Thursday, January 20, 2005

Astrology predicted Bush's death

The astrologers and other pseudoscientists predict not only things that are so vague that they must become true in some sense, but also many events that don't become true. People usually forget these things, and these astrologers are rarely responsible for their predictions.

I actually remember many wrong predictions pretty well. The astrologer whose prediction I want to mention is the most well-known Czech astrologer Antonín Baudyš, a former defense minister (1993-94) in a center-right government. As soon as Baudyš left the government, he became the superstar among astrologers.

In fact, this member of the Christian Democratic Union, a centrist party, was a star already while he was a defense minister. Together with his Greek counterpart, they proposed to ease the tension in Bosnia by a plan that was effectively designed to spread the conflict to Italy, Austria, Romania, and Greece. He did not consult his colleagues in the government. Also, while he flew to Sweden, he allowed one of his soldiers to shoot a hole into their aircraft.

But in 2000, he used a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn to calculate that George W. Bush would die during his first term. Because the inauguration is tomorrow, there is only one day left to realize Baudyš's dark prediction. In fact, it's already late for the prediction to come true because the prediction should have become true before the end of 2003, as Baudyš clarified in 2001:
  • I can't say whether Bush will die naturally or whether he will be assassinated. I don't want to comment on whether it will be linked to terrorism. Astrology only predicts the environment for situations that can lead to concrete events. But how things actually end up happening really depends on individuals and the people of history.

Actually, my guess is that Baudyš did not really build on Jupiter and Saturn, but rather on a "more scientific" fact that most of the U.S. presidents who were elected into the office during the year ending with a zero (which means a multiple of 20) died in the office - the so-called "zero factor":

  • 1840 - William H. Harrison - died in the office in 1841
  • 1860 - Abraham Lincoln - assassinated in 1865
  • 1880 - James A. Garfield - assassinated in 1881
  • 1900 - William McKinley - assassinated in 1901
  • 1920 - Warren G. Harding - died in the office in 1923
  • 1940 - Franklin D. Roosevelt - died in the office in 1945
  • 1960 - John F. Kennedy - assassinated in 1963
  • 1980 - Ronald Reagan - survived the assassination attempt
  • 2000 - George W. Bush - survived the pretzel ;-)

Mr. Baudyš, your major astrological death prediction has failed...


  1. Yes, Reagan survived an assassination attempt. He had a bullet removed from his left lung. That broke the 20-year curse on the Presidents :)

  2. And yet you invited astrologers to help you to set up sci.physics.strings, didn't you Lubos?

  3. The comment about Reagan's assassination attempt is insightful and amusing. I've updated the article a bit, thanks.

    Is someone at sci.physics.string an astrologer? I did not know, and these things are not what defines the group.

  4. Actually the list goes back to 1840. William Harrison also died in office.

  5. Obviousily this is not that prophetic as presidential elections are held every four years. Not to mention (like Reagen,) you've got to associate the probability "of one president who is shot but then recovers because of the functional progress of technology."

  6. I thought that the demise of presidents elected in years that were multiples of 20 could be attributed to Prophet's curse. (Prophet was Tecumsah's brother. When Tecumsah and his army were slaughtered by Tyler at the battle of Tippecanoe during the war of 1812, Prophet cursed the US.)