Fans of Nostradamus credit him with predicting events such as the rise of Adolph Hitler to power and the Second World War, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. His believers also credit him with predicting the Great Fire of London in 1666, and the French Revolution, as well as the deaths of Henry II, John F. Kennedy Jr. and Princess Diana.
Some of Nostradamus’ most controversial predictions concern the emergence of three Antichrists who are to lead the world into wars that bring the world to the brink of destruction. Scholars have interpreted the writings to refer to Napoleon and Hitler, since the relevant quatrains specifically mention the French towns of Pau, Nay and Loron as well as the name Hister. These scholars have, at various times, named the third Antichrist as Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and, most recently, the Islamic State.
Some of Nostradamus’ predictions for 2015 have little chance of occurring. Nostradamus predicted the entire world would speak one language and abolish all taxes in 2015. He also predicted people living past the age of 200, communicating with animals, the dead roaming the earth, and cataclysmic natural disasters including a major earthquake in the western United States and a massive eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Critics of Nostradamus correctly point out that many of his predictions were copied from others, and that hardly any have predicted events before they actually occurred. Most predictions are translated to apply to events after their occurrence or are so broadly interpreted that their meanings can be assigned to any number of unrelated events. They also point out that the predictions made in advance are so broadly worded that their outcomes are inevitable.