Volume 18 Number 71 Produced: Sun Mar 5 0:52:34 1995 Subjects Discussed In This Issue: Codes in Torah [Stan Tenen] Stan Tennen's Work [Avi Teitz] Uncertainty Principle, the Incompleteness Theorem and Chaos Theory [Moshe Koppel] ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...> Date: Sun, 19 Feb 1995 19:04:56 -0800 Subject: Codes in Torah Prof. Harold Gans was kind enough to forward a reply to an earlier posting of mine. This is a response to his posting on m-j 18 #49. First let me repeat what I have posted before. Friends who attended the AOJS convention last summer brought me a copy of a videotape on the codes in Torah by Prof. Gans. This was a superior presentation. Prof. Gans was clear about what was proven and what was not, and he did not cross the line into unfounded claims that I have heard from other persons who lecture on the codes. I am pleased to see that Prof. Gans is clear that "There is no "proof of Torah" or "proof of G-d" in the mathematical sense." On this we agree. However I do not agree that "such detailed knowledge of the far future as the codes demonstrate is scientifically not possible." And I am somewhat nonplussed by Prof. Gans' condescendingly worded: "The demonstration of this last assertion is somewhat long and technical. It is based on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Mechanics; the Godel Incompleteness Theorems for Arithmetic and First Order Logic; and modern Chaos Theory which has revealed the extreme dependence of phenomena on exact initial conditions in nonlinear systems." Prof. Gans' stream of buzz words and impressive sounding language serves more to confuse than to enlighten. I do not mean to flame here, but to me this seems like what my school friends used to call a "snow job." But let me reply seriously anyway: I am quite familiar with the Uncertainty principle, the Incompleteness Theorem, and some aspects of Chaos theory. (While I don't know much about First Order Logic by that name, I do know about simple logical systems.) There is no doubt that we live in a world where all of the above pertain, and this makes REAL prophesy only possible as a true miracle from a true prophet. There never can be any entirely logical, mechanical, or technological way to predict the future. A wide range of conditions at every level in life are extremely sensitive to initial conditions, and that, as Prof. Gans implies, leads to chaos and inherent unpredictability. If the codes in Torah actually do predict the future (and not only _appear_ to predict the future), then that would be truly amazing. But, do they? How much work has been done on attempting to refute this part of the conjectures on the codes? I know that the statistics themselves are good because I have read the statistician's paper(s) for myself. But are the presumptions of what the statistics refer to and what context applies equally as good? There are alternate explanations for the seemingly prophetic patterns that the codes uncover. I gave one possibility as an example - which was dismissed without adequate response - a few weeks ago. What if the names and dates of famous sages were applied retroactively as honorifics? That, or some variation, would explain nearly all of the seemingly prophetic patterns. There are other possible alternate explanations as well. How many of these have been explored? I am befuddled by Prof. Gans" statement: "I would answer that even if the codes did nothing more than provide strong evidence for the divine authorship, this is certainly not trivial or content-free." But, indeed it is "content free," for Prof. Gans said previously that "There is not proof...." Well if there is no proof, then what "strong evidence for the divine authorship" is there? Weak proof? - This is the problem. The only thing offered is "weak proof," and this is what can so easily turn into what is referred to as "damning by faint praise." "Weak proof" is NO proof at all. So, I too "would answer that even if the codes did nothing more than provide strong evidence for the divine authorship, this is certainly not trivial or content-free;" but this is not the case, because the codes do not appear to provide strong evidence of anything other than their presence. _That the codes are present_ is, I believe, very important. I do not believe my conclusion, that the codes as they are known to date consist of "trivial and content-free messages," is either unwarranted or premature. I have read the paper by Witztum, et. al. in preview form as it was sent to Prof. Michael Klass at UC Berkeley in early 1994. This (excellent) paper does not deal with the issues I am raising. I could not agree more with Prof. Gans when he says: "It is easy to mislead oneself (and others) with fascinating patterns that appear very significant. In reality, these types of unusual phenomena can become quite common if the data