Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Forecasting:- Science or Magic?

Hi folks
 This is the first in a series of articles where I'll be taking a brief look at prediction and forecasting. One of my favorite sites for scientific understanding is Skeptoid.

So I thought we'd take a quick look at some predictions made by Skeptoid around the year 2012 (because we know the other failed predictions!)

Skeptoid predictions for 2012 (from 2008)
Asteroid 433 Eros is going to pass within 17 million miles of the Earth in January;
the United States will hand over control of the Korean military back to the Koreans in April;
<fail - CFC won't be dissolved until at least 2015>
there will be an annular solar eclipse in May and a solar transit of Venus in June;
the Summer Olympics will take place in London;
the Earth's population will officially pass 7 billion people in October;
<fail - world population has reached 7 Billion on October 31, 2011>
the United States will elect a new President in November;
<fail - the us reelected the incumbent president>
construction of the new Freedom Tower will be complete in New York City;
<fail - the freedom tower is still under construction>
the sun will flip its magnetic poles as it does at the end of every 11-year sunspot cycle;<fail - the solar magnetic pole reversal wasn't complete as at December 21 2012 and AFAIK is still underway> and, 
as I'm sure you've heard by now, the Mayan calendar completes its 5,125 year cycle, <correct>,

Out of 9 predictions, Brian got a score of:- 

4 correct 
5 fails 

 I reckon that's a pretty good effort. Even though Brian has less than half as a hit rate, I bet anyone would struggle to find a better set of testable concrete predictions that can be easily verified when the time comes. I'd say Brian has been better at predicting the future than Nostradamus, Jesus, Niburu, Zacheria Sichin, Alex Jones, David Icke or any other charlatan claiming to have "secret" knowledge or through misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the scientific method come to conclusions that actually aren't scientific (thus implying some kind of secret knowledge that the "establishment" is out to get).

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