RE: Numerics

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Sun Jun 05 2005 - 09:40:44 EDT

I believe the question of design will invariably lead to the ontological question regarding the existence of all that there is. I have never received any answer to the question, why is not the mere existence of an electron sufficient to infer design in Nature? Numerology boarders on witchcraft since there is sufficient evidence already in both the Book of Nature and Word of God that would suffice to know that there is a Creator who entered the creation in the form of His Son. The details are left for us to investigate as human beings and scientists. Otherwise, what would we do, eat, sleep and be merry?




From: on behalf of Glenn Morton
Sent: Sat 6/4/2005 10:59 PM
To: 'Iain Strachan'; 'Randy Isaac'
Subject: RE: Numerics

OK, let me ask this. Which text should be used, the ancient one without any vowels, or the 9th century AD Massoretic text with vowels? The Dead Sea scrolls have two fragments of Gen. 1:1 with no differences from the Massoretic Text save the vowels(?) I presume.


Also, what do we do with the letter error rate? From Wilkopedia "For example, amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls <> and fragments found at other places in the Judean desert, there are some which differ from the Masoretic Text in only about 1 letter of each 1000 letters. Of course, there are also fragments showing a much larger difference."


Given the interest in numerology by the Medieval kabbalists, is it possible that this interest is much older and that the original text was written in such a way as to contain those geometric objects-say, a Hebrew version of Pythagoreanism.? Grattann-Guinness may be right, but how would we tell?


If you as a mathematician, whom I respect and trust, tell me that the geometries are something interesting, then why should one automatically reject what Vernon is saying and go with a naturalistic explanation? Should our first reactions to these sorts of things always be that God can't possibly do anything miraculous and then rule that out by fiat?


My discussion of design on this list a week ago was basically aimed at the concept that too many here believe that God can't engage in miracles and that God can't possibly affect the physical world and leave evidence of design. To me, what you write is an example of automatically rejecting any divine influence on the physical world. But, on the other hand, I am not going to accept just any evidence for design. I do not see biology as evidence of design like the ID folks do, and I don't see numerology as evidence of design like Vernon does. But, these geometries you speak of, might be interesting. But one needs to be sure that this isn't something that can be easily explained. I tried to use the first sentence of Pi in the Sky to do a square like someone did here with Gen 1:1, but it didn't work. However, I found his case unconvincing because of the number of times that one character appears in the sequence.


Now, I reject the numerology based upon the fact that I can find such things in many books, by chance (Pi in the sky was the first book I picked out of my library). How does one quantify the probability that such geometries will arise by chance?






From: [] On Behalf Of Iain Strachan
Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2005 6:21 PM
To: Randy Isaac
Subject: Re: Numerics


I would like to point out that having taken the time to look in to Vernon's work on the numerics, it is my opinion that there is much more to it than either Glenn's parody, or much of Panin's work.

No-one so far has responded to Vernon's comment about coordinated geometries. This is far more difficult IMO to write off as coincidence than the accumulation of many multiples of 7 (or 5 in Glenn's case).

I realise that this may not be most peoples' cup of tea, and I have spent some time myself looking into it before coming to my conclusions. I think there may be principled scientific ways of explaining it (possibly using Kolmogorov complexity theory), but I can't give a definitive statement as yet.

I will state here, as Vernon already knows, that I do _not_ accept that his discoveries in any way support a literal/historical interpretation of Genesis Ch 1. Nor do I say it "proves" Divine Inspiration of the Bible. That is one possible conclusion (that it's a watermark), but it could be a human contrivance ( mathematician Ivor Grattann-Guinness believes this to be the case).

This would be easier to discuss if one could first ask the question as to whether it is deliberate design & then leave till later the nature of the designer (who might or might not have a capital D).


On 6/4/05, Randy Isaac <> wrote:

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.




There are 3 types of people in the world.
Those who can count and those who can't.
Received on Sun Jun 5 09:44:51 2005

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