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No. 105: May-Jun 1996

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Hidden messages in genesis?

Some can find cryptic meanings in the works of Nostradamus, others see messages in crop circles. Forget those sources! A better one has been around for millennia.

Three researchers at the Jerusalem College of Technology and the Hebrew University have analyzed the text of Genesis using an analytical technique that can only be called "inspired".

"By treating the text as an unbroken string of letters, and selecting sequences of equally spaced letters, three mathematicians discovered 300 hidden pairs of Hebrew words with related meanings in close proximity to one another. Some of the words involved people who lived and events that occurred long after the Torah was written.

"The odds of the words occurring by chance? Less than one in 50 quadrillion, according to an article by Jeffrey Satinover in the October issue of Bible Review."

Satinover is a psychiatrist and lecturer on the relationship between science and religion. He commented:

"I guess the bottom line is, if the research holds up and no flaw is found in the methodology, then I think the implication is clear that the authorship of Genesis is not human."

Unsettling though the implications are to mainstream science, the research has made it past the usual critical hurdles into two scientific journals: Statistical Science and Journal of the Royal Statistical Society.

Scientists familiar with the work can only say that, "Something weird seems to be happening." We certainly agree!

(Briggs, David; "Researchers: Word Patterns in Genesis Suggest Divine Writing," Chillicothe Gazette, October 28, 1995. Cr. J. Fry via COUD-I. COUD-I = Collectors of Unusual Data-International. The Gazette item was based on an Associated Press release.)

From Science Frontiers #105, MAY-JUN 1996. 1996-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987