# Fw: [asa] Re: Ages of the patriarchs

From: Bill Hamilton <williamehamiltonjr@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu Feb 22 2007 - 22:25:33 EST

Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile)
"...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Bill Hamilton <williamehamiltonjr@yahoo.com>
To: dickfischer@verizon.net
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 9:43:35 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Re: Ages of the patriarchs

Dick is right. You can compute the probability of any sequence of tickets being presented as follows. Each ticket number is issued only once, so once a particular number has been presented, it can't be presented again. The probability of any particular number being presented first is 1/100,000. Then there are 99,999 numbers left, so the probability of any particular number being presented second is 1/99,999. The probability of any given sequence is 1/(100,000*99,999*99,998*...*1) = 1/100,000! (a _very_ large number)
But it doesn't matter whether the sequence is 1,2,...,100,000 or something else that "looks" random. The probability is 1/100,000!

Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile)
"...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31

----- Original Message ----
From: "dickfischer@verizon.net" <dickfischer@verizon.net>
To: asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 9:11:18 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Re: Ages of the patriarchs

Hi David,you wrote:

>>I'm no mathemetician or statistician either, but I do know that you have to go beyond the basic initial probability calculation to test the hypothesis that {1.....100,000} in perfect numerical sequence represents a random occurrence. If we applied a chi-square test or some other statistical test, I'm sure we'd be able to reject the null hypothesis that {1....100,000} in perfect numerical squence represents a random sequence, with a very high degree of confidence.<<

Apparent randomness is not the issue. If the number sequence was advertised in advance or predicted than whatever the sequence was would be just as improbable as 1 to 100,000. The odds of any number sequence occuring in a specified order is just as unlikely as any recognizable number pattern.

Take the sentence, "Amy's baby chews doughnuts each Friday." What's the pattern? Each first letter is in sequence. Okay, so what? The patriarch's ages taken from a particular text forms a number pattern. What does that prove? Another set of ages from another text would yield another number pattern. What significance could we attach in accordance with the spiffyness of the different patterns?

In this case, however, we know there is at least one error in the MT because it omits a patriarch and his age. It's like having a portrait painted of your wife. It may be a beautiful picture but the painter made her brown eyes blue. So which is correct, the beautiful picture or her drivers license?

~Dick

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Received on Thu Feb 22 22:26:25 2007

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