Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 81 (8950 total)
41 online now:
AZPaul3, DrJones*, Faith, Percy (Admin) (4 members, 37 visitors)
Newest Member: Mikee
Post Volume: Total: 867,364 Year: 22,400/19,786 Month: 963/1,834 Week: 33/430 Day: 33/63 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Bible Codes and Bible Numerics for Stephen ben Yeshua
Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 76 (83675)
02-05-2004 9:03 PM


Hello all,

This thread has been established to address the ideas of Bible Codes and Bible Numerics as claims that the Bible is of supernatural origin. I sure this topic has been done to death in this past, but nevertheless there is at least one vocal proponent of Bible codes in this forum.

I invite those posters who are significantly more eloquent than I to contribute their opinions and explainations.

I attached below some previous posts from the History's Greatest Holocaust Via Atheistic Ideology thread brough across to get the ball rolling.

Post 166 by Gilgamesh:


Hello Stephen,
I sent you a link in another thread explaining the fallacy of Bible Numerics, but merely told you to do your own homework on Bible Codes (do a Google search). I see that you are still referring to Bible Codes as proof of Demons/God etc, so here is your homework completed for you:

http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/torah.html

This is one of the links I told you to find because it has some amusing examples of how you can find any sort of equi-distance letter nonsense in any text of significant length, like the "prediction" of Princess Di's death in the text of.... Moby Dick:

http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/diana.html

or a reference to the existence of Bible Codes appearing in Moby Dick in Genesis:

http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/mobygen.html

There are heaps of other links on that site to answer all of your questions.

A couple of reviews of Drosnin's Bible Code books:

http://www.csicop.org/si/9711/bible-code.html

A follow-up:

http://www.csicop.org/si/9803/bible-code.html

You'd do real well to read a lot more material from http://www.csicop.org.

Cheers.

Edit: I ommitted some interesting info: in the previous link I provided you in the other thread debunking Bible Numerics
http://www.rci.org.au/faq/biblenumerics.pdf by Geoff Beggs refer to a program called Panin's Panic designed by Brendan McKay (who authored the Bible code refutation page above) from ANU here in Australia


Reply post 170 by Stephen:


Gilgamesh,
I've probably spent 30 hours reading the critical treatments of the Bible Codes, and the answers to these. Most, about 90%, deal with the simply fallacious argument that because you can find "codes" in other books, the ones found in Genesis mean nothing. This sort of finding actually means nothing. You can find what they call "codes" (actually, ELS's) in a long random list of letters; why bother with Moby Dick? But the original code paper looked at the distribution of ELS's of various lengths, and found short ELS's of concurrent meaning improbably close to one another. These were compared to similar distributions found in other works and in random lists in a Monte Carlo test, and found statistically significant. This finding was confirmed by McKay, who then had to resort to another argument to refute the true codes.

But he buried this argument in his paper and it is buried elsewhere in critical reports. Moreover, in attacking the codes, almost all text is based on a critique of Drosnin, a newpaper reporter. The 1994 study is dragged down mostly by association. Finally, in attacking Witztum et. al.'s paper, the attack admits a statistically significant finding, which McKay confirms in a replication. But he attributes it to "wiggle room" which Witztum had devoted several years of work to eliminate. McKay ultimately has to accuse Witztum of lying, and comes up with false documents, according to Gans, to make his case. McKay brings the hypothesis of dishonesty into the discussion, so we have to ask, who, if anyone, is being dishonest, McKay or Witztum. The evidence points to McKay.

So, McKay commits several key errors.

First, he attacks a straw man, the fact that ELS's can be found anywhere. Of course they can, but they aren't codes unless they are statistically improbable, and to date, no statistically improbable codes have been found in any other string of letters, book or random. But they have, all admit, been found it Genesis.

Second, he shows that statistically improbable codes can be found by lying, and basically accuses the original authors of subconsciously or maliciously lying. Rips, I think, went to the press when McKay's article was published, threatening a law-suit. But this is not a debate normally considered valid in a scientific discussion. Gans handles it in any case, showing that, if anyone is lying, using "wiggle room" it is Mckay.

Third, McKay's studies have not been subjected to a proper peer review process. The original authors of a critiqued paper are always, in my experience, included amoung the reviewers of a critique, and allowed to publish a rebuttal alongside the critique. Both these standards of good scientific publication were bypassed to get the McKay paper published. This validates Gans contention that McKay and the other "scientists" trying to discredit the codes are all liars. Their accusation of dishonest reporting by Witztum et. al. is thus seen as psychological projection.

Fourth, their concentration on Drosnin is also a straw man argument.

Fifth, there have been many, many replications of the statistically improbable codes, basically refuting the hypothesis that Witztum and others were lying. Scientifically refuting, I should add, since in true science, it is replication that carries the day, not ad hoc reasoning. Note that in real science, when there are many successful replications, effort to replicate that fail are normally considered to be bad methodology. That's why my grades in chemistry lab were low. When I tried to reproduce some commonly found reaction, and failed, my teachers did not rewrite their textbooks.

