I shouldn't need to explain what it means to say, "For the sake of argument...", but since you seem to having trouble understanding English today, it means, "We disagree with them, but even if you accept their argument you find it doesn't support their conclusion."
Well, I would have interpreted it to mean, "We aren't sure that the statistics you present are an accurate test, but they might be, and do disappear when random stuff is analyzed. But our main point of disagreement is...."
I'll get to the rest of your post later. Good questions.
Why don't you describe for us again how you use this method to confirm the existence of demons using the Bible and bizarre personal stories as evidence? By the way, you're not supposed to be entering your scientific methodology into other threads until you successfully make the case for it in the thread designated for that purpose.
H-D Step 1. Note a problem. Here, the problem is evil in the world.
Step 2. Propose an answer. The devil made it happen.
Step 3. Make a prediction given the answer (hypothesis) is true. If the devil made the evil happen, and if orthodox theology pertaining to Jehovah and Yeshua, is true, then we predict that the communication between Jehovah and humans (His army), known as the bible, contains martial orders for overcoming evil with good. As such, it needs proper authorization. The evil of the (hypothetical) devil will, if true, likely include an effort on the devil's part to discredit, distort, confuse any communications between Jehovah and His army. True communications need to have some coded authentification. Early efforts to find these, as in the simple coding through ELS's of TORAH in the first five books of the Torah, were successful. Personal inspiration of early communicators with Jehovah said that there were other codes, as well. So, we predict, if the hypothesis is true, that there IS a spiritual war going on, the bible is our marching orders for defeating the devil and his demons in battle, and this book will be signed and authorized in such a way that we can be sure that it's message is from our commanding Officer. No devil, no demons, no need for such codes. If we find codes, we confirm the hypothesis and make it more plausible.
Now, if I may apply the Bayesian equation to this. The idea that demons exist has a long history, with many anecdotes of people actually seeing them. Early definitions of spirits was of beings that could make themselves visible or invisible at will. Any Google search on demonology and deliverance elaborates on these early ideas. As of March, 2003, according to Gallup, 69% of Americans believe that such demons exist. The percentage is probably much lower in Europe and Australia, but higher is Central and South America, Africa, and southern and eastern Asia. The discovery of dark matter substantiates the existence of physical stuff that has similar properties to "spiritual" matter, of which demons are supposedly constructed. It is usual in nature as we know it for species to co-exist ecologically, with pathogenic, parasitic, or predatory species that they cannot sense, and that are more intelligent than they are. All of these observations suggest that the prior plausibility for demons (derived from an ancient word for "intelligent") ought to be moderately high, say somewhere around .5. The prior plausibility for true Bible Codes is normally considered by commentators as very low, somewhere at the level of .0001, based on the level of statistical significance asked to confirm them. The conditional plausibility for bible codes, given that demons and the rest of orthodox theology is true, is moderate, say .9. Not all wartime communications have such authorizing signatures or codes. This adjusts the prior plausibility of codes by .5x.9=.45, giving us .4501. The product, as noted, of P(H).P(E/H)=.5x.9=.45. .45/.4501=.9999. Thus, the Bible Codes data, to those like myself who think this way, improves the plausibility of demons from .5 to .9999.
But, of course, to skeptics, P(H) would be estimated as very low, let's say, .01. The other values need not change, so we end up with .01x.9=.009, and .009/.0091=.99. Again a dramatic improvement.
Of course, I'm not going to defend these numbers. The above is a simple demonstration of how evidence of this sort influences a bayesian's sense of the plausibility of an idea. I'd love to see you plug in some numbers, to see how your mind is working. Objectively.
Subjectively, some like myself went to work on this because of a hope that an answer could be found to solve some intractable relatoinal problems. This is a common enough anthropological explanation for belief in demons when it is found in a primitive culture. It is easier to forgive a spouse or child of destructive behavior, if you can blame it on someone else. This motivates the study of demons, at whatever epistemological level one is working at. Without H-D methodology, and Bayesian calculations, it could also bias your research. But, if those are done in a disciplined way, the method allows your inspiration to do the work to not bias your interpretation of the results. WRR and Gans knew this quite well, which is why they got outsiders to input what they were looking to be coded.
One intriguing finding, is that prior to 1980, Gallup Polls found only about 30% of Americans believing demons existed. But, since then, there have been many reports of spiritual research in the papers, and Drosnin's Bible Codes, as McKay puts it, made WRR's paper the most widely published scientific paper in history. When Gallup did his poll in 2003, he got the remarkable increase to 68%. As the Bayesian process would have predicted, in the face of all this evidence, many are finding the idea more plausible.
