Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Bible Code Debunked

A number of crossword type "predictions" were reportedly found in the Bible and this proved that the Bible was.... I don't know. The proponents said infallible and beyond time and space and some fourth dimensional prophecy, etc.

With some statistical claims they actually got an original paper of their work accepted in a statistical journal as being beyond chance, odds of billions to one of it occurring.

Oops. The statistics don't hold up, the history of the experiment is debunked, and the most popular versions can be replicated on even English novels. The Bible's Hebrew characters with no vowels make it incredibly easy for coincidences to show up. After a number of years the journal published a refutation.

Responding to many critics, the author of The Bible Code in a interview said "When my critics find a message about the assassination of a prime minister encrypted in Moby Dick, I'll believe them." (Newsweek, Jun 9, 1997)

Shortly thereafter - The many assassinations foretold by Moby Dick.
No laws of probability are violated here, or even stretched a little. That is also true of Drosnin's book, which is the whole point of this page. Once you learn Drosnin's rules (none) and the method (a bit of messy programming) you can find things like this anywhere. The reason it looks amazing is that the number of possible things to look for, and the number of places to look, is much greater than you imagine.
"Bible Code II - The Countdown" even exceeds the first one in lies and stupidity.

Dave Thomas also takes a shot at demonstrating the Bible code can produce hidden messages from any text.

Of course, all this is quite silly when you consider the history of the Bible and how the letters and words changed over time, even before the Christian era. How the Text of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 in the Oldest Hebrew Manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls Proves that the Letter Sequences of the Hebrew Bible Have Changed - PDF.

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