Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Earthquake Prophet.

I'm ill in bed at the moment so can't validate the facts around the prediction, but what was a humorous story this morning has suddenly got more interesting.

Over the past few days, there have been reports about the residents of Rome wanting to leave the city over rumours of an earthquake in the city predicted by a scientist who died 30 years ago. Haha, you'd think, paranoid Italians running scared of a prediction by a scientist of something that even modern science can't predict.

But here's the interesting thing: Today, Spain suffered an magnitude 5.3 earthquake. Okay, its not Rome, but given the length of time between the prediction and the actual event, the margin of error is amazingly small. To predict an earthquake would happen on a particular day is a feat in itself. To get the position to within a few hundred miles is also outstanding. To predict it decades ago is amazing.

So was Raffaele Bendandi, the scientist in question onto something? Was he able to predict something decades ago that scientists maintain isn't predictable today?

Who knows. But his methodology, which involves planetary alignments as influences certainly needs further investigation.

This case also has echoes in the current weather forecasting farrago. We have established science using computer models issuing forecasts with no real accuracy and we have independent scientists providing regularly accurate forecasts using methods that established science refuses to recognise. Yet the independent scientists are marginalised and labelled as crackpots.

Label me a crackpot, because I'm believing in established science less and less. A closed mind is a good thing to lose says the old proverb. Something scientists would do well to remember.

While you ponder all of this, I'll go back to sleeping this bug off.

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