N. Zealand sceptics defy 'Moonman' quake prophecy

Mar 14, 2011
Geologists, engineers and like-minded sceptics will meet in earthquake-devastated Christchurch Sunday to mock "junk science" predictions another major tremor will hit the city this weekend.

Geologists, engineers and like-minded sceptics will meet in earthquake-devastated Christchurch Sunday to mock "junk science" predictions another major tremor will hit the city this weekend.

Ken Ring, a quasi-mystic known as the "Moonman", claims he predicted last month's 6.3-magnitude quake by studying the moon and has warned another tremor will rock New Zealand's second-largest city on March 20.

So far 166 people have been confirmed killed in February's disaster, although police have said they expect the figure to rise to more than 200.

New Zealand Skeptics spokeswoman Vicki Hyde said many in Christchurch were taking Ring seriously and her organisation had organised a "non-event" lunch on the day to try to set their minds at ease.

"At times like these, we think it's irresponsible to allow anyone to exploit the understandable anxieties of Christchurch residents," she said, accusing Ring of seeking "opportunistic publicity".

Hyde said prominent sceptics, including members of the scientific community who have attacked Ring's theories, would attend the lunch in a historic stone building on a Christchurch hilltop.

Environment Minister Nick Smith, who holds a PhD in geo-technical engineering, described the lunch as a public service event.

"The last thing needed by thousands of traumatised people in Canterbury, including elderly and children, is junk science and made-up predictions of future major quakes," he said.

In response to the attacks, Ring has said will make no public comment until after March 20.

His theories centre on the fact that moon is now unusually close to the Earth, exerting a strong .

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User comments : 13

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Blakut
5 / 5 (1) Mar 14, 2011
Can you imagine the type of people spreading this Moon quake nonsense? How they now eagerly wait for another disaster, just to prove their stupid theory is right?
ScottyM23
1 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2011
and yet, if another earthquake were to happen, wouldn't that "stupid theory" be proven right? and that some people might actually be on to things even though they seem unconventional?
ironjustice
1 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2011
Quote: Moon quake nonsense
Answer: I would rather have someone tell me to keep my head up and not happen than have somebody tell me NOT to keep my head up and it happens. So I guess you know where I stand with YOUR little 'contribution' to the scheme of things .. eh ..
LariAnn
1 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2011
If members of the established scientific club predicted a quake, their prediction would not be considered irresponsible, even if their predictions caused great fear and consternation, and yet did not come to pass. Also, I've seen amazing eagerness for potential disaster coming from mainstream meteorologists when a hurricane is forming, but their misplaced zeal is not derided by the rest of the scientific community. So the real issue is not whether a prediction comes to pass or not, but whether the person and the theory are acceptable as far as established scientific dogma is concerned. I'm with ironjustice and ScottyM23 on this one.
NameIsNotNick
5 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2011
and yet, if another earthquake were to happen, wouldn't that "stupid theory" be proven right? and that some people might actually be on to things even though they seem unconventional?

One success would prove little, especially when you consider that aftershocks are hardly a rarity after an earthquake. If they could establish a track record that would be another matter... I'm surprised Moonman didn't warn the Japanese. Seems almost criminally negligent.
undrgrndgirl
1 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2011
One success would prove little.


unless it were some "scientist" who's prediction proved correct...
ScottyM23
1.3 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2011
when it comes to natural disasters, one of two things will happen. and that's, it either occurs, or it doesn't. but like ironjustice said, i would rather be prepared, thinking something might happen, and possibly be able to save things and lessen the chance of losing valuable property...than to blow it off and then not have anywhere to live and anywhere to eat. it doesn't have to be like an evacuation necessarily, but just preparing.

that's the problem with society, so many people think that we are safe here on Earth, when in reality we have all the chance of being killed every day by thousands of different things. It will only take one to do the job.
Workitout
1 / 5 (2) Mar 14, 2011
The Moonman theory is based on the moon being at it's closest point to earth in an 18 year cycle. Using Newton's Law of gravitation, during the full moon of 19 march there will be 7.38% more gravitational force acting between the earth and the moon than exists when the moon is at its average distance from earth. 7.38% is a big number when you look at how much the force is normally.

Perhaps the Moonman is right, perhaps he is wrong. Either way, judging him before the event occurs is doing EXACTLY the same as what he is doing, so perhaps doing one's own research, and sharing the results instead of throwing words may be more beneficial for all of us.

I thank Moonman for sticking his neck out and reputation on the line to warn us. I haven't heard ANY predictions from any of the official Geological Institutions responsible for monitoring earthquake activity prior to the Christchurch and Japanese earthquakes either.
Bog_Mire
5 / 5 (2) Mar 14, 2011
That is because Geological institutions do not make predictions based on quackery. Like astrophysicists do not make astrological personal predictions.
jjoensuu
not rated yet Mar 15, 2011
There is this paper written by Lorenzo Iorio, titled "On the anomalous secular increase of the eccentricity of the orbit of the Moon". I do not know how relevant the discussion in the document is to the earthquake, just that there are some anomalies in the moons orbit (not necessarily meaning that the moon would end up any CLOSER because of them). I am not able to vouch for the correctness of the conclusions in the paper but it can be accessed here:

http://arxiv.org/...12v3.pdf
Fitzy
not rated yet Mar 15, 2011
Whats Ken Ring and the UN IPCC got in common?
They both make fuzzy predictions using uncertain methods, and both have failed to prove their methods valid.
phuzzydog
not rated yet Mar 19, 2011
Hypothesis: Magnitude 5.8 or greater earthquake between 157E and 170W longitude, between 0600-0900 UTC 20 March 2011.
pargy
not rated yet Mar 30, 2011
I agree with Workitout. The theory of Earth tides is not novel. If you have a system in delicate balance, only small forces are needed to tip it. Why is it so implausible that an abnormally high gravitational pull (regardless of source) could precipitate tectonic plate movements or fault line slippages? I don't know how there can be precision about the timing, because the 'tipping point' might not occur immediately, but I also don't see why the theory should be derided as junk science.