Thanks to the work of astronomer Edmond Halley, who had the famous comet named after him in 1758, comets became understood as a physical danger rather than a supernatural one, although Halley did try to reconcile his theories with Biblical scripture. He suggested in 1694 that the deluge in Genesis might have been caused by "the casual Choc of a Comet, or other transient Body". His contemporary William Whiston predicted that a similar comet would bring about the end of the world on 16 October 1736. At the end of the century, the French polymath Pierre-Simon Laplace observed: "To the terrors which the apparition of comets then inspired succeeded the apprehension, that of the great number which traverse the planetary system in all directions, one of them might overturn the earth." Laplace wrote that the consequences of a collision would indeed be disastrous but that one was extremely unlikely.