Finally, when I do kitchen table experiments, I know that I do not have the subjective pressure of scientific reputation to bias my results, I only have my own mental and physical health, and that of those I love at stake. I don't normally worry too much about what peer reviewers would be concerned about, only being happy when I find a cure for an otherwise intractable problem. I did these experiments at home, had lots of adventures, solved many long-standing problems that had us beat and ready to give up, etc. Learned a lot. It was all H-D testing, though, but informally done. By the time I got to the Bible Codes, the plausibility in my mind was already very high.
So, I hope that helps you understand how I got, and why I remain convinced that our world is probably haunted, and that the widespread skepticism about demons is demonic. But, perhaps the codes and prayer experiments will rescue us! Science has done so in the past.
I agree, it is despicable, but I don't think you've established that anyone is doing this.
No, I haven't. Don't really think I could. But, if someone is, and reads the description, perhaps they will inwardly cringe with conviction, and resolve to stop. An awful lot of evil goes on, where "they know not what they do." Maybe suggesting won't help, and maybe nobody is actually doing this. But, see below.
Perhaps you would add to what's already happening at most kitchen tables--at least the ones where people talk to each other--the designing of experiments to test their ideas. You do talk about that and seem open to it, but people are people. Without the rigorous peer review process that journals provide, and without training on what's valid evidence and what is just subjective interpretation, people are going to draw conclusions, all right, but they're not going to be consistent or agree with each other. Baptists will draw Baptist conclusions, Hindus will draw Hindu conclusions, Buddhists will draw Buddhist conclusions, and New Agers will draw New Age conclusions, each according to their own biases, preferences, and leanings.
What I would add is training in how to think according to this methodology, because I am convinced that the drawing of all the conclusions about which there are disagreements is simply a lack of knowledge of good applied epistemology. The method begins with the goals of spotting subjectivity in regard to an idea, using that to inspire and motivate a study, and preventing it from biasing results. The sense of "conclusions" itself gets put away back on a back burner, when you properly understand this method. When I catch myself speaking of conclusions, I know that my heart has wandered off track.
I see the developement of good applied epistemology as an "evolving" process, that is like the "evolution" of our eyes. It makes our minds a sensor of the invisible, heretofore unknowable, world. When we all "see" clearly, we won't disagree.
I think the average person sitting around his kitchen table trying to find solutions to personal problems is not going to change very much based on what you are describing, especially if your premise that demons exist and are trying to deceive people is true.
They will if they are trained to, especially during those parts of their lives when they are forming their rules for knowing what is or isn't true. "My people perish for a lack of knowledge."
Mormons design prayer experiments all the time, and most of the time they get the "burning in their heart" that they pray for, and they are convinced--seemingly by following the very methodology you are suggesting--that Mormonism is true and that Jehovah has a wife and sired many spirit children who have come to earth and been born--as us.
When I was teaching my course on Models, and testing H-D science, I had a beloved Mormon undergrad student. He proposed his test to me, and I stopped to think about the hypothesis we were testing, and what actually we ought to predict. I must admit, however, that I had mis-spent 10 years of my life in a painful marriage, because I had this burning in my heart, that I thought was God's blessing. Anyway, I asked God for wisdom, since the it was written that anyone could do that, and He said that, if you wanted an institutional church, the Mormon one was as good as any and better than most. But, if you wanted the real church, find a "brother" and love him. So, I told my student that it wasn't a wise test, could not be confirmed in Scripture, wasn't the way to know what God wanted. I told him of my experiment, asking for wisdom (after counting it all joy, etc), and what I got. He went on to become active in that religion, but my H-D training and discipline held me to precise tests, not seat of the pants ones.
Many others have designed prayer experiments, gotten no answers, and concluded that God isn't real.
If I had had a chance to train them in scientific methodology, this wouldn't have happened. During the course of my graduate training, I found several students who wanted to do an experiment, and see for themselves. Always with success. You just have to play by the rules. But hardly anyone knows the rules.
Applying the methodology you have been describing at the kitchen table of lost souls will result in what it already has resulted in. Nothing will be different.
