The argument consists of two parts:
(1) ELSs of any given word that can be found in
the Torah text can be found in any long enough text;
(2) Any compact meeting of ELSs found in the Torah text can
be found in any long enough text.
We are used to reading a text letter by letter, word by word. So we are not intuitively
prepared to expect that by skipping letters words can be constructed. Therefore, when
we learn that in fact ELSs of any given word can be found in any long enough text, we
might be ready to dismiss out of hand any Torah code effect. Indeed
in any language in any sufficiently long novel, we will find even many ELSs of any given word.
And the ELSs that are found in the Torah text, follow for the most part, what one
would expect to find statistically. The part of the argument is factually correct.
As it is stated, the second part of the argument is also factually correct. If for any given
pair of words, one can find many ELSs of the words in a long enough text, then among the ELSs
present, there will be some ELSs pairs whose skips are resonant and which are close enough together
that one can put them on a resonant cylinder and find a window that shows a close meeting between
the two ELSs.
The problem here is that the statement is misleading in that the ELSs discussed and the compact
meeting that is discussed are not qualified. According to the
Torah code hypothesis, the ELSs involved must be low skip rank ELSs and the compact
meeting is evaluated as relative. Low skip rank means that the number of ELSs found in
the text having smaller absolute skip must be small, like around 10. Relatively compact meeting
means that in a suitably defined monkey text population, the fraction of texts that have smaller
tables is a small fraction, like around 1/100. Relatively compact does not mean in a table of
say 100 entries, unless the fraction of texts in the monkey text population that have
tables of low skip rank ELSs of the key words that are no bigger than 100 entries is 1/100 or smaller.
When these qualifications are in place, the
statement of Professor Simon: "Any text of similar size will have similar clusters of
words to those found in the Torah." and the statement
of Professor Sternberg: "... hidden messages similar to those of ... Rips and Witztum can be
produced in any sufficiently long actual text, and have in fact been produced."
will be found to be incorrect.