Archived File: Mathematicians' Statement on the Bible Codes

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We are making this statement concerning what have been called "Bible codes" or "Torah codes". We recognize that many sincere people take this phenomenon seriously, which compels us to speak out on the basis of what our mathematical training tells us about the evidence claimed for this alleged phenomenon.

There is a common belief in the general community to the effect that many mathematicians, statisticians, and other scientists consider the claims to be credible. This belief is incorrect. On the contrary, the almost unanimous opinion of those in the scientific world who have studied the question is that the theory is without foundation. The signatories to this letter have themselves examined the evidence and found it entirely unconvincing.

We refer in particular to the paper Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis, published in Statistical Science in 1994. This experiment suffers from major problems concerning both its execution and the interpretation of its conclusions. Even without these concerns, we would not take such extraordinary claims seriously without a vastly more systematic and thorough investigation. No such investigation has been carried out, nor has the work so far established a prima facie case. In addition, word clusters such as mentioned in Witztum's and Drosnin's books and the so called messianic codes are an uncontrolled phenomenon and similar clusters will be found in any text of similar length. All claims of incredible probabilities for such clusters are bogus, since they are computed contrary to standard rules of probability and statistics.

Among the signatories below are some who believe that the Torah was divinely written. We see no conflict between that belief and the opinion we have expressed above.

**Robert E. L. Aldred**

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

University of Otago

New Zealand.

PhD. Melbourne University, 1987

raldred@maths.otago.ac.nz**Dror Bar-Natan**

Senior Lecturer in Mathematics

The Hebrew University

Jerusalem, Israel.

PhD, Princeton 1991

drorbn@math.huji.ac.il

http://www.ma.huji.ac.il/~drorbn**Jay H. Beder**

Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI, USA.

PhD, The George Washington University 1981

beder@uwm.edu

http://www.uwm.edu/~beder/**Valentina M. Borok**

Emeritus Professor of Mathematics

Kharkov State University

Kharkov, Ukraine.

PhD, Moscow State University 1957

yazhit@techunix.technion.ac.il**Robert Brooks**

Professor of Mathematics

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Haifa, Israel.

PhD, Harvard University 1977

rbrooks@tx.technion.ac.il**Mark Burgin**

Visiting Scholar in Mathematics

UCLA

Los Angeles, CA, USA.

PhD, Moscow State University 1971

wingfox@ucla.edu**George M. Butler**

Professor of Mathematics

Louisiana Tech University

Ruston, LA, USA.

PhD, Oklahoma State University, 1968

butler@coes.latech.edu

http://www.math.latech.edu**Gary A. Chase**

Senior Research Biostatistician

Henry Ford Health System

Detroit, MI, USA.

Adjunct Professor of Biomathematics and Biostatistics

Georgetown University

PhD, Johns Hopkins 1970

gchase1@hfhs.org**E. B. Davies**

Professor of Mathematics

King's College, University of London

London, England.

Fellow of the Royal Society

D. Phil., University of Oxford 1968

E.Brian.Davies@kcl.ac.uk**Percy Deift**

Professor of Mathematics

The Courant Institute, NYU

New York, NY, USA.

PhD, Princeton 1976

deift@cims.nyu.edu**Persi Diaconis**

David Duncan Professor of Physical Sciences

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY, USA.

Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences

PhD, Harvard 1974**Laurence S. Freedman**

Professor of Statistics

Bar Ilan University

Ramat Gan, Israel.

freedml@macs.biu.ac.il**Fritz Gesztesy**

L. M. DeFoe Professor of Mathematics

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO, USA.

PhD, University of Graz 1976

fritz@math.missouri.edu

http://www.math.missouri.edu/people/faculty/fgesztesypt.html**Sheldon Goldstein**

Professor of Mathematics

Rutgers University

New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

PhD, Yeshiva University 1974

oldstein@math.rutgers.edu**Lawrence F. Gray**

Professor of Mathematics

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN, USA.

PhD, Cornell University 1977

gray@math.umn.edu**Rami Grossberg**

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

PhD, Hebrew University 1986

rami@cmu.edu**Lee O. Hagglund**Professor of Mathematics

Wofford College

Spartanburg, S.C. USA

Ph.D., Duke 1972

hagglundlo@wofford.edu**A. Michael Hasofer**

Emeritus Professor of Statistics

University of New South Wales

Sydney, NSW, Australia.

PhD, University of Tasmania 1964

renmich@ajm.net.au**Tim Hesterberg**

Research Scientist

MathSoft/Statistical Sciences

Seattle, WA, USA.

PhD, Stanford, 1988

timh@statsci.com**Peter Hines**

Programmer

University of Wales

Bangor, Wales.

PhD, University of Wales, 1997**Svetlana Jitomirskaya**

Associate Professor of Mathematics

University of California Irvine

Irvine, CA, USA.

PhD, Moscow State University 1991

szhitomi@math.uci.edu**Gil Kalai**

Professor of Mathematics

The Hebrew University

Jerusalem, Israel.

PhD, Hebrew University 1983

kalai@math.huji.ac.il**Fima Klebaner**

Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

University of Melbourne

Parkville, Victoria, Australia

PhD, Melbourne University 1983**David Klein**

Professor of Mathematics

California State University

Northridge, CA, USA.

