That's why writing up your findings in code was pretty standard practice in the olden days of science. If you're, say, Galileo, and you see through your home-made telescope that Venus has grown a pair of tits overnight, before you go running to the newspapers you need to be pretty damn sure that Venus has tits. But the fear is that while you're working on the theory, some other guy will jump out and claim he discovered it first.
So what you'd do is write down your findings in code and mail them off. So later, if some other schmuck comes around claiming he was the first to discover tits on Venus, you only have to reveal that you'd published the secret (in code) a year earlier. This is how Galileo claimed priority for many of his discoveries, such as the rings of Saturn.
We don't get what's so impressive about that. They're right there.
Of course, that creates the possibility that it will never be figured out. There's a theory floating around that suggests Galileo discovered Neptune 234 freaking years before its official discovery, but it's in an anagram out there somewhere that has yet to be decoded.
The message also probably reveals him to be a Mason.
For real people that ruled the planet, check out 6 People Who Secretly Ruled The World. Or see what Bucholz thought about the sequel to the Da Vinci Code, in A Da Vinci Code Sequel Review (By Someone Who Skimmed It).
And stop by Linkstorm to discover the secret code of the Internet.
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