To solve the controversy over the alleged Bible code promoted by Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips and Yoav Rosenberg (WRR) and fiercely supported by scores of their followers and epigones of both Judaic and Christian varieties, several experiments have been suggested starting almost immediately after WRR’s paper was published in Statistical Science (in 1994). Perhaps the most significant effort in that direction was made when, in 1998, a committee was formed comprising both proponents and opponents of the Bible code, all distinguished scholars who could not be suspected of lack of impartiality in judging the experimentally revealed data.
Here is the list of the five members of the committee, as introduced by its member, Dr. Dror Bar-Natan : • Prof. Robert (Yisrael) J. Aumann: Chair of the committee. A distinguished economist and mathematician and the recipient of numerous prizes and honors. One of the main people who pushed for the study of “Bible codes” and for the publication of the original WRR paper on the subject. • Prof. Dror Bar-Natan. . .. • Prof. Harry (Hillel) Furstenberg: A distinguished mathematician and the recipient of numerous prizes and honors. Co-author of a 1989 letter by four distinguished mathematicians supportive of “Bible codes” research. • Prof. Isaak Lapides: A chemist invited to the committee by Prof. Rips. • Prof. Eliyahu Rips: A distinguished mathematician. The inventor and a leading advocate of “Bible Codes”. The initiator of many of the standard methods used by Bible codes “researchers” today.
As the above list unequivocally shows, the committee’s composition can hardly be viewed as being slanted in favor of the code opponents. In fact, out of the five members, only professor Bar-Natan was a strong opponent of the codes. The other four members definitely were not among the code opponents. Rips has been one of the main proponents of the code. Aumann played an important role in making possible the publication of the WRR’s paper in Statistical Science. Furstenberg was a signatory to a letter of 1989 (reportedly composed by him) that supported the codes research. While we don’t know professor Lapides’s views on the codes, the fact that he was added to the committee on professor Rips’s request, speaks for itself.
The committee agreed on a protocol of data selection and experiment’s methodology. The experiment was conducted (in two versions). A report on the results was written.
In fact, this all happened several years ago. However, something odd happened - so far the report has not been made public. Why?
Perhaps the puzzle can be solved if we learn that the results of the experiments were unequivocal: no codes in the Torah have been found by the above impartial committee.
Perhaps this was not a very pleasant outcome for those committee members who wished the experiment to result in an opposite way. Since they, as we know, are distinguished scholars with impeccable reputations, perhaps they would never misreport the data obtained. Could it, though, happen, that, being uncomfortable with the results of their experiment, that committee’s majority, including its chairman, who are on record for supporting the codes, just cannot make themselves face the unpleasant facts and prefer to forget them rather than to publicly report the data?
The fact that the experiment was decisively negative from the standpoint of the code proponents, is obvious from the brief preliminary message from professor Bar-Natan, whose succinct statement is simple and unequivocal: “A Complete Failure of the Codes” .
Until (and unless) the committee comes up with a better explanation, the only interpretation of their evident unwillingness to come into the open with the experimental data seems to be that the experimental results were fatal for the codes proponents.
One can sympathize with the discomfort of the code proponents, but the public deserves to know the facts. Keeping the experimental results under wraps hardly can help the code proponents to maintain the credibility of their case.
Reference Dror Bar-Natan. “The Gans Report.” http://www.math.toronto.edu/~drorbn/Codes/Gans/index.html