Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Friday Woo Medicine Quackery Religion

Your Friday Dose of Woo: A Biblical cure for autism?

I like my Folder of Woo.

Besides providing me endless fodder for this little weekly feature, my Folder of Woo also provides me nearly endless amusement. Sometimes, I’ll just peruse it, looking at woo old and new, woo that’s been featured in this little weekly exercise in diving into the belly of the beast, woo that has yet to be featured, and woo that will probably never be featured. Unless people suddenly discovery rationality and science, my Folder of Woo is likely to continue to exist. I suppose that could happen, but it’s pretty unlikely, which means my Folder of Woo is likely to continue to increase in size, which makes it fortunate that mass storage space is cheap and becoming cheaper by the month. Indeed, the folder has grown to the point where it desperately–and I do mean desperately–needs organization into at least three folders, and I bet you can guess what those folders need to be named.

One of my favorite forms of woo tends to be religious. Nothing can beat a religious justification for pseudoscience. Nothing. Whether it’s the unholy fusion of the Koran and Dr. Emoto’s water quackery, labeling diabetes a “demon squid,” or a Biblical diet that can cure everything, there’s no woo like religious woo.

There is, however, one form of religious woo that I haven’t tackled yet. It encompasses more than just medical quackery. Indeed, such a limitation would be offensive to the Lord, or so it would seem. Indeed, this brand of woo encompasses everything from a cure for autism to other diseases to even predicting future events. I bet you know what I’m talking about. No, it’s not the prophecies of Nostradamus (aconveniently enough, Nostradamus is referred to, though), although it’s almost as good in that it relies on some seriously vague language that could be interpreted as almost anything. Rather, what I’m referring to is something you may have heard of before. What I’m referring to is the Bible Code:

Generally, on this web site astrology, new age methods, numerical analysis, religion, and mythology are combined to explain the world today, and to predict the future.

Well, alright! This sounds promising! But where does autism come in? Patience, and read on, fellow connoisseurs of woo, but be advised: This woo is more than autism, so much more. This brilliantly deranged bit of religious and New Age woo claims to be able to predict the future. Let’s see if it can:

What’s New: I still am predicting that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President, and will be elected President in November 2008.

It is probably an understatement for me to point out that this does not look like a particularly promising portent or sign about the accuracy of the rest of the predictions contained on this website. But, hey, you never know. Hillary might pull it out. And the rotation of the earth might reverse, just like in the Superman movies, and result in the reversal of time, allowing Hillary to have changed plans and not put all her marbles on Super Tuesday, assuming she would win it all then, leaving little for later. Still, no predictive woo is 100%, and it’s probably not a good idea to put one’s most easily falsified prediction in the very first paragraph. Just sayin’, you know.

But let’s get to the autism passage. To find it, one has to find Part 10a, where we can find out some amazing things. The first amazing thing is just how the Bible Code is generated:

The “Bible Code” is a way of looking for hidden prophecies and passages in the Bible, by using a software program to search for messages in the Old Testament Hebrew text. The spaces between words are eliminated, so that the Old Testament is a continuous block of Hebrew letters. Then, by skipping letters at a programmed interval, the program searches for words. There appear to be patterns to the passages where the words are found, and what words are clustered together. The theory is that these words and phrases in the Bible Code can reveal the future.

Or it can be a way of accelerating the process of the proverbial millions of monkeys typing and producing the works of Shakespeare–except that the Code never produces much of anything that makes any sense. Also, in this case, the King James Bible is used instead of any old Hebrew text. Isn’t that cheating? I mean, what’s the Hebrew word for “autism”? It’s a safe bet that there was no word in ancient Hebrew for this condition, but there probably is one in modern Hebrew. I tried this English to Hebrew translator, and entering the word “autism” caused “Microsoft VBScript runtime error ‘800a01a8’.”

I wonder if that’s the Hebrew word for “autism.” Probably not. Oh, well, I never let a little thing like that stop me; so let’s see what the Bible Code says about autism:


And this is what the interpretation is of this “matrix”

The first matrix is in the New Testament, at Luke 13:24 – Acts 28:4, and it includes these search words:
— AUTISM (ELS skip = -32560)
And also in this matrix, these phrases of interest:
— OINTMENT OF SPIKENARD (Spikenard is an ancient herbal remedy that is still used today. Interesting that it is mentioned in this matrix.)

Wow! Amazing! Is the Bible saying that the Ointment of Spikenard is the cure for autism? It certainly seems so. Unfortunately, that source of all knowledge, Google, failed to find me much in the way of information of this oil and autism, other than someone selling drums, although it does seem to be some sort of perfume of the ancient Egyptians. Apparently it was the type of oil that was used to anoint Jesus, so it must be good, right? Let’s see what else we can find, though:

The next matrix is at Mark 10:2 – Acts 21:32, and it includes:
— DIOXIN (ELS = -29925) (Dioxin may be one of the poisons in the Environment that could (among others) be a possible cause of Autism)
And also in this matrix:
— GAS (Dioxin can come from air pollution from trash incinerators)

Well, maybe David Kirby is on to something here. He just got it wrong when he blamed autism on mercury from crematoria in California. It was really the dioxin! Or maybe not:

Next, a New Testament matrix at Phillipians 3:17 – Revelation 8:12, that is interesting because it forms a cross shape:
— AUTISM (ELS=26791)
— POISON (indicating environmental poisons cause autism; POISON is in “full of deadly poison”)


The next New Testament matrix is at Acts 7:37 – 24:22, and it contains:
— AUTISM (ELS = -2296)
— METALS (indicating metal pollution, such as Mercury, Lead, etc.)

