To: All Jan0694 12:26PM Subject: Re: Blown Prophecy (was: It was six in the morning.) Foll

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From: Alan M Feuerbacher To: All Jan-06-94 12:26PM Subject: Re: Blown Prophecy (was: It was six in the morning...) Organization: Tektronix, Inc., Beaverton, OR. From: alanf@tekig6.PEN.TEK.COM (Alan M Feuerbacher) Message-ID: <13091@tekig7.pen.tek.com> Followup-To: talk.origins Newsgroups: talk.origins,talk.religion.misc,alt.atheism In article m9q8@UNBSJ.CA (ELSA K. PATERSON) writes: >..... >But there has been a large increase in earthquakes, and there have been many >large scale earthquakes, just within the last few decades.... The first claim is nonsense. Professional seismologists are unaware of any change in the frequency of earthquakes in the past few centuries. If one looks at typical listings of earthquakes one might find that there _appears_ to have been a large increase in earthquakes in the 20th century compared to prior centuries, but this _seeming_ increase is due to two things: (1) Old records are incomplete. (2) Modern seismographs began to be systematically installed around the world in 1897, and a major effort was completed in the early 1960s to upgrade seismograph stations around the world with the latest automatic recording equipment. It takes a great deal of effort to obtain reasonably complete earthquake listings, and most seismologists are unwilling to invest the time. So any seeming increase in earthquake activity is due to a lack of complete records, or to worldwide instrument monitoring since 1897. Modern records include earthquakes far out to sea, which would have passed unnoticed in earlier times. Entire continents such as South America and Australia have no records at all from before about 1500. A few people _have_ undertaken detailed studies of large magnitude quakes in the 19th century and found that both the frequency and yearly average death rate are comparable to the 20th. Earthquakes seem to occur pretty much at random, so there can be major statistical fluctuations in frequency. For example, the two decades prior to 1914, from 1894 through 1913, had a total of 57 quakes of magnitude 8 and up, while the 73 years from 1914 through 1986 had 105 such quakes. That means that on average twice the number of large quakes occurred per year in the 20 years before 1914 as in all the years since. When all earthquakes from magnitude 7 and up are checked for those years, one decade is statistically indistinguishable from any other.* See the charts below. __________________________ * Source -- Database from the National Earthquake Information Service, Denver, Colorado. This CDROM database contains a listing of some 438,000 earthquakes from 2100 B.C. through 1988. __________________________ A plot of the number of earthquakes occurring in a given year versus time looks very much like a stock market chart. Like a stock market chart, if the time period under examination is short enough, trends can seem to appear. In 1986, one seismologist wrote, "There are indications that worldwide seismic activity -- if expressed in terms of earthquakes with magnitude 7 or over -- has decreased steadily in the time from the beginning of the 20th century until now." However, there is not enough long-term date to say anthing about long-term trends. Compare the above discussion with the plots of number of earthquakes per year below. The data for these plots was taken from the NEIS CDROM database. The data for the magnitude 8 and 7 quakes was checked to eliminate duplicate quakes. Data earlier than 1897 is not included because magnitude estimates are generally unavailable. The plot of magnitude 8 quakes clearly shows the large temporary increase in frequency of magnitude 8 quakes up through 1920. Note that some seismologists have recently suggested that magnitude estimates prior to about 1920 may have been too high by .1 to .2 on the Richter scale, so that the data may be slightly skewed. If that is the case, then very little change can be seen during the 20th century. Magnitude 8 and higher earthquakes |-----------------------------------------------| 11 | * | 10 | * | 9 | * | 8 | ** | 7 | * *** * | 6 | ***** * ** * * | 5 | ***** * * ** ** * * * | 4 | ********* ** * * *** * * * ** | 3 | ************ * * ** ***** ** ** * * ** | 2 | ************** **** ***** ** ** ***** ** * | 1 |****************************** ** ********* * | |--|---------|---------|---------|---------|----| 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 The plot of magnitude 7 quakes clearly shows the effect of instrument recording on the recorded number of quakes. No increasing trend appears after 1940; if anything the local trend is *decreasing*. Magnitude 