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Old 11-24-2001, 10:09 PM   #11
Sauron
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: In the dark places of the world
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This earthquake claim surfaces a lot with fundies. Here's a seminal piece of information from Alan Feuerbacher, that I happened to save from years ago. His contribution is priceless:

Quote:
Professional seismologists are unaware of any change in
the frequency of earthquakes in the past few centuries.
If one looks at typical listings of earthquakes one might
find that there _appears_ to have been a large increase
in earthquakes in the 20th century compared to prior
centuries, but this _seeming_ increase is due to two things:
(1) Old records are incomplete. (2) Modern seismographs
began to be systematically installed around the world in
1897, and a major effort was completed in the early 1960s to
upgrade seismograph stations around the world with the
latest automatic recording equipment. It takes a great deal
of effort to obtain reasonably complete earthquake listings,
and most seismologists are unwilling to invest the time. So
any seeming increase in earthquake activity is due to a lack
of complete records, or to worldwide instrument monitoring
since 1897. Modern records include earthquakes far out to
sea, which would have passed unnoticed in earlier times.
Entire continents such as South America and Australia have
no records at all from before about 1500. A few people
_have_ undertaken detailed studies of large magnitude quakes
in the 19th century and found that both the frequency and
yearly average death rate are comparable to the 20th.

Earthquakes seem to occur pretty much at random, so there
can be major statistical fluctuations in frequency. For
example, the two decades prior to 1914, from 1894 through
1913, had a total of 57 quakes of magnitude 8 and up, while
the 73 years from 1914 through 1986 had 105 such quakes.
That means that on average twice the number of large quakes
occurred per year in the 20 years before 1914 as in all the
years since. When all earthquakes from magnitude 7 and up
are checked for those years, one decade is statistically
indistinguishable from any other.* See the charts below.

__________________________
* Source -- Database from the National Earthquake
Information Service, Denver, Colorado. This CDROM
database contains a listing of some 438,000
earthquakes from 2100 B.C. through 1988.
__________________________

A plot of the number of earthquakes occurring in a given year
versus time looks very much like a stock market chart. Like
a stock market chart, if the time period under examination is
short enough, trends can seem to appear. In 1986, one
seismologist wrote, "There are indications that worldwide
seismic activity -- if expressed in terms of earthquakes with


suggested that magnitude estimates prior to about 1920
may have been too high by .1 to .2 on the Richter scale,
so that the data may be slightly skewed. If that is the
case, then very little change can be seen during the
20th century.

Magnitude 8 and higher earthquakes
|-----------------------------------------------|
11 | * |
10 | * |
9 | * |
8 | ** |
7 | * *** * |
6 | ***** * ** * * |
5 | ***** * * ** ** * * * |
4 | ********* ** * * *** * * * ** |
3 | ************ * * ** ***** ** ** * * ** |
2 | ************** **** ***** ** ** ***** ** * |
1 |****************************** ** ********* * |
|--|---------|---------|---------|---------|----|
1900 1920 1940 1960 1980


The plot of magnitude 7 quakes clearly shows the effect
of instrument recording on the recorded number of quakes.
No increasing trend appears after 1940; if anything the
local trend is *decreasing*.

Magnitude 7 and higher earthquakes
|-----------------------------------------------|
80 | * * |
70 | * ** * |
60 | * * ***** * |
50 | ******* * ******** *** * |
40 | * ******* ***************************** |
30 | ******************************************* |
20 | **********************************************|
10 |***********************************************|
|--|---------|---------|---------|---------|----|
1900 1920 1940 1960 1980


The plot of magnitude 1 quakes clearly shows the effect
of the completion in the early 1960s of the installation of
worldwide instrument recording on the recorded number of
quakes. Note that this is a plot of raw data and contains
duplicate entries.