set is large or if the number of patterns searched for is large." I have made the same point myself repeatedly. This is also discussed by Prof. Hasofer in his article in B'Or HaTorah No. 8 - English, that I have mentioned previously, and that I include with all my mailings that include information on the codes in Torah work. I also agree with Prof. Gans' assessment of the codes in Quran and codes in the Christian Bible that I have seen. It is all simplistic and most of it is statistically (and otherwise) unjustifiable. There are some very intriguing patterns in the Quran however. What is most interesting is that some of the numerical sequences seem to consist of prime numbers added to their own rank - making a sort of dimensional-symmetry invariant. But, that is not the issue. Whether or not the codes in Quran, etc. are a problem does not depend on reality but on perception. Hardly any of the persons being lectured to about the codes is able to evaluate what they are being shown for themselves. So if the Quran codes are not meaningful, that won't matter. Their audiences will be just as impressed with possibly spurious codes as our audiences would be with the Torah codes. I have already seen J's name spelled in codes in the Torah as discovered by Christians. The work is technically nonsense, but the audiences are still very impressed. Is this how the public is going to be asked to judge the legitimacy of Judaism vs. Islam vs. Christianity? I hope not. In my opinion, intemperate use of the codes in Torah findings only encourages inappropriate comparisons. Apparently "anomaly" is a special word to statisticians. I meant the whole phenomena of codes was an anomaly - it was unexpected. I did not know or even know of the careful specialist's definition of "anomaly" used by statisticians. Sorry for any misunderstanding. I completely agree with Prof. Gans (who was agreeing with me) that we should get on with the real work of discovering the intended meaning of the codes, but I do not agree that the only way to do this is to continue with the same procedures as before. Of course we must study standard commentaries and the Talmud. In this business, I hope that that goes without saying. But more is needed. We must also study the texts that are supposed to be discussing "Codes in Torah" - kabbalistic texts. And we must study them for their intended meaning and not be satisfied with the mostly empty academic-style translations that are so common. And we must follow the rules laid down in Talmud also. We are expressly prohibited from "Mystakel," speculation on these matters. I know of no valid and powerful field of study more removed from content than statistical investigation. (Not statistics, statistical investigation) This is the most speculative of all tools because no hands on knowledge of the content of the subject is even considered. If we are to take Ain Dorshin's prohibitions seriously we must never engage in statistical investigation of kabbalistic subjects like codes in Torah without also seeking and engaging the hands on spiritual experience that goes with it. I believe that the statistical results are misleading explicitly because they have not been backed up by any real experience of the subject matter. We see the statistical patterns but we do not live them. (That requires SUBJECTIVE meditational experience. Since the subjective is not allowed in academia's sciences, I believe that the codes work cannot be properly done in that context. A Torah context is required.) The "better way of doing this" is to study the whole of the Torah and not just statistical patterns. My investigation has also discovered patterns in Torah, but I did not make use of any statistics. This does not mean that the patterns I have found are not statistically significant. They are. But, rather than using statistics to say when a ball thrown into the air is likely to return to the ground, I am using the law of gravitation. The law is tested by statistics and limited by statistics of course, but it is much more than the statistics that support it. Likewise, the patterns that I have found are supported by statistics (yes, we have done a little statistical checking just to be sure), but they go far beyond that. What we have found offers an explanation as to how and why most of the equal interval skip patterns are where they are and what they are supposed to do. Our work is not statistical; it is intended to be an explicit identification of the pattern(s). My work has not been formally peer reviewed mainly because there is simply no appropriate reviewing body. However, we have several dozen highly respected technical, rabbinic, and academic advisors who have reviewed this work. I have posted Rabbi Fleer's letter, which should be sufficient to attest to this work being "kosher," and I have posted Prof. Lou. Kauffman's letter (and m-j has posted his clarifying responses and additions), which should be sufficient to demonstrate that this work is not trivial or a waste of time from a professional mathematician's point of view. I have attended Aish HaTorah presentations in the past, and have been greatly disappointed and disheartened by the exaggerations and technically unsupported claims made, and by the inability of the presenters to respond to my questions. Prof. Gans' videotape is much more credible. There is an Aish presentation scheduled for this area in a few weeks. I will attend - and report on it - if I can. I mean to say this in a caring and non-threatening way. Please forgive me if I fail. (This is not only in response to Prof. Gans' posting.) I am saddened by my inability to communicate here. There seems to be a general impression that I have not done my homework. Prof. Gans "name- dropped" Godel and Heisenberg, both of whom I have discussed here, and I can only assume he was unaware that I had already raised the issues he was lecturing me on. I have done my homework. I have been a serious student of the alphabet and B'Reshit for nearly 30-years. I have studied as many ancillary subjects as possible - including other traditions, mathematics, physics, "sacred" and ordinary geometries, etc. etc. etc. - If you are not a scholar or serious Talmud student, try to imagine what reading 3000-books over 20-years amounts to. I would like to have the benefit of the doubt. I have done independent research and have achieved startling results. That means that I am not rehashing the same old lightweight magico-alchemical nonsense that most Jews and non- Jews take for kabbalah, I do know about modern physics and mathematics, and I am capable of appreciating and using the scientific method. While, as Prof. Kauffman pointed out (and as I have pointed out repeatedly in the past) the evaluations of famous persons should not influence your evaluation of my work, they do attest to this work being worth the trouble to evaluate for yourself. I am, in a friendly and open way, challenging those who are actively interested in the equal interval letter skip patterns in Torah to examine my findings and to criticize them. Without in any way intending to seem self-serving, I honestly feel that to fail to examine them, given that respected individuals have said that this work-in-progress is real, is simply not intellectually honest. To wait for me to formally publish this work before examining it simply guarantees that it will not be examined. If it is not examined, it cannot be published. Once again, I offer to send an introductory information packet on this work to anyone* who asks and sends their surface mail address. (*I have not sent a packet to one person who asked, for reasons that I have communicated to that person and would prefer to remain private.) B'Shalom, Stan Tenen Internet: <meru1@...> P.O. Box 1738 CompuServe: 75015,364 San Anselmo, CA 94979 U.S.A. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: <TEITZ.AVRAHAM@...> (Avi Teitz) Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 09:04:49 -0500 Subject: Stan Tennen's Work I find Stan's work intriguing (even if I don't actually understand it - I'll have to get the pictures). However, The whole brouhaha regarding "proofs" I think is beside the point. We have learned that "hakol bashamayim chutz miyiras shamayim" (everything is in the hands of heaven except for fear of heaven). Therefore, unimpeachable proofs (whether the Rambam's philosophical ones or others) can not be obtained. However, isn't it possible that HKBH left clues and patterns for man to find and be amazed at, in order to provide chizuk (strengthening) for ones emunah? Furthermore, these patterns and clues can be found (if one looks carefully) in so many diverse areas (the sciences, nature, etc.) , so that each person can find them according to one's own understanding and nature. BTW, I would not be surprised if someone finds that DNA, with its four basic building blocks, forms a series of kabalistic yichudim of the tetragamatron (four letter name for Hashem) which then finds its expression in the myriad of forms expressed in the living world. Avi Teitz ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: koppel%<bimacs@...> (Moshe Koppel) Date: Mon, 20 Feb 95 09:35:55 +0200 Subject: Uncertainty Principle, the Incompleteness Theorem and Chaos Theory Harold Gans claims to be in possession of a proof which invokes the Uncertainty Principle, the Incompleteness Theorem and Chaos Theory. I've seen many "proofs" which are uncertain, incomplete and chaotic but I've never seen a real proof which depends on all those heavy-duty tools. Tell us more. (Or are you refering to Tipler's book, "Physics and Immortality"?) -Moish ----------------------------------------------------------------------

End of Volume 18 Issue 71