This space is dedicated to the monitoring and reporting of any progress made by
James Underdown and the Center for Inquiry in demonstrating that the Newton
Bible Code is algorithmic. This is the second investigation of the data by the
Center for Inquiry, the first being conducted in 2018.

What is an algorithm?

An algorithm is a digital instrument applied to a particular data set designed to
generate predicted results. Algorithms, written in computer code, are as common
as houseflies. Every modern electronic device has them.

With regard to a written text like a book, an algorithm is fundamentally invasive.
Depending on how it is written, an algorithm can add, delete, or rearrange letters
and words in ways that create sequences that some might deem too improbable
to be random, leaving the gullible to conclude that it must be a secret code
encrypted into the text by another human, or, in the case of the bible, by a higher

Numerous Bible codes have been advanced over the years by religious mystics
claiming to have discovered divine prophecies of apocalyptic events. The standard
strategy skeptics have used to debunk these claims has been to identify and
replicate the algorithm that produced the “miracle code” and then apply it to a
large book other than the bible, an experiment that in every instance generated
the same or nearly the same “miraculous” results.

The classic example of this strategy is Australian skeptic and mathematician Dr.
Brendan McKay’s debunking of the infamous Torah Codes in the late 1990’s. After
identifying and replicating the algorithm used in the Torah Codes, Dr. McKay
applied the program to the novel, Moby Dick, and came up with a list of fulfilled
“prophecies” that compared favorably to the prophecies of the Torah Codes.
Other skeptics applied Dr. McKay’s algorithm to other large blocks of text, even
big city phone directories, and came away with similar results. The debunking was
complete and overwhelming.

The Center for Inquiry insists that the Newton Bible Code is algorithmic, and its’
Executive Director of Investigations, James Underdown, has promised to prove it
is algorithmic by doing to it what Dr. McKay did to the Torah Codes, write a

program that, when applied a large body of text, produces the same or similar
kinds of word sequences as those that comprise the Newton Bible Code.

He can’t, and neither can Dr. McKay or any other skeptic, for one simple reason:
the 46 triadic word sequences that make up the Newton Bible Code are exactly as
they appear in the bible. No invasive tactics of any kind, including computer
algorithms, were employed.

For the record, I have emailed Dr. McKay several times, challenging him to try to
debunk my claim. He has not responded.

Proving that the Newton Bible Code is non-algorithmic is ridiculously easy. Just
take my list of the sequences, which I identify on The Code tab, by book, chapter,
and verse, and look each one up in any reliable version of the bible, and there it
is! End of story.

Over the past decade, hundreds of Jewish and Christian bible scholars have done
exactly this, and not one of them has come away thinking that the Newton Bible
Code is algorithmic.

Equally amazing is that in the Center for Inquiry’s first investigation of the
sequences, lasting for ten months, not a single member of its own research team
concluded that the Newton Bible Code is algorithmic. If CFI Invest 1.0 failed, what
are the odds that CFI Invest 2.0 will succeed? Zero.

This begs the question: Why are James Underdown and the Center for Inquiry
even trying? What could possibly be the source of their desperation? After all, I
am not saying that the Newton Bible Code proves the existence of God. I am an
atheist. My claim is that as a non-predictive and non-algorithmic encryption, the
Newton Bible Code is direct and testable smoking gun evidence that scientifically
confirms the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life, something that the vast
majority of atheists believe in.

The Underdown Countdown will last until the 24th anniversary of the death of Carl
Sagan, December 20, 2020.


TO: James Underdown                                                                          June 20, 2020

        Executive Director of Investigations

        The Center for Inquiry



On your Independent Investigations Group website, you state the following:

“IIG investigates fringe science, paranormal, and extraordinary claims from a rational, scientific viewpoint and disseminates factual information about such investigations to the public.”

I’m sure you would agree that the two key words in your mission statement are “investigate,” and “disseminate.”

To investigate and then disseminate is like holding up a sign with bold letters, saying: “We seek the truth, we are not afraid of the truth, and we have nothing to hide.”

But to investigate and not disseminate, as you have done with your CFI Invest 1.0 of the Newton Bible Code, is like holding up a big sign, saying: “We investigated the claim, didn’t like the results, and so we arbitrarily decided to keep factual information about the investigation away from the public.”

Censorship and suppression? Is that the message that you and the Center for Inquiry want to put out? In the illustrious history of the CFI, nothing like this has ever happened. James, please tell me: what in the hell is going on? I can’t in my wildest dreams imagine Carl Sagan putting his stamp of approval on your actions as they relate to the CFI investigation of the Newton Bible Code.

In 2007, theologians at a fundamentalist Christian seminary in Portland, Oregon investigated the Newton Bible Code for ten months. After telling me to my face that it is a code, they refused to disseminate the research. Why?  Because they fear the truth.

