Re: Numerics (was Re: Comments on Snoke's approach)

From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@adelphia.net>
Date: Mon Aug 15 2005 - 21:49:43 EDT

Vernon,

    We have enough difficulty in detecting messages transmitted by human agents, let alone non-humans. As for messages from God, the only real revelation we have is Jesus Christ, God incarnate. We have the inspired written account of his life and God's dealing with his people. But detecting any other communication from God is not really a matter of "one's personal tolerance of coincidence." The 'watermarks' in your website are indeed elegant and well crafted, but their low probability of occurring at random does not make them a message from God.

    Rev. 13:18 is an intriguing verse and I certainly do not know what the proper interpretation is. But I believe I can bound the range of possibilities. At most, it implies that a person with wisdom would know that the "beast" has the characteristics conveyed by the symbolism represented by "666". No more.

    Randy
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Vernon Jenkins
  To: Randy Isaac ; asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 6:44 PM
  Subject: Re: Numerics (was Re: Comments on Snoke's approach)

  Randy,

  You raised the question, "How do we determine the dividing line between a pattern that can appear spontaneously, though with low probability, and a pattern that we all agree is derived from an agent transmitting a message?" It seems to me that this largely depends upon one's personal tolerance of coincidence; however, reason suggests that this cannot be _unlimited_. A prime example arises in my own field of interest, viz the coordinated numerical geometries which inhabit the opening Hebrew words of Scripture. These present the atheist and skeptical believer alike with a major problem - for such is their intensity. I invite you to examine a concise pictorial account of these which you may find at http://homepage.virgin.net/tgvernon.jenkins/Astounding.htm

  You went on to say, "Some people use gematria or similar approaches to find numerical or other geometrical patterns in texts such as the Bible. They are persuaded that this is an indication of a message conveyed by an intelligent being. The only basis for their claim seems to be the low probability of such a pattern occurring and that the best explanation of that pattern is an intelligent author with divine skills. I don't find such arguments compelling, largely because they are a posteriori determinations of patterns without any a priori basis for believing an intelligent author intends to communicate in that manner." But the proof of the Lord's intention to communicate in this way is surely signalled in Revelation 13:18 - as I recently pointed out in "Balancing the Books" (http://homepage.virgin.net/tgvernon.jenkins/Balancing_Books.htm).

  Vernon
Received on Mon Aug 15 22:24:10 2005

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