Re: A word of appreciation

From: Michael Roberts <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
Date: Tue Sep 21 2004 - 02:36:54 EDT

You are right David

Michael
----- Original Message -----
From: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
To: <pruest@mysunrise.ch>
Cc: <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>; <iain.g.d.strachan@ntlworld.com>;
<asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 4:00 AM
Subject: Re: A word of appreciation

>
> On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 17:03:49 +0200 Peter Ruest <pruest@mysunrise.ch>
> writes:
> >
> > Vernon Jenkins expressed his appreciation that this list was more
> > tolerant of his posts than a YEC list he tried. In response, he
> > again
> > got quite negative comments (to put it mildly) about his endeavors!
> > I
> > feel I have to jump in here and remind the list of a few points.
> >
> > (1) Three years ago, when Vernon presented the findings of pretty
> > accurate values of pi in Gen.1:1 and e in John 1:1, I confirmed his
> >
> > findings and reported it to the list. The fractional deviations are
> >
> > about 4x10^-6 for each case.
> >
> > (2) I asked for opinions about estimating the significance. The only
> >
> > answer I got was from Iain Strachan who wrote me on 5 Jul 2001
> > (off-list, but I quote him here with his permission he gave me
> > then):
> >
> > "As far as the probability is concerned, I calculated the
> > distribution
> > of the logarithm of the number computed by Vernon's formula, and
> > found
> > it to be, to all intents and purposes a uniform random variable in
> > the
> > range from zero to 1. You are right in stating that you expect one
> > of
> > the 5000 or so verses to come within 10^-4, and that therefore it is
> >
> > perhaps not that unlikely that one of them is within 10^-5.
> > However,
> > the chance of any _pre-specified_ verse being this close, given a
> > uniform distribution, is indeed 10^-5. As you are aware, Vernon has
> >
> > indicated a large number of other numerical properties of the text
> > of
> > Gen 1:1 as well, so I think it's fair to state that the chance that
> >
> > _this one_ comes within 10^-5 is indeed as stated, because it
> > already
> > seems to exhibit other, independent properties. If some arbitrary
> > other
> > verse anywhere else in the Torah had come within 10^-5 of pi, then I
> >
> > would not have assigned anything remarkable to it. The fact remains
> >
> > that the very first verse is the closest to pi, and it is an order
> > of
> > magnitude closer than any other verse. (I should note here that the
> >
> > division into verses is perhaps arbitrary, as the original text was
> > not
> > so divided, but one had to adopt some division in order to compute
> > the
> > statistics).
> >
> > "If one were being ultra conservative, one would not multiply up the
> >
> > probabilities of it independently occurring in Gen 1:1 and John 1:1.
> > It
> > has been argued (B...'s recent post) that the formula is an
> > arbitrary
> > one, plucked out of thin air; one might accuse Vernon (actually it
> > was
> > not Vernon who discovered this) of concocting a formula to make the
> >
> > numbers come to an interesting constant. So to be ultra
> > conservative,
> > one should only take the value given in John 1:1 (what I would term
> > the
> > "validation set"), and cite that probability (as now the formula is
> >
> > pre-specified). It is still 10^-5, which looks well beyond
> > coincidence. Additionally there are other striking integer based
> > numerical properties in John 1:1 which relate to the numerical
> > geometry
> > findings that Vernon published in Gen 1:1.
> >
> > "However, in response to the accusation that it was an arbitrary
> > formula, Vernon subsequently challenged B... to produce an
> > arbitrary
> > mathematical formula of similar simplicity that mapped the first 26
> >
> > digits of pi to the name "VernonJenkins". This, I believe
> > demonstrates
> > that it isn't too easy to come up with simple mathematical
> > transformations that give the desired results."
> >
> > (3) As far as I am aware, there are no known reading variants among
> > all
> > available manuscripts for these two verses. Each of them represents
> > a
> > self-contained proclamation, which makes it hardly reasonable to
> > claim
> > these verse delimitations to be arbitrary. Both verses are clearly
> > of
> > very fundamental theological significance for the Old and New
> > Testaments, respectively. They are clearly not the only fundamental
> >
> > ones, but how many others would you add to the list - 10, 20, 50...?
> >
> > Certainly not 5000! Thus, Iain's probability estimates are very
> > conservative, if anything.
> >
> > (4) Vernon's findings about pi and e have been challenged on the
> > basis
> > of their being only approximations, rather than the exact values -
> > which
> > God surely knows! This challenge is quite off-track, as there is
> > really
> > no reason to suppose (and Vernon never claimed it, as far as I know)
> >
> > that God should have produced the exact values if anything -
> > particularly since both pi and e are transcendental.
> >
> > (5) In any context of scientific investigation yielding such
> > estimates
> > of probability, a charge of coincidence would be considered absurd.
> >
> > Whatever any of us think they should do with these findings is a
> > personal matter, but let's be fair with Vernon! The finding as such
> > _is_
> > indeed very interesting, and no one has yet produced any reasonable
> >
> > suggestion as to how it could have been fabricated or resulted from
> >
> > coincidence.
> >
> > (Now please don't charge me again with claiming the Bible to "teach
> >
> > science"!)
> >
> > Peter
> >
> >
> > --
> > Dr. Peter Ruest, CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
> > <pruest@dplanet.ch> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
> > "..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)
> >
> Peter,
> Your position would rebut my argument were I to try to use it against
> you. However, you are failing to note that Vernon holds that inspired
> scripture is absolute truth and requires no interpretation--you read it
> just as it is without qualification or modification. An unqualified
> approximation to a transcendental value is not the absolute truth, so it
> cannot conform to the reuired dicta. This renders Iain's calculation
> irrelevant in support of Vernon.
> Dave
>
>
Received on Tue Sep 21 03:52:31 2004

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