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19

by Michael Shermer, Jun 28 2011

An attempted ambush interview turns
into a lesson in patternicity and numerology

On Friday, June 17, a film crew came by the Skeptics Society office to interview me for a documentary that I was told was on arguments for and against God. The producer of the film, Alan Shaikhin, sent me the following email, which I reprint here in its entirety so that readers can see that there is not a hint of what was to come in what turned out to be an attempted ambush interview with me about Islam, the Quran, and the number 19:

Dear Michael!

I am the director of a film crew hired by a non-profit organization, Izgi Amal, from Kazakhstan, which has no connection with the American brat, Borat. We have been working on a documentary film on modern philosophical and scientific arguments for and against God for almost a year. We have been taking shots and interviewed theologians, philosophers and scientists in England, Netherlands, USA, Turkey, and Egypt.

We are planning to finish the film by the end of this year and participate in major film festivals, including Cannes. We will allocate some of the funds to distribute thousands of copies of the film for free, especially to libraries and colleges.

Our crew will once again visit the United States and will spend the rest of June interviewing various people, from layman to artists, from academicians to activists.

Though we are far out there, we know your work and we think that it contributes greatly to the quality of this perpetual philosophical debate. We would like to include perspective and voice in this discussion. We would appreciate if you let us know what days in JUNE would be the best dates to meet you and interview you for this engaging and fascinating documentary film.

Since we are planning to interview about 10 scholars and experts of diverse positions such as atheism, agnosticism, deism, monotheism, and polytheism, it is important to learn all available days in this month of June.

Please feel free to contact us via email or our cell phone numbers, below. If you respond via email and please let us know the best phone number and times to reach you.

Peace,
Alan Shaikhi

In hindsight perhaps I should have picked up on his admission that “we are far out there,” which in fact they turned out to be. Present were Mr. Shaikhin, another gentleman named Edip Yuksel, a couple of film crew hands, and a woman videographer who was setting up all the lighting and equipment. Before we began Shaikhin explained that they were actually filming two projects, and that his colleague (Mr. Yuksel) would be interviewing me after he, Shaikhin, was finished. Yuksel, in fact, was very fidgety and throughout the interview with Shaikhin I could see him out of the corner of my eye feverishly taking notes and fiddling around with books whose titles I could not see.

Skeptic magazine volume 16, number 3.

Shaikhin’s interview, in fact, included mostly standard faire questions for such documentaries: Do I think there’s a conflict between science and religion?, What do I think about this and that argument for God’s existence?, Why do I think people believe in God?, etc. He was unfailingly polite and professional. Toward the end he did make some vague reference to Islam and our cover story of Skeptic on myths about the Islamic religion (the myth of the Middle East Madman, the myth of the 72 virgins, etc.), but I begged off answering anything about Islam because I haven’t studied it much nor have I read the Quran.

My first clue that the interview was about to take a sharp right turn came when Shaikhin acted shocked that I would edit an issue of Skeptic on Islam without myself having read the Quran. I explained that I write very few articles in Skeptic and that my job as editor is to find writers who are experts on a subject, which was, in fact, the case with this issue when our Senior Editor Frank Miele interviewed the University of California at Santa Barbara Islamic scholar R. Stephen Humphreys. Nonetheless, Shaikhin continued to act surprised, repeating “you mean to tell me that you edited a special issue of Skeptic on Islam and haven’t read the Quran?” I again explained that editors of magazines are not always (or ever) the world’s leading expert on the topics they publish, which is the very reason for contracting with experts to write the articles for magazines.

With this first part of the interview completed, Edip Yuksel leaped up out of his chair like a WWF wrestler charging into the ring for his big match. He grabbed a chair and pulled it over next to mine, asked for a bottle of water for the match, and instructed the videographer to widen the shot to include him in the interview. Only it wasn’t an interview. It was a monologue, with Yuksel launching into a mini-history of how he wrote Carl Sagan back in 1992 about the number 19 (he didn’t say if Sagan ever wrote back), how Carl had written about the deep significance of the number π (pi) in his science fiction novel Contact, how he is a philosopher and a college professor who teaches his students how to think critically, and that he is a great admirer of my work. However (you knew this was coming, right?), there is one thing we should not be skeptical about, and that is the remarkable properties of the number 19 and the Quran.

At this point I had a vague flashback memory of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. and Louis Farrakhan’s musings about the magical properties of the number 19. The transcript from that speech confirmed my memory. Here are a few of the numerological observations by Farrakhan that day in October, 1995:

There, in the middle of this mall is the Washington Monument, 555 feet high. But if we put a one in front of that 555 feet, we get 1555, the year that our first fathers landed on the shores of Jamestown, Virginia as slaves.

In the background is the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorial, each one of these monuments is 19 feet high.

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president. Thomas Jefferson, the third president, and 16 and three make 19 again. What is so deep about this number 19? Why are we standing on the Capitol steps today? That number 19—when you have a nine you have a womb that is pregnant. And when you have a one standing by the nine, it means that there’s something secret that has to be unfolded.

I want to take one last look at the word atonement.

The first four letters of the word form the foundation; “a-t-o-n” … “a-ton”, “a-ton”. Since this obelisk in front of us is representative of Egypt. In the 18th dynasty, a Pharaoh named Akhenaton, was the first man of this history period to destroy the pantheon of many gods and bring the people to the worship of one god. And that one god was symboled by a sun disk with 19 rays coming out of that sun with hands holding the Egyptian Ankh – the cross of life. A-ton. The name for the one god in ancient Egypt. A-ton, the one god. 19 rays.

This is a splendid example of what I call patternicity: the tendency to find meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless noise. And Edip Yuksel launched into a nonstop example of patternicity when he pulled out his book entitled Nineteen: God’s Signature in Nature and Scripture (2011, Brainbow Press; see also www.19.org) and began to quote from it. To wit…

  • The number of Arabic letters in the opening statement of the Quran, BiSMi ALLaĤi AL-RaĤMaNi AL-RaĤYM (1:1) 19
  • Every word in Bismillah… is found in the Quran in multiples of 19
  • The frequency of the first word, Name (Ism) 19
  • The frequency of the second word, God (Allah) 19 x 142
  • The frequency of the third word, Gracious (Raĥman) 19 x 3
  • The fourth word, Compassionate (Raĥym) 19 x 6
  • Out of more than hundred attributes of God, only four has numerical values of multiple of 19
  • The number of chapters in the Quran 19 x 6
  • Despite its conspicuous absence from Chapter 9, Bismillah occurs twice in Chapter 27, making its frequency in the Quran 19 x 6
  • Number of chapters from the missing Ch. 9 to the extra in Ch. 27. 19 x 1
  • The total number of all verses in the Quran, including the 112 unnumbered Bismillah 19 x 334
  • Frequency of the letter Q in two chapters it initializes 19 x 6
  • The number of all different numbers mentioned in the Quran 19 x 2
  • The number of all numbers repeated in the Quran 19 x 16
  • The sum of all whole numbers mentioned in the Quran 19 x 8534

This goes on and on for 620 pages which, when divided by the number of chapters in the book (31) equals 20, which is one more than 19; since 1 is the cosmic number for unity, the first nonzero natural number, and according to the rock group Three Dog Night the loneliest number, we subtract 1 from 20 to once again see the power of 19. In fact, 19 is a prime number, it is the atomic number for potassium (flip that “p” to the left and you get a 9), in the Baha’i faith there were 19 disciples of Baha’u’llah and their calendar year consists of 19 months of 19 days each (361 days), and it’s the last year you can be a teenager and the last hole in golf that is actually the clubhouse bar. In point of fact we can find meaningful patterns with almost any number:

