Jack Lewis <jack.lewis@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: As I see it Neville's problem is likely to be that the phenomena appears in those scriptures that he has rejected. Wrong again, Jack. For your information - Brendan McKay is a mathematician from Australia, and one of the most vocal and tenacious critics of the Bible Codes. He has been notably successful in reproducing the "code" phenomenon in works other than the Bible. As just one example, McKay was the one who found the now infamous assassination predictions in Moby Dick. The cornerstone of Drosnin's book The Bible Code is his finding of the supposed prediction of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. In a Newsweek interview, Drosnin made the claim that if anyone could find assassination predictions in other works besides the Bible, he would, essentially, shut up about the Bible Code. McKay responded by finding no less than nine similar "predictions" in the text of Moby Dick. (So far, Drosnin has not recanted his faith in the Bible Code.) McKay has made debunking numerical 'miracles' almost a side profession. His web site In Search of Mathematical Miracles (see Resources) includes articles and exhibits related to earlier projects -- debunking the 'miraculous' patterns of the number 19 found in the Quran, the patterns of 7 and other numbers found by Ivan Panin in the text of the Bible and various other miracle number claims. McKay felt that he had seen it all -- and that he had provided what were distinctly non-supernatural, mathematical explanations. But the "famous rabbis" experiment was something new. Here was a bona fide claim to a mathematical miracle, put forward in the language of serious mathematics, even published in a respected journal, Statistical Science (Witztum et al., 1994). On the surface, the famous rabbis experiment seems straightforward. The Israelis Witztum, Rips and Rosenberg took the names of 32 famous rabbis, matched these names with their dates of death and birth, and checked the text of Genesis to see if the names and dates were "coded" closely to one another in the text. In other words, they searched the text to see if the names and dates appeared in letter sequences spaced at equidistant intervals, sequences known as ELSs, and how "closely" these sequences appeared to each other (please see part 1 of this article for a more complete discussion of ELSs). To check their results, the Israelis ran the same test on 999,999 random combinations of the data. If the names and dates really were encoded in the text, they reasoned, the correct name and date matchings would be much closer to each other than the random combinations. This simple concept led to an explosive result. In their test, the ELSs for the correctly matched names and dates were closer to each other than in all but 4 of the random combinations. This indicated a significance level of 1 in 62,500 -- enough, it would seem, to convince even the most hardened of skeptics that the Israelis were on to something. In his book, Drosnin reports a confirming 'miracle:' Harold Gans, a senior code-breaker with the U.S. National Security Administration, decided to check the results for himself. He took the Israelis' data and added the places of birth of the rabbis. Then he ran the experiment again, using the Israelis' mathematical models, but his own computer program. Again, Drosnin reports, the results were positive. The correctly matched data beat out the random data at odds of well over random chance. Nevertheless, McKay was skeptical. Shortly after the publication of Drosnin's book, McKay, along with several other scientists including Dror Bar-Natan from Hebrew University in Israel, ran their own version of the Witztum Rips and Rosenberg ("WRR") experiment. The results, presented in the same inscrutable scientific format as the original, were negative -- no result. Where WRR had found results of 1 in 62,500, McKay and company, using almost identical protocol and methods, found nothing -- only random chance at work. What was happening here? McKay's explanation is that the WRR experiment is not as straightforward as it seems at first glance. From the descriptions of the experiment that appear in Drosnin's book as well as other sources (including best-selling Christian author Grant Jeffrey's The Signature of God) it appears that the Israelis simply took a list of 32 famous rabbis' names, with the corresponding birth and death dates, and searched for these in the text of Genesis. In reality, the situation is much more complex. First, each rabbi's name was matched with two dates, birth and death. Then, each date was entered in three formats, analogous to representing a date in English as "1st January," "1st of January," "on 1st January." Then, the number of names used for each rabbi varied from one to eleven (e.g., using variant spellings and nicknames), so that for the 32 rabbis, there were a total of over 100 names. For each rabbi, they then proceeded to take all combinations of names and dates, so that the eventual data set represented hundreds of combinations of names and dates. The problem is that, with the increasing number of data points, the experimenters can "fine tune" the data set, perhaps even unconsciously, in order to produce more and more significant results. To demonstrate this point as forcefully as possible, Bar-Natan and McKay performed a follow-up experiment. They took the original set of names and dates from the famous rabbis experiment, and made a small number of changes (around 30) to names and dates, all carefully justified in the body of their report. With this newly fine-tuned set of data, they ran the experiment again on the text of Genesis, and on the Hebrew text of War and Peace. The results were amazing: in War and Peace, the famous rabbis were found encoded at significance levels of nearly 1 in 1,000,000! But in Genesis, the results were not much better than random chance. In reality, Bar-Natan and McKay had cooked their data in the same way that they allege WRR cooked theirs, but this time in order to "find" the names in War and Peace. Dr. Barry Simon, IBM professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at CalTech, comments: I've no doubt there will be loud arguments on the Internet about the validity of each change they made, but to me the point is that the fact that they can make this list of simple changes and turn the results of [WRR] upside down shows that the Famous Rabbis example is totally dependent on the particular choice of names used in a way that makes me doubt the validity of the enterprise (Simon, 1997) After McKay is through with the famous rabbis experiment, it seems as though the cornerstone of Bible Codes research has been very seriously undermined, and the whole building is starting to sway. From http://www.scp-inc.org/publications/newsletters/N2203/Bible_Codes_part_2.html as at 22.05.2007. Regards, Neville. --------------------------------- Yahoo! Answers - Got a question? Someone out there knows the answer. Tryit now.