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Musings on the Ken Ring debate. (Warning – Some real heavy stuff!)

 

Photo: Annette Read, Weatherwatch.co.nz

I’ve been musing on the Ken Ring debate and come up with the following observations:

+ The evidence that the moon has some contributory influence on earthquakes seems slight.

– However, it is not impossible that it does.

+ Ken Ring may be a charlatan.

– However, it is possible that he genuinely believes the things he says and is simply misguided.

+ Ring’s  warnings about a major earthquake occurring in Canterbury on March 20 amounted to irresponsible scaremongering.

– On the other hand, if he did genuinely believe there would be a major earthquake on March 20, those warnings could be considered highly responsible.

+ No-one in Canterbury was killed or injured by an earthquake on March 20. Nor was there any significant damage to buildings or infrastructure. Ring’s prediction was wrong.

– However, a 5.1 earthquake, the largest since the devastating 6.3 tremor of February 22, did occur on March 20. So Ring’s prediction was right.

+ At noon on  March 20 members of the Skeptics Society, accompanied by Nick Smith, the Minister responsible for ACC, had lunch at the Sign of the Kiwi, one of Christchurch’s highest and oldest stone buildings in the Port Hills. This was to show their contempt for Ring’s prediction and their confidence that he was wrong. Their good sense is to be congratulated.

– Alternatively, since the Society’s spokesperson, Vicki Hyde, had said she wouldn’t be surprised if a shake happened during the lunch, their actions  might be seen as foolhardy and stupid. Unless, of course, the location wasn’t particularly hazardous, in which case the demonstration would lack credibility. As a correspondent to the Dominion Post noted, ‘If the Skeptics really wanted to make a point, they could try the roof of the Grand Chancellor Hotel.’

+ Since no-one in Canterbury was killed or injured by an earthquake on March 20 and there was no significant damage to buildings or infrastructure, the Skeptics were right.

–  However, since a 5.1 earthquake, the largest since the devastating 6.3 tremor of February 22, did occur on March 20, the Skeptics were wrong.   Read the rest of this entry »

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