  • 99: names of Allah; atomic number for Einsteinium; Agent 99 on TV series Get Smart
  • 40: 40 days and 40 nights of rain; Hebrews lived 40 years in the desert, Muhammad’s age when he received the first revelation from the Archangel Gabriel and the number of days he spent in the desert and days he spent fasting in a cave
  • 23: The 23 enigma: the belief that most incidents and events are directly connected to the number 23
  • 11: sunspot cycle in years, the number of Jesus’s disciples after Judas defected
  • 7: 7 deadly sins and 7 heavenly virtues; Shakespeare’s 7 ages of man, Harry Potter’s most magical number
  • 3: number of dimensions; number of sides of a triangle, the 3 of clubs—the forced pick in one of Penn & Teller’s favorite card tricks
  • 1: unity; the first non-zero natural number, it’s own factorial and it’s own square; the atomic number of hydrogen; the most abundant element in the universe; Three Dog Night’s song about the loneliest number
  • π (pi): a mathematical constant whose value is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, or 3.14159…. Make of this what you will, but Carl Sagan did elevate π to significance at the end of Contact:

The universe was made on purpose, the circle said. In whatever galaxy you happen to find yourself, you take the circumference of a circle, divide it by its diameter, measure closely enough, and uncover a miracle—another circle, drawn kilometers downstream of the decimal point. In the fabric of space and in the nature of matter, as in a great work of art, there is, written small, the artist’s signature. Standing over humans, gods, and demons, subsuming Caretakers and Tunnel builders, there is an intelligence that antedates the universe.

At this point in the filming process I interrupted Yuksel and told Shaikhin that the interview was over, that he could use the footage from the first part of the interview but not this monologue mini-lecture that was an undisguised attempt to convince me of the miraculous properties of the number 19. I didn’t sign any waiver or permission to use any of the footage shot that day, but just in case I was relieved when the videographer came to me in private to apologize and explain that she had nothing to do with the rest of the crew, that she was just hired to do the filming, and that after I had put an end to the interview she stopped filming.

At some point I asked Edip why he felt so compelled to convince me of the meaningfulness of the number 19 in the Quran, when I told him that I haven’t read the Quran and hold that all such numerological searches are nothing more than patternicity. The impression I got was that if he could convince a professional skeptic then there must be something to the claim. I asked him what other Islamic scholars who have read the Quran think of his claims for the number 19, and he told me that they consider him a heretic. He said it as a point of pride, as if to say “the fact that the experts denounce me means that I must be on to something.”

P.S. Edip Yuksel did strike me as a likable enough fellow who seemed genuinely passionate about his beliefs, but there was something a bit off about him that I couldn’t quite place until I was escorting him out of the office and he said, “I see you are a very athletic fellow. Can I show you something that I learned in a Turkish prison?” With scenes from Midnight Express flashing through my mind, I muttered “Uhhhhhh… No.”

Patternicity Challenge to Readers

As a test—of sorts—I would like to hereby issue a challenge to all readers to employ their own patternicity skills at finding meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless noise with such numbers and numerical relationships, both serious and lighthearted, related to the number 19 or any other number that strikes your fancy. Post them here and we shall publish them in a later feature-length article I shall write on this topic.

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132 Responses to “19”

  1. Mchl says:

    So my example apparently looked ‘a bit spammy’ to the spam filter here (even though there were no links in the comment). I’ve just lost 5 minutes of my life.

  2. Max says:

    19 hijackers…

    Why 19? Are they trying to one-up Jews, for whom 18 is significant?

    It was convincing to Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, who drove an SUV through a crowd at UNC, where he had completed an undergraduate degree in psychology.
    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Mohammed_Reza_Taheri-Azar-_Letter_to_the_police_explaining_motive
    “In the Qur’an, Allah states that the believing men and women have permission to murder anyone responsible for the killing of other believing men and women. I know that the Qur’an is a legitimate and authoritative holy scripture since it is completely validated by modern science and also mathematically encoded with the number 19 beyond human ability. After extensive contemplation and reflection, I have made the decision to exercise the right of violent retaliation that Allah has given me to the fullest extent to which I am capable at present.”

  3. gski says:

    1 cat has 9 lives.

  4. Max says:

    Discordianism has the Law of Fives
    http://www.principiadiscordia.com/book/23.php

    The Law of Fives states simply that: ALL THINGS HAPPEN IN FIVES, OR ARE DIVISIBLE BY OR ARE MULTIPLES OF FIVE, OR ARE SOMEHOW DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY APPROPRIATE TO 5.
    The Law of Fives is never wrong.
    In the Erisian Archives is an old memo from Omar to Mal-2: “I find the Law of Fives to be more and more manifest the harder I look.”

    Hence, five digits, five senses, five tastes, Big Five personality traits, Lipinski’s Rule of Five, etc.
    Segments of a pentagram are in golden ratio to each other.

    • Jim Shaver says:

      And we should not overlook the fact that the number 19 in hexadecimal — base 16, the numbering system of modern computers — is equal to 25 in decimal, which is the square of 5.

  5. Deen says:

    Found it literally in the first object I looked at after accepting the challenge. My keyboard has 16 keys at the top row, plus three LEDs, making 19. It’s a miracle!

    Of course, if 2, 4, 8 or 16 had been the magic number I was looking for, I simply wouldn’t have counted the LEDs. For 12, I’d have only counted the F1 to F12 keys, for 13 I could have included the Esc key, but not the Print Screen, Scroll Lock and Pause/break keys, etc.

  6. Bart says:

    Ha! I’ve been reading Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, and I just got to the part in the story where the number “19″ starts being significant.

    From Wikipedia.

    “Stephen King’s seven book epic The Dark Tower saga employs the number 19 in books The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla, and The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah as a mysterious and important number. They refer to the “ka-tet of 19″, many names add up to 19, 19 seems to permeate every aspect of Roland and his traveler’s lives. In addition, the number ends up being a powerful key.”

    Makes me wonder if King knew about this Quran and 19 thing and took the idea from there.

    • Beelzebud says:

      He’s written about the meaning behind 19 in the series. He was 19 when he first dreamed up Roland. As he started writing the final three books, his research assistant pointed out that 19 kept showing up in the series. A few names have exactly 19 letters, etc. He mentioned nothing mystical or relating to the Quran, it just happened to be a “happy accident”, that he decided to run with.

  7. Max says:

    The Interesting Number Paradox says that all natural numbers are interesting. If that were not true, then the smallest uninteresting number would itself be interesting for being the smallest uninteresting number.

    Number 1729 appears in two famous stories.

    First, from British mathematician G. H. Hardy

    I remember once going to see [Ramanujan] when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. “No,” he replied, “it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.”

    Second, from Richard Feynman, about how he beat an abacus salesman at calculating the cube root of 1729.03, by observing that 1729 is 1 plus the number of cubic inches in a cubic foot.
    http://www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/abacus/feynman.html

    • Jim Shaver says:

      Also, it should not go without notice that 1729 = 19 x 91. And 91 is the palindrome of 19. And 1729 starts with 1 and ends with 9, with the digits in the middle summing to 9.

      (Max, I’m clearly trying to reply to each of your posts. Wait, highjackers?! I’ve got more work to do.)

  8. The Midwesterner says:

    I grew up in a small town. When I was a teenager, in the space of a few years (I don’t remember whether or not it was 3 but approximately that period of time) 3 fathers died (1 of cancer, 1 was electrocuted, and I can’t remember what happened to the other one); 3 sons (1 in a car accident, 1 shot accidentially, and I also can’t remember what happened to the third); and 3 daughters (two of cancer and one froze to death after a night of underage drinking). There was much talk at the time that things ALWAYS happen in 3s and it was particularly meaningful that there were 3 sets of 3 deaths. No mothers died during this period (that I know of).