Magnitude 1 and higher earthquakes
|-----------------------------------------------|
30k | ** |
28k | * ** * |
26k | * ***** * |
24k | ********* ***|
22k | ********* ***|
20k | ********* ***|
18k | *************|
16k | *************|
14k | **************|
12k | **************|
10k | ***************|
8k | ****************|
6k | ********************|
4k | * * * *****************************|
2k |***********************************************|
|--|---------|---------|---------|---------|----|
1900 1920 1940 1960 1980


Some people might complain that it is not the raw frequency of
quakes that is important, but the death rate due to them. Here
again, actual data do not support such claims. The following
chart proves that there is no trend in death rates either in
the 20th century or since 1940. This is surprising since
population densities in the 20th century are much higher.
Likely this is due to many countries' building for earthquake
resistance.
__________________________________________________ _________________________

A Comparison of Earthquake Victims

1715-1983: 1915-1983:

Year Location Deaths Year Location Deaths

1715 Algeria 20,000 1915 Italy 29,970
1717 Algeria 20,000 1920 China 180,000
1718 China 43,000 1923 Japan 143,000
1719 Asia Minor 1,000 1927 China 200,000
1721 Iran 100,000 1932 China 70,000
1724 Peru (tsunami) 18,000 1933 USA 115
1725 Peru 1,500 1935 India (Pakistan) 60,000
1725 China 556 1939 Chile 30,000
1726 Italy 6,000 1939 Turkey 23,000
1727 Iran 77,000 1946 Turkey 1,300
1730 Italy 200 1946 Japan 2,000
1730 China 100,000 1948 Japan 5,131
1730 Japan 137,000 1949 Ecuador 6,000
1731 China 100,000 1950 India 1,500
1732 Italy 1,940 1953 Turkey 1,200
1736 China 260 1953 Greece 424
1737 India 300,000 1954 Algeria 1,657
1739 China 50,000 1956 Afghanistan 2,000
1746 Peru 4,800 1957 Iran (Northern) 2,500
1749 Spain 5,000 1957 Iran (Western) 2,000
1750 Greece 2,000 1960 Chile 5,700
1751 Japan 2,000 1960 Morocco 12,000
1751 China 900 1962 Iran 10,000
1752 Syria 20,000 1963 Yugoslavia 1,100
1754 Egypt 40,000 1964 Alaska 131
1755 China 270 1966 Turkey 2,529
1755 Iran 1,200 1968 Iran 11,588
1755 Portugal 60,000 1970 Turkey 1,086
1755 Morocco 12,000 1970 Peru 66,794
1757 Italy 10,000 1971 USA 65
1759 Syria 30,000 1972 Iran 5,057
1763 China 1,000 1972 Nicaragua 6,000
1765 China 1,189 1973 Mexico (Western) 52
1766 Japan 1,335 1973 Mexico (Central) 700
1771 Japan (tsunami) 11,700 1974 Pakistan 5,200
1773 Guatemala 20,000 1975 China 200
1774 Newfoundland 300 1975 Turkey 2,312
1778 Iran (Kashan) 8,000 1976 Guatemala 23,000
1780 Iran (Tabriz) 100,000 1976 Italy 900
1780 Iran (Khurasan) 3,000 1976 Bali 600
1783 Italy (Calabria) 60,000 1976 China 242,000
1783 Italy (Palmi) 1,504 1976 Philipines 3,373
1783 Italy (Monteleone) 1,191 1976 Turkey 3,790
1977-1983 addition: 44,623
_________ _________
Total 1715-1783: 1,373,845 Total 1915-1983: 1,210,597
Annual average: 19,911 Annual average: 17,545
__________________________________________________ _________________________


Here are graphs showing the above tabulated data:


Earthquake Deaths 1915 - 1983
|--------------------------------------|
300k | * |
250k | * |
200k | * * * |
150k | ** * * |
100k | ** * ** * * * |
50k | * ** * ** * ****** **** ******* |
|----|---------|---------|---------|---|
1920 1940 1960 1980

Earthquake Deaths 1715 - 1783
|--------------------------------------|
300k | * |
250k | * * |
200k | * * |
150k | * * * * |
100k | * * * * * ** |
50k | **** ** ** ** ******* *** *** *** |
|----|---------|---------|---------|---|
1720 1740 1760 1780

Of course, data has no effect on the beliefs of many people.
Some will read and ignore the above information, and simply
claim that their own increased *perception* of earthquakes and
other natural disasters is somehow a fulfillment of Bible
prophecy. Such an intellectual copout is only to be expected
from those who refuse to think.

Alan Feuerbacher
alanf@atlas.pen.tek.com
Sauron is offline  
 

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