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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Is there a reason why major natural disasters seem to be separated f      Home login  
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 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 4
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Is there a reason why major natural disasters seem to be separated from each other ?Page 1 of 1    
I don't get what you are after here, really. As far as I know, there have only been a very few times when huge disasters DID happen in multiple places, and that was because they had a single cause, such as an asteroid strike.
It's a big planet, and a complicated one. There are many sources for violence to be done to a relatively small patch of the surface, without anything at all happening elsewhere. So I suppose the answer to your question might be "there is a reason, and it is found in the complexities of basic physics." That is, a large force operating on a large object or area will expend it's energy on that local area, and not have anything left to cause damage elsewhere.
Were you perhaps thinking that things LIKE the recent earthquake in Japan were actually caused by much larger things that "should" cause symptoms elsewhere as well? If that's the case, then I would simply suggest you rework your understanding of the way the planet works.
 FrankNStein902
Joined: 12/26/2009
Msg: 5
Is there a reason why major natural disasters seem to be separated from each other ?
Posted: 3/14/2011 9:04:26 AM
Is there a reason why major natural disasters seem to be separated from each other ?

No.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 9
Is there a reason why major natural disasters seem to be separated from each other ?
Posted: 3/16/2011 7:31:00 AM
I've got to disagree with FrankNStein902 on this one. But it's a thought-out disagreement, which will (eventually) seem not that different than agreement.

1. The magic words are "seem to be". You could easily rephrase them to "seem [to me] to be".

2. The "millennium" is a purely arbitrary construct from a geologic and climatological point of view. Christian historians refer to this as Anno Domini 2011. A secular veneer calls it Common Era 2011 (--but it's the same thing): completely irrelevant to geologic and climatological events.

3. What you're pointing out, OP, is a simple combination of statistical accident and "cum hoc ergo propter hoc", or for those without a fetish for dead languages, the belief (or insinuation) that a mere correlation implies a causal relationship.

My typing on this keyboard is occurring at the same time as hundreds of people dying in Japan as a result of the tsunami. This does not mean I'm typing them into oblivion. In fact, I was typing on a keyboard back when the big Indian Ocean tsunami killed quite a few people. Again, if my typing caused the tsunami or the deaths, well, all those guys peddling that plate tectonics theory "got some 'splaining ta do".

Just because X and Y happen at the same time, does not mean X caused Y, Y caused X, or both X and Y were caused by C. If X and Y do not happen at the same time, the same point follows.

If you want to see correlations in natural events, it's trivial to just pick an arbitrary time window (as the OP did), pick an arbitrary threshold for what counts as "major" (as the OP did) and insinuate a causal relationship between arbitrarily selected natural events. That does not mean there is one.
 CallmeKen
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 10
Is there a reason why major natural disasters seem to be separated from each other ?
Posted: 3/25/2011 2:21:33 PM
2009 Global Swine Flu- 11,800 dead

The CDC estimates that 40,000 people die in the US every year from influenza. If anything, this "pandemic" represents a decrease in deaths.

How about the 1.8 million that die annually from diarrhea? Or the 2.7 million that die annually from HIV-AIDS? Or the 670,000 that get crunched in our preferred method of transportation? Or the estimated 900,000 Iraqis and Americans killed in the US' campaign in democracy building overseas? Are any of their deaths less tragic because they weren't washed away? Or covered on MSNBC?

Just because some old fart in a wig wrote that we have a right to life 200-odd years ago, that doesn't mean that Nature particularly cares.
 VacationGuy234
Joined: 8/1/2008
Msg: 12
Is there a reason why major natural disasters seem to be separated from each other ?
Posted: 3/28/2011 8:12:48 AM
A disaster is more of a classification than an occurrence. If it was normal for 11, 000 people to die every day (thankfully not) it would be called news instead of a disaster. As far as natural weather anomalies, I'd say there are many more of them which are not reported due to low deaths. So to your question, no I do not believe they are time specific given that unless they make big news you will not hear about them. Furthermore, only the biggest one will be widely reported in the national news.
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