7 and higher earthquakes |-----------------------------------------------| 80 | * * | 70 | * ** * | 60 | * * ***** * | 50 | ******* * ******** *** * | 40 | * ******* ***************************** | 30 | ******************************************* | 20 | **********************************************| 10 |***********************************************| |--|---------|---------|---------|---------|----| 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 The plot of magnitude 1 quakes clearly shows the effect of the completion in the early 1960s of the installation of worldwide instrument recording on the recorded number of quakes. Note that this is a plot of raw data and contains duplicate entries. Magnitude 1 and higher earthquakes |-----------------------------------------------| 30k | ** | 28k | * ** * | 26k | * ***** * | 24k | ********* ***| 22k | ********* ***| 20k | ********* ***| 18k | *************| 16k | *************| 14k | **************| 12k | **************| 10k | ***************| 8k | ****************| 6k | ********************| 4k | * * * *****************************| 2k |***********************************************| |--|---------|---------|---------|---------|----| 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 Some people might complain that it is not the raw frequency of quakes that is important, but the death rate due to them. Here again, actual data do not support such claims. The following chart proves that there is no trend in death rates either in the 20th century or since 1940. This is surprising since population densities in the 20th century are much higher. Likely this is due to many countries' building for earthquake resistance. ___________________________________________________________________________ A Comparison of Earthquake Victims 1715-1983: 1915-1983: Year Location Deaths Year Location Deaths 1715 Algeria 20,000 1915 Italy 29,970 1717 Algeria 20,000 1920 China 180,000 1718 China 43,000 1923 Japan 143,000 1719 Asia Minor 1,000 1927 China 200,000 1721 Iran 100,000 1932 China 70,000 1724 Peru (tsunami) 18,000 1933 USA 115 1725 Peru 1,500 1935 India (Pakistan) 60,000 1725 China 556 1939 Chile 30,000 1726 Italy 6,000 1939 Turkey 23,000 1727 Iran 77,000 1946 Turkey 1,300 1730 Italy 200 1946 Japan 2,000 1730 China 100,000 1948 Japan 5,131 1730 Japan 137,000 1949 Ecuador 6,000 1731 China 100,000 1950 India 1,500 1732 Italy 1,940 1953 Turkey 1,200 1736 China 260 1953 Greece 424 1737 India 300,000 1954 Algeria 1,657 1739 China 50,000 1956 Afghanistan 2,000 1746 Peru 4,800 1957 Iran (Northern) 2,500 1749 Spain 5,000 1957 Iran (Western) 2,000 1750 Greece 2,000 1960 Chile 5,700 1751 Japan 2,000 1960 Morocco 12,000 1751 China 900 1962 Iran 10,000 1752 Syria 20,000 1963 Yugoslavia 1,100 1754 Egypt 40,000 1964 Alaska 131 1755 China 270 1966 Turkey 2,529 1755 Iran 1,200 1968 Iran 11,588 1755 Portugal 60,000 1970 Turkey 1,086 1755 Morocco 12,000 1970 Peru 66,794 1757 Italy 10,000 1971 USA 65 1759 Syria 30,000 1972 Iran 5,057 1763 China 1,000 1972 Nicaragua 6,000 1765 China 1,189 1973 Mexico (Western) 52 1766 Japan 1,335 1973 Mexico (Central) 700 1771 Japan (tsunami) 11,700 1974 Pakistan 5,200 1773 Guatemala 20,000 1975 China 200 1774 Newfoundland 300 1975 Turkey 2,312 1778 Iran (Kashan) 8,000 1976 Guatemala 23,000 1780 Iran (Tabriz) 100,000 1976 Italy 900 1780 Iran (Khurasan) 3,000 1976 Bali 600 1783 Italy (Calabria) 60,000 1976 China 242,000 1783 Italy (Palmi) 1,504 1976 Philipines 3,373 1783 Italy (Monteleone) 1,191 1976 Turkey 3,790 1977-1983 addition: 44,623 _________ _________ Total 1715-1783: 1,373,845 Total 1915-1983: 1,210,597 Annual average: 19,911 Annual average: 17,545 ___________________________________________________________________________ Here are graphs showing the above tabulated data: Earthquake Deaths 1915 - 1983 |--------------------------------------| 300k | * | 250k | * | 200k | * * * | 150k | ** * * | 100k | ** * ** * * * | 50k | * ** * ** * ****** **** ******* | |----|---------|---------|---------|---| 1920 1940 1960 1980 Earthquake Deaths 1715 - 1783 |--------------------------------------| 300k | * | 250k | * * | 200k | * * | 150k | * * * * | 100k | * * * * * ** | 50k | **** ** ** ** ******* *** *** *** | |----|---------|---------|---------|---| 1720 1740 1760 1780 Of course, data has no effect on the beliefs of many people. Some will read and ignore the above information, and simply claim that their own increased *perception* of earthquakes and other natural disasters is somehow a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Such an intellectual copout is only to be expected from those who refuse to think. Alan Feuerbacher alanf@atlas.pen.tek.com

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