But listen to this. Linus Pauling, a great scientist, proposed this kitchen table experiment. Take, daily, one-half gram vitamin C, until you get a cold. Then double the dose, until you again get a cold. Double it again, until you get a cold. Eventually, he predicted, you will get no more colds, and will have found your personal requirements for vitamin C. Trained as I was in H-D methodology, I saw at once that this was an H-D experiment, testing the hypothesis that every person has an individual requirement for vitamin C, and that when that requirement is met, colds are "prevented". I did it, and eventually settled on four grams a day. That was in 1971. I have had about six days with colds since then, while before, I was sick with colds about 30 days a year. When I reported this to others, they reacted and usually rejected. They had heard that Pauling was a crank. They had heard doctors tell them about expensive urine. And, they had never been trained to be disciplined in applying clear and approved methods to deciding questions like this.
Once I learned the method and made it a habit of thinking, I improved so many areas of my life---sex life, prayer life, parenting life, scientific career. I feel sure that others would benefit in the same way. But, what is taught as science is not it. Ask the most educated persons you know to describe the H-D method, strong inference, bayesian reasoning. You'll see the "lack of knowledge" for yourself.
Incidently, I have found very strong scriptural confirmation for all the steps and ways of this method.
Re: Stephen Needs to be Scientific --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stephen ben Yeshua writes: H-D Step 1. Note a problem. Here, the problem is evil in the world.
First, you haven't yet established that what you're doing is H-D. No one here thinks you're doing H-D, and as has been pointed out, Googles of H-D contradict you. Before you can make your case using your version of H-D, you must first make the case that it is valid. You have a thread where you're supposed to be doing that.
Second, evil is subjective. Until you provide an objective, measurable foundation for evil, none of the rest of your post has any validity.
This from Scheiderer,
A scientific hypothesis is a proposed explanation of some natural phenomenon.
The natural phenomenon is "evil" meaning what seems evil to most people, injustice, murder, torture, child abuse, suicide bombers, etc. Such behavior actually seems barely natural, in that it is rare in "nature." It seems irrational, weird, lacking in many normal human characteristics, such as empathy. We look at man's inhumanity to man, and wonder why? We call it "madness" using the same term we use for a dog with hydrophobia, rabies, that changes the friendly doggie's behavior to a ravening, biting terror. On another post, I provide a minimalist definition of evil as behavior or actions that lower the fitness in the population genetics sense (W) of the most intelligent living beings being influenced. Evil is associated with the death or premanent end of something good.
Now, I read the googles on H-D science, and am glad that they describe so well what I am doing. They support my claim that it is a good technigue, and describe it in words other than my own. Would you like me to e-mail Scheiderer, and ask him? What's it going to take? I get taught H-D science in graduate school, pass all my tests on the subject, read further on it, practise it, thesis approved as a model for the method, teach it for 12 years to graduate students, some of whom who now are eminent scientists, my own research is widely cited, and now a bunch of people with no credibility that I can ascertain have the cheek to tell me that what I am doing is not H-D science, while offering no support or evidence that this is true. (And Popper's subjecivity remarks clearly applied to data interpretation, not hypothesis formation, unlike mine.)
The "none of the rest of your post has any validity" is simply dogmatic opinionation at its worst. Yeshua was right, "they know not what they do." You ought to be ashamed to say such things, but apparently are too naive. The correct statement is, "Give us an example of what you mean by evil, and, if possible, a definition that separates evil from good behavior."
Sorry, Percy, but sometimes the way you say things is so outrageous I feel compelled to say so. Do you really believe that it is in the best interests of debate, or forum discussion, to say such things? When I judge debates, I always mark down debaters who try to bluster their way to victory by claiming their opponents are completely wrong. Nobody is completely wrong, and everybody loves a close contest. Everything about a debate is best when the winner's victory contains the best points that the loser was making. Then, really, everyone wins.
Thanks for the encouragement. My life is undergoing some changes of late, but I believe that I'll be able to stick with this work for a while. Certainly good training for me.
Simon's article on the Codes is interesting, but is still deeply non-scientific. He starts off suggesting that the whole thing is a lie to get non-religious Jews to be more orthodox, introduces collective opinion of experts as an argument, and talks about scientific proof, which of course does not exist. Meanwhile, Verboom's neat study of the Moby Dick codes in www.BibleCodeDigest.com by itself is evidence that the codes are real.
The debate is not that important to me, because I have sought Jehovah, hear Him talk to me every day, experience daily "miracles" or events that clearly reflect Him doing what He told me He was going to do. But, it is interesting in my study of evil, in the way the debate is conducted, in the destruction of understanding as to how science works. The critics will say that "codes can be found in any text" which twists the original scientific study. That didn't even mention codes at all, and when that expression was used later by scientists, it was defined as a statistically improbable association of ELS's. But, the critic "codes" they insist are not statistically improbable, so are not codes at all. If they were honest, they would say, "code-like" patterns or some such thing.
