Sir Isaac Newton

and the

Law of Gravity


The history of science is strange indeed. Who would have thought that the falling of an apple would create a breakthrough in modern science? But so it was. On a fateful day in the seventeenth century, a young boy named Sir Isaac, for some unknown reason, decided to sit under an apple tree, whether to think or to sleep and just after he was settled there a large apple hanging perilously above his head loosen itself and plummeted down upon his head.

Surprise turning to anger, which Sir Isaac directed at the tree itself, he picked up an axe that by chance happened to be lying by the tree and with fury chopped at the base of the tree until it fell with a crash to the ground. Pleased with his work, and ascertaining that no apple on that tree could ever fall on his head again, he went back to sleep.

Shortly thereafter, however, Sir Isaac's father appeared on the scene and seeing the sylvan carnage before his view, woke young Sir Isaac and asked, "Son, know you whosoever choppethed down my apple tree?" To which Sir Isaac replied, "Father, I cannot tell a lie. I choppethed down that apple tree."

In his turn, Father Newton was filled with anger at his son's disregard for his property, and vowing to teach his son a lesson, he proceeded to break off a small limb from the fallen tree to make a switch.

At the moment, Sir Isaac began to understand the gravity of his situation, and he was fully cognizant of it once his father had finished laying down the law. It was at that historic moment that young Sir fully grasped, or perhaps received, the law of gravity. It was a lesson that he never forgot and for the betterment of science to be sure.

There may be some who do not believe this account of scientific discovery because they have heard another tale, for it is sometimes said that young George Washington choppethed down the tree and that the tree was not an apple tree, but rather a cherry tree.

This story is, to be sure, completely erroneous and should not be given any credence. It is completely implausible, since obviously, a cherry falling on someone's head could hardly inspire the level of wrath needed to dispatch a tree and discover the law of gravity.


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