  9. Patrick says:

    7pm = 1900 hours in 24 hour notation. Why 24 hour notation? Because 24-5=19 (5 is the first good prime number, the number of books in the Pentateuch and the number of classical planets ).

    Now, 1900 hours, as we know, is the best time of day to be outside and view the sun during the summer in Colorado, USA. Why Colorado? Rutherford B Hayes was elected to be the 19th president of the US in 1876, the year Colorado became the 38th state. 38/2 = 19. QED.

    something like that.

  10. Retired Prof says:

    Herbert W. Armstrong’s cult, called Worldwide (formerly Radio) Church of God, counted church history and made prophesies based on 19, that being the number of years it takes for the Hebrew calendar to cycle around. This is the same relationship between sun and moon that gave us the saying “once in a blue moon,” though their church history scholar Herman Hoeh claimed to have discovered it independently.

    On that basis they prophesied that Armageddon would start early in 1972 (no specific date) and Jesus Christ would return 3 1/2 years later in 1975. When church leaders saw things were not shaping up the way they predicted, they destroyed all copies they could find of their booklet *1975 in Prophecy*. Many adherents fell away, and the church splintered into several sects, the largest of which abandoned most former teachings and now preaches a fairly standard Protestant theology. Other splinters claim to preserve “the truth once delivered,” and their evangelists and apostles are still making new prophesies and updating the end times, except I’m not sure that any support those prophesies with the 19-year cycle.

  11. Charris says:

    There’s 19 bottles of beer on my wall…

    In Shermer’s new book, there are 19 ‘chapters,’ including the prologue, epilogue, notes, acknowledgments, and index.

    In the first chapter of “Why Darwin Matters,” the first sentence is 20 words, which is that whole 19 words + 1 cosmic secret or whatever it was.

  12. MadScientist says:

    *yawn* 19 isn’t special – you can pick any 1,2,3, or 4 digit positive integer and imbue it with similar magical properties as 19. Some more skilled contortion is required to do the same for 5-digit numbers and larger.

    This sort of thing reminds me of the numerous ‘prophecies’ based on staring at any book (the christian bible is a favorite) and filtering out every Nth letter or Nth word and then selecting a few nonsensical phrases and insisting that it means something.

  13. LovleAnjel says:

    The first clue should have been “American brat, Borat”. That character was developed for a British show.

    • Umm... says:

      The first clue should have been “Dear Michael(exclamation point)”…

    • Dimension says:

      It is pretty bad when you get something wrong right off the bat. Sasha Baron Cohen isn’t American, he is English. So calling him American anything is wrong…

  14. highnumber says:

    Steely Dan wrote and recorded a song “Hey 19.” Not so significant in itself, but when you consider that the band took their name from a William S Burroughs (19 characters when you count the spaces) nickname for a, er, toy, and that they met in Annandale-on-Hudson (19 characters including the dashes) and that they will have been reunited 19 years next year, it seems quite ominous that their current tour ends quite abruptly late this year in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand (19 letters).

  15. This is total bullshit

    19 letters! Coincidence?

  16. Stephen Williamson says:

    Coincidentally, the number 19 is part of a whole patternicity subplot in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. TONS of examples in there of the characters finding significance in the number 19.

  17. Bill says:

    For some fun number-based scavenger hunting, try finding references to 1138 in the collected media offerings of George Lucas’ companies. That includes not only his films, but spinoff products like Star Wars toys, video games, TV series and the like.

    Granted, not exactly patternicity, since these references are all intentional…but still fun in an Easter Egg hunt kinda way.

  18. Jim Shaver says:

    19 Responses to “19”

    Ooooooh, spooky. Wait, did I just ruin that? Crap!

  19. Max says:

    So how do we tell an Easter Egg from patternicity?
    Like, is the B-2 bomber in a swimming pool at Whiteman Air Force Base the same as Jesus on toast?
    http://googlesightseeing.com/maps?p=1610&c=&t=k&hl=en&ll=38.727832,-93.569173&z=18

  20. Andy says:

    Thanks for another great article! To me, this one was interesting in a more personal level since I actually have several friends who are very much into some religious group that use the 19 as proof that the Quran is somehow authored by god himself. ( http://submission.org/miracle/index.html ) It hurts a bit to have people close to you self-deluding, but they so seriously and whole-heartedly believe…

  21. James Hammond says:

    What do you get when you multiply six by nine? FORTY TWO! :)

  22. BillG says:

    “19″ – wasn’t that the average age of American GI’s in Vietnam? If so then perhaps Armagetton should have ended before 1975 or was it the beginning? The BS is endless, as is the folly of man!

    • Tim Gowan says:

      Yeah, we all remember that song:
      N-n-n-nineteen, nineteen
      N-n-n-nineteen, nineteen

  23. Stu H says:

    I found this bit to be the most disturbing part of this post:

    “I see you are a very athletic fellow. Can I show you something that I learned in a Turkish prison?”

    I’m sorry, was this a veiled threat of violence? To me, this sounds like a threat and would have made me most pissed – in fact, this kind of pisses me off in general.

    This whole “If you don’t believe what I believe, I reserve the right to commit violence towards you” type of thinking is just astounding.

    Perhaps I’m reading to much into that comment but it did come across as a threat from my point of view.

  24. amandalea says:

    My name is Amanda; there are equal numbers of letters in my first name as there are syllables in my entire name. My sister’s name is Julie; her name also shares this trait, as does every other member of my immediate family. My father and brother do no typically go by their given names; both their given names AND their nicknames fit this schema, e.g., Samuel Lloyd Osburn – 6 syllables, 6 letters..but, he’s better known as “Bud” – Bud Osburn – 3 syllables, 3 letters.
    I discovered this when I was in 3rd grade; I now have 3 kids of my own. Anyone want to hazard a guess at what the hardest part of naming my children proved to be? Test your name out and BE AMAZED!

  25. John Tyrrell says:

    A few years ago, after writing about the elimination of US Highway 666 due to bunkum superstition, I played around with the number a bit in Fun with Figures II:Thinking About 666 (http://apatheticagnostic.org/articles/meds/med09/med179.html)

  26. Dave says:

    Law of Seven – Heptaparaparshinokh:

    http://www.endlesssearch.co.uk/philo_lawof7.htm

  27. Dave says:

    oops, that link is cool, but this is the one i meant

  28. Dan Fallon says:

    I, personally, like `9589′. That was my prison number in 1968-1969 at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo., when I was doing a `fiver’ for political antiwar draft resistance.

    Not many guys can claim to have known (and much admired) John Howard’s dad in his official capacity. Not many people can claim to have observed Joe Valachi getting a barium enema with refrigerated barium (who says there isn’t any justice!). Wait! There’s more!!

  29. Dave says:

    Michael -
    Sadly reminiscent of interviews by Grizzly Adams Productions, no? This reminds me of their strange obsession with the “Bible Code.” Where the gods are concerned some people check their brain at the door.

  30. DrJen says:

    The number of times the word “number” is used in the above article: 42
    42 = The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything
    42nd word in the article: “god”
    The number of times the word “god” is used in the article: 13
    Number of letters in Michael Shermer: 14 = 13+1…the god count plus 1 to represent his one trueness

    That makes it all pretty clear, don’t you think?

  31. Gr8GooglyMoogly says:

    Eleventy-seven.

  32. Bill E says:

    19 is the number of times I want to thank Michael for writing “How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science”

  33. These kinds of people (religious nuts, conspiracy theorists, creationists, etc.) are always doing this – ambushing thought leaders. Maybe people in Shermer’s league should start making it a condition of interviews that he have his own camera running the whole time, from the time they show up at the door until they leave, so he can release the unedited footage of what they no doubt will cut to smithereens in an effort to support their own silliness.

