Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Can tragic events really be predicted?  Many followers of the French astrologist Nostradamus believe that he predicted specific events such as the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Princess Diana to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or the September 11th attacks on the twin towers in New York.  Chapter 7 in our class textbook talks about Nostradamus and his ambiguous predictions he made throughout his lifetime. 
Skeptics would argue that many of Nostradamus’s predictions were extremely vague in detail, meaning that someone reading one of his predictions after a tragic event has already occurred can find words in the prediction that relate to that specific event.  This may be because followers of him may want so badly for the predictions to be true that they try to relate anything they can to the prediction itself.  It can even be said that Nostradamus’s pronouncements about war could in reality apply to any war. 
After the September 11th attacks on the twin towers, there was a huge spike in Internet searches for Nostradamus.  Many people believed this prophecy may have predicted the attacks:
                “Earthshaking fire from the centre of the earth,
                Will cause tremors around the new city,
                Two great rocks will war for a long time,
                Then arethusa will redden a new river.”

The two rocks could be interpreted to be the twin towers, as could new city mean New York, but this prophecy is still extremely vague.  Plus, were the twin towers really at war?  Not in my opinion. 
I personally believe that the predictions of Nostradamus are more just his writings from when he was alive and now, after tragic events have happened, people search for some sort of extra explanation for what had happened and find a prophecy that could loosely describe the event. 
I do believe that people can have sort of “premonitions” maybe from dreams or gut feelings, but unless extremely specific in details, it is hard to validate the accuracy of the feeling. 

For prophecy’s that seem they may have actually predicted events:


  1. James, it's amazing how swept away people get when it comes to Nostradamus and other types of prophecies. I think it goes along with any other type of "psychic", it's all very vague. These prophecies could fit into anything. I think it's more that people want to believe because they want answers; they want to know why these things happened, and that's how they find a prophecy to fit that specific event. Each prophecy could mean anything, and could even just be his own personal writings like you said, but I think it gives people a type of closure when they find these prophecies fit into a tragedy. However, it also causes a pandemonium when people are waiting for bad things to happen.

  2. Nostradamus always interested me. I thought many of his prophecies didn't even seem to relate to the supposed event. They always seemed very open and easy to relate to many different situations that have happened.