From Ask Metafilter: Did Pythagoras actually exist? It seems that a number of historians and mathematicians have argued that he was more of a mythological figure that led a cult of people, rather than an actual mathematician.

Also, while learning that a2 + b2 = c2, we definitely never learned that he founded a religion based on reincarnation and not eating beans. There’s an interesting mix of brilliance and lunacy with Pythagoras. From Wikipedia: “He was one of the first to propose that the thought processes and the soul were located in the brain and not the heart. He himself claimed to have lived four lives that he could remember in detail, and heard the cry of his dead friend in the bark of a dog.”

He also, perhaps, inspired Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “One of Pythagoras’ beliefs was that the essence of being is number.”

Math class would have been much more interesting if we discussed Pythagoras as a religious leader, ate some beans, watched HG2G, and then argued that Pythagoras never actually existed.

One thought on “Pythagoras?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *