Author Message

Quote:
>If one were to try to shoot down these Bible Codes idiots for
>once and for all, would attacking their claim of the Bible's
>being unique in having such "hidden messages" be the approach,
>maybe using a "Bible" consisting of few hundred KB of random
>ASCII characters, or perhaps finding patently impossible messages
>such as "Diana marries Donald Trump 1999" in the Bible? And what
>database structures and/or artifical intelligence algorithms
>would facilitate such searches? >=)

You can see some such sites:

<a href=" http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;> The Amazing Randi
offers online ELS searches of "War and Peace" </a>

<a href=" http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~bdm/dilugim/moby.html"> Assassinations
Foretold in Moby{*filter*}</a>

I would take the Bible Codes a little more seriously if the proponents
showed that they actually have competent understanding of probability
statistics.

About the best that I've seen is: "I found these patterns...  Isn't this
an amazing coincidence?"

The challenge:

Construct a "proof" (which will, of course, to the purists, merely
reflect statistical likelihood, as opposed to any "strict" sort of
proof) consisting of a null hypothesis that evaluates the probability
that the particular message would not be expected to occur randomly.

Such a hypothesis must take into consideration:
a) The distributions of letters in the Hebrew Bible, as well as
b) The distribution of letters in proposed messages.

One might thus compare results out of "Holy Scriptures" to a "control
text" that was randomly generated having equivalent distributions of
words and letters.

e.g. - the randomly generated text ought not to merely have the same
distribution of letters, it should go on to distributing words such as
"the," "LORD," "cost," and so forth, and furthermore to two, and perhaps
three word phrases, in effect generating a random permutation of the
Bible...

It might be further appropriate to use something like the Patricia-tree
algorithms described by Gonnet & Baetza-Yates to generate large random
texts that are highly similar to the Bible.

<ftp://sunsite.dcc.uchile.cl/pub/users/rbaeza/irbook>
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~rbaeza/handbook/hbook.html>

If people want to suggest that Bible Codes are actually of scientific
merit, they need to use scientific tools rather than merely the tools of
"mystic kaballah" to analyze them.

--
"A touchstone to determine the actual worth of an ``intellectual''
-- find out how he feels about astrology."  - Lazarus Long

Sat, 04 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT

Quote:
>If one were to try to shoot down these Bible Codes idiots for
>once and for all, would attacking their claim of the Bible's
>being unique in having such "hidden messages" be the approach,
>maybe using a "Bible" consisting of few hundred KB of random
>ASCII characters, or perhaps finding patently impossible messages
>such as "Diana marries Donald Trump 1999" in the Bible? And what
>database structures and/or artifical intelligence algorithms
>would facilitate such searches? >=)

You can see some such sites:

<a href=" http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;> The Amazing Randi
offers online ELS searches of "War and Peace" </a>

<a href=" http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~bdm/dilugim/moby.html"> Assassinations
Foretold in Moby{*filter*}</a>

I would take the Bible Codes a little more seriously if the proponents
showed that they actually have competent understanding of probability
statistics.

About the best that I've seen is: "I found these patterns...  Isn't this
an amazing coincidence?"

The challenge:

Construct a "proof" (which will, of course, to the purists, merely
reflect statistical likelihood, as opposed to any "strict" sort of
proof) consisting of a null hypothesis that evaluates the probability
that the particular message would not be expected to occur randomly.

Such a hypothesis must take into consideration:
a) The distributions of letters in the Hebrew Bible, as well as
b) The distribution of letters in proposed messages.

One might thus compare results out of "Holy Scriptures" to a "control
text" that was randomly generated having equivalent distributions of
words and letters.

e.g. - the randomly generated text ought not to merely have the same
distribution of letters, it should go on to distributing words such as
"the," "LORD," "cost," and so forth, and furthermore to two, and perhaps
three word phrases, in effect generating a random permutation of the
Bible...

It might be further appropriate to use something like the Patricia-tree
algorithms described by Gonnet & Baetza-Yates to generate large random
texts that are highly similar to the Bible.

<ftp://sunsite.dcc.uchile.cl/pub/users/rbaeza/irbook>
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~rbaeza/handbook/hbook.html>

If people want to suggest that Bible Codes are actually of scientific
merit, they need to use scientific tools rather than merely the tools of
"mystic kaballah" to analyze them.

--
"A touchstone to determine the actual worth of an ``intellectual''
-- find out how he feels about astrology."  - Lazarus Long

Sat, 04 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT

On Sat, 16 May 1998 12:18:19 -0400, in sci.logic, "Michael A.

Quote:
>I'm a Prolog programmer, a computational linguist who knows Hebrew and
>Greek, and a Christian (last is not least here!), and I see no reason to
>think the Bible code is anything but coincidence.  The way the Hebrew
>language works, almost any string of random letters will spell something,
>especially if it's allowed to be the transliterated name of a foreigner
>whose name has no fixed Hebrew spelling.

I think too many readers of Scripture try to "decipher" it, or
"unmask" it, or in some way to "decode" it. I suppose this is
harmless, provided one entertains such an undertaking as a "game."
Otherwise, some goofy, if not outlandish and preposterous, predictions
and discoveries are claimed.

I do believe their is a "biblical code," but only in the sense that
Northrop Frye used this phrase in his book "Great Code: The Bible and
Literature."  In that wonderful book, he proposes a prism of four ways
to assess and understand the entire Bible: Myth, Metaphor, Typology,
and Language, which is in the continuing tradition of the early Church
Fathers and the Medieval Church.