Sixth, there is actually good reason to expect improbable codes in inspired writings of all sorts. I will not be very surprised if, when scientists look for these properly, they will find them. Any writing where the author invites and responds obediently to a "muse" is a candidate for true codes. Stephen King books will probably have codes in them, based on his description of his way of writing.

Seventh, the whole Moby Dick codes business was coded in the book of Job, according to one code researcher, along with McKay's name, coded there and nowhere else in the bible. This wos in the only chapter in the bible dealing with harpooning whales. The surface text of the scriptures wherein McKay's name was coded calls him a liar.

In short, there is a controversy, as there always is when science discovers something outside the pale. Those looking for an excuse to remain ignorant of these discoveries, like yourself, can attend to the critics, and ignore the answers to their criticism. Those wanting to know the truth can carefully consider both sides. As things now stand, there is substantial data, historical records and methods of debate, that confirm the idea that the Codes critics are dishonorable liars, unworthy of anyone's attention. Far and above the most plausible hypothesis concerning the debate. The Codes themselves have been extensively validated, for anyone wanting to know the truth, and live.

We only have to read many posts in this forum to see that there are many intelligent people who hate God so violently that they will lie to discredit Him.

Stephen



Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Gilgamesh, posted 02-05-2004 9:17 PM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 17 by Stephen ben Yeshua, posted 02-07-2004 10:25 AM Gilgamesh has not yet responded

Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 76 (83691)
02-05-2004 9:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gilgamesh
02-05-2004 9:03 PM


Stephen thank you for investing so much time looking at this info by McKay.


Most, about 90%, deal with the simply fallacious argument that because you can find "codes" in other books, the ones found in Genesis mean nothing. This sort of finding actually means nothing. You can find what they call "codes" (actually, ELS's) in a long random list of letters; why bother with Moby Dick? But the original code paper looked at the distribution of ELS's of various lengths, and found short ELS's of concurrent meaning improbably close to one another.

The argument is that, given a large enough text, like the Bible or say for instance, Moby Dick, you can find whatever you are looking for (particularly if you are a little flexible in your search terms).

The argument is sound. Mckay demonstrates this by finding "intriguing" codes in the Bible and other random texts. You are right: you do not need a particular text- a long list of random letters will do- but it is more poignant if the fallacy of Bible codes is demonstrated in the text of the Bible itself.

You seem to be missing this fundamental point and I invite someone else to try and explain it better for you.

What is denied is the statistical implausibility of the findings. Even though McKay did have trouble replicating Witztum's claims due to textual "contaminations" (failing to find the exact Bible version translation used), many less ambitious Bible code claims can be replicated.

However, the resultant codes only can be seen as improbable if you were anticipating in advance the likelihood of those exact codes appearing in the exact text that they are found. Apply this same logic to the Princess Di references in Moby Dick and you'll find that they are similarly improbable. These sort of probability mistakes are the same as those made by Intelligent Designers to argue that life evolving by chance is statistically close to impossible and they are flawed for the same reason.

The actual chance of some sort of simple arbitrary code appearing in a long text is a dead cert.

Stephen, by the faulty process of deducing probabilities used to support Bible codes, I challenge you to demonstrate why any Bible code is more statistically improbable than finding something about Princess Di's death in Moby Dick.

Drosnin is attacked because he has published two widely distributed texts based on this Bible code nonsense (and is therefore making a living off the stuff).

Errors?


First, he attacks a straw man, the fact that ELS's can be found anywhere. Of course they can, but they aren't codes unless they are statistically improbable, and to date, no statistically improbable codes have been found in any other string of letters, book or random. But they have, all admit, been found it Genesis.

See my point above. The Princess Di statements are statistically improbable if you were anticipating those exact words were going to be found exactly where they were. The rabinical names were shuffled, the outcomes were within statistical probability (in that they could be found in any text if you were able to shuffle the names as Witztum did.


Second, he shows that statistically improbable codes can be found by lying, and basically accuses the original authors of subconsciously or maliciously lying.

Drosnin is either lying in regard to:
- The actual existence of these codes (McKay was not able to replicate the claim)
- That the text has been unnecessarily shuffled. McKay does suggest this and demonstrates the effect that shuffling or rigging the deck can have on the outcome. The list of rabbi names seems to be arbitrary in the same way Panin chose just those names and patterns that agreed with his intended outcome. McKay provides an in-depth analysis of the nature in which the names are determined. He calls it "tuning".
- The statistical improbability. It is claimed that the codes are a statistical improbability. McKay demonstrates otherwise.