    RE 19: 1 more than 18, which is 6+6+6, and God is greater tha Satan. How’s that. Also, chromosome 19 contains the loci for most hair and eye color alleles, since God created us in His image. How’s that? I wonder if 19-man thinks these apply any less because they’re all made up off the cuff by people taking the piss out of it; I wonder if he could even tell the difference.

    • tmac57 says:

      Your comment was at June 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm . Counting all of the letters,numbers and punctuation on that time stamp = 19. Coincidence?

  34. The answer is … 42! Can’t believe nobody’s mentioned that yet.

  35. Edip Yuksel says:

    Dear Michael,

    I expected you to study my book a bit more carefully before writing and sharing a criticsm of it.

    I am glad that you recognized that you were ambushed, but your reaction to it both during the ambush and in this article does not help you.

    I do not wish to hurt your cause of debunking fraud and superstitions. However, your cheap shot at 19 and at my person through the “Turkish prison” innuendo, make me think otherwise.

    I will give you two more weeks to study carefully the book (God’s signature, NINETEEN: God’s Signature in Nature and Scripture) that you received after the debate. You should come up with a much better evaluation.

    Peace,
    Edip

  36. Edip Yuksel says:

    Michael,
    I forgot to add. By likening me and the argument of 19 to the nonsense expessed by Farakhan you are demonstrating one of the following:

    Either you have not read the book at all, as you have not read the Quran.

    Or

    You are deliberatly committing several logical fallacies, such as, red herring, punching the straw man.

    Peace,
    Edip

  37. SC says:

    19 Code in Quran is really clear to understand , i think you should test it before you talk about it. There are many copy of Quran on internet so you can test it easily. Bye everyone.

    74:30 Above it are nineteen.
    74:31 We have appointed only angels to be wardens of the fire, and their number(19) have We made to be a stumbling block for those who disbelieve; that those to whom the scripture hath been given may have certainty, and that believers may increase in faith; and that those to whom the Scripture hath been given and believers may not doubt; and that those in whose hearts there is disease, and disbelievers, may say: What meaneth Allah by this similitude? Thus Allah sendeth astray whom He will, and whom He will He guideth. None knoweth the hosts of thy Lord save Him. This is naught else than a Reminder unto mortals.

  38. Gazi says:

    Dear Michael,

    I have heard from the film crew’s Facebook pages that you wanted the interview (ambush, attack, whatever else you want to call it) to remain private. Now that you’ve brought this debate to public, as people who are curious about this ordeal, we have the right to watch the video and decide for ourselves instead of reading two different versions of what happened. Otherwise it is bound to be a “he said, she said” blog posts, punching the straw men behind each other’s backs, saving your own egos at the expense of objectivity.

    I for one am skeptic of both of your renditions of what happened, and unless you authorize the publication of the source material that you claim to be true, I invite you to resign from your role in Skeptics Society.

    • Max says:

      Edip Yuksel agreed that it was an ambush in his comment above, but didn’t apologize.

      • Edip Yuksel says:

        What does ambush mean? We did not kill him, we did not hurt him, we did not take away his belonging, we did not lie to him. All we did was to engage in a philosophical debate with him. It was an intellectual ambush, since our leading skeptic was exposed by me to the extend that Michael regrets for having accepted the interview and the short cross-examination.

        Instead of expecting me to apologize, why don’t you ask him the reason he wants us to hide the second section, where I exposed the contradictions in his atheistic claims against the Quran.

        Peace,
        Edip

      • Ensar Uzumcu says:

        If what you’re saying is true, that he wants you to hide the second section, then all this flow becomes very interesting! indeed.

      • Max says:

        You may not have any connection with Borat, but you sure seem to copy his ambush interview tactics.

      • Ensar Uzumcu says:

        This thing is getting no-where. It is just not happening. There is no reason in this. Obviously. It smells blackening all around, or sort of a confession of something.

      • Gazi says:

        And that makes the two renditions equal, therefore my argument is invalid? Think about it. Nice hasty generalization there. It seems logical fallacies are a dime a dozen here. If it was such an “ambush” and he was treated unfairly, why not let the world see it? Why hide the evidence? It seems Edip Yuksel would have more to lose by releasing the video if that is the case.

        Michael Shermer needs to agree the video to be released if he has nothing to hide. He sure acts like it by publicly blogging about what happened. Why hide the video and expect us to believe his narration? All things aside, this is such a fundamental contradiction for a man that leads the Skeptics Society. On one hand you set out with the mission that you’ll require all new information to be well supported by evidence, on the other hand you produce new information and hide the evidence that exists!

        I see three ways out of this that would save face for Michael Shermer:

        * Pull the blog post and keep it private like you asked Edip to do. Lose some credibility but keep consistent.

        * Ask for a second chance to debate with Edip Yuksel. Make up for the lost credibility, face the man you publicly rumored about in your blog.

        * Agree the video to be released. Demonstrate that your rendition of events were correct.

      • Edip Yuksel says:

        Dear Gazi,

        All the three suggestions are reasonable and I accept either of them.

        Peace,
        Edip

  39. Max says:

    One out of 19 random numbers is a multiple of 19.

    • Edip Yuksel says:

      That is right. Good start.
      Peace
      Edip

      • Max says:

        Ok, find a Muslim who never heard of the miracle of 19, and tell him that there’s a miracle of 20. Have him make a list of 20 numbers he considers significant: number of times Allah is mentioned, number of times Mohammed is mentioned, etc. Have him count these things, record the results, and then see how many of them are multiples of 20, and how many are multiples of 19.

  40. SEBASTIAN says:

    PUES CREO QUE NO ES DECISION DE MICHEL SHERMER MOSTRAR EL VIDEO, SINO DE LOS QUE HICIERON LA ENTREVISTA, ELLOS LA TIENE FILMADA

  41. Wazaghun says:

    Yuksel is a follower of Rashid Khalifa, who invented all that 19 stuff.

    • Edip Yuksel says:

      Lovely! Now Sunnis and Aatheists are united :)

      • Wazaghun says:

        Actually Sunnis were quite happy with Rashid at first. That was until he totally went over the edge.
        But then came you of course :-)
        Edip, you seem to have a longing for attention judging by your activity and statements here.
        That 19 stuff was already idiotic when Rashid promoted it. And it hasn’t gotten any better with you taking his position at the presentation table.

  42. VA says:

    The entire 20th century had people’s birthdays in the year of 19–. Mine (and several billion of others’) included. Some were even born in 1919 on the 19th of some month, at 19:00. Creepy…

  43. Petrucio says:

    “Post them here and we shall publish them in a later feature-length article I shall write on this topic.”

    Shall you? Just like you’d post the explanation video from Josh Timonen to the magic cube? You said, and I quote:

    “This video was produced and edited by the amazing Josh Timonen, who produced the other videos in this series on aliens and spoon bending, and he also produced the explanation of the mystery, which we will reveal tomorrow. (We won’t make you wait a week between blog posts for the reveal.)”

    Oh, man, that last sentence really is the money quote isn’t it?

    Yuksel might believe in a lot of crap, but he seems interested in participating in the discussion when the posts relate to him, which is more than you seem to do in your own posts.

  44. Does anybody else find this part of Edip’s comment in #35 a bit … perturbing?

    I will give you two more weeks to study carefully the book (God’s signature, NINETEEN: God’s Signature in Nature and Scripture) that you received after the debate. You should come up with a much better evaluation.

