William Kingdon Clifford was a very logical person — he was a mathematician as well as a philosopher — who believed that “it is wrong to believe on insufficient evidence, or to nourish belief by suppressing doubts and avoiding investigation.” And according to Clifford, everyone has the duty to be rational in his or her beliefs: “It is not only the leader of men, statesman, philosopher, or poet, that has this duty to mankind. Every rustic who delivers in the village alehouse his slow infrequent sentences, may help to kill or keep alive the fatal superstitions which clog his race. No simplicity of mind, no obscurity of station, can escape the universal duty of questioning all that we believe.”
In many instances, I agree with Clifford. Before believing that crystals have the power to keep razor blades sharp, one ought to put the belief to the test — perhaps by performing an experiment in which one razor blade is housed in a crystal and another is not, and then seeing which blade — if any — stays sharp longer. (But when it comes to having belief in God, I think the evidence is sufficient to show that God exists.)
In this essay, I present some evidence that psychics are incorrect when they make predictions. I have always thought that looking at predictions by psychics is stupid, because they have one important disadvantage: They are quickly forgotten, and so who knows whether they become true? Well, that’s no longer a problem for me.
You see, I buy lots and lots of used books, and I purchased a 1975 edition of The People’s Almanac by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace. A compendium of the unusual, The People’s Almanac devotes much space to psychics, including their predictions.
Let’s see what the psychics predicted in 1975 about the then-future.
Predictions That Were Supposed to Become True in 1975-1980:
• New York will be uninhabitable. The water level will rise and eventually flood the city out of existence. (Predicted by Malcolm Bessent)
• From 1979 to 1982, the U.S. Government will control the mental activities of Americans through a “mind-shaping” program. All people who do not follow the line of thinking advocated by the Government will be brought before “Thought Courts” and be subject to “modified thought,” or brainwashing. … Individual thought impressions will be filed like fingerprints with the Government. (Predicted by David Bubar)
• From 1975 to 1985, the devil will rule the Earth. (Predicted by Criswell)
• In 1978, Lake Michigan will be drained for land use. (Predicted by Criswell)
• By 1980, the internal combustion engine will be outlawed in all major American cities. (Predicted by Olof Jonsson)
• In the 1970s or early 1980s, the Red Chinese will use atomic bombs on the U.S. The bombs will do damage, but major cities will be protected by sophisticated detection. (Predicted by Ethel Johnson Meyers)
• Senator Edward Kennedy will be elected president of the United States in 1976. (Predicted by Alan Vaughan)
• There will be no presidential election in 1980 because a constitutional amendment will change the presidential 4-year-term to a single term of 5 or 6 years. (Predicted by Alan Vaughan)
Predictions That Were Supposed to Become True in 1981-1990:
• From May 11, 1988 to March 30, 1980, the Aphrodisiacal Era will flourish. Clouds of aphro-fragrance will float over the U.S. An aphrodisiac will also be put in water and heating systems. Sexual craziness will overcome the populace. Sex will be performed in the streets of Hollywood, and Florida will become a huge nudist camp. The Secretary of State will be caught in acts of perversion. The invention of an antidote will end the era. (Predicted by Criswell)
• In 1982, a dying planet named Bullanon will come so close to earth that it will affect earth’s gravity, affecting the poles. It will also cause a 40-day snowstorm with ice, resulting in “white death.” (Predicted by Criswell)
• In 1985, a Caucasian woman, called the Lady of Light, will become leader, 1st of the Orient, then of the world. Under her leadership, men will become slaves and women will hold the power. War will end; the world will become a near-paradise. (Predicted by Criswell)
• The U.S. will have its 1st woman President. (Predicted by Jeane Dixon)
• A comet will collide with the earth, causing huge tidal waves and mighty earthquakes. (Predicted by Jeane Dixon)
• A neo-Nazi group with some Hitlerian ideas will take over Germany, both East and West. This group will fight a war that will extend from Europe to the U.S. (Predicted by Irene Hughes)
• All major cities will ban private cars. Only medical and law enforcement personnel will be allowed to use cars, and those will be compact and electrically powered. (Predicted by Olof Jonsson)
• By 1986, one of every 3 children will be deformed in some way by radiation. (Predicted by Dr. N)
• In 1981, the U.S. will go to war with China. (Predicted by Alan Vaughan)
Were No Predictions Correct?
Several psychics predicted that people would become more concerned about the environment. Lest we be too impressed by this, let’s remember that in the late 1960s and early 1970s, people were very concerned about the environment. After all, the first Earth Day was held in 1970, fully five years before The People’s Almanac was printed.
My Prediction for Next Year
Next year, Americans will realize that psychics are full of digested food. Unfortunately, I think that my prediction has as much chance of becoming true as did the predictions listed above.
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