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University of Wales, Bangor - Mathematics Department

Horizon : "The Bible Codes"

Eagle-eyed viewers of the Horizon programme The Bible Codes shown on BBC2 on Thursday 20th November 2003 at 21:00,
may have noticed in the final credits "Thanks to Bangor University". What was the connection? The programme summary:

"Michael Drosnin is an American journalist and best selling author.
He has written two books claiming that he can see into the future using a 3000 year old code, hidden in the Bible.
What he can see is truly horrific; according to Drosnin, the world could end in an atomic holocaust - in 2006.
It sounds preposterous yet Drosnin claims to have serious scientific backing.
Behind his findings lies the work of one of the world's most brilliant theoretical mathematicians, an Israeli professor called Eliyahu Rips.
In 1994, using exactly the same ancient code, Michael Drosnin accurately predicted the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin - twelve months before it occurred.
Drosnin's books on the Bible Code have been translated into most of the world's major languages and are read by millions of people.
If he's right, he's stumbled on one of the most important discoveries ever made.
This week Horizon investigates the science behind the Bible Code." The program also contained contributions from Brendan McKay, from Canberra, another well-known Statistician and Combinatorialist.
Brendan has performed similar searches on other texts, such as "Moby Dick", in an attempt to show that the occurrence of the words found by Michael Drosnin, hidden in the Hebrew version of the book of Genesis, is not statistically significant.

It happened that Brendan McKay was a delegate at

BCC2003 - 19th British Combinatorial Conference
held in Bangor from 29th June to 4th July, 2003.
On arriving in London from Austalia, Brendan spent a day being filmed at the BBC studios.
The producers wanted film of Brendan giving a lecture, so a 2-man team came with him to Bangor, and filmed his contributed talk
Asymptotic enumeration of bipartite graphs by degree sequence"
(which had no relevance to the Bible codes) on the Tuesday morning in lecture room LR4,
using the wheelchair which is available in Top College, for disabled visitors, to propel the cameraman!

In the event, there were three brief clips in the programme, of approximately 5 seconds each, showing Brendan lecturing to a group of conference delegates,
but with a voice-over discussing text searching and not bipartite graphs.

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