    As in … will Edip revisit Michael with Uzi in hand if he doesn’t cough up a much better evaluation? OK, that’s meant metaphorically on my part, but, nonetheless, it sounds a bit like a veiled threat.

    • Edip Yuksel says:

      You have a fantastic imagination my friend.

      When you lose an argument, which is evident in Michael’s demand for keeping the record secret, you attack my person with your fictional senarioes. Is this your level of engaging in intellectual debate?

      • Marcel says:

        Shermer did not “lose” an agrument or debate. Sounds (by his account) that you were busy with a SPEECH, not a debate.

        If you expect someone like Michael to “actively engage” your every whim and fancy, then he’d be a MUCH busier man than almost anyone I can think of, as you are not the only person or group out there who would like their theories on life / God / religion “validated” by someone of intellectual stature in order to feel vindication of / from your beliefs.

        A truelly content man who feels safe and secure in his beliefs would not go to the extent you are going to in order to make a point. I can just see Budha jumping up and down with a camera and laptop, busily replying to BLOG POSTS on a skeptic’s website just to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Not.

        I read the other day a post here about how skeptics should “temper” their responses in order to not come across as condescending. I’m afraid that’s impossible when dealing with people who act the way you do.

        Grow up, we don’t believe what you believe, deal with it, live with it.

        (P.S. I don’t expect you to believe what I believe, and I’m content with it. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.)

      • Gazi says:

        That’s great. Now I would like you to argue for the video being kept secret. I would like you to read http://skepticblog.org/2011/06/28/number-19/#comment-58405 and explain to me that a person not only claiming to be a skeptic, but leading the Skeptics Society, can produce information in his blog and ask for the only evidence related to it to be kept secret.

    • An Uzi? To say the least, would this not be considered halal?

  45. Radek Szyroki says:

    Some other spooky number properties:

    Take number 9 and you’re definitely onto something. Whatever you multiply by 9 and then sum up the digits of the result you will always get a 9! Example: 9876542×9=88888878, 8+8+8+8+8+8+7+8=63, 6+3=9!
    9 must be special! You could incorporate that into the 19 paradigm, just by adding 1 (as one god, loneliest number, unity, etc.)

    73 is clearly a winner, let me quote Sheldon Cooper (from The Big Bang Theory): “The best number is 73. Why? 73 is the 21st prime number. Its mirror (37) is the 12th and its mirror (21) is the product of multiplying, hang on to your hats, 7 and 3. … In binary, 73 is a palindrome, 1001001 which backwards is 1001001!”

    Some other properties of 73 (quoted from Wikipedia):
    73 is the largest minimal Primitive root in the first 100000 primes. In other words, if p is one of the first 100000 primes, then at least one of the primes 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, …, 73 is a primitive root modulo p.
    73 is the smallest prime congruent to 1 modulo 24.
    The mirror of 73, the 21st prime number, 37, is the 12th prime number. The number 21 includes factors 7 and 3. Seventy-three in binary, 1001001, is a palindrome. In addition, of the 7 binary digits representing 73, there are 3 ones. Also, 37+12=49 (seven squared) and 73+21=94=47*2, 47+2 also being equal to seven squared. The double of 21 is Forty-two.
    Every positive integer can be written as the sum of 73 or fewer sixth powers (see Waring’s problem).
    In base 5, the smallest prime with a composite sum of digits is 73.
    73 is the only prime repunit in base 8 (1118)
    73 is the smallest factor of the first composite generalized Fermat number in base 10 (104+1 = 10,001 = 73*137)
    The atomic number of tantalum.
    Messier object M73, a magnitude 9.0 apparent open cluster in the constellation Aquarius
    The New General Catalogue object NGC 73, a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Cetus
    The Saros number of the solar eclipse series which began on 717 BC BC July and ended on 582 September. The duration of Saros series 73 was 1298.1 years, and it contained 73 solar eclipses.
    The number of seconds it took for the OV-099 shuttle to explode after launch.
    73 is the length of the Arecibo message, sent to space in search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

    The total number of books in the Holy Bible in the Catholic version if the Book of Lamentations is counted as a book separate from the Book of Jeremiah.

    In international curling competitions, each side is given 73 minutes to complete all of its throws.
    In baseball, the single-season home run record set by Barry Bonds in 2001.
    In basketball, the number of games the Philadelphia 76ers lost in the 1972-73 season (9-73), the most losses in NBA history.

    And so on. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/73_(number)

    If 73 doesn’t get into your article, then I don’t know what else should ;-)

    • Edip Yuksel says:

      This silly responses demonstrates one fact:

      You have no clue about what you are criticizing. The examples of code 19 has nothing to do witht these arbitrary bunch of numerological manipulations.

      Peace

      • Daniel M. says:

        If you think Radek’s list is just an “arbitrary bunch of numerological manipulations” then maybe YOU have no clue what you are criticizing. It seems clear to me that Radek has established beyond a reasonable doubt that 73 is of cosmic importance. All hail the magnanimous number 73!

        Also if you divide 73 by 19 and round to 5 significant figures you get 3.84211, and 3+8+4+2+1+1=19. See 73 is doubly connected to the number 19! Even more proof of the importance of 73!

      • Daniel M. says:

        I meant 6 significant figures in my comment above, but I mistyped a 5 instead. What is even more intriguing is that if you add my mistyped 5 to the 14 days Edip Yuksel gave Dr. Shermer to read his book (see comment #35) you come up with 19 again!

        More proof that 19 is important, but since 73 is doubly connected to 19, as I logically established above, this is even MORE evidence for the important of 73! Wow, this numerology stuff is easier than I thought.

      • No, 19 has just had the more unique aspects of its arbitrariness elevated for some number of centuries.

        Besides, although devout Muslims don’t get into things like this, textual criticism has shown that:

        A. There’s a number of textual variants of the Quran;
        B. That the Quran wasn’t likely finalized until the Abbasid caliphate.

        Therefore, your numerology is based on mighty shaky foundations.

  46. Sabio Lantz says:

    Coincidentally (hmmm?) I have just recently discovered an amazing numerology pattern. I have posted about it on my blog for you today. Here is the conclusion:

    The odd DigitSums of primes are themselves prime except for the mysterious numbers 25 and 35.

    Please see my post for the juicy details!

  47. Saurio says:

    7 days a week, 7 dwarfs, 7 sins, 7 virtues, 7 branches of the shamanist tree, 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 planets in ancient astronomy, 7 up.

    Also, 7 apostles didn’t write a gospel nor betrayed Jesus.

    Also if you multiply 7 and 6 (7-1) you get 42.

    Also, if you draw two vertical lines to the “v” in “seven” you make it an “m”, spelling “semen”.

    7×11 = 77 = The first Talking Heads album

    • Edip Yuksel says:

      Hillarious and irrelevant to the subject matter. Like all those knee-jerk reactors to the 19, you too have no clue about what you are rejecting.

      Peace,
      Edip

  48. Saurio says:

    Speaking of which, some years ago in a Spanish email discussion list I (portraying a pseudoscientific fanatic) convinced a piramidologist that pi=4 with a clumsy mathematical demonstration, to the point that he published it in his blog.
    Funny enough, when I revealed the deceit (very soon, since I was only having fun of him, it was a joke with unplanned consecuences and the name of the character could be easily traced back to me) he didn’t removed that fake demonstration from his blog. I think he still believes that pi=4.

  49. marke says:

    Methinks you have accidentally given a few loonies a bit of extra publicity they did not deserve.

  50. WScott says:

    @ Edip:

    why don’t you ask him the reason he wants us to hide the second section

    Because the interview – by your own admission – was conducted under false pretenses. It’s not hiding – Dr. Shermer did not consent to take part in the “interview” you conducted. That’s not even a religious-skeptical issue; it’s basic legality.

