Who Wrote the Bible Code?: A Physicist Probes the Current Controversy

Randall Scott Ingermanson, Author
Randall Scott Ingermanson, Author Waterbrook Press $11.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-57856-225-1
Reviewed on: 08/16/1999
Release date: 08/01/1999
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In 1997, Michael Drosnin's The Bible Code captured popular imagination by maintaining that the secrets of the future are encoded in the Bible's words. While many embraced Drosnin's ideas, others remained skeptical that the Bible could be used in such a way. Computational physicist Ingermanson designed a series of statistical computer tests to discover whether there really is a Bible code, and, if there is, who wrote it. He asserts that the answers to such questions are important, for many people are using the supposed code as an evangelistic tool to prove God's existence or as a ""high-tech Ouija board, finding predictions of imminent disaster."" Ingermanson opens his book with a judicious survey of what others have said about Drosnin's discovery. He notes that Drosnin's book produced many critics who challenged him on his method and adds that other writers on the Bible code, such as Jeffrey Satinover (Cracking the Bible Code), are far from convinced that the proof of such a code is watertight. Next, Ingermanson introduces a series of entropy tests, equidistant letter sequencing tests, trigram tests and chi-square analyses to test the theories of Drosnin and his believers--and concludes that the Bible code does not exist. He argues that proponents of the code have reported only sensational information and have ignored the larger picture. Ingermanson contends that his testing left no room for such error and calls into question the methods and the results of those who agree with Drosnin. Ingermanson's book will likely not be the final word on the Bible code, but it will certainly generate a great deal of interest in circles where these matters are discussed. (Aug.)
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