RE: [asa] Re: Ages of the patriarchs

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Fri Feb 23 2007 - 11:33:38 EST

Hi Merv, you wrote:


>>I think your overall point is well-taken -- that number games after

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



First of all, let me apologize for using the GIGO example that somehow
has injected "garbage" into this thread. Since I started it I'll recant
and repent.


How much of the discrepancy in the patriarch's ages from text to text is
due to simple scribal error and whatever could be due to purposeful
manipulation we can't know. The post-flood patriarchs have a continual
discrepancy, the deletion of 100 years from the LXX and SP to the MT in
the cases of six patriarchs and 50 years difference for Nahor. It can't
be an addition because the MT is the latest text. So if there is
manipulation it is downward from an older age to a younger one.
Therefore textual variation offers no excuse for revising the
patriarch's ages down to what we consider to be normal life spans.


If you look at the total rationale that has been offered on this thread
by all the contributors I think the weight of Scriptural and historical
evidence falls on their actual ages being at least approximate to the
advertised ages in the LXX.



Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History <>



-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Merv
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:34 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Re: Ages of the patriarchs




--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 Fri Feb 23 11:34:39 2007

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