Del Washburn, the discoverer of Theomatics and its chief author and proponent, has attempted to respond to our research on a key Theomatic topic, son in the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. This was apparently the author's most convincing presentation, yet our research confirms that Theomatics, as Del Washburn (the author) defines it, does not exist at all in this context.

In order to assist those who wish to quickly sort through the controversy and form an appropriate conclusion, we now review and evaluate his response, finding the author's continuance in error to be most inconsistent, especially for one who claims to be promoting the Word of God, the Bible.


The author's response consists of positioning various calculations and observations made by one Kurt Fettelschoss concerning the Theomatic feature son proposed by the author in Luke 15. Mr. Fettelschoss claims to have training in statistics, has reviewed both the author's experimental results and our own research, has agreed with us on the in appropriateness of the author's sample reduction technique (WLA ) and yet finds it unlikely that the event in question is random. Concerning our research in light of his own analysis, Mr. Fettelschoss concludes that our methodology is invalid and that all of our results should therefore be ignored.

The author leverages the work of Mr. Fettelschoss to discredit our work, and then suggests that we have ulterior motives. We find both the author and his colleague to be, again, in gross error.

Error Retention

Mr. Fettelschoss publishes the significance of this event as having odds of 1 in 31,151 while we publish odds of 1 in 589. He finds the result of a subset of the event to have odds of 1 in 420,557 while we show odds of 1 in 864. The difference between our results lies simply in numerous technical errors we have discovered in the author's work. We correct these errors and show a random result. Mr. Fettelschoss chooses to retain these errors.

Our approach is to first correct these errors while allowing the author's gross theoretical error, at which point the author notes that our results are comparable to those of Mr. Fettelschoss and suggests that we have actually validated his results. After this step we apply correct theory and publish our final random result. Mr. Fettelschoss, however, arrives at his result by correcting only the author's poor theory -- simply ignoring all of the technical errors and claiming they "are not so serious that the theomatic test results in general could be considered as invalid." The author also refers to these errors as "insignificant," and to our correcting them as having "falsely watered down the billions to one theomatic odds," though he does, in fact, quietly admit to some.

We find this response surprising, perhaps even flippant, given the differences in the above probabilities and the objective factual nature of the Luke 15 study. Its stated purpose is to present a Theomatic event in a "most conservative" manner in order to establish credibility with an honest skeptic. The errors noted clearly violate such a purpose and do bring a legitimate question to the experiment's validity. Therefore correcting each of these errors is absolutely necessary to comply with scientific methodology and retain credibility. Yet doing so implies the event is quite random.

Honestly, just how is it that any error should be retained?! Why doesn't Mr. Fettelschoss at least correct the errors to which the author himself admits? Neither the author nor Mr. Fettelschoss so much as attempt to explain why any of these errors should be retained! Such neglect is indeed absurd, yet essential to this desperate and clumsy attempt to continue in sensationalism... to which "billions to one odds" we find the author yet clinging even after his own colleague has denied them.

Our findings do in fact verify that this experiment is a failure: significance cannot be demonstrated without departing from the scientific method. The entire experiment must therefore be dismissed.

Rather than accepting the author's accusation that we have "falsely watered down" these Theomatic results, we propose that it is the author who has again published falsely inflated results and that he fails to provide appropriate justification for his actions simply because there is no justification for them. Even if some of his errors were not deliberate, willfully persisting in them is most inexcusable.

Our Methodology

Mr. Fettelschoss claims that our use of the MOS (Maximum Order Statistic) as a benchmark for statistical comparison in Theomatics is invalid, stating (our emphasis in bold): "An analysis of his method (as provided in his web page), which is conclusive in itself, leads to the conclusion, that He is applying the 'law of large numbers.' The reason for applying the 'MOS' method is the assumption, that the theomatic factor cannot be taken out of the sample and, therefore, has to be identified by the testing of a sufficiently large number of samples... My concluding remark is , that the statistical 'MOS' method is not applicable to Theomatics. Therefore, the 'MOS' conclusion, that the observed theomatic features are purely random, is to my understanding also invalid." The author leverages these statements to completely dismiss our entire body of research.

Mr. Fettelschoss's claim indicates a complete misunderstanding of our methodology, for he states that we employ the MOS in order to obtain Theomatic factors rather than obtaining factors directly from Theomatic samples. However, we do not employ the MOS as he suggests: we do obtain Theomatic factors directly from their samples. Mr. Fettelschoss's conclusion, that the MOS does not apply to Theomatics, is apparently based upon this misunderstanding. He is incorrect.

