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Kamil Gregor
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+Socka Count, +JD Kain Hi, could you share a link to the conversation between Matt Slick and a Roman Catholic priest you mentioned during the last TST? Thanks!

I've just found a hilarious bit of pseudo-science in Plato's Laws (789b-e): The Greeks knew that physical movement causes muscles to grow, but because they didn't understand the nature of this relation, they apparently thought that it's the movement itself which causes the growth – meaning that you'll become stronger even when you're being carried by a cart or a ship :D

Plato describes how gamecock trainers carry their birds in their hands and go on long walks because they believed that the movement will cause the birds to become stronger. "Thus clearly do they show to any observant person that all bodies benefit, as by a tonic, when they are moved by any kind of shaking or motion, whether they are moved by their own action—as in a swing or in a rowing-boat—or are carried along on horseback or by any other rapidly moving bodies."

Based on this faulty premise, Plato advises that in an ideal state, nurses should be forced under a penalty to constantly carry newborn babies around and even that pregnant women should take long walks because this will cause muscles of their unborn child to grow :D

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+alex malpass is back, my body is ready!

For those anxious for their fix of +alex malpass's Thoughtology, an episode on contemporary Platonism with Scott Berman from the University of St Louis will be released this weekend. Next week, Alex will be recording another episode!

For climate change deniers: You might also want to pick up a belief that underground deposits of natural resources replenish themselves over time as "wounds" inflicted to mountains by mining slowly heal.

This was popular in classical antiquity. For example, Pliny the Elder writes in his Natural History:

"And among the many other marvels of Italy herself is one reported by Papirius Faianus, a man very accomplished in natural science, that marble grows in quarries. The quarrymen also confirm that the wounds in the mountains are filled back in spontaneously. If these reports are true, there is hope that marble will never fall short of the demands of luxury."

This is what Greek historian Herodotos recorded about Thracian god Zalmoxis (Salmoxis) cca 440 BCE:

As I learn from the Greeks who inhabit the Hellespont and Pontus, this Salmoxis was once a man and was a slave in Samos, and he was owned by Pythagoras the son of Mnesarchus. He subsequently gained his freedom and acquired a great deal of money, after which he returned to his native land. The Thracians lived miserable lives and were rather witless, so Salmoxis, who was familiar with the Ionian lifestyle and a culture richer than that to be found in Thrace (he had after all associated with Greeks and among these Pythagoras, who was not the feeblest intellectual), constructed a men’s chamber. In this he entertained the chief of the townsmen and feasted them well. He taught them that neither he nor those that drank with him nor their descendants would die. Rather, they would come to a place where they would live forever and have all good things. While he was doing and saying these things, he was constructing an underground chamber. When he had completed it, he disappeared from the Thracians’ sight and, descending below into the underground chamber, he lived there for three years. They missed him and mourned for him as dead. In the fourth year he appeared again to the Thracians, and this is how they came to believe his claims. (The Histories 4.94–6)

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Another episode of Thoughtology by +alex malpass

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This comics present an interesting reductio ad absurdum of Pascal's wager:

Either you send Pascal all your money or you don't. If you send him all your money, he'll either send you even more money or he won't. The benefit of the former is greater than the loss of the later, therefore you should send Pascal all your money.
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