The world is not flat!

Harold Camping in 2008

Image via Wikipedia

My wife, a very sensible woman, tells me I should live and let live – let people believe what they want to believe. They are hurting no one. Who am I to tell you there is no god? Who am I to tell you that no supreme being will judge you when you die? That when you die, you just cease to exist? For the most part I agree. Let people believe what they want to believe.

I began to reassess the validity of silence when i realised that numerous frauds were making scandalous claims to exalt their own status, often when the public were under duress and looking for answers.

Recently, a religious group from the US claimed the people of Canterbury NZ deserved the incredibly destructive earthquake that destroyed buildings and lives on February 22. The cause, they said, was the regional tolerance of lesbianism.

I note that the original website has finally been removed, although the host initially refused to do so.

Ken Ring, a New Zealander, claims to predict the weather 12 months in advance and whether the fish will be biting. He’s also turned his hand to predicting earthquakes. In this case, Ring believes earthquakes are determined by the cycle of the moon and solar flares. Along with a half dozen books, Ring also has a number of reports you can buy, including e-reports predicting the snow falls for an entire ski season. What really caught my attention here, is that Ken Ring predicted a scale 9 earthquake for Canterbury for March 20 and suggested locals leave town for the days on either side of the 20th.

A little research will reveal plenty of issues with predicting earthquakes. For an easy to read explanation, check out the Wikipedia Predicting Earthquakes page: In particular, take note of the statement “Discredited, fantastic theories of predicting earthquakes include weather conditions and unusual clouds, and the phases of the moon.[19] These pseudoscientific theories and predictions[20] ignore the requirement of rigorously formulating the hypothesis and to test it statistically.[1]”

If you learn enough about earthquakes, you too could make vague predictions about when they might occur. Scientists are going on record to say that no one as yet has been able to accurately predict the next earthquake.  If the experts can’t formulate a reliable method for predicting something as critical as earthquakes, how can one man do so from gazing at the moon? Yet, Ken Ring tells us he is the victim of a conspiracy!

The third outrageous claim of recent days was by Harold Camping, an American Christian radio broadcaster. Camping applies numerology to bible readings to make predictions about the Christian Rapture, when god will call all good Christians to heaven. His predictions included: May 21, 1988, September 7, 1994 and May 21, 2011. Well, we are still here. The world didn’t come to an end. Then again, maybe god did call all righteous Christians to heaven and he couldn’t find any!

I have heard that Camping has admitted that he was wrong and the real date for the end of times is in 2012…

Why speak out now? Why challenge peoples beliefs in these ridiculous claims? I simply cannot stand by while these deluded fools mislead the public for their own gain. When someone proclaims the world to be flat, I should stand up and make it clear that there is ample evidence to suggest otherwise.

About blognobody

Interested in the world around me and the development of knowledge.
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