vegetation was produced from the land, but the living creatures were made by God himself. Life stems from God and is to be distinguished from the rest of the physical world” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1990, volume 2, page 37).]

Are the Six Days of Gen. 1 Literal Days?

The last two mornings my family and I considered the length of the six days of creation in Genesis 1:3-2:25. We began with “I. Are the Six Days of Gen. 1 Literal Days?” in Lesson 8: The Story of Re-creation (Gen. 1:3-2:25) of Finis Jennings Dake’s God’s Plan for Man (Lawrence, Georgia: Dake Publishing, 1949), which we’re studying in our after breakfast Bible reading time. In it Dake presents reasons why he thinks that the six days of Genesis 1 were literal 24-hour days. Next we read the reasons given in Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1994) why some people think that the six days were long periods of time.

Literal Days
Dake gives these reasons why he thinks that the six days of Genesis 1 were literal 24-hour days:
1. Each of the days in Genesis 1 ends with the expression “And the evening and the morning were the XXX day” (KJV; all Biblical quotations are from the KJV unless specified otherwise). The word “evening” is from the Hebrew ehred, meaning “dusk,” “evening,” or “night”; it is translated “evening” 49 times, but not once is it used in a figurative sense. The word “morning” is from the Hebrew boker, meaning “dawn,” “break of day,” “morning,” or “early light”; it is translated “morning 187 times, but not once is it used in a figurative sense.
2. Although “day,” which is used 2,182 times as a literal day, may refer to a prolonged period when it is qualified as “the day of the Lord” or “the day of God,” when it is used with qualifying words like “evening” and “morning” it can only be understood in the literal sense.
3. In Exodus 20:8-11 and 31:14-17 God told man to work the same length of time that it took God to do the work of Genesis 1:3-2:25, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
…. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.”
4. Our fundamental rule of Bible interpretation is to take the Bible literally wherein it is at all possible. When the language cannot be literal or when language states to the contrary, then the passage is figurative. Could not God do this work in six literal days as well as in 6,000 years?
5. If the idea is advanced that the days of Genesis could not be literal because the sun, moon, and stars had not yet been created to regulate days and nights, we reply that they had been created originally in the beginning when God created the heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1).
6. The 1,000-year-day theory is ridiculous in the light of facts. If it were true, then the waters remained on the Earth at least 1,000 years before they were divided, the Earth was desolate another 1,000 years before vegetation was planted, and vegetation was on Earth 1,000 years before the sun, moon, and stars were created. Here the question arises, “How could vegetation live so long without the sun?” [Dake gives more such “ridiculous” facts.]
7. Although some translations read “age” for “day,” that is incorrect.

Long Periods of Time
Grudem gives these reasons why some think that the six days were long periods of time:
1. The Hebrew word yom, “day,” is sometimes used to refer to a longer period of time than a 24-hour literal day. Examples are its use in Genesis 2:4; Job 20:28; Psalm 20:1; Proverbs 11:4, 21:31, 24:10, 15:13; Ecclesiastes 7:14; many passages referring to “the day of the Lord”; many passages predicting times of judgment and blessing.
2. The sixth day includes so many events that it must have been longer than twenty-four hours. It includes the creation of animals, the creation of man and woman, and the blessing of them.
3. The seventh day doesn’t conclude with “and the evening and the morning were the seventh day.” The text just says, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:2-3). This suggests that it never ended and thus is really a long period of time (cf. Hebrews 4:4, 9-10).

Dake’s belief that the six days of Genesis 1 were literal 24-hour days provides support for his belief in the gap theory of creation. The six days of Genesis 1 being long periods of time is essential to day age theory of creation. See https://opentheism.wordpress.com/2019/06/17/gods-plan-for-man-supplement-three-creation-theories/ for explanations of those theories of creation and the flood geology theory of creation.