Aw, hell! I might as well give up! The Almighty God Himself has just told everyone that heavy metals cause autism, and who am I to argue with Him? I guess it’s time to start chelating every child with autism! After all, God says so! What more evidence do you need? What, you still want scientific evidence? You dare question the Almighty? You’ll regret it!

Now that that’s settled, let’s take a look at some other interesting tidbits. Let’s see what the Bible says about the disease that I’ve devoted my life to eradicating, cancer:

Breast Cancer

The first matrix on Breast Cancer resulted from a -100,000 to 100,000 Old Testament search, with Row Splitting disabled (one of the options with Codefinder software), and is at Jeremiah 16:18 – 36:15. This matrix includes:
— CANCER (ELS Skip = 5976)
Also, it is very interesting that this matrix includes the word POLLUTED, and it begins at Jeremiah 16:18 which includes “they have defiled my land”. This indicates a connection between pollution and increased breast cancer in women.

The next matrix resulted from a -100,000 to 100,000 Old Testament search, Row Splitting on Auto, and is at Micah 4:9 – Habakkuk 1:7. It contains:
— DIOXIN (ELS = -1843)
And about the pain of cancer: BE IN PAIN
So this matrix is about cancer in women, including Breast cancer. It has been alleged that Dioxin may contribute to causing some cancers, Dioxin being a very poisonous chemical found in low levels in air pollution and some foods.

Hmmm. I’m starting to see a pattern here. Apparently God tells us that every condition and disease known to humankind is apparently due to dioxin. But wait, there’s plenty of autism and cancer in the U.S., but exposure to dioxins is probably lower than it’s ever been, given that they are recognized as environmental toxins. Still, this is the Almighty we’re talking about. Perhaps we should take a look at other statements from the Bible as a form of validation of these previous statements, if you will. Apparently the Bible has something to say about lung cancer:

Lung Cancer

The next Old Testament matrix is on Lung Cancer. It was a -100,000 to 100,000 Old Testament search, with Row Splitting disabled, with search words CANCER, LUNG, SMOKING. It is at Isaiah 35:7 – 61:7. It contains:
— CANCER (ELS = 4489)

Well, there you go. The Bible clearly gets it right in saying that smoking causes lung cancer. But wait, I hear skeptics saying that cigarettes didn’t exist at the time the Bible was written. I hear skeptics saying that tobacco was a product of the New World and didn’t make it back to the Old World to become popular until Christopher Columbus was introduced to it by Native Americans during his voyages. Indeed, it didn’t make it into the Ottoman Empire until at least the 16th century and the Middle East until the 17th century. Of course, both of these observations only show the fantastic predictive power of the Bible Code and that God Himself must have been talking here. I even hear skeptics still saying that the guy who did these computer searches was bound to find all sorts of words just by coincidence. Also, he can interpret whatever he “finds” any way he likes, and I still hear them saying that the Bible Code can show anything desired just due to how the parameters are set initially. Godless blasphemers! Clearly, they do not understand the power of the Almighty. Never mind that this Bible Code, at least, appears to be backing Hillary Clinton for president, even though her odds of even gaining the Democratic nomination are slim and rapidly growing slimmer. Maybe the Almighty plans an intervention before June 3.

Regular readers here know that evolution denialists (a.k.a. creationists or “intelligent design” creationists) drive me crazy with their religion-inspired pseudoscience. Given that, I was very eager to learn what the Bible Code said about evolution:

THE PHILISTINE, and DAVID (In the Biblical story of David and Goliath, in 1 Samuel 17, David defeated in battle the Philistine giant, the ten foot tall Goliath. The Philistines were the major enemy of ancient Israel. They may here in this matrix represent the strong and stocky cave-man like Neanderthal Man. This matrix may be telling us that Neanderthal Man did battle against Modern Humans in Europe, and was defeated and exterminated by the smarter modern humans with their spears and arrows. Superior technology and brain power won the war.

There you have it! The Bible itself says that evolution happened, which is definitely bad news for young Earth creationists. I haven’t quite decided if the Bible Code supports “intelligent design,” but it certainly appears to support evolution.

But can the Bible code tell me what I really want to know? Can it tell me for sure whether O.J. really killed Nicole Brown Simpson? Alas, no, although I was surprised at just how much the Bible actually says about the case. Maybe the godless heathens who question the Bible Code are right after all.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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