Re: Comments on Snoke's approach

From: Vernon Jenkins <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
Date: Mon Sep 26 2005 - 17:46:26 EDT

Randy,
 
Thanks for your observations. Whilst I completely agree that - in general - the low probability associated
with an event is insufficient - in itself - to infer _design_, I believe the numero-geometrical features
attending the early words of the Hebrew Scriptures represent a notable exception (here, I cite the unique
nature of the Book, the characteristics of the phenomena in question, their strategic position within the
biblical text, the marked symbolisms displayed and, arguably, the possibility that they represent a
fulfilment of the prophecy recorded in Isaiah 29:14).

In his monograph "The Design Inference" William Dembski writes (p.4), "In the presence of small probabilities, patterns given _prior_ to events _always_ eliminate chance. In the presence of small probabilities, patterns identified _after_ events _may_ or _may not_ eliminate chance." Clearly, you remain
unimpressed by my reference to Rev.13:18 as a prior specification of my findings - where both the
reading of words as numbers is divinely sanctioned, and the specific number, 666, is offered as one
capable of leading the 'understanding' investigator to 'wisdom'. It is therefore at least _interesting_ that
666 happens to be the epitome of numerical triangularity, and a multiple of 37 (itself, a unique 2D figurate
number, and factor of Genesis 1:1 and of both name and title of our Creator - Jesus Christ.

However, I hardly think these matters will cause you to change your mind in regard to _pre-
specification_. So let's briefly investigate a case where a pattern identified _after the fact_, eliminates
chance. It may be found in the same monograph, and on the same page.

"Alice and Bob... (are celebrating)... their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Their six children show up bearing
gifts. Each gift is part of a matching set of china. There is no duplication of gifts, and together the gifts
form a complete set of china. Suppose Alice and Bob were satisfied with their old set of china, and had
no inkling prior to opening their gifts that they might expect a new set of china. Alice and Bob are
therefore without a relevant pattern whither to refer their gifts prior to actually receiving them from their
children. Nevertheless, Alice and Bob will not attribute the gifts to random acts of kindness (i.e. to
chance). Rather, Alice and Bob will attribute the new set of china to the collusion of their children (i.e. to
design). Granted, Alice and Bob have been given no pattern prior to receiving the gifts. Yet on receiving
the gifts, Alice and Bob discern a pattern that - though discerned after the fact - cannot be reasonably
explained apart from the collusion of their children."

Now this situation, I suggest, is very much like the one being discussed, for consider:

(1) 'Alice and Bob' may be taken to represent the scientific community, of which ASA is part.

(2) And the 'childrens' gifts', the unbroken sequences of words (extracted from the first 21 of the Hebrew
Bible) which deliver the numerical geometries.*

(3) We note that all the 'children' contribute (i.e. all 21 words of Gen.1:1,2 are involved).

(4) These 'gifts' are observed to form a _coordinated set_ (the 'china') - creating a pattern which is
discerned _after the fact_.

(5) Inevitable outcome: design inferred.

While I accept Iain's point that "All this does not speculate on who the designer might be.", it requires but
few additional pieces of evidence to settle the matter in favour of the Creator.

Vernon
www.otherbiblecode.com

*Here is a list of the coordinated geometries (presented pictorially at
http://homepage.virgin.net/tgvernon.jenkins/Astounding.htm):

Words 1-5, inclusive ------------------------ 3x666
Words 1-7, inclusive ------------------------ Genesis 1:1 = 73rd numerical triangle = 37x73
Word 8 ------------------------------------------ an apposite plinth for Gen.1:1
Words 4-8, inclusive ------------------------ 25th hexagon = self-intersection of 73rd triangle
Words 6&7 ------------------------------------- "and the earth" = 37th numerical triangle
Words 1-8, inclusive ------------------------ 77th numerical triangle
Words 9-15, inclusive ----------------------- 3x25th rhombus; vertices meet at centroid of 73rd triangle
Words 16-21, inclusive --------------------- 37th rhombus

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Randy Isaac
  To: asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 2:48 AM
  Subject: Re: Comments on Snoke's approach

  Vernon,
      The short answer is no. But the issue you raise deserves a longer and more thoughtful response because issues of probability and remarkable patterns continue to be poorly misunderstood by many people and are frequently misused.

      Let me start with the well-worn, oft-used analogy of dealing a hand of bridge. Pick up your cards and no matter what cards you have, you could truthfully exclaim that the probability of your being dealt that particular hand is infinitesimally small. But you wouldn't be justified on that basis in accusing the dealer of cheating and manipulating the cards. However, if prior to dealing the cards, someone had written down a possible hand and if after the hand is dealt the cards match that specific pattern, you would indeed be justified in suspecting foul play. The point is that merely having an extremely low probability of occurrence is not an argument for cheating--or for design. Consideration must be given to the bigger picture such as the number of combinations possible. For a hand of cards, the number of possibilities is also vast so that the probability of having a low-probability hand is actually one hundred percent.

      When applied to your numero/geometrical findings, it isn't nearly as easy to calculate the number of possibilities as it is in a deck of cards. But it is fair to say that the total number of possible geometric or numerical results is incredibly vast and that every one of them has a low probability of occurring. As in the deck of cards, whatever combination arises, it will be a low-probability combination. Even if the combination has some degree of interest, there is no significance whatsoever unless there is a specific prior detailed articulation of the pattern to be expected. No, I'm sorry but Rev. 13:18 doesn't even come close to such an articulation.

      What about evolution? Anti-evolution literature often includes someone saying that the probability of occurrence is so low that it couldn't have happened. The simplest form is considering DNA as the random sequence of any of the 4 nucleotides and calculating the probability of a particular sequence occurring. Of course that number is infinitesimal but it has no meaning. On the one hand, DNA doesn't get assembled by a totally random concatenation of nucleotides. On the other, low probability doesn't mean it can't happen. We have to understand the bigger picture of what the possibilities are. One could argue effectively that once there exists a reproducing organism, the probability that in time there would be a vast diverse range of species is close to unity. Far less well understood is the generation of such an initial living reproducing organism from non-organic material. We don't know enough to say it couldn't have happened any more than we can say it was bound to happen.

      Randy

  ----- Original Message -----
    From: Vernon Jenkins
    To: Randy Isaac
    Cc: asa@calvin.edu
    Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 7:17 PM
    Subject: Re: Comments on Snoke's approach

    Randy,

    I've been looking again at some remarks you made (14/8/05) concerning the numerical and
    geometrical information obtained from a fair alternative reading of certain significant and strategically-placed Hebrew and Greek words of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. I quote:

    .............

    To conclude, I hope we can now agree that these numero/geometrical findings should no longer be dismissed as data non grata by members of this forum - and beyond. They surely deserve better than to be 'kicked into the long grass', and ignored or forgotten!

    Vernon
    www.otherbiblecode.com
        
Received on Mon Sep 26 17:48:27 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Sep 26 2005 - 17:48:27 EDT