Re: Small probabilities

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Tue Nov 29 2005 - 14:27:19 EST

On 11/29/05, Randy Isaac <> wrote:
> Yes, Vernon, I do agree that facts are facts. Can't argue with that. The
> significance and meaning of those facts is the question. Your observations
> are clever and perhaps even creative and artistic.


I wonder if you could clarify what you mean by saying that Vernon's
observations are "clever" and "artistic". I may have got you wrong, but it
might appear from that that you are saying that with sufficient ingenuity
you can find a clever pattern in any sequence of numbers.

One of the things I've tried to do in this whole discussion about small
probabilities and description length (Kolmogorov theory etc) is to
illustrate that I think what Vernon has found is _not_ just the product of
an ingenious imagination, or a clever arbitrary bit of mathematical
manipulation - that the pattern in the integers was indeed something that
was deliberately put there, rather than just a coincidence.

One of the inhibiting factors of this discussion, it seems to me is that
Vernon wishes to put an interpretation on it (that the first chapter of
Genesis is literal truth), which I don't subscribe to, and which makes the
overwhelming majority of people on the ASA list want to dismiss his
observations out of hand. I think if we could divorce the fact (of the
pattern) from Vernon's interpretation, then we might get a little further.
I am of the opinion that the pattern, which we both agree is a fact, is a
piece of deliberate design. But in general, there appear to be three
interpretations of the facts:

(1) The pattern is a complete coincidence.
(2) The pattern is deliberate and was put there by the human authors.
(3) The pattern is deliberate and is intentional Divine action for some

All of my contributions to the "small probabilities" threads (and earlier
ones on Kolmogorov) have been to the end of illustating that I think there
are sound methods for showing that (1) is not the case. I, therefore have
to deal with what are the likely implications of (2) or (3) being the truth.

What do you think?


Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that there is any philosophical
> or theological significance to the patterns and relationships you have
> described. The verses you have quoted previously to justify such
> signficance do not give carte blanche permission to deduce meaning from
> arbitrary arithmetic manipulation of numeric values of letters. As we've
> discussed in this forum, the low probability of occurrence of numerical
> results is not an indication of divine significance.
> Randy
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Vernon Jenkins <>
> *To:* Randy Isaac <> ;
> *Sent:* Sunday, November 20, 2005 7:28 PM
> *Subject:* Re: Small probabilities
> Randy,
> Further to the matter of the observed coordination of the numerical
> geometries that derive from unbroken sequences of the Bible's opening Hebrew
> words, I invite you consider some additional data which lend considerable
> weight to these incontrovertible and remarkable events. The relevant page
> titled "Genesis 1:1 - The Inside Story" may be found at
> You may remember, some time ago, Iain commenting on the fact that these
> realities are 'not everyone's cup of tea'. But facts are facts! And facts
> are the lifeblood of rational and meaningful debate. Is our grasp of the
> eternal verities so sure - so secure - that we, as Christians, can afford to
> ignore such solid empirical data? Surely not, as I think you must agree.
> Vernon

After the game, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.
- Italian Proverb
Received on Tue Nov 29 14:30:48 2005

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