Scientists warn against false earthquake predictions spreading panic in Turkey
When a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Elazığ province, killing dozens and injuring thousands, Dyson Lin said he had predicted the deadly quake, but his projected location was not accurate.
Lin claims that he can measure the electricity in the air, from his office, and can predict upcoming earthquakes.
Many scientists say Lin is an “oracle” and the public should not take his remarks into consideration. He is known to have been fined $6,000 on grounds of spreading misinformation.
Lin’s claims are based on a coding system, named “Air-2,” which he says is his invention. He has been trying to promote his system for 2,000 Taiwan dollars (about 400 Turkish Liras).
Prominent scientists say his methods for quake projection and coding system have no accuracy.
Speaking to daily Milliyet, certified engineer Samet Atdağ said Lin lacks “scientific basis and method.”
“This person says earthquakes will happen if the radio crackles. He says he is measuring earthquake with a circuit that high schoolers can produce,” he said.
“He is making projections for a wide region, if his predictions turn out to be wrong, he changes the time span. We are warning our public,” he added.
Atdağ also said that Lin’s device costs about 30 to 40 Turkish Liras to make yet he attempts to sell it 10 times more than its worth.
Nevertheless, Lin is not the only “oracle” that draws attention. Ronald Karen, a founding member of GeoCosmo Science and Research Center, says he is projecting earthquakes by looking at ionized clouds.
Frank Hoogerbeets is also known as a “quake oracle” as he claims earthquakes occur in accordance with the moon’s movements. Hoogerbeets says the geometry of plants and their arrangement are related with earthquakes.
With regards to the “oracles,” prominent scientist Prof. Naci Görür said such projection works have been carried out in many countries, including the U.S., Japan and Russia yet predictions should not be announced without reaching certain EU standards.
“If successful, deaths can be prevented with earthquake projections. It is an important topic yet announcing projections without reaching EU standards does not suit science,” Görür said.
“In some ways, it is fortune telling,” he added.