As the Executive Director of Investigations for the Center for Inquiry, do you condone or condemn theologians for not publicly disseminating the results of a formal investigation? And, if you condemn them, why are you doing the same thing?

I submit that to so brazenly violate your own mission statement places you in the same camp as Christian fundamentalists, and can only mean one thing: that the first CFI investigation confirms a claim that you wish not to be true.

Is this why you created CFI Invest 2.0? Do you hope, somehow, to explain away the data by proving the Code is algorithmic, even though CFI Invest 1.0 concluded that it is not algorithmic?

I’ll accept CFI Invest 2.0 as a legitimate reason not to disseminate, with one provision – that on December 20, 2020, if you have failed to demonstrate that the Newton Bible Code is algorithmic, you release and disseminate all IIG and CFI research related to both phases of what will be, by then, a three year long investigation.

James, can you give me and the world your personal assurance that you will do this, and, if not, why not? As I have told you before, I am not afraid of being proven wrong. The looming question now is: Are you afraid of proving that I and your investigative staff are right, that the Newton Bible Code is not algorithmic?

All the best,

Don Zygutis


Underdown update:                                                                                                                  May 20, 2020

TO: James Underdown                                                                       

        Executive Director of Investigations

        The Center for Inquiry



It’s now been three months since you wrote fellow skeptic David Gluck, accusing me of artificially creating the Newton Bible Code by using a computer generated algorithm. To put it bluntly, you were telling the world that you think I’m a liar and a cheat.

On top of that, you bragged to David that you could write an algorithm that, when applied to a large body of text, would result in an “Underdown Code” that would be comparable to the Newton Bible Code.

Based on your letter to David, I had no choice but to defend my honor and reputation by calling you out and publicly challenging you to do what you say you can do. You’re now the claimant and I’m the skeptic.

So, how does it feel to be on the other side?

James, in your position as Executive Director of Investigations at the Center for Inquiry, you are recognized as being one of the top skeptics in the world, with almost unlimited financial, intellectual, and technical resources at your disposal. If anyone can falsify the Newton Bible Code, it is you. But if you fail, your failure will amount to a public concession that the Newton Bible Code is real, not artificial. Your failure would be a significant endorsement from a hostile witness highly motivated to prove me wrong. You don’t want to fail!

With a deadline of Dec. 20, 2020, you have another seven months to produce the Underdown Code, so there’s still plenty of time.

Finally, let me remind you that, should you be the first to do what you say “anyone” can do, you will win my $5000 Challenge to Skeptics and further establish yourself as one of the world’s leading skeptics.

I wish you well in your continuing efforts to demonstrate how the Newton Bible Code is contrived rather than organic. If I can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to call on me. Like you, I’m just trying to establish the truth. I’m not afraid of being proven wrong, we all make mistakes. But I assure you, as a disciple of the late Carl Sagan, I am not a liar or a cheat.

All the best,

Don Zygutis





Underdown  Update:                                                                                                             April 20, 2020               


TO: James Underdown                                                                                                                                                                                 

       Executive Director of Investigations

       Center for Inquiry



It’s been two months since you publicly announced that you could debunk the Newton Bible Code by proving that it is algorithmic, and two months since I challenged you to do what you say you can do. As of this date, there has been no response. Meanwhile, skeptics around the world are waiting breathlessly to see your research.

Is there a problem?

No one disputes that the code is testable and that your debunking strategy is reasonable. Based on your own words, I have to assume that you are diligently working on your algorithm hypothesis. Can you assure the public that you intend to follow through on your promise?

After numerous investigations that ended up confirming the code, you remain the last best hope among skeptics that my claimed discovery of an alien encryption in the Old Testament can be falsified. If you can’t do it, then wouldn’t you agree that my claim is true? And if you and the Center for Inquiry can’t do it, why not come out now and admit it?


Donald L. Zygutis






Underdown Update:                                                                                                           March 20, 2020


It’s been one month since Center for Inquiry Investigative Director, James Underdown, launched an effort to create an algorithm that, when applied to a large amount of text, generates a body of symmetry equivalent to the Newton Bible Code. I haven’t heard from James yet, but it’s still early.

On a related matter, my $5,000 Challenge to Skeptics is entering its fourth month. There are skeptics around the world trying to find a way to debunk the Newton Bible Code, and, to date, there have been no submitted challenges.

With all this activity, it is becoming ever more certain that the Newton Bible Code, as a non-predictive, non-algorithmic encryption created by visiting extraterrestrials, is real.

I encourage James Underdown and all skeptics to keep up their efforts. I want the vetting of the code to be as exhaustive and universal as possible.

Thank you all,


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