Worldly Talk

Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues.

Earthquake Prediction

I want to thank everyone for posting. I knew there would be some good talk from the 'Weave' on this one. For my own opinion, this is total crap. There is no way those scientists should go to jail. The rim of the Med is an earthquake zone. If you live there, you risk one. If you've ever been to Naples, you would've seen that there are houses halfway up Vesuvius. That volcano is not extinct, it is merely dormant. Is someone going to jail when an earthquake starts a lava flow into town?

Originally Posted by Selwyn View Post
There are houses halfway up Vesuvius. Is someone going to jail when an earthquake starts a lava flow into town?
Yep. The property developers who lobbied to be allowed to build houses there and the council members who approved it will be locked up just before the cops make a run for it. Leaving them in the cells contemplating the orange streams approaching.

Actually, when St. Pierre on Martinique was struck by a vulcanic pyroclastic flow in 1902, a prisoner in a cell was the only survivor.

The thing is, if negligence or stupidity had caused the scientists to tell people they were safe when they weren't, then the court would have a point. Not knowing the details, though, it looks as if all that happened was an improbable (and unfortunate) event occurred, and all they did was (correctly) state it was improbable beforehand.

In such a case, this is ridiculous. However, courts don't exactly have a good track record for making sensible rulings when it's a choice between science/logic and being just plain wrong (see the Bayes' Theorem cases)...


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