Re: Small probabilities

From: Don Nield <>
Date: Tue Nov 29 2005 - 15:29:21 EST

Has Iain taken into consideration the fact that the passage in Genesis
is not a random sequence of letters but rather a Hebrew text and
therefore should be expected to show some patterns if one searches for them?

Iain Strachan wrote:

> 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.
> Randy,
> 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 purpose.
> 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?
> Iain
> 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
Received on Tue Nov 29 15:33:45 2005

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