Guy Cramer: Within a day of posting #X105. Code Breaker, a regular visitor to the site, Jerry Brown, responded with a number of questions. As I feel these questions are important to the issue, I have chosen to respond publicly. I can always count on Jerry to keep me honest with the papers I post.
To make it easier to understand I have color-coded Jerry's comments and questions in Dark Blue. All my comments are in Black.
Jerry wrote:Your recent report, Y105, does not address all that was presented
before. I'm sure you'll agree that a person should examine the report
that debunks just as closely as he would examine the report that
proclaims. When I read Y105, I thought, "Yeah, but what about
It seems to me that several things said in other YFILE reports address
the questions raised by Y105. Before I can lay ELS to rest, I really
need to have these things answered (and not only I, but other people
who faithfully read your reports but are too timid to write and ask
Since I have several questions concerning Y105 vs. ELS, I've decided
to put them in the order I find them; consequently the most
outstanding question will not occur first.
I appreciate the work you do, and I know you do
it on your own time. I know you have your own life, job, family and
activity to attend to (as do I). Therefore what you provide us is all
the more special. Thank you.
QUESTION 1, Ref. Y25.
Why do the Samaritan Text and the Yeman Text fail to produce the results found in the Masoretic Text? Y105 (Code Breaker) says such phenomenon will exist in all texts. In that case, it should also exist in these texts, but Y25 says it doesn't. Why not?
It seems to me that several things said in other YFILE reports address the questions raised by Y105. Before I can lay ELS to rest, I really need to have these things answered (and not only I, but other people who faithfully read your reports but are too timid to write and ask questions).
Since I have several questions concerning Y105 vs. ELS, I've decided to put them in the order I find them; consequently the most outstanding question will not occur first.
I appreciate the work you do, and I know you do it on your own time. I know you have your own life, job, family and activity to attend to (as do I). Therefore what you provide us is all the more special. Thank you.
QUESTION 1, Ref. Y25.
Y25 was based on the early research on ELS. If a long ELS skip distance passed through the areas where the letters are added or missing in the other comparison texts, then of course the original ELS will not be found in the comparison text. The research done in the last year and a half by other mathematicians shows that the ELS phenomenon happens in all text.
Dr. Price's Isaiah experiment shows how frequent ELS can be in any given text.
QUESTION 2, Ref. Y28
Y28 says, "Despite the fact that numerous scholars and scientists have attempted to challenge the validity of this Torah research, the evidence has not been refuted." What makes Dr. James Price unique from "numerous scholars and scientists"?
QUESTION 2, Ref. Y28
The difference is time and understanding. The problem back at this point in the history of the research was the mathematical and statistical conclusions pointed to hidden codes that were encrypted on purpose. Even Professor Harold Gans, a senior researcher with the NSA, who examined encrypted codes for the U.S. Army, had publicly confirmed the mathematical probabilities.
As we can see from Code Breaker the slanderous codes also show unexpected results. We cannot have both intentional "Good" codes and also intentional "God is an abomination" codes.
Dr. Brendan McKay, (a mathematician) points out:
|I asked my ELS finder to list all the
ELSs for "OCEANS" in Moby Dick, together with the letters extending
the ELS at the same skip in both directions. Then I stared at the
results looking for anything nice. There are 13,905 ELSs of "OCEANS"
altogether, but fortunately I found what I wanted without looking at
more than 400 or so:
After having made that discovery, I asked the following question:
(*) What is the probability of "Oceans hold Joy" appearing by chance?
The answer is "1 in 13.7 million". Here we see the thing that people are having trouble grasping: "1 in 13.7 million" is CORRECT, but NOT AMAZING. It is CORRECT as the mathematical answer to question (*), but it is NOT AMAZING because (*) is the wrong question.
The reason why (*) is the wrong question is that I was not looking for "Oceans hold Joy". I was looking for "any nice phrase that included the word OCEANS". The correct question is
(#) What is the probability that Moby Dick has a nice phrase including the word "OCEANS"?
That question is too imprecise to allow a mathematical calculation. From experience I would say that the answer is "not very small".
Exactly the same problem holds for the ELSs in the Cramer-Eldridge paper. The probabilities there are not wrong. They are correct answers to the wrong questions.
1. Suppose I convinced you that what I did was this: Based on my knowledge of the book, I predicted that the phrase "Oceans hold Joy" should be there as an ELS. Then I asked my computer, and amazingly it was there. Would you be impressed by Moby Dick, or would you be impressed by me?
