Re: Small probabilities

From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@adelphia.net>
Date: Tue Nov 29 2005 - 14:56:11 EST

Yes, Iain, you got it precisely right. With sufficient ingenuity you can find a clever pattern in any sequence of numbers. But not an a priori prescribed pattern. Remember the days of "The Bible Code" in the late 90's? A bit different but similar principles. Following a few links from our ASA website, we find http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/diana.html where Lady Diana's death and the names of her boyfriend and driver are found in Moby Dick. Perhaps Herman Melville was a prophet for our times. Strange how these predictions are always found after the fact.

Net: Option 1) without a doubt. I read your posts on this thread and I thought you were ending up here as well. I'm not sure why you moved away from it.

Randy
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Iain Strachan
  To: Randy Isaac
  Cc: Vernon Jenkins ; asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 2:27 PM
  Subject: Re: Small probabilities

  On 11/29/05, Randy Isaac <randyisaac@adelphia.net> 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 ; asa@calvin.edu
      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 http://homepage.virgin.net/tgvernon.jenkins/Inside_Story_SH.htm .

      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

  --
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  After the game, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.

  - Italian Proverb
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Received on Tue Nov 29 17:59:26 2005

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