Posted: Mar 30, 2016 3:13 pm
by blue triangle
I was asked by AlanB if I could provide evidence for the interaction of a non-physical mind with physical matter. This is how it was framed.

Reply to a theist who asserts that a god exists or gods exist:
What you must do now is to prove (or show evidence of) the existence of an interface between a non-physical God (or gods) and a physical universe (or even a physical human being will do). You must then describe the precise nature of the interface: how it is implemented, what 'connections' are used and the translation 'mechanism' across the interface. Bearing in mind, of course, that one side of the interface must be entirely non-physical such that no physical measuring device can detect its presence and that the other side must exist solely in the physical universe.

Here is my answer.

In a scientific age religious believers find themselves under fire for their outdated mythologies and unscientific beliefs, flying in the face of evidence that God is nowhere to be found in nature. Personal experience of the divine is regarded as comforting belief at best and dogmatic refusal to listen to the evidence of science at worst. And yet evidence has been provided for those with faith, strongly indicating that a non-physical being or mind or power has been interacting with physical matter in the form of human beings for a very long time. What I am about to present is not evidence for the God of the Bible as such, simply for a non-physical mind guiding the authorship of those scriptures, which is what I was asked to show.

The Bible is claimed by Christians to be the work of God, yet the historicity of many passages is open to question at best and almost undeniably absent at worst. Textual analysis by theologians has also shown that many passages have been edited over and again and therefore the real authorship of many parts of scripture is often unknown. However, no matter who its human authors were, there is evidence that an unseen hand (that non-physical mind) was guiding them. This hand has to have been guiding the evolution of the Bible over long periods of time, with many scribes and editors and in at least three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.

The evidence is contained within the text itself, as letters which when converted into numbers via historically attested systems of alphabetic numeration, and subjected to the simplest of manipulations, hide good approximations of the transcendental numbers pi and e. The approximations are in error of the true values by 1 part in 90000 and largely cancel out to give a combined error of about 1 part in a million. These are the two most important transcendentals, well known to mathematicians, scientists and engineers. A third number, the physical constant alpha (electromagnetic fine structure constant), is also found in the same locations. When this is added to the other two numbers, the error of the combined three numbers reduces to about 1 part in 18 million.

What are those biblical locations? They are the Bible's first verse, Genesis 1.1, and a verse with very similar meaning, John 1.1. The first is the Masoretic text, written in biblical Hebrew, the second is the Textus receptus, written in Koine Greek. The precise structure of Genesis 1.1 has been fixed for at least 1000 years, probably longer, and pi was known to about that level of accuracy when Genesis was written. However, the encoding within John 1.1 is even more mysterious, since e was unknown even as a concept when it was written and the structure 'fixed'. The constant alpha was unknown until the early 20th Century. The author, Vernon Jenkins, was a mathematics lecturer in Wales.

The evidence, then, is three of the most important numbers in mathematics and physics, found within two of the most important locations in scripture. There is much more to be said, and much more evidence, but this will get the conversation started.