[geocentrism] Re: "Biblical Numerology"

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.
as at 22.05.2007.

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