I have come here seeking the help of people active in and knowledgeable of the debate on origins.
For many years I have had a question: Unique among ancient texts, Genesis lists a large number of very datable (or datable in principle) events AND concomitant dating information. Not only that, Genesis dates typically (except for date information in conjunction with the flood event) have three significant digits, as opposed to the rest of the bible, which generally have just two. Yet almost all of the dates are wrong. Why put them in if they're going to be found out to be wrong?
So, I devised a protocol to examine the question. I followed the protocol. Very much to my surprise, I got a result.
A fairly simple algorithm, using all of the datable events and numbers in Genesis, and only those events and numbers, and with the decryption key in plain text (practically with a neon sign that says "decrypt with me") extracts a steganographic chronology.
A condensed description of the algorithm follows:
Chronological dating in the Hebrew Scriptures occurs in four separate and distinct time lines. Events mentioned in the scriptures known to have actually happened (i.e. invention of clothing or brick architecture, or the emergence of lactase persistence,) when plotted on the relevant time line, are dated accurately.
Correct dates for most of these events could not have been known to a contemporaneous biblical author; this information constitutes an "out of place artifact" within the text of the scriptures; this anachronistic information requires explanation. Since dating the historic events is possible for a "modern" audience, the simplest explanation, should this hypothesis be accepted, is that the information is a "signature" meant to be discovered at a future date.
Overview of the Time Lines
The Historical Time Line - interval scale. Joshua to Chronicles. Events are timed according to reigns of Judges or Kings, and, except for the book of Esther, are externally verified to contemporaneous sources (i.e. Iron and Bronze Ages, attack on the Northern Kingdom by Assyria.). Since events in this time line are "in clear" they will not be analyzed for dating.
The Adam-Seth Time Line - interval scale. Events follow the life spans and first parenthood dates of descendants of Adam through Seth, but in a lightly encrypted manor. The transformation from ages in the text to real numbers of years is Age^2/120 for Adam and his descendants through Seth. For Methuselah, for example, instead of living 969 years, a little over 8 times the "age of a man” (120 years,) the actual span of time represented is 969 times a little more than 8, or 7,925 years. This dating continues until biblical characters started living 120 years or less. This transformation puts the invention of clothing, for example, at approximately 73,000 years ago, and the earliest use of wine at 8,000 years ago. The actual mapping is as follows: Seth, Adam's son, (and all subsequent descendants,) are assigned a "birth date" of the father's birth date, plus his own adjusted age, plus the listed date of first paternity for the father. The Seth age starts at 0 plus Seth’s adjusted life span, 6,391 years, plus Adam’s paternity age, 130, or 7,061, and lasts 6,391 years. (Obviously, it would have been easier if ages and paternity dates operated in a normal manner, but this is the one combination that matches the events to our current understanding of their dates.) To translate the virtual dates into common calendar dates, we need a stipulated end point of the time line, taken to be 1250 BC as a virtual date of the Exodus event. This results in the following dates: Clothing, 73 KYA. Global Cooling (switch from grass skirts to leather jackets) just after 73 KYA. Last non-Homo Sapiens people, 22 KYA. Post-glacial melt, starting 12 KYA. Wine, 8 KYA. Tall brick structures, 6 KYA. Lactase persistence in Southwest Asia, 4 KYA. Spread of circumcision from Africa to Asia, 4 KYA. Hyksos in Egypt, before 1600 BC. Famine in Egypt (Thera eruption) about 1650 BC. A full table of all events and references is in the complete paper, available as described above, including events for the God and Cain lines.
The Adam-Cain Time Line - ordinal scale. Listed events happen in order. For example, clothing and the nudity taboo are invented, an ice age begins, agriculture is invented, settled farmers displace nomadic herdsmen, cities arise, orchestral music appears, polygamy is invented, we have a bronze age and then an iron age. The actual datable events in this time line occur during the Cain and Cain’s Lamech periods. Both of those periods have a “multiplier” within the text: Seven in the case of Cain, the amount of retribution promised by God to Cain if anyone defies Cain’s mark and harms him; Cain’s descendant Lamech declares himself an additional 10 times the retribution accorded Cain. This allows for numerical scaling of the events, if not actual dating.
