| Statistical test of the Hypothesis The UB was authored by human
Dr. Phil Calabrese is a mathematician with a wide variety of experience as university professor,
mathematical inventor, aerospace analyst & computer programmer, prime contractor for DoD,
and senior scientist for US Navy.
A Statistical Test of the Hypothesis that
The Urantia Book was authored by human beings.
Open letter requesting all possible examples for the test.
See below for definition of the test population.
Statistical tests in general. In performing any statistical test one must have an a priori
probability distribution to test against. For example, knowing that wood can hardly grow unaided
into the shape of a 4-legged chair in a wooded forest, if we encounter such a piece of wood in
the forest then we are justified in concluding (statistically, not logically) that it was designed and
built by some intelligent agent rather than that it evolved or emerged into a chair by wholly non-
intelligent means. Similarly, if a coin is flipped 100 times and “heads” comes up less than 33
times, then we could statistically conclude that the coin is biased toward tails because the
probability of a fair coin producing 33 or less “heads” in 100 flips is 1 chance in 5000. The test
is possible because we have an a priori distribution to test against concerning the number of
“heads” in 100 flips. In many statistical tests this “significance level” is set at 1/100 or even
1/25. However, for this test the threshold will be set at around 5 standard deviations from the
mean, which is less than 25 heads in 100 tosses.
On the other hand, as of 19 March 2013 we do not scientifically know of life on other worlds. Nor
do we scientifically know how life originated on Earth. Since we have no knowledge about the
origin of life, we have no basis for estimating the probability of a world like ours having our type
of life. We have no contemporary science (CS) knowledge of other worlds like ours or the
percentage of worlds like ours that have life like ours. Therefore, there is no way to scientifically
estimate the probability of life on other planets.
Similarly, in the context of the evolution of advanced life from mysteriously complicated one-
celled life, without having much knowledge of how complex organisms “emerged” from simpler
ones, there is no way at present to test the hypothesis that the human eye required additional
intelligent design due to its irreducible complexity.
However, there is relatively good statistical evidence of the degree of scientific error and
inaccuracy in humanly written scientific books and periodicals in 1955 and earlier, as those
publications have become obsolescent over the years when new scientific discoveries were
made. Therefore there is a basis for testing a 1955 book that claims, among other things, to
provide scientific information of immense value to our world.
It turns out that long before they were observed by human astronomers in the 1990’s, The
Urantia Book accurately described the so-called “walls” of galaxies beyond the Milky Way in far
distant outer space including huge “voids” between these “walls” or zones. It also describes
dark matter that it accurately says is over 90% of the mass of the cosmos, another fact only
humanly discovered in the 1990’s.
In hindsight, many human scientific statements in 1955 were quite incorrect. If The Urantia Book
follows these, and does not avoid the human errors, then The Urantia Book can be considered
to be of human origin. But if the test show that The Urantia Book has an uncanny way of
avoiding errors while offering correct accounts of once doubted or mistaken science, then it
becomes highly unlikely that The Urantia Book was written by mere humans.
The Urantia Book, published in 1955, has predicted many subsequent scientific discoveries that
were unknown or unpopular at that time while it has avoided scientific errors of that time. But
has this been statistically significant? Let the test speak for itself.
Mistaken science of 1955 and earlier, but now known with high confidence, can be used to
answer that question. How likely is it that humans could have written The Urantia Book before
1955? Rejection of the null hypothesis would mean acceptance of the alternate hypothesis, that
The Urantia Book was not authored by human beings. That would leave interesting alternatives.
Definition of the Population for The Test. The test population consists of all well-established,
present day (as of 19 March 2013) scientific statements for which the following are true:
1) The statement contains well-established information that only a minority of 1/3 or less of
scientists espoused prior to 1955. Call these “reversal statements” of contemporary science.
2) The Urantia Book (1955) expresses a definitive opinion concerning the post-1955 humanly
3) The reversal statements are (probabilistically) independent of one another.
Ideally, all present day, scientifically established “scientific reversals” would be covered by the
list thus eliminating any possible bias in selection. Otherwise a sufficiently large, unbiased
(random) sample of this population must be used. It is essential that the reversal statement
selection process not bias the sample. Skeptics of the superhuman authorship are encouraged
to send their examples of reversal statements that The Urantia Book did not get right by today’s
CS standards. This is an ongoing process that can be regularly updated as new scientific
discoveries and reversal statements are made.
Estimation of Probabilities. For each scientific reversal statement, there is a historical record of
the percentage of scientific authors who espoused (published) the present day, contemporary
science understanding. This percentage, expressed as a fraction, will be interpreted as the
probability that a human author at the time would espouse the contemporary science account of
the information. The number 1 minus this fraction is the probability that a human author at the
time would express doubt or something incorrect compared to present day scientific
understanding. This will be called the “probability of human doubt or error” for the associated
Simplifications of the Test Data. In estimating the probability of a correct human opinion prior to
1955, it is right to lean in the direction of accepting the null hypothesis (human authorship) by
assigning to the possibility of a correct human opinion in 1955, as large a probability as is
It will also suffice statistically, and greatly simplify historical data collection, to restrict the
population to all (and only) those scientific "reversal statements" for which, according to present
day (19 March 2013) scientific knowledge, 2/3 or more of the expressed human scientific
opinions in 1955 were wrong or expressed ignorance..