Evolutionists do this. Even though evolution in the beginning was clearly associated with natural selection, the term has come to mean common descent, which is as much a biblical concept as an evolutionary concept. The God-directed creation of the nation of Israel, for example, was accomplished by the multiplication of a single person, Abraham, until his offspring filled the earth. This is exactly like the expansion of a single new and better gene, that occurs in one individual who reproduces better than others, and someday has that gene in every member of the species. So, evolutionists find evidence for common descent, which could be either created or natural, but attribute it to evolution and somehow argue that natural selection is more plausible.
Anyway, as things now stand from my examination of the various reports, that true codes as originally defined exist seems very likely, and easy to confirm. Many of the confirmations seem reasonably good science. The arguments against, on the other hand, reflect very poor understanding of science, and not much integrity.
The true codes are always defined as being statistically improbable, usually because they are ELS's improbably close to other ELS's of associated meaning. That statistical improbability takes into account the number of letters.
The "monkey text" preserves the frequency of the letters in the experimental text. Sometimes, I understand, it's words that are scrambled, not letters, just in case there is some artifact appearing because certain words have letters in certain arrangements, that could produce false codes.
I think the Moby Dick or War and Peace control was to control for grammatical artifacts, due to sentence structure. These were translated into Hebrew in the original study, which ought to have eliminated any codes they may have originally had. In their original language, if some spiritual being inspired the writing, they may well have had their own codes.
Remember the big problem: Do we have an improbable association for terms that were clearly defined before we started looking? Codes found "by looking" are not codes at all, because their statistical improbability cannot be assessed.
His original 1994 paper in Statistical Science does exactly what you specify, as do succeeding studies by Witztum, Ganz, and their colleagues. The "Moby Dick Codes" are a lie, and are acually presented as a lie, to prove that it is possible to lie. They aren't codes, and to my knowledge, have never been presented as codes, in the original definition of the term. A "code" in the original definition has to be statistically improbable, because the terms were pre-selected, and not fished for. This is what Witztum et. al. did and do. The Moby Dick Code critics state bluntly that the only "codes" they could find in Moby Dick were fished for, hence not statistically improbable, and hence, not really codes. It is quite dishonest to call them codes. Verboom also preselected his terms, and set up a good control, to prove statistical improbability.
Codes, true codes that is, don't normally "tell" us anything. They can only confirm what we already know, to confirm that Jehovah is out there, out of time, knows what's going on, and has given us a plainly written set of directions to know how to overcome evil with good. The only known exception to that is the discovery that the Gulf War Scud attack on Jerusalem was likely to happen on one of three days, before any of the days had occured. The Israeli intelligence apparently used this information to protect the Israeli people, so that when the attack occured, it killed no one. We may also be alerted to an eminent danger of nuclear holocaust in 2006.
Read Satinover's book to fully understand what is going on here. He's a scientist.
My doctorate is in Biomathematics from the Department of Experimental Statistics at NCSU. I have carefully, professionally examined the original published works on the Bible codes, several efforts to replicate, and several efforts to criticize. As things now stand, it is highly likely that statistically improbable associations of ELS, known as "Bible codes" exist in the scriptures. This is even more sure with Theomatics from Del Washburn, and somewhat likely with the "gematria" found by Panin. One can find, with a computer, random Panin-like gematria, but to find these things by hand is more difficult. In any case, Panin's hypothesis, that such patterns are more likely in Scripture than in other writings, remains to my knowledge, untested by the computer analysis.
There is more to be done, and will be. Hopefully before 2006, a year closely associated with the words "nuclear holocaust."
It is the statistically naive that write off "codes" as normal probable patterns, or patterns generated by picking terms after the fact. Only a modest amount of statistical expertise is needed to protect from these simple biases.
I haven't looked at the codes sources you mentioned, but they appear interesting. Panin's work was earliest, then Washburn's Theomatics. The ELS codes took the scriptures most likely to be close to the originals, I believe, and found codes in them, confirming that the scriptures in general were from God, not man.
