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High tides and earthquakes: an interview with a scientist.

Ken Ring is an astrologer who is causing some fuss in some circles in New Zealand for having promoting the idea that he ’predicted’ the recent February 22nd event near Christchurch, for ’predicting’ an earthquake for Christchurch on March 20th and for being the subject of an interview on prime-time television.

Fellow science blogger Ken Perrot has posted an interview with media commentator Russell Brown on Radio Radio Wammo. Below is a recording of an interview on the same station with scientist Elizabeth Cochran who was an author of a study correlating large (“king”) tides and earthquakes.

Relevant to Ken Ring’s use of the moon in his predictions is her statement towards the end of the interview, about 7 minutes 45 seconds in (paraphrased lightly):

’we have this statement in the paper says that [the results of] this study are not at all useful for the predictions of earthquakes’

She goes on to explain why but you can hear that from her, not me! -

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(Update: Elizabeth Cochran’s research publications can be found here. The paper referred to in the interview is Cochran, E.S., J.E. Vidale, and S. Tanaka 2004 [PDF file].)

(There is also a video stream of an interview with Dylan Storey.)

Originally I wrote some thoughts on Ken Ring’s predictions, but I have decided to defer this for a moment as so much as already been said! In the meantime, you can read my colleagues’ articles, listed below.

Please note the that the discussion in first in the list spans before and after the February 22nd earthquake and that Ken Ring wrote there.

Alison Campbell

a (shaky) date for your diaries

predicting earthquakes: hedging your bets

Peter Griffin

Learning from America’s Ken Ring moment

Running rings around the Moon Man?

David Winter

Ken Ring can’t predict earthquakes either

Darcy Cowan

MOONQUAKE: What Does the Science Say?

Ken Perrott

Making sense of Ring gate?

Gareth Renowden

Ken Ring: he’s wrong about everything (for comments you’ll need to see his original site)

Michael Edmonds

What is your March 20 Prediction? Competition

Grant Jacobs (myself)

Ken Ring’s predictions — what happens on March 20th doesn’t matter

(Please let me know if I’ve missed anyone out! (Updated 20th March to add a few more.))


Other articles on Code for Life:

Medical DIY…

Popularity does not mean effectiveness or sensibility

Homeopathy check-up: Not in the health system, disclaimers on labels

Homeopathic remedies in NZ pharmacies

Fact or fallacy, a survey of immunisation statements in the print media

The inheritance of face recognition, or should you blame your parents if you can’t recognise faces?