Imagine a TV weather caster being prosecuted as a criminal fraudster because he predicted partly cloudy on a rainy game day. Meteorologists can predict the weather good, but not that good.
Worse yet, imagine a seismologist facing manslaughter charges for failing to predict the day a large earthquake killing 300 people would happen. No one can accurately predict when an earthquake will strike, right?
Wrong, according to Italian Judge Giuseppe Romano Gargarella, allowing criminal manslaughter charges to proceed against seven scientists, who, in his words supplied "imprecise, incomplete and contradictory information," at a press conference six days before an earthquake killed 308 people in the city of L'Aquila, Italy. “In doing so, they "thwarted the activities designed to protect the public," said the judge. (FoxNews.com;
Italian government ‘persecuters’ accused the country's top seismologist, Enzo Boschi, president of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), and six others, of manslaughter because they failed to predict the 2009 disaster which, in their deluded minds, could have avoided the deaths. He actually did predict that a large quake was coming, but couldn’t say when.
Naturally, scientists around the world are shocked and stunned by this outright judicial insanity: "It has a medieval flavor to it -- like witches are being put on trial," a spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), said. According to the USGS, in fact, no major quake has ever been predicted successfully. Earthquakes are impossible to predict accurately in advance.
"Neither the USGS nor Caltech nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake," the USGS says on its website. "They do not know how, and they do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future."
"Whoever made these accusations misunderstands the nature of science, the nature of the discipline and how difficult it is to predict anything with the surety they expect," Alan Leschner, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), said about a letter his organization sent to the Italian government which was ignored.
"It reflects a lack of understanding about what science can and can't do," he explained, "and frankly, it will have an effect of intimidating scientists.”
He shouldn’t be surprised.
Intimidation is the hallmark of government.
Maybe they can plea bargain the charges down to negligent homicide.