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A former IT type, nowadays a part-time professor of scientific philosophy, says he has cracked a "hidden mathematical musical code" in the works of the famous ancient Greek savant Plato.

According to Dr Jay Kennedy, a visiting scholar at Manchester uni, his discovery "shows us how to combine science and religion", perhaps putting an end to "today's culture wars" between irritable god-botherers and strident atheists. Indeed Kennedy says his work will "revolutionise the history of the birth of Western thought".

"Basically I cracked the code," adds the doc. "I have shown rigorously that the books do contain codes and symbols...

"This is a true discovery, not simply reinterpretation.

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

Dr Kennedy tells us that his early studies were in "mathematics and computers", followed by a PhD in philosophy. He says he put himself through university by repairing computers, in fact. Nowadays, "my partner has a job which requires frequent travel, and so I am the primary caregiver for Lily and John and teach part-time".

Having become an academic, Dr Kennedy has specialised in such fields as history of mathematics, philosophy of science, "primitive pseudo-sciences" and "the numerology and music theory which was at the heart of early Pythagoreanism".

Having carried out mathematical and musical analysis of Plato's writings, Kennedy contends that they are organised as precisely calculated works of music. He says this was intended to convey "the radical idea that the universe is controlled not by the gods on Olympus but by mathematical and scientific law". According to the doc, this idea would get you in severe trouble with the old-time Greek priesthood, hence the hidden code.

"After [Plato's mentor] Socrates was executed for sowing doubts about Greek religion, Plato had every reason to hide his commitment to a scientific view of the cosmos," states Kennedy.

There are actually some different interpretations of why Socrates was handed a drink of hemlock by the jurors of old Athens - a lot of people would say his apparent admiration of the Spartan victors in the Peloponnesian War and his constant public criticism of Athenian "democratic" politics had much to do with it.

But no matter. Kennedy goes on to say that in any event, Plato was no Dawkins-style god basher. While he recognised that the universe was bound by laws written in ancient Greek musico-maths, not the whim of stroppy superbeings up a mountain, he - according to the doc - acknowledged a higher power:

For Plato, the beauty and order inherent in mathematical law meant its source was divine (a Pythagorean version of modern deism). Plato may light a middle way through today's culture wars.

The doc goes on to day that this is vital stuff:

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.

The idea that classical philosophy is the foundation of all Western thought is a very common one, especially among those who have studied the classics, though it has been on the wane the last fifty years or so. A lot of people nowadays would give the scholars of the Renaissance a higher ranking relative to the Ancients than they themselves did.

Then, the notion that Shakespeare is a greater popular hero than the armoured Henry V whose name he made to shine so bright - or other stainless warrior knights like Galahad or Roland before him, or the Jedi after - is perhaps more curious. Anyway, even the ancients tended to turn away from Plato now and again to a rattling good tale of arms and the man, or love and war.

Plato himself may have a warning for Kennedy and his search for mathematical meaning in the texts:

A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. [Laches/Courage]

Even so, Kennedy's paper will no doubt give rise to a lot of cheery academic debate, which people will be able to join in without actually having to learn any very hard maths. So it should be very popular.

There's loads more detail for those wanting to join in here, courtesy of Dr K. ®

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