So, Dan Brown has been pipped to the post by a science historian, one Dr. Jay Kennedy. Kennedy has discovered a code in the works of Plato that reveal that Plato anticipated the scientific revolution long before those blasted Enlightenment figures, yadda yadda yadda.
The paper he has published contains such gems as:
Stichometric analyses find unexpected evidence for Pythagoreanism in the dialogues themselves, and thereby develop a pregnant argument made by Sayre.
Since intentions are, strictly speaking, inaccessible, we can at best enumerate candidate motivations.
Finding codes in ancient works is a, well, not respected activity, but a common one, especially when people want to confirm a certain hypothesis they hold dear. Most researchers fail, in these circumstances, to attempt to falsify their hypotheses. They find enough relevant similarities between the work they are decoding and the explanatory hypothesis that such a code should be present to bolster their claim but, and this is important, they often ignore (by simply not looking for) the relevant dissimilarities.
Now, admittedly, I have not read the paper fully and it may well turn out that Dr. Kennedy has actually found proof of a deep and hidden Pythagorean code in the works if Plato, but even if he has, the Burden of Proof still rests upon him to provide further evidence of his extraordinary claim.
I really must get back to work. Really.
Update: I’ve now had a chance to look over the paper and it’s not quite the breathless argument that, for example, the University of Manchester and Slashdot made it out to be. The methodology looks good and the analysis is interesting. I’m still suspicious about the explanatory hypothesis at its heart, if only because the claim that codes exist in texts is easy to claim but hard to ever properly substantiate (without an admission from the texts’ author) and, thus, I await the reply articles I suspect will be published in the wake of Kennedy’s paper to see what the rest of his peer group thinks of his novel thesis.