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On Nostradamus and Statistical Probabilities

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, nostradamus

Author: Morten St. George

Everyone knows that it is impossible to foresee the future. Well, believers in astrology, tarot cards, psychic powers, black magic, crystal balls, and so forth, may take exception to this but their beliefs have been generally discredited by the world's scientific community. Indeed, to predict a future event with complete accuracy and full confidence would essentially involve calculating the long-term interaction of every atom in the nearby universe, clearly an impossible task.

For the contrary point of view, the prophecies of Nostradamus come into evidence. Surely, if anyone has ever foreseen the future, it would have to be history's most famous seer, no? Unfortunately, the Nostradamus prophecies are difficult to evaluate because they are largely written in code. Thus, Nostradamus' objective could not have been to predict the future but merely to reflect that he knew the future. And we cannot blame him for writing his prophecies in code because not only is it deemed impossible to know the future, it is also unrealistic to make open predictions about people and then expect those predictions to come true. For example, let's suppose that Nostradamus had published the following prophecy: "In the year 1969 Neil Armstrong will die a horrible death in a crash landing on the surface of the Moon." What do you think would have happened? Surely, in 1969, Neil Armstrong would have foregone that trip to the Moon and the prophecy would self-destruct.

Nostradamus, however, slipped up here and there. In quite a few places he apparently forgot to apply his code and wrote lines that seem somewhat intelligible to the average person. One such line was the following: "The Senate of London shall put their King to death." Nostradamus died in 1566 and in 1649 the English Parliament executed their king, Charles I, in London. This is the only line of this or similar theme in the prophecies, so it was Nostradamus' one and only shot at it. There were a lot of cities in the world even in the 16th century so he certainly got lucky picking London. Of course, it did not have to be a king who died. It could have been the queen, a prince, a bishop, or whoever. Likewise, Parliament did not have to be the executioner. It could have been almost anyone. And Nostradamus did not have to use the expression "put to death." He could have picked a less offensive verb like "imprison" or "dethrone." He even got lucky on numbering this prophecy 49 (of the ninth Century) since the event occurred in 1649. In statistics, the probability of each element in a series multiply out. The chances of all these elements coming together correctly are extremely remote, but let's get conservative and say the odds are only 1,000 to 1, still high odds but well within the realm of sheer coincidence.

Moving forward from 1649, Nostradamus unambiguously refers to the Great Fire of London, where "three the six" alludes to the year 1666. Moving forward again, we come to the Glorious Revolution of London and here Nostradamus clearly states that someone from Holland (William III) will be elected King of England. What? The English "electing" a non-Englishman to be their king? And once again he got lucky on the numbering. He numbered that prophecy 89 (of the fourth Century) and the event occurred in 1689.

One must not think that Nostradamus' visionary reach was limited to the 17th century. Let's now advance all the way to the 20th century: "The King of Persia shall be taken by those of Egypt." Nostradamus is certainly a long way from home on this one. In 1979, the Shah of Iran, fleeing the Muslim revolution in his country, was given refuge by the government of Egypt. The right person, the right countries, and the right verb (with a more sensible verb like "killed" or "captured," the prophecy fails). And from there we can advance to the early 21st century: "From the sky shall come a great king of terror."

Overall, phenomena of the type just noted appear in forty-two of Nostradamus' nine hundred and forty-two prophecies. So, conservatively, if the odds against each one are a 1,000 to 1, the cumulative odds against the whole thing being pure coincidence are 1,000 to the forty-second power. That's a one followed by more than one hundred zeros, which, after deducting the nine hundred failures, would still exceed the number of stars in the known universe. At this point we stand beyond the reach of plausible coincidental fulfillment. It is no longer a question of whether or not the future was foreseen. It is now a question of how it was done.

Does the above imply that Nostradamus was able to foresee the future using his brass tripod like he said he did? Hardly, and there could be an explanation ultimately based on science and technology rather than on the occult arts. People tend to think of the Nostradamus prophecies merely in terms of predictions of future events. They normally do not consider the possibility that prophecies can also be used to provide other types of information.

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About the Author

Morten St. George is an ancient astronaut investigator and author of the Nostradamus-related book Incantation of the Law Against Inept Critics. More information on the theme of the current article can be found at Aliens and the Parallel Universe.


Filed in: externally authored, nostradamus

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