- Hardcover: 218 pages
- Publisher: Element Books Ltd (May 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1862040141
- ISBN-13: 978-1862040144
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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God's Secret Formula: Deciphering the Riddle of the Universe and the Prime Number Code
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This will appeal to any intellectual interested in science and religion: it challenges current scientific thought by decoding a numerical code based on prime numbers which reveal and explain natural laws. The blend of science and religious insight here will please any who want an alternative to traditional approaches. -- Midwest Book Review
Top customer reviews
One of the key chapters seems to be chapter 13, The Law of Empty Space. The sum of the numbers that make up each concentric ring form prime multiples of 300: first ring 1 x 300, second ring 3 x 300, third 5 x 300, and so on. This kind of number play is reminiscent of magic squares and number games. Plichta's main assertion is that the structure of empty space is number: The atomic nucleus is the centre of the Prime Number Cross. (p. 157) And space is arranged around this point in the form of shells. The four prime number twins (primes that flank a non-prime)of the first shell determine the structure of all further shells. Plichta is excluding 3 which also forms a twin: 3 & 5. 3 also is right next to another prime 2 as is the first positive prime 1. So 1 and 3 are unique among the prime number twins, 2 being the only prime flanked by primes. But this doesn't fit his cross structure, so fudge factor glosses over this. Once you acknowledge these discrepancies, you can appreciate the correspondences that Plichta does make. The idea of "prime number space" as four-dimensional space is interesting, but an artifact of the right-angled space mirror imaging.
Other critical reviews focused on Plichta's inept mathematics. One review incorrectly charged Plichta with claiming 25 was a prime number (p. 117). A careful reading will reveal that the statement, "The prime number 25 is above the prime number 5," is a typographical error. The figure 2 shows 29 above 5 and 25 above 1, so the text should have said, "The prime number 29 is above the prime number 5." There are 3 other typos: page 119, third line from the bottom: "number 0 also happened to be occupied by the number 23." The O should be replaced by -1. On page 129, the proportional symbol ~ is missing between E2 and 1/time squared2 at the bottom of the page. On page 196, the 5th line of Pascal's Triangle shows after the -> 14631 and should show 14641. I tend to agree with one reviewer who criticized Plichta for "seeing patterns everywhere and in everything when they have no real significance." Significance was made of multi-scale isomorphisms in our pre-scientific past. It was called the hermetic principal of alchemy: "As above, so below." Their numerical significance was celebrated among the Pythagoreans of ancient Greece and have persisted today in NewAge numerology & astrology. A similar study in isomorphic meaning making can be found in Jose Arguelles' Earth Ascending, where the 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching are linked to the 64 codons of DNA and the numerical patterns of the Ben Franklin Square. For Arguelles, the key to the universe is the binary triplet code, inherent in the Mayan Tzolkin, I-Ching trigrams, and DNA codons. For Plichta, it is the prime number cross. Interestingly, neither Arguelles or Plichta ever mentions the golden ratio and equiangular spiral that was regarded as sacred geometry (the Divine proportion) by the Pythagoreans. If anything deserves the title of "God's secret Formula," then it is the golden ratio.
Seeing numbers everywhere can indeed be delusional as the films "A Beautiful Mind" and "23" aptly depict. One thing both positive and negative reviews indicate about Plichta's book: it is certainly stimulating and provocative. I found it worth the read, even though I disagreed with his conclusions. Read it yourself and you decide.
The book is essentially an autobiography of Dr. Peter Plichta's life as a scientist, and how he branched from his primary interest in pure chemistry into physical chemisty, biochemistry, nuclear chemistry, pharmacology, and theoritical physics, and the connections he made progressively along the way between biological phenomena, and natural and physical laws.
For example, Plichta sites that there are 19 "left-oriented" amino acids, and one "right-oriented" one which comprise the building blocks for every protien that exists in every living organism. There are also, out of the 81 stable, non-radioactive elements, 20 elements that have a single isotope - 19 have odd molecular numbers and 1 has an even molecular number. He also draws a connection between the inverse square law of gravitation force (ie as objects get more distant their mutual gravitational attraction decreases as an inverse square of that distance - 1/r^2) and the fact that in the first four orbital layers that electrons exist around atoms, there's a squaring effect in that on the first layer (closest to the atom), one pair exists, on the second four, on the third nine, and on the fourth 16. He makes continuous inferences to the abundance of three's found in nature and also the 3+1 configuration. Another interesting pattern that repeats itself is that of the number 273. Absolute zero is -273 degrees Celsius, 273 is also the number of days in the term of a human pregnancy and each lunar month is 27.3 days. He hints at the significance os prime numbers but halfway through the book has not linked them to any of these other connections per se. Plichta even ventures into planetary science by making the point that the moon is not a sattelite at all, but rather twin planet - since it was formed from part of the earth and not simply captured as a completely foreign body as with the moons of the gas giants. I suppose this would complement his patterns of threes and 3+1(or 4)'s as the earth would alternate between being the 3rd planet and the fourth depending on what part of the orbit the moon was in.
What made this such a hard book to put down is that Plichta does not put all his cards down on the table in the first chapter or even in the first half of the book, but strings the reader along with fascinating connections like the ones above in addition to the continuous recountings of how his discoveries and enlightenments progressed, and how his knowledge increased and enabled him to make these connections.
From only reading half the book, his thesis seems to be something akin to the idea that all these connections, these dualities, and patterns that are repeated uncannily throughout the
biological, chemical, physical, and even linguistic and psychological worlds could not have been mere coincidence and so are good grounds for positing the existance of a conscious designer of physical laws and biological entities and in particular human beings. Someone or something that understood how numbers work and could create these patterns and connections at will.
There is a good deal of technical information in the book, mostly about chemistry, which, though some is explained, is not "dumbed down." This adds to the impression that Plichta is addressing his readers as competant thinkers. This is fortunate because a great deal of the autobiographical detail in this book, though perhaps factually 100% correct, sometimes gives one the impression that Plichta is a bit too taken with his intellect.
I am not a scientist by trade or hobby, though I have taken limited studies in physics and chemistry. I would recommend this book to those with a layman's interest in science and perhaps to true scientists as well.