The Wiggle Room Argument

Barry Simon, is the IBM professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He has advanced the wiggle room argument against Torah codes.

Here is how he explains his argument. He says that the researcher has many possible key word choices for making a table relative to some event. These key word choices are multiplied in Hebrew because there are often multiple spellings of the same word with a Vav, without a Vav, with a Yod or without a Yod. There is the possibility for using the definite article or not etc. These possible choices he calls wiggle room. He argues that experiments that have wiggle room cannot be scientific experiments.

The argument that he makes is interesting because in every physics experiment there are a multitude of experimenter subjective choices that are indeed made. And the fact that the experimenter makes these choices does not invalidate the experiment. Although he is more of a theoretician than an experimenter, he is surely aware of this.

Perhaps we can further understand his argument by one of his conclusions. Note what we call tables, he calls clusters.

The quality of the clusters will be largely determined by the creativity of the searcher rather than by anything intrinsic to the underlying text.

By this he means something more than an experimenter with a good intuitive sense and good creativity is more likely to perform an experiment with a positive outcome. What he means but does not want to say is that a creative experimenter will try multiple possible key word choices and demonstrate his finding on the choices that worked, not telling anyone of the choices that did not work. And if the creative experimenter would be as creative in a likewise manner in performing an experiment using some Hebrew novel as the text, he would also find tables approximately as compact as what he found using the Torah text. However, the key word choices for the successful table using the Torah text and the choices for the successful table using the Hebrew novel will be different. Hence he says the tables are similar, but not identical.

The wiggle room argument is simply an argument that challenges the integrity of the Torah code researcher. He poses the argument in the way he does just so that he does not have to openly call the Torah code researcher a fraud.

Of course, if the Torah code researcher is a fraud, then there is no point to any further discussion on the subject.