After the WRR Great Rabbis experiment became known in the late 1980's, Harold Gans replicated the experiment.
and obtained the same results. In 1990 he designed a new experiment that came to be known as the Cities experiment.
He paired the great rabbis appellations
with the cities in which each rabbi was born and/or died. The places of birth and death were obtained
from two encyclopedias. The city names were spelled in Hebrew by a system of rules designed by Zvi Inbal. The p-value of
that experiment was 6/1,000,000. The paper was submitted to Statistical Science and was rejected.
Coincidence of Equidistant Letter Sequence Pairs In The Book of Genesis
In 1997, critics suggested to Gans that the spellings of the city names had been contrived to make
the experiment succeed. They pointed out that there were many names in the list that were spelled differently
than in either of the encylopedias the information came from. And the same city name was sometimes spelled
differently for different rabbis.
Gans went over the data carefully with Nachum Bombach. They mechanically applied the rules and found
a few differences between what it produced and the original spellings. The experiment was rerun and
produced a p-value of 4/1,000,000.
There are three other variations on the cities experiment, one done by Professor Simon with
coordination by Professor McKay, one done by the Aumann committee, and one done by Professor