Let's not forget that, prior to Gutenberg Press, most people *heard*
Scripture, which is how Scripture itself tells us the manner in which
it is to be received. "Bible Study" is almost an oxymoron, for it is
not the "study" of the Bible that is important, but, after having
heard its message, acting upon its messages. It's also noteworthy that
the early and medieval Church understood Scripture to have Four
Senses, much like Frye's Four Codes.

Thomas Aquinas summarizes these Four Senses in his "Summa Theologica"
I, 1, x. There he identifies the Four Senses (connotations, meanings,
intensions, etc) that the hearer should attempt to identify in
ascending order of importance: Historical-Literal,
Figurative-Allegorical, Moral-Ethical, and Anagogical (it's in the
dictionary). Aquinas observes that the Historical-Literal is necessary
in much the same way that Saul Kripke does in "Naming and Necessity."

The Literal-Historical Sense gives a text its essential reference
point. It concretizes reference. But the important Senses are the
three others, which may be lumped together as the Spiritual Senses.
It's in these Senses that individuals come to Scripture at the same
level as those who wrote it! For all Scripture is intended not for its
literal-historical mode, but for its spiritual mode -- that is, how it
impacts one's journey in faith and the good works of faith.

Saint Catherine of Sienna probably put it best. Only those who
approach Scripture in the same spiritual disposition as the
disposition of the writers of Scripture, with enlightenment by the
Holy Spirit, is Scripture properly understood. Otherwise, it is often
terribly misunderstood. Is she right? Look at the plethora of
individual interpretations of this and that verse, pericope, or book
by all who assume themselves the final arbiter of Scripture and behold
what one gets: Division.

If there's one message Scripture promotes it's unity, and if there's
one message it denounces it's division. Strangely how self-styled
___________________
D. Stephen Heersink
San Francisco

"In things necessary, unity;
in things doubtful, liberty;
in all things, charity."

--Augustine of Hippo

Tue, 07 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT

...

Quote:

> I would take the Bible Codes a little more seriously if the proponents
> showed that they actually have competent understanding of probability
> statistics.

> About the best that I've seen is: "I found these patterns...  Isn't this
> an amazing coincidence?"

Some people who do have competent understanding of statistics REALLY
think that the Bible Codes "analysis" is a load of crap.  To see their
statement, surf to
http://math.caltech.edu/code/petition.html
If you don't agree with what they say, argue with them, not with me.

Tue, 07 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT

In his tale "The Library of Babel", Jorge Luis Borges imagines an
infinite
Library which contains all the books that were and will be written.
As any Borges' story, its reading is a pleasure and it consumes far less
time that reading the messages and pages regarding these Bible Codes

The tale was originally published in 1941 in "The Garden of Forking
Paths"
Nowadays you can find it in the book "Ficciones" which not only contains
TGoFP but also the tales from "Artifices"

To those lazy people that won't read "The Library of Babel" but only
my message, I would say that 50 years before some imaginative misleader
came up with the idea of the Bible Codes, Borges had already disproved
it by basically stating that everything can already be written in a
long enough text.

Although Borges didn't mention anything about Lady Di death, I can say
with
probability 1 that it has been also anticipated in the Library of Babel.
;)

For those who have the misfortune of not knowing Borges, or knowing too
little,
a nice page about Borges & Borges' work can be found at

http://rpg.net/quail/libyrinth/borges/

Enjoy it!
Pedro.

PS: To avoid stupid engines filling my e-mail-box with junk-mail
I deliberatedly removed or changed my e-mail address. Nonetheless
you can find me through my web page
http://www.cs.utwente.nl/~dargenio/

Fri, 10 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT

Quote:

> If there's one message Scripture promotes it's unity, and if there's
> one message it denounces it's division. Strangely how self-styled
> arbiters have achieved contradictory ends.

The one message Scripture promotes seems to be whatever the goal of the
promoter is.  The one message it denounces tends to be the opposite.
"Contradictory" is a term I would apply to the Scriptures, not a term I
would use to describe this activity.

--
Alan Newman
Speaking for myself.

Fri, 10 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT

Quote:
>In his tale "The Library of Babel", Jorge Luis Borges imagines an
>infinite Library which contains all the books that were and will be
>written.  As any Borges' story, its reading is a pleasure and it
>consumes far less time that reading the messages and pages regarding
>these Bible Codes

I know I'm being picky, but the library wasn't infinite: it curved
back on itself.  For those who haven't read the story, the idea is
that the library contains a collection of books each of which has the
same number of pages, the same number of characters on a line and
lines to a page, using the same alphabet.  Every possible book in this
scheme exists somewhere in the library.  Hence there are volumes and
sequences of volumes that `predict' the future and contain perfect
histories.  Of course, there are also many many more that are
incorrect in this sense.  And most of the books just contain
gibberish.

Ralph
--

Sat, 11 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT

Quote:

>> If there's one message Scripture promotes it's unity, and if there's
>> one message it denounces it's division. Strangely how self-styled
>> arbiters have achieved contradictory ends.

>The one message Scripture promotes seems to be whatever the goal of the
>promoter is.  The one message it denounces tends to be the opposite.
>"Contradictory" is a term I would apply to the Scriptures, not a term I
>would use to describe this activity.

Confusing the message with the messenger, here. Although, the majority of
the messengers (one or two exceptions :-) are guilty.
The newsgroups listed on this thread are appallingly off-topic. Can we move
this to pseudo.sci.peoplewithtoomuchtimeontheirhands?

Sat, 11 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT

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