Re: [asa] Re: Ages of the patriarchs

From: Merv <>
Date: Thu Feb 22 2007 - 23:33:59 EST

I think your overall point is well-taken -- that number games after the
fact should be taken skeptically, especially if they are based on one of
a number of possible translations. Nonetheless, you can't make me
believe that you wouldn't hold an apparently ordered sequence (even one
to a hundred) to be any different than one that actually did appear
random. If I told you I was going to recite one hundred random
numbers, but I then recited from one to a hundred in order, you would
quickly inform me of the deficiency of my "randomness". But if I am
willing to wade through a large (and finite) quantity of numbers to find
that sequence, it is no longer so amazing. In fact take the
(im)probability of the specified sequence you want to look for: is it
1/100000! (which would be the chance of your football fans arriving in
ordered sequence but by chance). Then by looking at 100000! such
sequences (each of the entire length), you have a 1/e (~37% chance) of
finding your one predicted sequence. Repeat that whole feat 10 times,
and you've raised your odds of finding your sequence to ~99% -- a
virtual certainty.

So it becomes a statistical certainty that you will find the entire
Bible (any version you want) somewhere in pi or square root of two, or
any non-repeating sequence of infinite length. It would be amazing NOT
to. (the mathematical equivalent of the classic evolutionist's
argument, perhaps.) But to find these things in a finite sequence that
isn't mind-bogglingly long -- that would be amazing. To find a
universe of finite space and time that has life, well -- I think that is
pretty amazing. Something to praise God for. But I say that in faith,
not knowing the parameters to define the problem or state the
probabilities, so my friends of different persuasion will remain

--merv wrote:
> 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?

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Received on Thu Feb 22 23:29:27 2007

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