Re: Wheel of God

From: iain.strachan2 (
Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 02:58:38 EDT

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    You wrote that you crave "intelligent criticism". I'd like to make a point
    that I think concerns anyone who is involved in this kind of venture. I'm
    well aware of the dramatic effect it must have had on you when the subject
    you had been studying for years suddenly fell into this beautiful symmetric
    structure. I experienced a similar "epiphany" on discovering an elegant
    geometric representation of the gematria of the word "logos", and then
    realising that the structure was embedded in the text itself, by relation to
    the phrase "kai theos en" (and God was). (Details available on demand ..
    but I nearly fell off my chair when I saw this).

    However, whenever any such pattern falls into place, however amazed we might
    be on seeing it, I think we have to take a step back, and ask the skeptical
    question "OK so it falls into a pattern, and the likelihood of that pattern
    is very small; but just how many other patterns could have occurred, and
    would we find those equally miraculous?". In other words, given any
    arbitrary set of numbers, how easy is it to find an "interesting pattern" in
    there? And how does one evaluate if one pattern is more "interesting" than

    To put it another way, one could evaluate the probability that the Bible
    Wheel structure occurred by chance alone, and it would be, as you say
    exceedingly tiny. Whether it's 10^-30, 10^-60 or 10^-100 is irrelevant.
    But what you are evaluating is a "posterior probability"; i.e. you have
    observed the data, and then calculated the probability of that pattern
    emerging. But perhaps the more relevant question is "what is the _prior_
    probability" that given a number of books, that it will fall into a
    symmetric pattern - not specifying what the pattern was. Suppose there had
    been 77 books and they formed a major division at 34 + 43. Would that count
    as interesting? (incidentally, this structure is present - unknown if
    deliberate - in the Genealogy of Luke 3 in some versions. There are 77
    names back from Christ to God, and King David, arguably the most important
    intermediate in the list, is the 43rd name, and there are 34 thereafter.
    (Actually, this does not work in the KJV, where there are 78 names present -
    however, many commentaries on Luke mention the fact that the symbolic number
    of 77 names is present).

    However, that is a digression. I don't think the case is sufficiently well
    established yet to make any claims about the Luke genealogy. It does look
    to me as if your "Bible Wheel" structure has a lot more going for it - but
    you should still ask those questions - or cite important corroborating
    evidence for your model. In fact, of course, you do, and note the
    Genesis-Isaiah-Romans "spoke", but even so, such evidence needs to be
    examined critically e.g. you should ask yourself whether, given any
    arbitrary three books in the bible, (say, Leviticus, 2 Chronicles and Jude
    as the first three that entered my head), whether it would be possible to
    construct an equally convincing argument why they are related. If such an
    argument can be found, and this experiment were repeated with other triples,
    then the evidence for "spoke 1" starts to look less convincing.

    A general comment. Detecting patterns that are evidence of "design"
    (whether human or Divine) requires imagination, but this must be tempered
    with a good dose of scientific skepticism. A good exercise is to get a
    random number generator to plot a set of about 150 random dots on a piece of
    paper. Imagine these are stars in the sky. If you can't see
    "constellations" present there, and give them names ("This looks like a
    horse - this looks like a weasel"), then you haven't sufficient imagination.
    If you start believing the patterns are real, and that God gave you the
    correct seed for the random number generator to give you a "message", then
    you don't have enough skepticism. On the other hand, if the dots all line
    up in a geometric form (e.g. in parallel lines), then there is something
    wrong with the random number generator (according to the famous Press. et Al
    "Numerical Recipes" book, this is a common fault among random number
    generators, that n-tuples can line on n-1 dimensional hyperplanes). The
    point I'm making is that there is a fine line between what is just random
    coincidence, and what is a genuine effect.

    I'm sure that you have asked yourself these questions and convinced yourself
    that you have an effect that is not down to coincidence, but other people
    coming into this cold, not having studied it for 10 years, and being
    presented with a "fait accompli", are bound to be skeptical, and you can't
    really blame them for that skepticism - critical examination of the evidence
    is what good science should all be about.


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: <>
    To: "george murphy" <>; "iain.strachan2"
    Cc: <>; "John W Burgeson" <>
    Sent: Friday, August 10, 2001 2:19 AM
    Subject: Re: Wheel of God

    > In response to Ian's note, George replied:
    > > The possibilities you speak about may indeed have some value,
    > > but it seems to me that they need to be approached in a tentative
    > > fashion without commitment to a once-for-all grand mathematical scheme
    > > for the whole Bible. Science has generally succeeded by proceeding from
    > > local to global, not vice versa.
    > > It is conceivable, of course, that such a grand scheme could be
    > > correct, but when it is presented as a fait accompli to be defended
    > > against attack rather than for possible correction, revision, &c, the
    > > resulting conversation isn't likely to be very profitable. Perhaps that
    > > wasn't the intention of "The Wheel of God" but that's the way it seemed
    > > to me to be working out after a couple of exchanges.
    > I agree that I gave that impression, and I recognize it as an unprofitable
    > approach. I hope that it will not color all future interactions. My hope
    > was, and is, to receive true criticism of my work, an online peer review,
    > you will.
    > Here's the deal: I am willing to utterly abandon any of my propositions
    > can be objectively demonstrated to be false or intellectually untenable. I
    > crave intelligent criticism, and I give my word that I will publish a
    > prominant retraction *on my site* of anything that can be objectively
    > demonstrated to to be in error. I don't have all the answers, no matter
    > much I may seem to act like I do.
    > Of course, as the champion of the Wheel of God, it must be understood that
    > in my heart and soul, it is a fait accompli. The process by which I came
    > this knowledge left no possible alternative. I discovered the Wheel in
    > but did not recognize the symmetric structure of the seven canonical
    > divisions until 2000. Imagine the kind of impact that had on my mind. Here
    > was a structure I studied for five years, and then all in one day this
    > incredibly beautiful symmetry just appeared before my eyes! It was one of
    > greatest "Omega minus" epiphanies.
    > Please understand I am not seeking to re-engage in debate. But I am open
    > further mutually respectful exchange of ideas.
    > B'Shem EL Elyon,
    > Richard

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