Even what was first known about the comparatively consoling symmetry of the solar system, with its nonetheless evident tendency to instability and entropy, upset Sir Isaac Newton enough to make him propose that god intervened every now and then to put the orbits back on an even keel. This exposed him to teasing from Leibniz, who asked why god couldn't have got it right the first time.I'm curious where this account comes from. I have looked at various quotes and stories concerning the various Newton-Leibniz (and Newton-Hooke) arguments, but nothing about this particular item has surfaced...
Monday, 29 December 2008
Questions from reading "God is not Great", by Christopher Hitchens