I remember as a child in the early 1980s watching the PBS science program Nova as a scientist (looking the part with his glasses and wild hair) explained that according to the strict laws of probability, there was a 90% chance of a nuclear weapons accident by 1990. By the year 2000, he explained we were virtually guaranteed to have an accidental launch or explosion. After that, he said, retaliations would likely cause global devastation
Nearly 30 years later, we’ve had no nuclear explosion. But at the time, I was terrified. I didn’t want to die so young. That scientist looked the part, and he sounded convinced, I was credulous, and I believed him.
In 2005, Juval Aviv appeared on Fox News to predict simultaneous terrorist attacks against multiple U.S. cities in “ninety days at the most.” He cloaked himself in the mantle of expertise and intimated that he had secret, classified knowledge. But he was wrong. Those attacks never materialized.
More recently, Linda Newkirk predicted in December 2009 the second coming of Christ within a “few months” to “bring My fire down on you for your evil ways!” Well, that didn’t happen either.
Then there was the prediction this summer that on the 4th of July, Barack Obama would explode atomic bombs in U.S. cities in a manufactured “false flag” operation to make it look like the terrorists were attacking America. Didn’t happen.
Now Louie Gohmert is parading around on the floor of the House of Representatives declaring that he has secret evidence that terrorist women are secretly crossing the border to have terrorist babies in the USA so that twenty years later those terrorist babies will have American citizenship which means they won’t have to, um, secretly cross the border. When asked to produce his secret evidence, Louie Gohmert couldn’t dredge it up. Are you going to believe Louie Gohmert because he has big, wide eyes and the voice of authority?
The next time you encounter someone who seems convinced that some disaster is due and speaks with the voice of authority, remember all the convincing-sounding people who have predicted doom before. If there isn’t any evidence, don’t believe the hype.