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Earthquakes expose limits of scientific predictions

from National Science Foundation

In 2012, six Italian seismologists were sent to prison because they failed to predict the 2009 L'Aquila 6.3 magnitude earthquake. To some that may seem absurd, but it points to the faith so many have come to place in science's ability to predict and prevent tragedies.

Experts had for decades predicted that Nepal would experience a massive earthquake, but were unable to provide a more precise warning about the recent 7.8-magnitude quake that devastated the country. Science and mathematics have not reached a point where they can forecast with certainty the exact time and specific severity of these cataclysmic events — and may never do so. more


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