This is my first blog post here, so I ask your forgiveness if I violate any blog protocols that I am likely ignorant of.
I wanted to post an idea I had regarding The Numbers to see what people think. My theory is that the numbers will change but their sum will stay the same before the end of the show. This would be consistent with the idea of progress that Jacob stated; perhaps this has been going on longer than we know (nemesis: "they kill, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same.")
It may be the point of the writers/creators of this show to demonstrate that we are free to be the people that we are (free will is valid), AND that certain outcomes are simply a given in the grand scheme (fate is also valid). I'll further stipulate that the Temple is the last Dharma experiment in an attempt to manipulate these numbers, and that the Losties will be using it in some way to interact with themselves in an alternate timeline (created by the detonation of Jughead) to either restore or alter events. In the end, the numbers will change due to a failure in accomplishing this goal (although they will likely get close).
To this end, I even feel I have a possible candidate for what the new numbers might be: 2 3 16 18 24 45 These numbers share much in common with the existing set of numbers already established in the show. Among such elements include: A. Same composition of digits B. Two odd numbers C. Sum to 108 D. Consecutive flight numbers pertinent to the show (i.e. 8 15 vs. 3 16). E. Two single digits, two teens, one twenties, and one forties.
I encourage anyone to share their thoughts on this or any other related aspect of the show!