It will also suffice to assign to any statement whose fraction of incorrect human scientific
opinions in 1955 was even greater than 2/3 the same 2/3 value as though 1/3 of human
scientists at the time expressed the correct opinion. This will give to the null hypothesis any
benefit in likelihood due to this simplification.
The Test. With the above simplifications, the statistical test can be done using a binomial
distribution with the probability of failure equal to 2/3 for each of the reversal statements. A very
conservative critical value for the test (the number of failures below which the probability by
chance is less than 1/1000) is easy to compute using the total number of reversal statements.
For example, for 60 reversal statements, the expected number of failures is 40, and the
probability of no more than 27 failures is less than 1/1000. Any fewer than 22 errors would be
more than 5 standard deviations fewer than expected.
Independent Statements for Testing. The following reversal statements have been grouped into
independent examples. For example, calculating the sizes of a proton, an electron and its orbit
size are considered related questions: knowing the answer to one affects the probability of
knowing the answer to the others. So they are not independent, and so are lumped together in
item 5. (There is an endnote for each item that gives the relevant Paper:Section.paragraph in
The Urantia Book along with other references.)
Please send me other examples of reversal statements that are independent of the ones below.
Reversal Statements of Contemporary Science
1. The existence but restricted role of the Hideki Yukawa mesotron (now called a meson) in
holding the nucleus together by rapidly shifting charge between protons and neutrons, and the
existence of a then unknown force, other than Yukawa's meson, that holds proton to proton and
neutron to neutron and whose existence was clarified between 1950 and 1970.
2. The small, uncharged particles (neutrinos) of radioactive decay proposed in 1932 and
identified in 1956. The mesotron of radioactive beta decay of a neutron into an elec–tron,
proton and a neutrino that became known as the W-boson (discovered 1981)
3. Mesotrons are found abundantly in the space rays, which so incessantly impinge on
4. Neutrinos come from supernovas , and have mass;
5. Sizes of the electron and of the Proton (and Quark)
6. The ubiquity of relatively heavy calcium 19 in the outer portion of the sun and space
7. Existence, influence and percentage of dark matter in the cosmos
8. Large scale structures in far outer space: ≥ 375 million island universes in far outer
space separated by huge voids spanning millions of light years
9. Supernova explosions observed by Tycho Brahe in 1572 described as a double star
10. Crab Nebula was due to a nova observed 900 years ago with a remaining central star
after collapse now known as pulsar (neutron star). Existence of Neutron Stars
11. Cosmic Rays (Very high energy ), from far outer space, escape from black holes,
cascade in upper atmosphere
12. The fastest meteorites are extragalactic and travel at 200 mi/sec relative to earth
13. Black Holes (dark bodies with no light or heat) can be highly charged
14. Telescopes will see huge red shifts that will make it seem that the speed of recession of
far outer space universes is ≥ 30,000 mi/sec
15. Space expansion and acceleration exists
16. Big Bang (beginning of the universe of space, and matter in space) happened about
13.7 billion years ago . Background radiation of 4 degrees above absolute zero is accepted as
evidence of Big Bang.
17. Space is not empty. Its temperature is above absolute zero.
18. The Distance to the Andromeda Galaxy is over 2 million light years (versus almost one
million light years).
19. The Slow Rotation of Mercury
20. Birth of the Solar System (a condensation type origin?); Origin of Retrograde Motion in
the Solar System;
21. Explanation of the large percentage of the angular momentum of the solar system in the
planets and moons – sun originally variable ; disgorgement; 11-yr sunspot cycle as remnant.
22. Earth – moon origin including evolution to present sizes and masses and projected
future; Breakup of the Fifth Planet from the Sun , and Saturn’s rings, due to smaller bodies
getting closer than Roche’s limit to larger bodies.
23. Temperature on the surface, and at center of the sun
24. Planetary Atmospheres of Mars and Venus
25. Initial Life on Earth (550 million yrs ago)
26. Mud-eating trilobites. Recent evidence that these trilobites were indeed able to do what
sulfer-eating bacteria can do, not just eat the bacteria.
27. End of Cretaceous Age and the dinosaurs due to volcanic activity, change of climate.
28. Placental mammals emergence (50 million years ago)
29. Forty-eight Trait Determiners in Human Chromosomes
30. Punctuated equilibria (Evolution — gradual vs. episodic)
31. A very Successful Genetic Mutation about 37,000 years ago due to 1 or 2 people
32. Magnetic Sensitivity of all Life
33. Injury Repair and Cell Proliferation
34. The “Piltdown Man” double fossil fraud
35. Date of human use of flint to make fires much earlier than previously thought
36. Date of Peking Man in China
37. Date of human migration to Britain
38. Earliest date of Red Man migration to America
39. Place and time of the domestication of horses
40. The Age of the Earth
41. Existence & Time of Pangaea, its Breakup and Subsequent Continental Drift
42. Geologic Plate Movements (tectonics) Collisions Cause Mountains and Earth Quakes
43. Eastern Mediterranean underwater topography and Mediterranean basin history
44. Age of the Sierra Nevada Range Mountains
45. Gibraltar Break and the Ensuing Flooding of the Mediterranean Basin by the Atlantic
46. Inner Ionosphere Existence (Note the recent findings that reverse a supposed UB