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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site


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Title Author Date
the methods of the Bible code yongkiat, sim Aug 14, 2003
I would like to comment on the mathematical method that both Bible-code believers and opponents use to back up their stand. Though I'm not a believer, I've come up with a certain argument which is affecting my skepticism, and I've sent in this post hoping that someone could point out the error in my following argument, in order for me to attain a peace of mind.

I want to show that, contrary to common belief, mathematics alone actually does not tell us much whether the hidden code was placed intentionally or not. Imagine this, say Moby Dick is able to generate 10 correction predictions, yet of little importance, with the Bible generating only 5 correct yet important ones, which book gives better predictions? Obviously Moby Dick, if you define correct prediction as "true facts". Yet if you choose to define correct prediction as "important true facts", then the bible is now five
times more powerful than Moby Dick. In other words, statistical methods dealing only with numbers and quantities do not contribute much to the decision on the probability of the existence of hidden codes, for surely man is capable to judge qualities, not merely to calculate quantities, even if I cannot prove to you mathematically why Beethoven is nicer than the traffic.

Thus it is not entirely irrational for the bible-code believer to feel that there is a hidden code, for they can always believe that God would want only to talk of important and famous truths. The only decisive way to refute the believer is to come up with the same amount of quality predictions from another book of the same thickness as the Torah, instead of wasting time on the discussion of the statistical method used.
Related Articles: The Rise and Fall of the Bible Code

Title Author Date
the methods of the Bible code McKay, Brendan Aug 14, 2003
The reason for preferring the mathematical approach is that the claim of a Bible code becomes precise and so can be tested using mechanical means. In addition, the proponents and skeptics agree at least in principle on what type of experimental result counts as a success.

However, it is a reasonable hypothesis that the important things about the codes are properties, such as the importance of an event, that it is difficult for a computer program to judge. This doesn't eliminate the possibility of doing valid statistical experiments, though. It is similar to the problem of testing the efficacy of a drug when the only available measure of the patient's well-being is how well they report feeling. There are well-proven rigorous methods for conducting such tests.

The reason I would not bother with such a test is that there is no prima-facie support for the claim that the events predicted by codes in the Bible are more important than the events predicted by codes in Moby Dick. In fact, I'd say the opposite has been proved since almost every prediction found in the Bible code can been replicated in Moby Dick, and this has been demonstrated many times. In other words, the predictions of Moby Dick can't be less important than those of the Bible because they are the same predictions.
Related Articles: The Rise and Fall of the Bible Code