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Re: VMs: Re: RuggWatch

Rene Zandbergen wrote:
> I believe that it will be difficult to _prove_ that
> Kelly had nothing to do with the VMs, and at the
> same time it would not help much. There were many
> clever people around at the time, so any one of
> them could have used a Cardan grille, if that's
> how the VMs text was created.

	I think Phillip Neal posted some interesting
information from a book about Dee and Kelley that he
had found, and this presented evidence I hadn't heard
that Kelley had not been involved with the VMs. 

	Beyond that, there is Rafal's page on how Dee may not
have ever had the VMs, which makes it less likely that
Kelley had anything to do with it.


> It was not for nothing that Rudolph had
> to appoint an official who had to "screen" all
> alchemists who came to apply.

	Who was this?

> I furthermore think that it will not be possible
> to show that the VMs *could not* have been
> generated using a Cardan grille, but I am convinced
> that it should be possible to demonstrate
> that the method of a Cardan grille does not
> really explain the complete riddle of how the VMs
> was created.
> This will be a non-trivial amount of work.
> Is it worth doing it?

	I doubt it.  By itself, Rugg's idea is simply one
hypothesis among others.  However, he has gained
considerable attention, and presents his idea with an
air of certainty that we don't share.  This is already
leading people to dismiss the VMs as a fraud unworthy
of further attention.   It seems to me that this is
really what we should worry about.  

	You could easily construct tables of common English
prefixes, roots, and suffixes, and then construct
grills to generate random English phrases and
sentences.  An extraterrestrial who could not
understand English might use these to generate apparent
English sentences, and conclude that English is
gibberish - but he would obviously be mistaken!  

	Is that a valid reduction to absurdity of Rugg?  

	I have the feeling that we have a philosophical
question here:  can you prove a negative?   Those
better versed in the philosophy of science than I may
be able to answer that.  

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