Friday, May 27, 2011

Seismologists Indicted For Not Predicting Earthquake

I hate to say "I told you so." I really do. There are few things that pain me more than a vigorous finger-wag and a scolding reminder of my prior fortellsions.

But in this case it is richly deserved.

The wonderful news out of Italy is that the families of the 309 people killed in the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake may finally receive justice. Six Italian seismologists and one government official have been charged with manslaughter for failing to predict the April 6, 2009 quake.

Typically, the global numero-scientific cabal is circling the wagons to defend the allegedly-homicidal seismologists. And as to be expected, they're throwing around the standard set of excuses: that earthquakes can't be predicted, that the purpose of seismology is to quantify earthquake hazard for a given region, and that people in earthquake zones should retrofit buildings or something - I don't know. I didn't read the whole thing.

The problem, of course, is that the seismologers were trying to use an inexact science like science to make their earthquake hazard shakey maps or whatever they do. Whereas the most effective techniques for earthquake prediction are currently in the domain of pseudoscience.

Legitimate seismologists summarily dismissed the radon-based predictions of pseudoscientist Giampaolo "Rudy" Giuliani, who predicted the earthquake nearly a week before it hit. Also summarily dismissed was my own successful earthquake prediction, using the pseudoscience of looking for alignments of various celestial bodies with the then-undiscovered Comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin).

So, scientists... although it hurts me to say it, I told you so!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got some feedback for The Math Skeptic? Post it here and keep it civil.