The God Time Line - ratio scale. Events in the order of creation occur in proportion to the day numbers enumerated. For example, there is a zero time point for our universe, the hypothesis predicts that planetogenesis (of rocky planets) starts at between 2.3 billion years and 4.6 billion years, autotrophic life after 4.6 billion years, and our particular solar system was formed at between 6.9 and 9.2 billion years.
Selection rule. Some events, specifically God's interactions with Adam and Cain, occur in multiple time lines. The event will be placed in the line with the best date fit. Some events occur in a time line and also in a "summary list," for example, the blessing given to Adam and Eve upon their expulsion from Eden. The first mention of the event controls the dating.
Accuracy and Reliability. An attempt is made to match every event or occurrence in the biblical text to an actual occurrence as long as it doesn't require more than two assumptions to make the connection. Based on an allowance for “noise” in the signal and the accuracy of our scientific dating methods, dating within 15% would count as a match.
Word selection and translation. Biblical Hebrew has a very limited vocabulary. A pit can be a pit or Hell; sky can be sky or heaven, spirit can be breath or wind or spirit. Word meanings and translations are allowed to be selected to be the closest bridge between a textually described event and a known real-world occurrence. For the purposes of this research, traditional renderings in translation for “earth” and “heavens” are given a more neutral “mater” and “space.” Also, “firmament,” a spread-out, roundish, hollowish piece of metal, is taken as a protoplanetary disk with sufficient metal content to spawn a more or less solid planet.
All events actually known to have happened (origin of the universe, formation of our particular solar system, emergence of Humankind, inventions of clothing, wine, and tall brick structures, the last stand of non-Human Hominids, and lactase persistence in Southwest Asia, to name a few datable events, all fall into place in the chronology. Events in Genesis clearly pointing to datable events (glacial melt, for example) also fall correctly in place. Events for which we have no consensus dating (first solid-ish planet, for example) fall along pretty good guesses. [Some events achieved dating after I had my algorithm, such as the possible emergence of a Broca's region in Australopithecus sediba) but since it hasn't been published, that doesn't do me any good except for self-validation. The "pretty good guesses" may serve as predictions arising from the project, subject of validation or falsification.]
Finding a fairly complete (although concise) and reasonably accurate Cosmological, Terrestrial, and Human chronology inside a Bronze Age book I take to be a signature of an extraordinary intervention of some kind by a person, persons, or entity unknown, and by a manner and for a purpose equally unknown. (This project is completely belief-neutral and should have absolutely no bearing on anyone's religious ideas or practices. It's just an out of place artifact found in a really old book.
I am a complete non-academic. The toolkit for my protocol comes from my work as a fraud investigator, and it's almost never been wrong. However, I am completely at sea when it comes to having my result validated or discredited. I would be very happy to have some fine research institution tell me, for example, thank you for your submission, but according to the Lipschitz Decryption Theorem, it just isn't anything special. Then I could move on to something simpler, like dog rescue, cold fusion, or bicycle commuting advocacy. But that hasn't happened.
I would be happy to discuss the implications of this result in this topic. But what I would really like is if someone here is an academic math or encryption person with a fair knowledge of the events described in Genesis, or has the resources of such a person available, to tell me if I am wrong, and why, or if I'm actually onto something.
I can't actually circulate my paper (Accurate Dating within Early Hebrew Scripture as a Signature of Extraordinary Intervention) publicly because it might still be under consideration at several organizations, although that is not likely. I would be happy to answer any questions, however.
Ideally, it would be great of three people from the Evolution side and three people from the Creation side took this up. If you have the resources to move this forward and want a friend for life (not to mention free beer and pizza when you're in New York) please contact me.
Before you write this message off, consider this little Pascal's side-bet: what would it be worth if my result actually has some shred of validity, and you got to be a co-author.