Theomatics again

Probably not many of you have long enough memories for this, but one of the very first topics I ever did as a guest on the Atheist Experience TV show was about a concept called “Theomatics.” If you’re familiar with the “Bible codes” then you probably have the general gist of what it’s about. You don’t create crossword puzzles to find significant words and phrases. Instead, you have a cypher which assigns each letter to a number, and then you attempt to find significant words or phrases in the Bible that are multiples of some number that you pick.

It’s all very silly, of course, because you can pick any number that you like, and then given a long enough sequence of words, you can find seemingly significant phrases on any subject. If you’d like to verify this for yourself, you can read the short article I wrote at the time, and then find your own gematria-based phrases by running my program.

I still get email about this from time to time. Part of the reason is because I’m linked from the first page of a Google search on Theomatics, and I’m also linked from the Wikipedia page. Here is an email exchange I just had.

Gary writes:


I just reviewed your Theomatics Debunked rebuttal of Theomatics… and immediately,
it became a useless challenge.

I have known of Theomatics for over 20 years… and understand it.
After reading your rebuttal and so called “Debunking” it became
immediately apparent that you completely misunderstand the entire
premise and subject. And so much so, that I can see that your only
goal was to slam Theomatics… whether you proved anything or not.

In totem, your ‘Debunking’ was hillarious… hedging on utter stupidity!

Now, usually I don’t respond to this level of obnoxiousness at all — somebody who walks in assuming that I’m an idiot is unlikely to yield a fruitful discussion. But I was curious about what Gary might bring to the table, so I replied:

Okay, I’ll bite. What was it about my program that failed to capture
the point of Theomatics? Can you be more specific about what makes it so stupid?

Gary replied:



For one (major) of many points:

I am admitedly no expert on the subject, but I’m not brain dead. Your analogies to debunk Theomatics were clearly without merit.
All you did was show that numbers can be found in random text.
a) you completely ignore the fact that in the Bible, specific NUMBERS are established “in the text/writings” that also correlate and become significantly re-established in the numerology of both the Hebrew/Greek alphabet. That these numbers are adequately repeated throughout scripture.
Theomatics reveals that these numbers written in text (IE: seven, two etc) are reinforced by the subjects, themes and within context of “MEANING” whether literal or prophetic, whether poetic or factual, whether spiritual or historic… THESE SAME NUMBERS IN TEXT are directly supported by the construction of the writings… which, across 4000 years span of two languages/cultures (Hebrew/Greek), and authored by 40 authors… the letter symbol construction of these writings in these two languages reinforce the script or TEXT level numbers and meanings. None of which was assembled in random nor is there ANY evidence in collusion between or amidst the authors to establish the onion skin-like layers of numerical significance. To go further, The phenomenon of Theomatics wasn’t even KNOWN until the mid seventies.

In this point alone, you have missed the boat in your lame attempt to make an analogy of Theomatics with your examples. In short, your examples leave out 80% of what is significant about Theomatics.

I replied:

I certainly do appreciate the feedback, but I’m not convinced that
your claim has any bearing whatsoever on my response.

Regardless of how the significant numbers are chosen, the point of the program was to demonstrate that ANY number can yield seemingly significant results from any text. Thus is doesn’t matter whether the text attaches significant meaning to 111 or 52 or 69. By running a large enough text through a computer with some set of rules and any number you please, you can pick out thousands of phrases which translate to multiples of that number. It’s simply a matter of confirmation bias. No collaboration or special planning on the part of the authors is required.

> To go further, The phenomenon of Theomatics wasn’t even KNOWN until the mid
> seventies.

Of course it wasn’t, and that’s part of the point also. Theomatics doesn’t make any predictions and it doesn’t yield any useful new knowledge. At best it can be used as a tool for identifying events in hindsight. You know what you are looking for already, and you find things that appear to confirm the significance of phrases that look
important.

Gary replied (all bold text from the original):



But you DO SO at the complete exclusion of the fact that the numbers
are significant because they are established IN THE TEXT and writings.
They are established both in language/writings and are given specific
relationships to people, times, places and subjects.

Your analogies do NOTHING but prove you can produce detached numbers!
You exclude that the phrases associated with these numbers are related
IN CONTEXT of the commucation of concepts of various central theme.
No. I have reviewed your site all morning… and you simply DO NOT MAKE
A VIABLE CRITIQUE that holds relevence whatsoever to support “debunking.”
All you achieved is to debuke yourself.


Of course it wasn’t, and that’s part of the point also. Theomatics
doesn’t make any predictions and it doesn’t yield any useful new
knowledge. At best it can be used as a tool for identifying events in
hindsight. You know what you are looking for already, and you find
things that appear to confirm the significance of phrases that look
important.

Wrong again. But, you’ve already debunked yourself.
So I will leave you to your own defunct debunkingness.


Then I replied:

But as I’ve already said, it doesn’t actually matter how the numbers are chosen. The number 111 will produce significant hits, and so will all other numbers. You claim that the number 111 is especially interesting because it is established as important by the text — although in reality, 111 is just one of thousands of numbers which could be regarded as significant depending on your interpretation.

But I don’t care how you pick your numbers. The point is that whether a number is “significant” to you or not, it will yield phrases which appear to relate to any topic you choose. It’s just that you care about the resulting phrases when the chosen number is “significant,” and you don’t care when the chosen number is not “significant.” It’s your own filter on the text that makes it meaningful or not, however you read it.

> Wrong again. But, you’ve already debunked yourself.
> So I will leave you to your own defunct debunkingness.

That’s a great word you’ve invented. Although I think I would have picked something like “debunkiferation.”

Gary replied:


You have missed the entire collective point.
I don’t know how to help you see it, but I have friends who are
PHd’s that get it… and several friends who are not even Christians
see the signifiance. If you see a copy of the book I have,
Sanford University’s Statistics division studied Theomatics
for several months and produced a report that said that
the Theomatics feature in the Bible is unique. They could
not produce the same results in other writings, or even
spiitual writings. And they said the chances of it just
happening were like 1 out of several hundred billion.
If I find the online re-print of this I will send it.

I replied:

> I don’t know how to help you see it, but I have friends who are
> PHd’s that get it…

It looks like you can’t. Maybe you should ask them to discuss it with me instead of you.

> If you see a copy of the book I have,
> Sanford University’s Statistics division studied Theomatics
> for several months and produced a report that said that
> the Theomatics feature in the Bible is unique.

Since “Sanford” doesn’t appear to be the name of an actual university, I have to assume that you mean either “Stanford” or “Samford.” Samford is a Bible college in Alabama, so I bet it’s that. Imagine that: a Bible college came to the conclusion that Theomatics is correct. I’m floored by their objectivity.

> They could
> not produce the same results in other writings, or even
> spiitual writings. And they said the chances of it just
> happening were like 1 out of several hundred billion.
> If I find the online re-print of this I will send it.

Well, I produced what appears to be a similar result in just twenty minutes on my computer, so perhaps they weren’t trying all that hard. I expect you’ll continue to repeat that I missed the entire point of Theomatics, as you have in each letter so far. So far I still don’t see the relevance of your argument that some numbers are more important than others. But I suppose that’s just a factor of my dysfuntional debunktionality.

That was the last message in this exchange.

So let’s see: in the final tally I see at least two arguments from (unnamed) authority, and three things I’ll say are confusion of cause and effect (the phrases were found in the Bible after the “discovery” of theomatics, therefore they were put there deliberately by someone who knew theomatics in advance).

Did I miss any others?