2. Question (#) isn't really the right question either. If I was unsuccessful with OCEANS, I would have tried "THE OCEAN", "THE DEEP", "WHALES", and so on. Naturally I would not mention the things that failed. The overall chance of success (the real correct answer) was just a measure of how persistent I was.
Dr. McKay has found many ELS's in many different literary works.
QUESTION 3, Ref. Y28
Y28 says, "The odds against the three hundred word pairs occurring by chance in the text of Genesis are less than one chance in fifty quadrillion." Is that an incorrect statement?
Yes it is incorrect; The ELS's they found are such as we would find in the Isaiah experiment.
We now understand that the simple words they found are expected to occur by chance, see Y80.
Another quote from Y28 says this, "The Israeli scientists wrote a follow-up paper for submission to Statistical Science, a scientific journal that insisted that a group of opposing scholars review and challenge their data and examine their computer program before publication... The study concluded that the peculiar sequences of Hebrew letters at equal spaces from each other that formed significant words could not possibly have occurred by simple coincidence. "
The initial data seemed to indicate this, but as we have seen ELS is frequent. Just an 800 Hebrew letter string yielded 160,650 Hebrew words in ELS.
Is Dr. James Price right and those Israeli scientists wrong?
I am afraid so.
QUESTION #4, Ref Y80
Y80 acknowledges that some ELS will occur in all texts. The question has never been "Do they occur at all?" It has always been "Do they occur greater than what is expected?" Y80 says, Yes the occurrence of ELS is far greater than mere accident would allow.
See Dr McKay's explanation above.
We must also consider that the same string of any letter can be separated at any place in the string allowing for many different interpretations. Even adding or removing one letter can make a big change on the meaning; such as Dr. Price's find:
Translation = I desire/lust after treachery/fraud, Jesus is my violent name
Using the same string of Hebrew letters minus the first one, we find a totally different translation:
Translation: "[as] one rushing from above Jesus, my name is strength"
It seems to me that in Y105 Dr. Price says that ELS is invalid because it occurs everywhere. That was never in doubt. Did Dr. Price prove ELS did NOT occur more than accident would allow?
Dr. Price's and Dr. McKay's research showed us that the simple statistics do not explain the story here. ELS is much, much more frequent then most of us ever expected.
Dr. James Price, a skeptic, quickly wrote a computer program to show
that words can be drawn out of any text. He thinks this proves ELS is
ELS has been examined by qualified scientists in Israel and the United States. They say there is something to this phenomenon. Although a person can create selected words out of any text, just so many words would be expected to occur a given number of times. In ELS, these words occur far beyond what could be accidental.
Dr. James Price, a skeptic, quickly wrote a computer program to show that words can be drawn out of any text. He thinks this proves ELS is insignificant.
No, Dr. Price wrote a program that would search for ELS, calculate the probability of the ELS finds and continue the ELS on the ends of the phrase or words that had been found. This allowed Dr. Price the ability to see if he could separate the ELS at other places to form a longer sensible phrase and increase the significance level.
His program was also developed to do many multiple searches on many (thousands) of words this was a program that had not been developed on the market, so I guess he decided to create the program himself. This is where the Isaiah data comes from.
How does Dr. Price's work show ELS is insignificant?
The Isaiah experiment can be duplicated on any Hebrew string of 800 letters in the Bible or other literature and yield similar results. More long positive phrases and/or negative phrases can also be found throughout the Bible and all other literature. If we look for English phrases in English literature we will also discover what appears to be significant intentional coded ELS, it will happen in all languages with the literature of those languages. The problem here is our misunderstanding of the significance. Equidistant letter sequences are not coded on purpose.
The danger of placing our faith in ELS is that one day a man could present himself as God to the world by saying that "My name is coded in ELS in the Bible, it even declares that I am God"
And in ELS we might find:
" _____ is our Lord God".
And he performed great and miraculous signs…he deceived the inhabitants of the earth.
However, this man would be no more God, than God is an abomination.
ELS is; random, unintentional and common.
Dr. Price is a Christian. His intention was not to slander the Bible but draw peoples attention back to the truth that can be found in the surface text.
Now that we have shown that ELS should not be used as evidence for divine authorship of the Bible, to those that choose to continue to promote it knowing this:
"Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully,"