Stephen did you read McKay's (and companies) rebuttel? You can check the link in message #5. Or did you just entirely make up the assertion that "(McKay) is quite clear that the Rabbi's experiment of Witztum is statistically improbable." This seems, dare I say, a bold face lie. Could you provide the source of this information?
You also state "McKay claims that Witztum lied about how he got the names, using wiggle room to generate statistical improbability. I don't think that is a plausible explanation"
However all McKay does is point out that Witztum "claims" to use all the Rabbi's who appeared in Margaliot's "Encyclopedia of Great Men of Isreal" and who's entry had at least 3 columns of information (for list 1) or 1.5 to 3 columns of information (for list 2). But in "reality" each list has Rabbi's that are missing or are present but should not be.
McKay also goes on to point out that the dates used for these ELS were taken from a variety of sources, with no rhyme or reason...just which ever would work best for his results. They did not even stick to the dates provided by Maragaliot's EoGMoI. McKay also advises that there were at least 8 different date formats used (eg in English...May 5th, the 5th of May, on May 5th, etc.)!
But the real killer appears to be that Witztum uses any form or appellation for the Rabbi's names that will fit his required results! And where did these names come from? Well Rips claimed that "There may be various ways of writting a name. We took every possible variation we could think of. If any additional variation comes to mind, we must include it." However, in actuallity, the names used came from a computer search of the Responsa database at the Bar-Ilan University. Yet many of the appellations that appear in the Responsa do not appear in the List of Rabbi's used and vise versa!
So, as while McKay does seem to doubt Witztum's results (and with good reason it appears) he never claims that Witztum lied.
Stephen, I do agree that McKay does infer that Witztum cooked or tuned the results. I tried your link but it appears dead, could you try posting it again, or another link (may just be my system as i am at work)? But at any rate, it apears that the real question is why would WRR state that they used all Rabbi's listed in the book (considering importance, by size of listing), but when this is looked into by independant sources it is found to be false. Now I do not know alot about Bible Codes but I have done some searching on the net (due to this post) and can find nothing disputing McKay's claim. Can you or anyone else either confirm or dispute what McKay is basiclly accusing WRR of doing?
Also, what of the fact of the dates being used being of (at least) 8 different formats? Wouldn't the "author" have used just one format if he was trying to make some kind of point of authorship? I know, I know...God works in strange and mysterious ways....
Or how about the fact that they used only Rabbi's listed in EoGMoI but when the dates that book provided didn't work in their formula they found more "authoratative" dates elsewhere....
What of the statement Rips makes before conducting the experiment? That if any other versions of names are discovered than these too must be tested and must work. Why did he make this statement before the experiment and then not abide by it while conducting the experiment? There were countless other Appellations in the Respora that they never used and when McKay tried them they did not work. Don't you wonder why?
Maybe it's just me and McKay that smell something fishy. But I look at it like this, if you show me an ELS for Rabbi Robert David Higgins born Dec 3rd 1934 or maybe the 4th and one source even says he was born Nov 4th 1934, and died Sep. 8th 1996. And your ELS is B O B and 4 O F 1 1, then it doesn't prove anything to me. Why should it?