In folklore, a “silver bullet” is an effective weapon against were-wolves and witches. In earthquake prediction, a silver bullet is a diagnostic precursor—a signal observed before an earthquake that indicates with high probability the location, time, and magnitude of the impending event (Jordan 2006). In his comment, Crampin (2010) claims that shear-wave splitting (SWS) observations provide a silver bullet. He asserts that seismology is thus capable of raising earthquake forecasting out of the low-probability environment to which we assigned it in our recent opinion piece (Jordan and Jones 2010).

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We find his arguments unconvincing. His...

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