The Plato Code

Paul Raven @ 29-06-2010

Another weird announcement from academia… one that comes with the possibility of a tie-in novel, a subsequent Tom Hanks cinema vehicle and a whole raft of poorly-moderated discussion forums populated by users with names like *HemlockSpitter77*. Dr Jay Kennedy at the University of Manchester has cracked the secret code in Plato’s writings[via SlashDot]!

Some highlights from the press release:

The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea – the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. The decoded messages also open up a surprising way to unite science and religion. The awe and beauty we feel in nature, Plato says, shows that it is divine; discovering the scientific order of nature is getting closer to God. This could transform today’s culture wars between science and religion.

That’s set my alarm bell to ringing… unless it’s the sound of bookstore cash registers I can hear.

Dr Kennedy explains: “Plato’s importance cannot be overstated. He shifted humanity from a warrior society to a wisdom society. Today our heroes are Einstein and Shakespeare – and not knights in shining armour – because of him.”

Yes; kind of; erm, not really.

Over the years Dr Kennedy carefully peeled back layer after symbolic layer, sharing each step in lectures in Manchester and with experts in the UK and US.

He recalls: “There was no Rosetta Stone. To announce a result like this I needed rigorous, independent proofs based on crystal-clear evidence.

“The result was amazing – it was like opening a tomb and finding new set of gospels written by Jesus Christ himself.

And there goes the Krank Klaxon. Awoooogah!

To be fair, I suppose it’s possible that there really is a code, and that Kennedy has ‘cracked’ it. Though I’m still inclined to think his theory is more likely a load of bollocks.

Best of all is the selection of Plato aphorisms included at the end of the press release for lazy science hacks, because it includes this aposite little gem:

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”

Maybe there’s a secret code in there for you, Dr Kennedy?