Secret Codes

SAlbert at SAlbert at
Mon Jun 14 14:10:32 EDT 1999

Jim West wrote:
<<it is pure rubbish- only believed by the unwashed herds of  ignorant 
dullards  now populating the planet.>>

I think that is rather too harsh.  The Institute for Mathematical Statistics 
saw fit to publish an article on the codes in its journal Statistical Science 
a few years ago == and I don't think the academic referees for the institute 
can be described as "herds of ignorant dullards."  There are certainly lots 
of things one can find at random in the bible text, or in any other text of 
similar size -- as some of the nonsense people have seen makes clear.  The 
argument for the validity of the "bible codes" is that they appear in ways 
which, statistically speaking, are extremely unlikely to happen by mere 
chance.  The statistics of this is still up for debate; I understand another 
article will soon be printed in Statistical Science challenging the first one.

My own take (and by the way, I do work as a statistician):  Finding encoded 
"messages" in the bible, or any other text, proves nothing.  Finding such 
"messages" appearing in a way which can be rigorously demonstrated to be 
extremely improbable may prove something -- but the jury is still out on 
whether that has been done.

Steve Albert

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