Re: Tit for Tat (Richard's challenge)?

Date: Thu Sep 11 2003 - 19:53:19 EDT

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    Thank you for your thoughtful, kind, and professional response. Comments below.

    > Richard:
    > I have looked at your web site once for a
    > few minutes. The symmetry is
    > very fascinating, even beautiful.
    > However, the members of this list, myself
    > included, don't have the interest (at least
    > certainly not the time) to explore every
    > other members' theories on one thing
    > or another.

    Of course I understand, and have no problem (in principle) with such reticence. It is necessary in a world filled with competing ideas. But I would take exception to the use of the word "theory" here. While it is true that I do present a lot of information that requires interpretation, the foundation of my work - the Canon Wheel - is easily seen and can be fully verified in a matter of minutes by anybody. The sevenfold symmetry of the large-scale structure of the traditional 66 book Christian Canon is incontrovertible. This fact, coupled with the high-level appearance of Christian symbols like the Number Seven, the bilateral symmetry dividing between the Aleph and the Tav, and the overall correspondence with the traditional tri-radiant halo signifying Deity in ancient Christian iconography, should be sufficient to overcome the necessary reticence we all share against exploring "every other members' theories on one thing or another." Remember, this is the Bible we are talking about. The structure was discovered, not invented. It is very unlikely to have happened by chance, and less likely to have been done deliberately by some secret group of humans. It was, after all, only discovered at the end of the 20th century. This should make its existence a puzzle of extreme interest to those who study the Bible.

    I guess the thing that really gets to me is that I see people day after day speculating about such things as the potential soteriological problems with hypothetical copies of souls in alternate universes which will have no resolution and probably little if any impact on peoples lives and understanding of God, whereas I can not even get a hearing on my work, the validity of which carries implications unlike anything ever seen in the history of the world, let alone biblical studies.

    > You seem dismayed that we have not all taken hours of time
    > to study your data and consider your ideas (i.e.,
    > interpretation of the data). There are many
    > intellectually and spiritually stimulating ideas
    > that we all wish to
    > contemplate. For our own individual reasons
    > (including what God leads us
    > to), we each choose only a few issues and topics to
    > devote our time and attention to.

    I really understand and appreciate your point of view. God's leading is very important, and a study like mine, which involves the large-scale structure of the Bible and endless self-reflective patterns within it, with hundreds of pages of online documentation, certainly can seem intimidating. But the idea that it would require "hours of time to study" my data before being able to get an idea if there might or might not be something to it is not really accurate. As mentioned above, the primary thesis is exceedingly simple and easy to validate. The existence of the multiple high-level theologically significant patterns should be enough to trigger anybody's interest, unless there is an invincible prejudice against the possibility of the divine design of Scripture.

    > Besides the limited-time issues, we also differ
    > in our epistemological and apologetic approach
    > to interpreting and applying knowledge and data.
    > You must learn to accept that we do not all derive
    > the same "evidentialist" interpretation of your
    > biblewheel data.

    I am sorry to see that you think you have a handle on my "epistemological and apologetic approach" considering the fact that we have yet to even discuss it. I hope you will take the time to learn that my "evidentialist" approach may not be what you think it is. :-) I think this would make a very interesting discussion.

    > Let me explain how probably many
    > on this list respond to the unveiling of your
    > discovery by describing my own reaction to it:

    Thanks. This approach is very helpful to me.

    > As I mentioned, I think the symmetry you describe
    > is very interesting. But not having the time to
    > study it, I would have to just take your word for it
    > that it is a statistically significant pattern
    > (e.g., relative to other patterns one could create
    > with the same bible books and alphabet data). No
    > disrespect intended, but I can't really just take
    > your word for it because I don't know you well enough.
    > There are few people in this world that I would
    > simply take at their word about claims of such
    > proposed far-reaching importance. Even if the
    > symmetry is amazing, I do not agree on a basic
    > apologetic level that it will mean anything to
    > anyone who isn't a believer already.

    There is no need to apologize for "not taking my word for it." Demanding that I produce evidence is exactly what I want. Case in point, the question of the "statistical significance" of the pattern. I have addressed this in my article "Probabilities: What are the Chances?" Here is the link:

    The calculations involve nothing but basic combinatorics and should be easy to follow for anybody reasonably comfortable with such. The results are that there is one chance in 688,324 that 66 objects divided into seven arbitrary divisions would exhibit both radial and bilateral symmetry when displayed in the form of the Wheel.

    But there is another aspect that should be considered. It would be a mistake to think that a pattern is not somehow "valid" or "important" if it can not be shown to be statistically rare. Think of the difficulties in computerized pattern recognition. Intelligent beings see real and important things all the time that can not be easily quantified. Try and program a computer to recognize the Face of Christ that shines in the believers' hearts as they read the Holy Bible.

    And this brings up the "apologetic value" that you question. Who said God put this pattern in Scripture as an apologetic? Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. But I have never suggested that an unbeliever would benefit from a faithless the study of the Wheel. An unbeliever must repent and believe the Gospel. I would have no reason to believe that anyone could see, let alone appreciate, the beauty and glory in the divine structure of God's Holy Word if they have yet to see and believe in Christ who is its central theme and purpose! On the other hand, it certainly is striking, and I see no reason God could not use it for His evangelical purposes. Actually, it does seem ideally suited to answer many problems unbelievers have with Scripture.

    > Your web link is available to anyone who is
    > interested in visiting, so you
    > shouldn't need to always issue a hostile
    > challenge to people to critique
    > your ideas. Periodically, or when you add
    > additional data, simply invite
    > people from the list to visit and offer
    > their criticisms.

    This is a good suggestion. I really don't like appearing "hostile." I would prefer to think of my challenge as "pointed."

    > I think people on the list are willing to
    > discuss the more general issues
    > relating to your approach interpreting
    > such evidence (I am guessing that
    > you view your findings as evidence for
    > some sort of intelligent design,
    > i.e, proof of God). Perhaps you could pose
    > the question, "If my finding
    > that this symmetry is in fact highly
    > improbable and could not have arisen
    > by chance or human design, how ought
    > this information be understood
    > theologically?" This and other such
    > questions are of more general interest
    > for discussion on this list.

    > Sincerely,
    > Douglas

    This looks like a very interesting area for discussion. It wouldn't have to be limited to my work either. I hope someone takes up the suggestion.

    Finally, concerning the Wheel as "proof of God" or "proof of the Bible." It seems to me that such would be the *inevitable* consequence of its validity, but that does not mean that that is why God put it here. E.g. a car proves the existence of an engineer, but the car was not designed just to prove that engineers exist! It was designed to get you from point A to point B. The same goes for the Bible Wheel. Might I suggest you take it out for a "spin" and see what you think?

    Thanks again for taking the time to give such a thoughtful, honest, and insightful response. It is highly valued.

    In service of the everlasting Lord, Jesus Christ,
    Discover the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Holy Bible at

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