But the surface text of the scriptures mostly carry the message, "Come talk with God, hearken to His voice, if you want to live." That the scriptures are validated by codes makes this easier, for anyone's first attempts to "hear God's voice" to become prophetic are not that easy. The only school mentioned in scripture was a school of prophets, run by Elijah. They learned something, but only Elisha really got the message. But, now that we know the scriptural message about the importance of the task is really what God wants to say to us through a written message, we can dig in and get it.
When I learned to hear and know His voice, I asked Him what the Bible was all about. What He said to me is this: (roughly translated). "These are writings that are from Me, that we should discuss personally. Be careful not to study them to just find out about Me, or I will have to deal with you as I did with Job. Talk with Me, especially concerning your daily wisdom. Then let Me show you scriptures that confirm what you hear Me tell you, so you can act with greater faith."
He actually told me to use the New King James translation until I learned Hebrew and Greek, and then had me study the life of James, the King, who was a very foolish man. Said He wanted me to understand that all authority was from Him, and that He was perfectly capable of making an authority like James useful. Didn't recommend that I become a fool, but if I found myself becoming foolish for any reason (and, He said, some are good), not to despair. I suspect that your friends are right, and that even the translation of the scriptures will have codes in their translated languages, to a degree depending on their validity.
Thanks for the excellent and informative post. There is an interesting article in the Vol 17 number 4 issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration on the Einstein Mystique, indicating that something weird is going on here.
Now, atomic energy is a reality, and Einstein's contributions to that discovery cannot be denied. But, if we look at the history of his discoveries in the light of modern scientific methodology, the story takes on a new light. It begins, so I understood, with the Michaelson-Morley experiment, which was an attempt to detect the ether through which the earth, and light as a wave, was passing. The result was odd, in that light waves sent out from the earth in the direction of its movement, and those sent out perpendicular to that movement, traveled at the same rate, even thought, if these were moving through an ether, there should have been a difference. So, the ether idea was dropped, and the idea that the speed of light was some sort of relativistic constant introduced.
Now, no one feels that it is worthwhile to point out the the "earth is the center of the universe" idea predicts the results of the Michaelson-Morley experiment. But, we are coming back to the ether, in terms of dark matter and dark energy, "The Field" as some call it, and it's connection with consciousness, and so on. Meshing this with Newton's brilliant observations on gravity is a problem, but to my mind no more "unreasonable" than the ideas associated with quantum mechanics.
That having been said, we come to this comment by you.
Our senses (and sensors) are limited to perceive nothing but the present, even the ideas of observing stars as if they were in their past are nonsenses, there is not a single experiment which back up such idea, such theory is based solely in logic...and logic is not even a requirement to the scientific method.
Now, as I noted in my post #57, the main point of Bible codes is to validate the Bible as a message from God, that message being, "We need to talk." The only escape from the current delusion, as I read the Bible, is to become one of His sheep who "know His voice." In the end, He said that we "know the truth" when we are His disciples, abiding in His word. These comments from you, to be delusion free, would have then to be taken as prophesy, what you are hearing from God. As such, they are out there (as are my words here) to be judged by others seeking a prophetic stance with God.
And, I am hearing something a little different. We do only sense the present, but we live in a time-based world, affirmed as such by God, who recommends that we take the results of our present hearing and reading, etc, and produce "history" or records of the past. Moreover, He has always told me to use logic, but to be careful to keep it in its place. Don't rationalize, He said, but use reason and logic to make predictions that you can confirm. Darwin believed that theories in science came from really good explanations, that made sense of everything. God was very clear telling me that this was his mistake. Theories come from ideas that make surprizing predictions, not that offer good explanations.
As to time travel, well, you ought to look at the PEAR studies on distant viewing, to get a more balanced view. At least, that's what I am hearing.
But, He affirms your main point, that the deluded take these threads and build escape fantasies, that distract them from thinking about their relationship with their Creator.
Have you been following the research on variations in the speed of light? There's one interesting idea, that has the speed of light decreasing through time in a hyper-bolic function, that is asymptotic at about 4000 BC. This would make everybody right: the universe is old and young at the same "time." It depends on how you measure time.
Just an interesting speculation, that reminds us that the best science takes the best from every idea, hears everything, and holds on to what is good.
Thanks again for the codes analyses you brought up. Most interesting.
I think one of the greatest proofs for the Bible is seen by it's effects, which my "research" over the past 25 shows that the promised effects (of Christ)correspond to the claims of the Object of faith, contigent upon a soul trusting and obeying.
Confirms my own experience. Taking the bible as a sort of "Good Life Cookbook" has brought me some truly miraculous meals. Most dependable, when you follow the directions diligently.