    • Edip Yuksel says:

      I have seen Michael and Randi tricking many charlatans and expose their fraud.

      Now, Michael ends up debating me about a subject, which he brags to be his specialty, and when he lose the argument then he cries of “ambush”!

      There was no trick in the debate. He accepted to have interview on God’s existence. As a skeptic who challenges believers through articles, books, conferences, and ambushes, how can he call this debate unfair? He lost in his own game, in his own office!

      I was not going to publish the second section of the film. But, if Michael does not stop this misrepresentation and chep shots at the numerical structure, I may have legal right to expose the truth about his claims. Honestly, I do not want to hurt his reputation, but as it seems, he is in panic mode and trying damage-control by attacking me.

      Peace,
      Edip

      • marke says:

        Okaaaay, I’m intrigued … so if there are actually a lot of 19s and factors of 19 which can be calculated in the holy book, then what?

        We can use that knowledge to calculate some physics?, to predict the end of the world? (THAT would be handy, never been done before!), to rule the world?

        Or is it just a quirky finding that is fun to talk about?

  51. Brenda says:

    Well, let me tell you about my special number “24″.
    I was born on the 24th day of the month. I know I’m a special person because of this, because 24 is a very special number:
    - 24 hours in a day
    - 24 is the atomic number of chromium
    - there are 24 ribs in the human body
    - Septillion has 24 zeroes
    - There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet, both modern & classical
    - 24 karat gold is pure gold
    - There are 24 “perfect” numbers (numbers that equal the sum of all its divisors except itself)
    - 24 is the smallest number to have 8 different factors (1,2,3,4,6,8,12)
    - 24 is the largest number divisible by all numbers less than its square root
    - 24 is the number of cycles in the Chinese solar year
    - 24 is the number of books in the Tanakh
    - 24 is the total number of major and minor keys in Western tonal music, not counting enharmonic equivalents
    - 24 is the sum of twin prime (11 + 13) numbers
    - The Earth travels 24,000 miles in 24 hours
    - 24 is the number of bits a computer needs to accurately represent “true” color images
    - The 24 Runes of the Elder Futhark. Traditionally, the 24 letters are divided into three groups of eight letters called ættir
    - The Chaldeans distinguished, apart from the zodiacal circle, 24 stars including 12 southern and 12 boreal, and they called them the “Judges of the universe”
    - Each of the twelve permutations of the Tetragrammaton has 2 aspects=2 x 12=24
    - In the Torah, the priesthood is aquired through twenty-four virtues
    - In numerology, the word “holy” adds up to 24, and so does “truth”
    - There are 24 chapters in “Illiad”, “Oddysey” and “Gospel According to Luke”
    - 24 elders in the book of Revelation

    Besides all that, I notice that just about every time I see a sports team, someone is wearing the number 24.
    Since my birthday is in March, the number becomes 324. Sometimes when I look at a digital clock, it says 3:24, and I know that whatever I’m thinking or doing at that moment is correct and right on track.
    Sometimes when I make a purchase, the total comes to 3.24…this tells me that God is smiling at me.
    When I make a larger purchase and am having trouble choosing, sometimes the choices come down to paying $324 or say, $283. I will buy the item that costs $324 because I know that this is God helping me to make my decision.
    In the bible, any verse that is numbered 3:24 or 32:4 is a special message just for me.

    Since I was born in March 1965, this also tells me how special I am since “365″ is the number of days in the year. Not only that, but it was the age of Enoch when he died, and Enoch had a very special relationship with God.

    Although this posting is written tongue-in-cheek, I really did used to believe some of these things.

  52. DeLong says:

    After much thought, I have come to the belief that the number four (4) is the most important number of all. My car has four wheels, four tires, four doors, four side windows, four cylinders, seats four (OK, five, but not comfortably) and four lights (two headlights and two tail lights). Also, most animals have four limbs, either two arms and two legs or four legs. When I was younger, you were called “four eyes” if you wore glasses. There are four quarters to a dollar. Four quarters in the NBA and NFL. Four quarters in a calendar year; four seasons of the year. If you multiply four times any number, the product is even!

  53. Ensar Uzumcu says:

    It seems to me like this: This guy was exposed as something he believed he was not. However, he couldn’t understand what was happening. Since his response time is to low he reliazed it later. And he asked Edip Yuksel to keep that part secret.


    If he really knows that he is exposed as something that he believs he is not, why then didn’t he try to correct the misunderstandings or the misinformations or the axioms that caused the argument to lead in that way and why didnt he add some adequate-information to it at the same time, during the debate to correct his standing. This guy is possibly having a problem with his response-time!.. If so, then Edip should debate with people who has proven their response-time to be no less then 60 seconds, maximum, especially when these people are to defend where they stand or to correct a misunderstanding or a misleading through exposing the wrong-axiom or wrong-information or what-ever which his opponent used, exc.. Besides, I wonder if this debated-guy can prove his claim that there is part in the record exposes him as something he thinks! he is not. If he can, it will also be proven that he has a disability to debate and explain where he stands.

    Interestingly, the way he puts the event he has experianced is very much similar with other people that have met and debated with Mr. Yuksel. They all reject that an unreasonable information in the neural network was hit by the truth smoothly and they had nothing to do aganist it. And they all, afterwards, say something not worth of listenning. They all suddenly become a story teller with some numbers dancing around. It is almost a scientific fact:)

    • Ensar Uzumcu says:

      There are also people who really seek the truth and search for it by reason, yet they are only a-few…

      • mark says:

        Hmmm . I’ve read your comment a couple of times. I think what you are saying is Mr Yuksel’s skilled renditions are able to make believers out of people, even though they themselves may not have realized they have become believers, and despite the fact they may later fervently deny this belief, you have, in your opinion, made some sort of a convert.

        A convert to believing what, exactly? A belief in “19″?

        All in all, it does not seem a useful application of your time and energy.

      • Ensar Uzumcu says:

        Hmmmm.( A little longer then yours )

        First, your message is full of assertions. Second, it is probably your wishful thinking applied to my clean text causing this. Third, I think there is no-third.

        Definition is importand dear Mark. Unintentioned definition of fate or belief is highly dangerous. On the other hand, the way of defining things is a vitial and a serious responsibility that each intellectual being should be aware of. The moment of defining something is to put that defined-object in your mind into relations with other objects. According to the wrong defitinition of the object in your mind, you may end up in a different place of the map you are searching. Therefore ‘negotiation’ between people becomes much more importand. And I’m not really sure what you’re talking about when you say “belief in 19″.

        However, I find it really interesting that you didnt use the word ‘conviction’ or ‘confirmation’ or ‘validation’ or ‘judgement’ or ‘ convincing proof’ or ‘ any other possible word or words that would at least ‘go’ with the stiuation. That is another interesting evidance to see how you consider the ‘Subject’. You may kindly use the application ability of your 3kg Jelly, put the data into your reason and calculate some of them, diagnose and come up with a critisizm rather then characterizing things by your own-opinion. Have a few more turns and see if it seems as it seems.

        And what is ‘to make a convert in an opinion’? Come on Mark. Go get some sleep!

      • marke says:

        Ensar, my friend, thank you for the reply.

        I ask the questions because I am truly intrigued as to your purpose. Did you feel Mr Shermer somehow showed conviction in regards to your points made, and you felt his response was some form of confirmation of your statements? This was validation of your theory? (or in your judgement do you feel you provided convincing proof?)

        I would certainly appreciate your help in defining what you felt you achieved, as it is still mysterious to me. I’d also appreciate some clarification of the significance of the number 19 in this context. Does it somehow indicate the hand of God in all this? But, I expect true believers already hold that as a truth, so do they need further proof? (especially, coded proof?)