We use the MOS simply as a benchmark for randomness, to assist in describing what randomness looks like when compared to the Theomatic factor. This has nothing to do with locating the factor itself, but relates to deciding whether the factor is nonrandom once it is located. The MOS is simply a standard comparable to the calculations the author himself uses to determine significance.

As Mr. Fettelschoss indicates, developing a measure such as the MOS does in fact relate to the "law of large numbers." It is a "large number" of random gemmatria that are observed to verify the behavior of randomness. The MOS is simply a convenient way to measure this randomness. Its use actually is most appropriate in such research, where one may conveniently and repeatedly observe experimental results consistent with the mathematics we present.

The MOS certainly may be used to establish nonrandomness. This cannot be inappropriate since the MOS is based upon the same mathematical structures as the probability calculations used by both the author and his colleague. The MOS is simply an alternate way of presenting the same concepts. Mr. Fettelschoss apparently does not have the mathematical background to perceive this.

Dependence on MOS

The author claims that our work stands or falls based on our use of the MOS, stating (our emphasis in bold), " What his web site attempts to do is show that theomatics is invalid based upon MOS. While MOS may be a good method for proving some things, it is not valid in debunking theomatics. The MOS statistical approach contains serious flaws and limitations, and cannot prove that various theomatic results are random."

Our results actually stand independently of the MOS; one truly could completely remove this statistic from our research without affecting our conclusions. To obtain our results we simply randomize the gemmatria and employ the same basic statistics as the author. We add the MOS for conceptual completeness and to facilitate analysis.

The case against Theomatics stands strong with or without the MOS. The author's attempt to leverage our theoretical insights in order to discredit us is simply a diversion, and sadly indicates a very shallow understanding of our work and of the underlying mathematics.

Burden of Proof

The primary thrust of the author's response is to assert that we have failed to prove randomness. He states, "As comprehensive as his website and calculations may appear, the bottom line is that Tim Hayes has not proven randomness. In reading his analysis, it is obvious that the entire thrust of his effort IS a concerted attempt to prove randomness. Only after he fails to accomplish that goal, does he then state (in an email sent to us), that "not being able to 'show complete randomness' is irrelevant." Apparently, he refuses to see the fact that this is the fatal flaw in his analysis."

We remind the author that we need not "prove randomness" at all, only demonstrate that the assumption of randomness cannot be rejected with confidence. We have done this with rigor.

It is, in fact, the author who retains the burden of proof of randomness since it is he who claims that his results are "way beyond" what we expect in a random environment. This claim remains entirely unsupported by the author ... though the value of all of his work depends explicitly upon the validity of this empty claim.

Result Significance

Though the author claims we have failed to prove randomness (when this is truly his own burden), we actually have solidly demonstrated that every Theomatic context we have examined behaves much as a random environment should. The most significant result obtained by the author in any of these contexts will occur in about 1 in 85 random gemmatria. In our opinion, this is quite random; we cannot fathom any reasonable disagreement here.

In this context we must clarify that one may use two levels of comparison when stating such odds. In the Luke 15 study, the odds of 1 in 589 relate to the fact that similar behavior is expected once in every 589 factors tested. Since we actually test 1000 factors with every new random gemmatria, this type of result will occur in most every experiment (which we have seen consistently in practice). However, the true odds of Theomatic occurrence must be stated as the average number of gemmatria required to achieve similar results. It is in this sense that we state that the most significant Theomatic result from any context we have examined is merely 1 in 85. In this formal sense, the Theomatic event in Luke 15 actually has odds of 1 in 1 rather than 1 in 589.

The author conveniently ignores the above facts in his response, still apparently making no effort whatsoever to interpret, comprehend or even acknowledge the results we have presented. In light of our research he blindly states: "The clincher in favor of theomatics, is that three things must line up in order for theomatics to have any statistical validity or claim of uniqueness.
     1. The patterns or phenomenon only appear within the Bible text and in no other work of literature, in any language.
     2. The patterns only appear with the numerical values to the letters of historical record (there are 403 septillion random permutations possible, none of which can work).
     3. Yet even in the Bible and with the proper numerical values to the letters—the pattern only appear with words and phrases having a common theological meaning or relationship. Anything else only produces randomness.
(This) eliminates any grammatical or natural cause explanation for the results, and can only prove a divine/supernatural element as the logical explanation.

The author seems unwilling to face the obvious: our research completely destroys all three of these criteria. He is left with absolutely nothing to support his claims ... and he does not seem to mind.

