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Is it possible to predict the future?

  1. Jul 26, 2005 #1


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    Well I can't believe thatsomeone would be able to predict the future. I want to have your ideas about people or even religions who claim they're able to predict the future events.And I mostly want to discuss about Nostradamus. What do you think of him? Did he really predict future events? What does sciense say about him?
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  3. Jul 26, 2005 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    I predict that the sun will rise over the great state of Oregon, in the eastern sky, on July 26th, at 5:50 AM PDT. :biggrin:

    Oh my, Nostradamus. First of all, much of what you hear is flatly untrue. There are all sorts of statements credited to N that he in fact never said or wrote. What is true is mostly taken out of context and molded to fit modern events. There are a few interesting things here and there but nothing nearly so compelling as is widely reported. For example, one favorite reference is that of Hister [in Germany] over flowing its banks, or something like that, which is taken to mean Hitler. In fact the Hister was the old name for the Danube I think...anyway, its was a river not a mispelling of Hitler's name. And so it goes...

    I have also found over the years that the reported predictions, especially the dates, keep changing. I can think of at least twice that according to reports about N and his quatrains, we should all be dead. April of 1984 was one date, and then after that date, I think it was 1994, [and now its something else] at which time we were warned by the great Orson Wells who did the show that about this: "Beware the coming of the comet, for men will become man-eaters" They had actually dubbed in different dates and ran the same show again about ten years later. :rolleyes:
  4. Jul 26, 2005 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Considering how Orson Wells first gained fame, ie. his infamous War Of The Worlds broadcast which nearly caused a national panic, he must have had a an especially satisfying laugh when he got the chance to end his career by pulling another one on the viewing public with his special on Nostradamus.
  5. Jul 26, 2005 #4


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    I predict your prediction will be true! :wink:

    Maybe he was talking about the death of altruism not humans! :uhh:
  6. Jul 26, 2005 #5


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    You're talking about what happened in 1938?
  7. Jul 26, 2005 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yes, the events of 1938 marked his rise to fame. Then, not long before he died, or at least about the last thing that he did beside wine commercials, was a special on Nostradamus that has aired on and off for over twenty years now.
  8. Jul 26, 2005 #7
    The man who saw tomorrow?
  9. Jul 26, 2005 #8
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  10. Jul 26, 2005 #9


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    If you make an abstract prophecy and establish no time to it, eventually something will happen that someone will be able to say is its fulfillment.
    Some years ago a canadian student, in an essay about Nostradamus, wrote the following
    In 2001 someone found this quotation and attributed it to the terrorist attack to the twin towers of WTC. Even if NYC can hardly been called the city of God, the fortress (the USA) has endured and a (not so) great leader (Saddan Hussein) has succumbed.
    And it took only a few years, not several centuries for the fulfillment of the prophecy.
  11. Jul 26, 2005 #10
    I predict the future all the time. Now, whether or not I'm consistently accurate is another story.
  12. Jul 26, 2005 #11
    You can't predict the future but you can set up algorythms to predict the probability of certain future events =).
  13. Jul 26, 2005 #12
    That sounds like fun. Here's one I just made up:

  14. Jul 27, 2005 #13


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    Nice! Your prediction is vague enough that it can fit any event. I don't know if your prophecy will be fulfilled next week, next century or next millennium, but it certainly will.
    If, as has been made with the prophecies of Nostradamus, it is translated in another language, the translator can twist it to best fit any happening.
  15. Jul 27, 2005 #14
    timeless light

    To predict the future is to get ahead of light that has no time to travel, and yet it travels so fast that it makes everything, with time, stationary; and thus timeless.

    And you want to predict the future – why not, after all, the mind is what it thinks it thinks be it the timeless-light or everything else that has time but only because it is stationary. Predicting the future should fit in there real easily.

    -- just thoughts
  16. Jul 27, 2005 #15
    Hitler apparently grew up beside that river called Hister. Interesting....
  17. Jul 27, 2005 #16


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    The original quatrain was:

    Erika Cheetham (The Final Prophecies of Nostradamus, 1989) has translated to English as:
    Knowing that Hister was the name of the lower Danube, James Randi offered a more sensible explanation:
    We must remember that Germany is called Allemagne in French. Germain comes from latin germanus from germen , meaning from the same blood, having the same father and mother.
  18. Jul 27, 2005 #17
    SGT, are you sure you copied this line correctly:

    "Plus part du champ encore Hister sera" ?
  19. Jul 27, 2005 #18
    You could translate it into Spanish, then have some American whose Spanish isn't very fluent translate it from your Spanish back to English. Then we'll have two different English versions for people to match to real events.

    Oh no. I feel another one coming on:

  20. Jul 27, 2005 #19


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    You are right. The correct line is:
  21. Jul 28, 2005 #20


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    Did anyone predict what would happen in Sep. 11th?
  22. Jul 29, 2005 #21
    I will say this. I've read quite a few of the nostradaumus quatrains as quoted in the original french (I can read french). They are mostly vague, open-ended and could be applied to any world event in the timelines. Add to that people twisting or rearranging the translation, if not farbricating it completely, and you will easily see why there's no actual proof his "predictions" aren't just a nice story. for instance he might have said something like:

    The great lion fears the Eagle, and allies with the bear.
    The son of the king weighs his options
    fire rains upon the the new city
    Fire, plagues pestilence run rampant

    I'm paraphrasing, but this would be a closer representation to a true quatrain. Nostradamus was big on symbolism. But this also makes it too vague. The lion and the eagle? a scholar might say this is Russia and the US. But it could also be 2 other countries, or it could reference 2 opposing factions from medevial times. King Richard used a lion on his crest.. it could refer to him. Then it talks about the "new city" Everyone claims this is "new york" but he never says "new york". He says "new city" this could be ANY city that at some point in the timeline was new. It could e new orleans, or any number of cities. This is a favorite of doomsdayers because they use the quatrain that refers to "new city" to refer to some nuclear event in NY, and they tried to use it to refer to 9/11. People twist the facts to suit thier purpose, but it's just vagueness. I could say "a great man will die on a sunday" and if anyone in time of any significance ever dies on a sunday, I'm a prophet.

