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mathematics of the "Bible Code"

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Mar 2, 2005.


  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Hi all, this thread isn't about religion, or the truth or falsity of the "Bible Code", so please don't even go there.

    I'm interested in the "math" though.

    I was just watching a little blurb on the History Channel, where it seems they're pulling some really specific stuff out of the code, like Timothy McVeigh's name, and that kind of thing.

    My question is, has anyone really looked at the probabilities associated with this kind of approach to "textual" information?

    Seems to me, that if you work out the probabilistic math (which I haven't done), you'd probably find a "high" probability of "specifics" popping up every now and then.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the "probability" mathematics, associated with the concept of the "Bible code"?
     
  2. Yeah, I remember watching a special about that, and about how they applied the same programs to novels and other works as well, Moby Dick stands out pretty prominently. It was rather amusing because they pulled very similar stuff out of Moby Dick, and I somehow doubt Captain Ahab wanted some hurtin' going on in the 21st century.
     
  3. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    It's total crap. I've got a few books on the subject, and let me say this: you can find anything in any text if you look hard enough.
     
  4. The fact is it's highly probably that we could find our names as well as the words "bass" and "jello" all around each other, multiple times. Some guy found his name in Moby Dick about 200 times. It's just an issue of overwhelming material to choose from... it's probably 99% probable that you can find any 3 words next to each other bible-code-wise.
     
  5. bluntman_bass

    bluntman_bass

    Jul 13, 2004
    Wilcox, NE
    But different verisions of the bible would have different words in them so you would get different results with each version. For example, if you do the Good News Bible, then the King James Version, you may get totally different information. Just like if you did the Bible and then Moby Dick. The reason there is so much information from the Bible is probably just because it is so big.
     
  6. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Well, the way I see it is this:


    42.










    How many ways can you reach that number? How many ways can you translate it into text? Counting through the alphabet, to 42, what do you come up with. With such a huge plethora of text in the Bible, there is such an easy way to make some crazy myth. I think people need to quit spending time disecting every letter and just try and "get" it.
     
  7. bluntman_bass

    bluntman_bass

    Jul 13, 2004
    Wilcox, NE
    definitly
     
  8. Or just 42. I understand 42. It all makes sense.
     
  9. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    "Proves"?! Sorry, but that's ridiculous. More coincidence doesn't makes something more true; it just means it's more coincidental.
     
  10. LOL! Its funny cos its true! :D

    Leigh
     
  11. fastplant

    fastplant

    Sep 26, 2002
    Connecticut
    The thing you need to realize is that it's not 1 code they apply and find all this stuff. They use thousands of ways to find each thing. I'd be more surprised if they used one code and found all this. But they may use every 3rd letter of every 5th column for one word, then every 7th letter of every 13th column for another word, then they try to say they were found together.
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    "You're connecting a computer bug I had with a computer bug you might have had and some religious hogwash. You want to find the number 216 in the world, you will be able to find it everywhere. 216 steps from a mere street corner to your front door. 216 seconds you spend riding on the elevator. When your mind becomes obsessed with anything, you will filter everything else out and find that thing everywhere. " Sol Robeson (Pi - 1998)
     
  13. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    An infinite amount of circumstancial evidence can never constitute proof.
     

  14. I would also like to know about this and to what extent the predictions are made. Also, I'd like to see one of these predictions given right now, with specifics down to name, date etc. for some future event. From what I've seen all this "code" describes things that have already happened. They say they found the name Timothy McVeigh, but did they know he was going to do something before it happened, or did they just keep running various decryption algorithms until the a recognizable word came up and then stopped.
     
  15. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    The Mayans worked out that the world is going to end in December 2012 - the end of the 5th age of being. They've been right about everything else they predicted...
     
  16. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Actually, this is incorrect given that there are more than 30 codes. To help explain why, think of Yahtzee: if we roll 5 dice, the odds of getting five sixes is 1/6^5 or 1 in 7,776, so yes, that part of your math is correct. But if there are more than 5 dice, the chance of getting 5 sixes increases rapidly when you're looking for them (i.e, you're not picking five dice at random).

    The key with these Bible codes and other gimmicks like them is that people are looking for answers that they already have in mind. Look at enough questions, and you'll eventually find one that matches your answer.

    Imagine throwing a bucketfull of dice on the floor -- how hard do you think it would be to pick out 5 sixes? Or a sequence that predicts when the Red Sox would beat the Yankees, complete with a reference to the Curse of the Bambino? Or that your grandmother makes a killer cherry cobbler? If you're looking for it, you can find it.
     
  17. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Faulty logic. You're looking for answers that you want to find. What are the chances of finding words that mean absolutely nothing? Let's just say you were looking for the word "Jesus". How many times would you find series of letters that weren't "jesus"? Well if we're going with the Hebrew alphabet (which has 22 letters, if I remember correctly), and if I go by your equation, you'd have to multiply your 1 to the 90th power by 22x22x22x22x22, which my calculator won't even process, and it just says "Infinity". So essentially there are infinitly better chances of "Jesus" not appearing than he does.

    Better yet, apply those same codes to Moby Dick, 2001: A Space Odyssey, or a Martha Stewart living mag. I bet youd get the same results if you looked hard enough.
     
  18. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yes, that would be seriously flawed logic, in terms of the underlying probability math. Remember that the code does not specify "where" in the text the hidden meaning is to be found. So, if there are N places where the beginning of a 5-letter sequence can occur, then there's an additive factor that enters into the equation. It's not a simple case anymore.

    Consider that each letter represents a 22-sided dice. Now, roll one million (or however many) such dice all at once. Now, pick a letter, and select all instances of that letter, and examine all five-letter sequences immediately following that.

    The math in that scenario is considerably more complicated.
     
  19. If anybody can state the problem more precisely, I can do the math.