        I do have difficulty coming up with a criticism, as I am not sure of the actual belief or statement we are discussing, so I simply ask questions and try to put forward possible scenarios. Perhaps my scenarios are simply wrong.

        And, by my use of the words; “in your opinion, have you made a convert…?” I was asking if you had formed the opinion in your mind, that you felt he was agreeing to your points.

        Regards and thanks,
        Mark

      • Ensar says:

        This reply is a short answer to client called ‘marke’. A response to what he says on July 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm under this flow of the 53th.

        Marke, dont get me wrong but you seem to be in need of a searh and decision process. Therefore you better go to site 19.org and see what is being said. There are two claims. One of which is the claim of a divine book in which its own-data unleasing it. And the second one is that it is Muhammed who wrote it. I searched enough to see that this book written in 7.century is far far away to be classified as man-made. I cannot and do not force this conclusion of mine to anybody for anyreason. Yet I can tell people to search and reflect on the presented data. And those who cannot or do not but talk, well, it sounds to me like people who say ‘hey dude, what’s with numers?’ There is a lot about them in different leves. And of course it is not the numerical-symbol itself or the amount of something that is a-priori in this issue.

        The writer of the book placed the word ‘world’ and ‘hereafter’ to occur 115 times each for example. For ‘Angels’ and ‘Devils’ 88 times each and many other words that has symmetry such as benefit/corruption, dirtiness/nastiness, openly/publicly, satan/seek refuge and mercy/guide etc… Hundereds of words to have the same frequency with its pair in the book. Sow/Grow/Fruit, Cold/Hot, Tree/Plant.. No problem at all. The word Day occurs not 100 but 365 times. A year has 365 ‘days’. Easy Peasy. Most of the data may seem to be adjustible by human beings. But the data about 19 has a tremendous fact. To see it you need to search and witness yourself. See and reflect and see which logic do you prefer(?) Peace.

  54. Rus Wornom says:

    Yuksel’s batshit crazy. 19 letters. See? It must be true!

  55. Beelzebud says:

    From seeing the later responses to this, I see why you don’t want them using footage of you. These guys are nuts. Yeah. Nuts. Crazy. Whacko.

    Post #35 is just plain creepy. What exactly happens in two weeks if Mr. Shermer doesn’t meet your demands?

    • John Greg says:

      “What exactly happens in two weeks if Mr. Shermer doesn’t meet your demands?”

      Well, that should be obvious: He turns 19.
      .
      ;)

  56. Steve says:

    When I was 18, I really wished I was 19…

  57. Ensar Uzumcu says:

    With scenes from Midnight Express flashing through my mind, I muttered “Uhhhhhh… No.”

    What if he didn’t see this film called Midnight Express but The Green Mile or some-similar that would flash interesting pictures tha has holy fragrance… Would he then say, “Ohh.. Yes please”. If this guy is reflecting to the object-world only through the flashing pictures on his mind with no medium in between, well, he better see a doctor first! What kind of reaction is this, for ( your sacred ) sake. This unreasonable act is usually called ‘a childish murmur’. :)

    • Richard Smith says:

      The Green Mile might indeed have flashed through his mind, had the movie taken place in a Turkish prison.

      BTW, what exactly is the great mystery behind finding many ocurrences of 19 in a book written by people who attributed great meaning to such numbers? If a holy site was found to have, say, a tree that only grew fruit in a multiple of 19, or 19 petals on its blossoms while similar trees elsewhere have a different number, that might be remarkable. But a manmade artefact, divinely inspired or not, could easily be worked by the early authors to hide various iterations of any special number. It requires all the complexity of counting and editing. Your word count modulo 19 has a remainder of 10? Find ten extraneous words to cut, find nine places to add an extraneous word, or find a few turns of phrase that could be reworked to achieve the same end, and then it becomes a multiple of 19 once again. And, if they intentionally worked in several multiples of 19, that probably introduced even more multiples of 19 completely unintentionally. (ie, if every chapter was a multiple of 19 words long, the entire work will also be a multiple of 19 words long.)

      • Ensar Uzumcu says:

        You are possibly right at some-point dear Richard and you would also ‘be’ for the rest only if the window you’re looking from had the only-right angle. Looking from the same point, putting your data into reason I may seem to end up with the same end. However, this issue needs some walk. There is a frozen scene taking place here, which indeed is serious, and waiting to be explored not only from one side but at least form a few possible sides to have a 3D vision. It is a good start anyway to try to criticize, not by the emotions but with reason. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be a witness accusing a wrong actor of the event of some-thing. So I would walk and see possible data from possible angles before I jump ( or shortcut )to any conclusion. It is not only the numbers or their amounts or say their occurances or the places they are found that is making issue very-intersting. It is simply not that simple.

        • We are not picking imaginary apples from an imaginary-tree or collecting holy-watermellons from the ground. What we see is first a real pattern, like a real apple. Since you find it difficult, even trying to climb a tree or take a stick and jump and hit a few brances while you’re on the air; you just change your mind, stop wondering and say “I dont like sour fruits”. It is obvious for any-person who studied and tought a-bit on this simple but fascinating facts to understand that you’ve not even looked at and thougt-on the presented-data even for the ones that are listed here in this-blog but rushed-right-in-to denial with no hesitation. No suprise for me since most of the people, unhappily, lack of the ability to come up with an intellectual- criticism. With this prefered-logic and abundance of denial people can become magicians easliy(: This sort of reaction reminds me the lines I’ve read b4. Lines that are talking about the ages in which people lived with no science and math. Unsuitable toughts were to blame with no hesitation and thinking that there might be unseen creatures causing diseases was a deadly-guilt in those days. Creatures that we call ‘germ’today. Anyways.

        Anybody who is sincere to understand or to critisize the presented-data is invited to study and reflect on it first rather then taking it personal. With peace.

  58. Mark says:

    Man, what a frustraing thread! Can anyone understand exactly what these guys are trying to debate, or what they are trying to say? Was Shermer too sceptical, or not sceptical enough, or did he say “Uuuuhuh” when he what he really meant was; “Whaa? You guys are knucking futs!!” … ??

    Butt then, where does that all lead us? Surely we already know the answer, its 19! …. but, what was the question again?

  59. Mark says:

    Oops a couple of inadvertent Freudian-slip typos there!

  60. Dr. Dim says:

    Prior to my leaving this response the header to the posts read “91 responses to ’19′” Reserve the order of the two digits of 91 and you get 19. Chills!

  61. grumpy_otter says:

    I am 46. The next Superbowl is Superbowl 46. I am a Bills fan.

    Therefore, the Bills will win the Superbowl next year.

  62. zZz says:

    – — …. .- — – . -..
    MOHAMMED

    11 dahs + 8 dits… OMG! These guys must be onto something! I always thought 61 was the real magical number, but this changed my perspective for sure.

  63. Akhan says:

    The biggest thing missing from this whole piece is the fact that the Quran STATES THAT THE NUMBER 19 IS A SIGN. Its one thing to seek patterns of random numbers, its entirely another thing to use 19 as a designed decipher.

