Michel Nostradamus is renowned for his ambiguous predictions, generously attributed to modern events some 500 years later, but is Nostradamus all he’s cracked up to be? When is it that his claims have just been either too bizarre or based on latterly debunked theories to be credulous?
1) His prediction regarding his own death was out by one year. Rumours abound that later revisions were made which appear to correct the error posthumously and are often attributed to his secretary. Does he get points for being close or lose points for the irony of it all?
2) Claimants that Nostradamus correctly predicted the election of Barack Obama to the White House in 2013 (this is significantly more popular than you might believe) are now to be held to account for the latter part of the same prediction, specifically that this must be the final presidency. Hold on to your hats, Olympus is falling.
3) As an astrologer he based a great many of his earthly predictions on astronomical alignments of the planets, unfortunately he forgot to mention the effect of any of the planets or moons as yet undiscovered. With foresight lacking on the matter it seems the undiscovered planets were coincidentally less influential. Who cares about Neptune or Uranus anyway?
4) He was surprisingly unpopular in the contemporary field of astrology. It seems that his ambiguous prediction of catastrophic seismic events didn’t even sit too well with his fellow astrologers. Perhaps they thought this sort of grandiosity might give astrology a bad name, or perhaps they just didn’t like to be shown up. Nostradamus: The astrologer’s maverick.
5) About the only popular notion that's true about Nostradamus is that he was a noted and reputable plague doctor, although he admitted regretfully that he never found any cures or preventive measures that worked. However you look at it, he did have a surprisingly progressive approach to disease treatment and a beautiful way with words. If we make too much of his predictions more fool us.
Corollary information: Amidst retrospectively attributed context, a number of fraudulent or corrupted quatrains continue to emerge tying the astrologer’s predictions to major modern events such as the Second World War and the events of 9/11. These include fictional quatrains that appear to describe the date and the intentional mistaking of ‘Hister’ for ‘Hitler’. As long as you’re willing to squint or only read the predictions in the dark, then the jury is still out.