PhD, Cornell 1981**Richard N. Lane**

President

Lane, Westly Inc.

Ph.D., Caltech, 1968

richlane@ieee.org

http://frontpage.home.net/richlanephd/**Joel Lebowitz**

George William Hill Professor of Mathematics and Physics

Rutgers University

New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences

PhD, Syracuse University 1956

lebowitz@math.rutgers.edu**Nati Linial**

Professor of Computer Science,

The Hebrew University

Jerusalem, Israel.

PhD, Hebrew University 1978**Gary Lorden**

Professor of Mathematics

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA, USA.

PhD, Cornell 1966**Brendan McKay**

Professor of Computer Science

Australian National University

Canberra, ACT, Australia.

Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science

PhD, Melbourne University 1980

bdm@cs.anu.edu.au

http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/**Tom Metzger**

Professor of Mathematics

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

PhD, Purdue**Aaron Meyerowitz**

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL, USA.

PhD, Colorado State University 1984

meyerowi@fau.edu**Stephen D. Miller**

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Yale University

New Haven, CT, USA.

PhD, Princeton 1997

steve@math.yale.edu

http://www.math.yale.edu/users/steve**Paul Nevai**

Professor of Mathematics

The Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Ph.D. 1973, Academy of Sciences, Budapest

nevai@math.ohio-state.edu

http://www.math.ohio-state.edu/~nevai/**Amos Nevo**

Department of Mathematics

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Haifa, Israel.

PhD, Hebrew University 1992**Eli Passow**

Professor of Mathematics

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA 19122

Ph.D., Yeshiva University, 1966

passow@euclid.math.temple.edu**John Allen Paulos**

Professor of Mathematics

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA, USA.

PhD, University of Wisconsin, 1974

paulos@math.temple.edu

http://www.math.temple.edu/~paulos**Yehuda Pinchover**

Assoicate Professor Mathematics

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Haifa, Israel.

PhD, Hebrew University 1986

pincho@tx.technion.ac.il**Alexander Pruss**

Department of Philosophy

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

PhD, Univ. British Columbia 1996

pruss+@pitt.edu

http://www.pitt.edu/~pruss**Maurice Rojas**

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

City University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong, China.

PhD, Berkeley 1995**Mary Beth Ruskai**

Professor of Mathematics

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Lowell, MA, USA.

PhD, Univ. of Wisconsin 1969**Jeremy Schiff**

Senior Lecturer, Dept of Mathematics and Computer Science

Bar-Ilan University

Ramat Gan, Israel.

PhD, Columbia University NY 1991

schiff@math.biu.ac.il**Gideon Schwarz**

Professor of Statistics

The Hebrew University

Jerusalem, Israel.

PhD, Columbia University 1961

mschwart@pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il**Senya Shlosman**

Professor of Mathematics

University of California Irvine

Irvine, CA, USA.

PhD, Steklov Institute of Mathematics, Leningrad 1977

shlosman@math.uci.edu**Barry Simon**

IBM Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Executive Officer for Mathematics

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA, USA.

Member, Austrian Academy of Sciences

PhD, Princeton 1970

D. Sc. h. c., Technion, 1999

bsimon@bigfoot.com

http://math.caltech.edu/people/simon.html

http://wopr.com/biblecodes/**Martha Simon**

Lecturer in Mathematics

California State University

Northridge, CA, USA.

PhD, Princeton 1974**J. Laurie Snell**

Professor of Mathematics Emeritus

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH, USA.

PhD, University of Illinois 1951

jlsnell@dartmouth.edu

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance**Terry Speed**

Professor of Statistics

University of California

Berkeley, CA, USA.

PhD, Monash University 1969

terry@stat.berkeley.edu**Terence Tao**

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

UCLA

Los Angeles, CA, USA.

PhD, Princeton 1996

tao@math.ucla.edu

http://www.math.ucla.edu/~tao**Ian Wanless**

Research Fellow in Mathematics

Christ Church, Oxford, United Kingdom.

PhD, Australian National University 1997

wanless@maths.ox.ac.uk**Thomas Ward**

School of Mathematics

University of East Anglia

Norwich, England.

t.ward@uea.ac.uk

http://www.mth.uea.ac.uk/people/tw.html**Herbert S. Wilf**

Thomas A. Scott Professor of Mathematics

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA, USA

PhD, Columbia University 1958

wilf@math.upenn.edu

http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~wilf**Henry Wolkowicz**

Professor of Combinatorics and Optimization

University of Waterloo

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

PhD, McGill 1979

henry@orion.math.uwaterloo.ca

http://orion.math.uwaterloo.ca/~hwolkowi**Abraham Wyner**

Visiting Assistant Professor of Statistics

University of California Berkeley

PhD, Stanford 1993

ajw@stat.berkeley.edu**Doron Zeilberger**

Professor of Mathematics

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA, USA.

PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science 1976

zeilberg@euclid.math.temple.edu**Yakov I. Zhitomirskii**

Professor of Mathematics

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Haifa, Israel.

PhD, Moscow State University 1959

yazhit@techunix.technion.ac.il

All the individuals whose names appear above hold PhDs in Mathematics or Statistics or are faculty members in a Department of Mathematics or Statistics at a college or university. Anyone who meets this criterion and wants to add their name to this petition should send email to Barry Simon at bsimon@bigfoot.com.

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