Third, McKay's studies have not been subjected to a proper peer review process. The original authors of a critiqued paper are always, in my experience, included amoung the reviewers of a critique, and allowed to publish a rebuttal alongside the critique. Both these standards of good scientific publication were bypassed to get the McKay paper published. This validates Gans contention that McKay and the other "scientists" trying to discredit the codes are all liars.

EDITED: see post 5 below.


Fourth, their concentration on Drosnin is also a straw man argument.

McKay concentrates on Drosnin because he is at present a most vocal proponent of Bible codes.


Fifth, there have been many, many replications of the statistically improbable codes, basically refuting the hypothesis that Witztum and others were lying. Scientifically refuting, I should add, since in true science, it is replication that carries the day, not ad hoc reasoning. Note that in real science, when there are many successful replications, effort to replicate that fail are normally considered to be bad methodology. That's why my grades in chemistry lab were low. When I tried to reproduce some commonly found reaction, and failed, my teachers did not rewrite their textbooks.

McKay did have trouble replicating the claims. Nevertheless in most occasions such claims are replicatable (like Panin's work). What is then stated and demonstrated is that they are not statistically improbable, and hence not miraculous.


Sixth, there is actually good reason to expect improbable codes in inspired writings of all sorts. I will not be very surprised if, when scientists look for these properly, they will find them. Any writing where the author invites and responds obediently to a "muse" is a candidate for true codes. Stephen King books will probably have codes in them, based on his description of his way of writing

There will be "codes" of all sorts in texts. McKay demonstrates this. They will not be improbable. There is quite simply no need to conjure up supernatural explanations for this stuff. You know there are now people about who think Moby Dick is "inspired" because of McKay's Princess Di discoveries.


Seventh, the whole Moby Dick codes business was coded in the book of Job, according to one code researcher, along with McKay's name, coded there and nowhere else in the bible. This wos in the only chapter in the bible dealing with harpooning whales. The surface text of the scriptures wherein McKay's name was coded calls him a liar.

Given how easy it is to find "codes", I wouldn't be surprised if McKay's name is in Job, or Mathew or Luke. Or Moby Dick. I challenge your statement that his name is only found in Job. Why don't you write to McKay and ask him to search for "Gil is right about codes" in the Bible?

Show me where the surface text in Job, where McKay's name appears in code, the text unambiguously calls him a liar.

You see patterns and supernatural all around you. Have you seen Beautiful Mind with Russel Crowe?

If these claims were legit there would be a significant acknowledgement of it in all communities scientific and Christian. You will note that I pointed out that many fundie Christian groups acknowledge the deceptive fallacy of Bible codes and Bible numerics. As far as the scientific community is concerned it is nothing more than another blip in this list of unsubstantiated claims.

Stephen, I do not remain ignorant of discoveries: on the contrary seeking truth I cautiously read all I can. Stephen you need to develop a healthy degree of scepticism to distinguish the right from wrong.

With Bible Codes you are mistaken. I encourage members of this forum to contribute.

[This message has been edited by Gilgamesh, 02-06-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Gilgamesh, posted 02-05-2004 9:03 PM Gilgamesh has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Lizard Breath, posted 02-05-2004 9:50 PM Gilgamesh has responded
 Message 5 by Gilgamesh, posted 02-05-2004 11:58 PM Gilgamesh has not yet responded
 Message 7 by Stephen ben Yeshua, posted 02-06-2004 9:14 AM Gilgamesh has not yet responded

Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 76 (83720)
02-05-2004 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Lizard Breath
02-05-2004 9:50 PM


Re: Handling Snakes
Thanks for your input Lizard Breath.

Many miraculous claims are made about the Bible (fulfilled prophecies, scientific insight) and if these are correct it makes one wonder why it is necessary to seek subliminal miraculous insights from shuffling the text.

I liked your country music joke.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Lizard Breath, posted 02-05-2004 9:50 PM Lizard Breath has not yet responded

Gilgamesh
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 76 (83753)
02-05-2004 11:58 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Gilgamesh
02-05-2004 9:17 PM


McKay peer reviewed article on Bible Codes published in Statistical Science.
I was mistaken by suggesting that Bible code claims have not been published in a peer reviewed journal. They have: "Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis", by Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenberg (WRR), Statistical Science, Vol. 9 (1994) 429-438.

Like wise Stephen was mistaken about whether McKay's rebuttals were published in a peer reviewed journal. They appear in a lter edition of the same journal: "Solving the Bible Code Puzzle", by Brendan McKay, Dror Bar-Natan, Maya Bar-Hillel, and Gil Kalai, Statistical Science, Vol. 14 (1999) 150-173.

http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/StatSci/


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Gilgamesh, posted 02-05-2004 9:17 PM Gilgamesh has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by PaulK, posted 02-06-2004 2:54 AM Gilgamesh has not yet responded
 Message 8 by Stephen ben Yeshua, posted 02-06-2004 9:43 AM Gilgamesh has not yet responded

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019