    Here's a better example:

    X. 72.
    L'an mil neuf cens nonante neuf sept mois
    Du ciel viendra vn grand Roy d'effrayeur
    Resusciter le grand Roy d'Angolmois,
    Auant apres Mars regner par bon heur

    This is my tranlation, I'll try not to hack it too bad

    The year 1999, seventh month
    from the sky will come a great king of terror
    reviving(?) the great king of the mongols(?)
    before(avant?) after mars reigns for a good hour

    Well, nothing happening during that month that I recall. This AFAIK is the only quatrain that references a specific date for war. And it's wrong.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2005
  23. Jul 29, 2005 #22
    I agree with your whole post. This part about French though, is even more complicated than you've laid out. We're talking not only about poetic French, but about old French. There's more to being able to understand Elizabethan authors than speaking modern English, and the same applies to any language of 500 years ago.

    Is "plus part" an old form of "plupart," i.e. does it say "La plupart du camp..."? or does it mean "plus, part du camp..." The first means, "the greater part of the army..." and the latter would mean "Moreover, the allegiance of the army ("part" being "side" or "concern of"). One of the translators of the quatrain cited by SGT chose one interpretation and the other chose the alternate.

    In the same line: "plus part du camp encontre Hister sera" I have to wonder what's up with the bare word "encontre". Isn't it true that, in modern French anyway, this is only used in the phrase "a l'encontre de"? Why doesn't the line read: "plus part du camp a l'encontre de Hister sera"? Does it mean exactly the same thing in the French of Nostrodamus' time, or is there some other spin on the meaning of it only a scholar of the French of that era could fathom?


    Additionally, Nostradamus gave "times" for his predictions in the form of statements about where certain astrological figures and stars would be in the sky when a predicted event would take place. Apparently these are specific enough that an astonomer can say "Yes, that particular configuration of the night sky is not random and will denote a particular point in time." The trouble is that these turn out not to be unique. A particular configuration may come round every 20 years or every two centuries, or whatever, and no one has any way of pointing to one and saying "This is when the prophecy will be fullfilled."

    A few years ago one of these alignments came around exactly as N had predicted and it was associated with a big disaster in a city some interpreted to be Los Angeles. Actor Eddie Murphy left LA during that time specifically out of nervousness the prophey would come true. Aside from doubt about whether LA was refered to it turns out that same configration of astronomical features had already occured twice since N's time, and would again after the LA scare.
  24. Jul 29, 2005 #23

    Ugg.. ok you caught me zoob :wink: You are correct that it is more complicated. And I'll be the first to admit that while my contemporary french is decent, I have no knowledge of older french grammar. Maybe a native frenchman with a better knowledge of french grammar could be more specific. I haven't practiced regularly in over 10 years, so I may be a little rusty. Pluspart would also refer to the majority. as for a l'encountre, literally wouldn't make sense. Actually the whole line doesn't make sense

    Plus part du camp encontre Hister sera.

    This means the greater part of the encampment (encontre isn't a word and I couldn't find it in a dictionary, could be an old word though) Hister will be.

    This may not have been copied somewhere corrrectly, but it should read:

    Le plus parte du camp sera contre hister. I believe

    contre is against, but like I said, I'm a bit rusty. But that's the correct grammatic order I believe.

    So it would mean the majority of the encampment will be against hister.

    Hister being a river, it could refer to some group setup near the hister. Very ambiguous.

    And I can't tell if some of this is just typos, or it's actually just old french spelling. Take this:

    Du ciel viendra vn grand Roy d'effrayeur

    It should be Roi and frayeur. I don't recall adding an "e" to nouns.

    So I would say roi de frayeur.

    Of course this could just be poetic french, I'm not sure. I don't know all the tenses and there are approximately 60's tenses in french, including some such as passe histoire that aren't common except in the written french. But one thing stands out 'vn' should be "un". That's an obvious typo.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2005
  25. Jul 30, 2005 #24


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    Not a typo. Ancient languages used v for u . If you see old Latin inscriptions you will see this. In Paris there is an arc with the inscription Lvdovicvs meaning one of the Louis kings. I don't remember wich, but I think it is XIV. Some Parisian poster can confirm that.
  26. Jul 30, 2005 #25
    This little bio of N gives his dates as 1503-1566:

    Articles: Nostrodamus - Son of Provence
    Address:http://www.heart-of-provence.com/nostrodamus.html [Broken]

    And we also see that he was a native of Provence, which probably complicates things with a regional dialect.
    My cassell's has encontre, but specifically refers to it as only being used in the prepositional phrase a' l'encontre de: against, counter to.

    SGT has covered the substitution of v for u. That is sometimes seen on monuments inscribed in English as well.

    I know that in English at the time of Nostradamus, spelling wasn't fixed at all; it was every man for himself when it came to spelling. I am guessing it was the same situation for all languages where alternate spellings were possible: you end up with a different spelling system for every writer you read.

    Then we have to wonder if any of his prophecies still exist written in his own hand. Are we actually looking at copies of copies that have been altered little by little, or do the originals exist? I'm sure someone could find that out with enough googling, and probably find either the originals, if they exist, or the oldest known copies. Still, even someone fluent in French is going to find alot of weird words, spellings, and grammatical constructions that they have no real idea how to translate into English.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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