Theomatic "Strongpoints"

The author notes our neglect to consider certain "strongpoints" of Theomatics such as clustering and phrase quality. We do in fact ignore these incidentals. Why should we concern ourselves with such periphery when the very foundation of Theomatics does not yet exist?

The author does not claim that a Theomatic factor was ever identified due to its clustering ... or to its inherent "phrase quality"... he never locates a factor in this way. The author states that he locates Theomatic factors based simply on the number of phrases the factor divides. A factor is identified as Theomatic only when the number of phrases divided is statistically improbable. The author never proposes any other means to identify such a factor.

What we repeatedly establish is that there ARE no Theomatic factors!

So ... upon what logical basis does one then proceed to consider clustering? or something as blatantly subjective as phrase quality? What motivation compels one to do so? We do not know ... and it does seem to us a great waste of time to debunk simply everything this author claims. Wildly improbable clustering appears with obscure factors throughout our results. What of it?

Honestly, Theomatics is an house built on the sand ... when the floods come we do not dote over the curious features of its windows ... we move our loved ones to safety before the structure collapses.

Personal Attack

The author concludes by making various insinuations about our integrity which one may certainly review if pleased to do so. Among these are that our standards are much too high, that we are obviously "out to kill theomatics," that we have "some sort of religious agenda or ax to grind," etc. We do find these statements both incorrect and most inappropriate.

It is true, as the author accuses, that "millions to one odds" would not sufficiently impress us in these experiments, had these results actually been obtained. (They certainly were not... the 1.25 million to 1 odds that do not "impress" us describe an event the author imagined ... it was never observed!) We retain this position due to the fact that we have consistently observed significantly nonrandom behavior in the Theomatic samples themselves, which makes any and all Theomatic results suspect, even if they were significant. We therefore tend toward what might seem an unreasonably high standard in order to compensate somewhat for this sample nonrandomness. We are looking for a miracle... we truly are... not chance occurrence, and we do have some appreciation for how easily "miraculous" events are replicated when an underlying assumption of randomness is violated.

We are also, in fact, quite familiar with the rigor of objective academic scrutiny, having earned a doctorate in applied mathematics and computer science from a prestigious institution. The simple fact is that we would indeed be embarrassed to draw the Theomatic "laundry" we have observed ... its inherent ambiguity, subjectivity and imprecision ... out into the plain view of such critics and then claim we have ... "observed a statistical miracle." The ensuing laughter would be most appropriate...

We are quite unwilling to subject our Lord's name to this mockery. Claims which cannot stand before such an audience should be abandoned, or at least relegated to the realm of tentative hypothesis. However, whether it be from sincere ignorance or raw presumption, the author does not seem to mind persisting in the open proclamation of such sloppiness (while, of course, conveniently hiding all the laundry and denying there is any) ... for which we are quite willing to let him answer to God. Our aim is simply to mitigate the damage he causes to our Lord and others in the process.

But ... if Theomatics -- or something like it -- ever were found to shine under the rigor inherent in the scientific method ... please be assured that we would of all people be the most enthusiastic in its defense and open proclamation. Such a find would be most invaluable in these troubled end times.


The substance of the author's attempt to answer our work amounts to a diversion and nothing more. He willfully persists in explicit dependence upon known error, draws false conclusions from a peripheral component of our methodology, attempts to shift the burden of proof, ignores the essential content of our research and resorts to personal attack when he finds nothing of substance to offer in his own defense. This response, in our opinion, exposes his true character plainly enough.

Though the author repeatedly attempts to leverage mathematical expertise in others, his personal ignorance of the inherent mathematical principles is painfully evident. He cannot seem to tell when he has mislead his colleagues or when they themselves err. His evident unwillingness think critically of his own work or to collaborate with those who do not fully agree with him makes him quite vulnerable to continuance in profound error. It is such a pity ... and ultimately, we do grieve to find only emptiness in his works. It looked so promising on the surface.

The author has propelled himself into notoriety through the neutral objectivity of mathematics. However, this same objectivity has now finally become his ruin ... and none too soon in our opinion. The primary forces at work here are indeed entirely impersonal. The math will not lie for him ... ever. He will certainly come to appreciate this fact ... eventually. There is truly no place for him to hide.

It is our hope that others who are interested will be able to see clearly through the smoke and mirrors of the author's response and that our Lord's name will not be brought to further dishonor through the author's errors and ways. We will continue to seek this end in any way that we can.