Where were they?

The big news this weekend is the earthquake in Indonesia, a big one which has killed 3,000 or more people.

Where were the great prognosticators? Did any of them predict such a catastrophe? Given their self-promotion, one would assume that they would have certainly sensed a 6.2 magnitude earthquake.

Eric Julien, the comet collision dude, sent out alarmist bulletins warning those living along the Atlantic Coast that a tsunami would occur on May 25. He mentioned nothing about catastrophes in the South Pacific.

Stan Deyo, who styles himself an earthquake predictor, suggests on his website that he in fact forecasted the quake. As if.

Deyo’s site includes a daily thermal map of the world. Circles on the map indicate likelihood of tectonic activity, he claims. Well, his map does in fact include a circle near the epicenter of the Indonesian quake. There are also scores of other circles all over the map, and AFAIK no quakes or temblors have been reported at all those sites.

Saying Deyo predicted the quake is like saying I can predict it will rain  tomorrow. If I don’t mention a locality, I am bound to be correct, since at any given time it is raining somewhere on the planet. Deyo made no specific mention of Indonesia nor of a major quake anywhere in the world on that date, so he predicted nothing.

It is impossible to predict the future with dead-certain accuracy. Meteorologists know this. Anyone who says he can predict the future accurately is a liar. And if he (or she) truly can, then maybe it’s time to show us skeptics it is possible, by giving us some advance warning about tragedies like this weekend’s quake.

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