He had invited Ken Ring along to talk about the predicition of the Christchurch earthquake. (I hope that picks up the cache copy :) ) I openly confess that I missed the interview but did see Campbell's apology the following night ("...I let my personal feelings get between journalism and the audience..."). I have since heard selected portions of the interview courtesy of Mediawatch last night. To that extent I agree with JC's apology; Not good journalism, John.
Since then, Peter Griffen writing in the NBR, has come up with comparison between Ring and another - more famous - earthquake predictor.
The furore over John Campbell’s interview with earthquake predictor Ken Ring this week really exposed a strong anti-science vein running through New Zealand that even we here at Sciblogs, seasoned from hand to hand combat with the anti-vaccination lobby, homeopaths and evolution deniers were surprised at.
As one commenter on Sciblogs put it, Ken Ring’s predictions and his methods have a “pleasant intuitiveness” to them that makes them sound plausible and offer comfort in the face of hard science, often explained in complex, unemotional or even arrogant terms by scientists.
America's quake prediction panic attack
Well, this week’s turn of events reminded me of a 20 year-old Science article I was sent in the wake of September’s earthquake (hat tip to Lynley Hood) that paints some striking similarities between Ken Ring and another earthquake predictor who has long since passed, Dr Iben Browning.
Dr Browning was a self-taught climatologist with a Ph.D in zoology who in late 1989 predicted the serious likelihood of a major earthquake striking the Mississippi Valley during the first week of December 1990.
The media jumped on the prediction and widely publicised them. Why? According to Science:
Browning’s successful scare was based on classic ingredients: a predictor with apparently solid credentials, a prediction method that sounds scientific, and unsupported claims of previous prediction successes.
Does all of that have a familiar ring to it?
Well, it seems that Ring and his believers have really missed the mark!! Why?
There are two dates in there... here, I'll give you a hand with them.
The time line provided by the internet forum contributor has sparked concern and criticism alike over the last week.
Feb 20 Nibiru between Jupiter and Mars orbits. 2.48 AU from Earth.
March 4 Nibiru breaks through ecliptic plane for earth change symptoms to increase dramatically. 2.261 AU from Earth.
March 15 Saturn, Nibiru, Earth, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus are in alignment creating gravity trench for volcano/earthquake/tidal events to escalate (first shaking of Hopi prophecy). First Conjunction. 2.1 AU from Earth.
So, more news next week.
Oh! "Lighter"? Choose between humour and setting fire...