A little known facet of Isaac Newton is that he also believed in Alchemy and wasted much of his life trying to make gold out of base metals.
Early in his life he was a brilliant man but he became rather a dullard in his later life when he achieved a certain degree of power and became a hindrance to forward thinking academy of science members
http://www.alchemylab.com/isaac_newton.htmSir Isaac Newton, the famous seventeenth-century mathematician and scientist, though not generally known as an alchemist, practiced the art with a passion. Though he wrote over a million words on the subject, after his death in 1727, the Royal Society deemed that they were "not fit to be printed." The papers were rediscovered in the middle of the twentieth century and most scholars now concede that Newton was first an foremost an alchemist. It is also becoming obvious that the inspiration for Newton's laws of light and theory of gravity came from his alchemical work.
If one looks carefully, in the light of alchemical knowledge, at the definitive biography, Sir Isaac Newton by J. W. V. Sullivan, it is quite easy to realize the alchemical theories from which he was working. Sir Arthur Eddington, in reviewing this book, says: "The science in which Newton seems to have been chiefly interested, and on which he spent most of his time was alchemy. He read widely and made innumerable experiments, entirely without fruit so far as we know." One of his servants records: "He very rarely went to bed until two or three of the clock, sometimes not till five or six, lying about four or five hours, especially at springtime or autumn, at which time he used to employ about six weeks in his laboratory, the fire scarce going out night or day. What his aim might be I was unable to penetrate into." The answer is that Newton's experiments were concerned with nothing more or less than alchemy. (from Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored by A. Cockren)
As a practicing alchemist, Newton spent days locked up in his laboratory, and not a few have suggested that he finally succeeded in transmuting lead into gold. Perhaps that explains one of the oddest things about his life. At the height of his career, instead of accepting a professorship at Cambridge, he was appointed Director of the Mint with the responsibility of securing and accounting for England's repository of gold.
In fact, Newton -- the revered founder of modern science and the mechanistic universe -- also ranks as one of the greatest spiritual alchemists of all time. In his The Religion of Isaac Newton (Oxford 1974), F.E. Manuel concluded: "The more Newton's theological and alchemical, chronological and mythological work is examined as a whole corpus, set by the side of his science, the more apparent it becomes that in his moments of grandeur he saw himself as the last of the interpreters of God's will in actions, living on the fulfillment of times."
You have to take the good with the bad when it comes to geniuses.