  64. Mustang 55 says:

    The Number 11. Not a believer of the 11:11 phenomenon but it does pop up in my life quite a bit: Birthday 11/22/83; my name, Andrew (6) Riley (5); girlfriend, Laura (5) Hollis (6); ex-girlfriend, Faith (5) Walker (6); Address number is 1122; number for script take out, 22; Woken up several nights at 11:11, 11:22, 11:33, so and so on; Saw the number 22 on buses, sports jerseys, and clocks 11 times in one day; total amounts for items bought on three separate receipts were $11.55, $22.33, $11.44 in the same day. I suppose if your mind latches onto a pattern it makes you notice it more for some reason, and groups of people may focus on that same number, and get them all together and it must mean someone they can’t see is trying to warn them, prepare them, whatever. I’ve seen 11 more than I care to, but there it is. I don’t think it is portending doom or slowly unlocking my potential until the fateful day of 11/11/11 (a doomsday-type film by the same title comes out that very day–oooo, spooky) when the gates of somewhere open up and blah blah blah. But when you can make the case for just about any number, or sign, or symbol the special quality wears off and you see everyone’s seeing the same damn thing: nothing but what they want.

  65. Happy_Otter says:

    Code 7 in the Qur’an:

    The Qur’anic declaration of faith is “La Illaha Illallah” which has SEVEN syllables!

    In the Qur’an (do a word search), there are “seven heavens” mentioned, and they are mentioned SEVEN TIMES!

    The Qur’an says (verse 2:261): “The parable of those who spend their possessions for the sake of God is that of a grain out of which grow SEVEN ears, in every ear a HUNDRED grains…”

    The Qur’an says about hell (verse 15:44): “To it are seven gates…”!

    The Qur’an says (verse 15:87) “We have bestowed upon thee the SEVEN Oft-repeated and the Grand Qur’an.”!

    And Muhammad lived for 63 years…

    SEVEN TIMES NINE!

  66. Happy_Otter says:

    I think my miracle is much better than yours, Edip, especially considering 7 is a very special number in all cultures. The problem is, I only had a minute and a English word search tool to figure out these, whereas Rashad Khalifa scanned the entire Arabic Qur’an looking for how many times words appeared.

  67. Kieran says:

    * 1 + 9 = 10
    * My keyboard on my computer has a 0 instead of a 10
    * 0 is nothing and therefore everything
    * god is everything

    * Therefore, 19 is the number of god.

    ha!

  68. Jack Howard says:

    I walked 19 steps in my yard, went back and measured the distance I had walked and sure enough it was 19 steps.

    I marked the first 19 days in my calendar, went back and counted them and sure enough it was 19 days.

    I counted the first 19 freckles on my left leg, went back and counted them and sure enough it was 19 freckles.

    Based on these amazing results, I now have great reverence for the number 19. I would have written my answer with a pencil, but I am not allowed sharp objects in the asylum where I am kept.

  69. Denny says:

    I’m 29 years old, 10 years ago I was 19! And now I am reading about an article about the number 19…. OH MY, it must mean something..but what?…Hmmmmm

  70. Some numbers will do anything for a little publicity.

  71. cornelius says:

    More 19 “miracles” ;)
    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/19

  72. Tony Q. King says:

    Good god!
    Will you ALL just shut up?
    And listen to NINETEEN FOREVER! Coincidence?

    This pretty well confirms it.
    End of argument.

  73. Peter Damian says:

    I googled Michael Shermer. The 19th entry was “web.ipac.caltech.edu/staff/jarrett/talks/LiU/sci_method_2.html” and the 19th line on that page, in my browser, was “Pseudoscience: claims presented so that they appear scientific even though they lack supporting evidence and plausibility.”

  74. John Starrett says:

    In music theory, an n tone equal temperament is a division of the octave (distance between a frequency and its double) into equally spaced intervals, where the next pitch in the sequence is determined by multiplying the previous pitch by 2^(1/n). In Western music we use 12 tone equal temperament, so the chromatic scale (the sequence of all black and white notes on the piano, for instance) is composed by multiplying some frequency like 440 hertz by 2^(1/12), then by 2^(1/12) again, and so on. 19 tone equal temperament is the first prime temperament to come close to pure tuning, where the pitches are determined by multiplying a frequency by the simplest whole number ratios.

  75. Joshua says:

    Interesting numbers! The universe is comprised of realtionships of energy which is deciphered by us as numbers. Is it a wonder that patterns arise? Lets look at the palindrome of 13 and 31. a*(b+b)=b*(a+a). 13*(31+31)=31(13*13)- 13*62=31*26 <–another palindrome this equal 806=806. Interestingly enough 806 is the summation of 403+403 which is a Prime number, where our originial starting numbers 13 and 31 were also prime. Mystical? Nope just the beauty of numbers!

  76. 7 says:

    1.9 min = 2.5666 min
    —>256 = 16 x 16
    —>What is God’s Number? = 1616 (jew.)

    19:00 = hr/min hand at 12/7*

    12.7* minutes = 762 seconds
    —>Yehoshua = 762 (jew)

  77. MesMorial says:

    I confronted Edip here:

    http://free-minds.org/forum/index.php?topic=9603745.0

    As you see, it does not stand up. In this video, if you go back a couple of pages in comments,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcFw0sOuyjQ&feature=plcp

    you find one by “LucifeRise” (me). It was marked as spam.

    “All the interviewees have to say is that the word “number” is never mentioned in 74:31. The debate is done then. The word is actually “iddat” which means “count” as in “selection”. It is one count of 19 angels, thus the angels are the sign. It is no coincidence the word is used for “prepare” so many times (e.g. 3:131). In all cases it is a selection OF something, not an intangible concept such as a “number”. There are some other points, but it ends Code 19. See 16:18 for a distinction between counting something and enumerating.”

  78. Anthon says:

    There is ONLY ONE Reason why King Solomon encoded the 19 into the Bismillah 3000 years ago and ONLY the fool cannot and will not see this. Bilqis(The Queen of Sheba) went to Solomon (1Kings 10:13) to get the Name of the God of Israel and “She got all she desired.” Then she put this NAME into her land’s Constritution see Sura 27:30. She paid BILLIONS for this Name encoded into the Bismillah Aragman Araghim, IN THE NAME OF GOD MOST MERCIFUL MOST GRACIOUS> It has 19 LETTERS and added as in Haroof-e-Abjad, it gives 786 as the second supernal in the Etz Chayyim which is JESUS CHRIST. In Greek Gv Jesus(888) and Christ(1480) adds to 2368 and 2+3+6+8 = 19 as WAHD in Arabic that means ONE where W=6, A=1, H=8, D=4 and 6+1+8+4= 19 as ONE where 1+9 is not ten but ONE since in Gematria Zero has no PLACE. Also in the 99 Names of Allah in the Quran, two of the Names is Alpha and Omega, the BEGINNING (1) and the END or LAst(9) as 1 and 9 as 19 as ONE/WAHD. There is NO other Name and there is NO other WAY Acts 4:12 and it is HE who (according to Muhammad) will HUDGE all mankind one day and it is HE “WHO IS OVER IT ALL AS 19″ in sura 74:30 and in sura 19:19 it is JESUS CHRIST that is given by Allah as the GIFT to mankind by which NAME all mankind is to be SAVED. There is NONE other and in sura 68:43 we see when the SHIN (symbol on the Jewish Tephellim as the TRINITY) is revealed then all knees shall BOW DOWN TO THIS NAME and they refusing is already CURSED by Allah in sura 3:61. It is written.

  79. kinpiefe says:

    To Michael Shermer,

    For your information, Edip Yuksel has been exposed to a similar kind of treatment as you have been by him earlier. What goes around, comes around :) When he was in Turkey, he was invited by a man named Halis Aydemir to discuss his 19 theory in Qur’an. In fact it was not even an “ambush”, it is just that the people who recorded the videos divided them into small parts and published them in youtube with strong titles before putting the whole conversation as a whole (3 hours 7 min). Then Edip recorded and published a video as a response which is also very similar to this article. He insults them and try to make a mockery of their arguments by childish methods. I understand from his comments here that he did not apologize to you? Now he is at least as resentful as you are to his ambush.