Isaac Newton once said that anyone who spends a lot of time thinking has to believe in God. And Newton is famous as a man of thought. He is credited with developing what is now known as classical mechanics -- which explains the basic foundations of motion -- and with "discovering" gravity. But what England's most famous mathematician devoted much of his life to may surprise those who think of Newton exclusively as a physicist or mathematician. The fact is, Newton was more interested in religion than anything else, and it showed: Newton spent countless hours researching and writing about Christianity and faith. But he didn't necessarily agree with all church doctrine. He devoted years of his life to trying to finding out the real truth about God, Jesus, and other Christian beliefs through meticulous study of ancient manuscripts. His plan was to eventually publish a five-volume account of his work and discoveries, but he died before he could complete it to his satisfaction.
- Isaac Newton didn't "discover" gravity because an apple dropped on his head, but he might have seen one fall from a tree, piquing his curiosity.
- Isaac Newton served in Parliament but allegedly spoke only once, to ask a colleague to close a window.
- Stephen Hawking, Paul Dirac and computer pioneer Charles Babbage have all held the same post at the University of Cambridge that Isaac Newton held in the mid-17th century.