From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Sat Jun 04 2005 - 18:17:10 EDT

With the recent exchange between Glenn and Vernon fresh in my mind, I was intrigued when I read the following paragraphs in Alton Everest's history of the ASA. Peter Stoner is one of the five founders of the ASA. He was a mathematician and an astronomer.

"Peter Stoner's background in mathematics caused him to be incensed at a book on Bible numerics he encountered. It was a popularization of Canadian Ivan Panin's work entitled "Astounding New Discoveries" written by Karl G. Sabiers. Stoner was able to confer with both Sabiers and his financial backer, chemist Albert Nobell in the Los Angeles area.

"Panin's work claimed to prove the Bible inspired by assigning conventionally accepted numeric values to the letters in the original languages then demonstrating inspiration by an exceptional number of additive combinations divisible by 7. Each such number was called a "feature". Many combinations were considered: the number of words in a passage, number of letters in a word, the value of each individual letter in a word, etc. The number of features Panin found were far below the number that should exist if taken at random. Panin had not considered the random requirement.

"Stoner's careful dealing with Sabiers and Nobell undoubtedly contributed to Sabiers work fading from the scene. Who can forget Stoner telling, with a twinkle in his eye, that by Panin's calculations he had computed that "The Prologue to Evangeline" is more inspired than Genesis!"

The references cited are:

Letter, Peter W. Stoner to H. Harold Hartzler, 7 June 1947

Stoner, Peter W. "Dr. Ivan Panin's Work on Bible Numerics", Yearbook of the American Scientific Affiliation, 1947.

Received on Sat Jun 4 18:19:05 2005

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