Yes, Phil was out this morning, saw his shadow, and, therefore, predicted six more weeks of winter. While I haven't check the television guide yet, I would not be surprised to find Bill Murray's movie, "Groundhog Day", playing all weekend!
Anyway, the annual event performed in Pennsylvania raised a question in my mind. How accurate has old Phil been with his predictions? So, I did what anyone who has such curiosities might do: I scanned the internet. Yes, someone has determined Phil's weather forecasting accuracy. For the past ten years, Phil has been correct 50% of the time. I would say the groundhog may be better than most weather forecasters!
Being correct 50% of the time is not bad in certain situations. If you are a major league baseball player and strike out 50% of your opponents, you are a very good pitcher. If you happen to hit safely 50% of the time, you are the greatest hitter of all time! On the other hand, 50% can be very bad for others. If I am a surgeon and my surgical success rate is 50%, I'm out of business (or in jail!). If I play goal for the St. Louis Blues and stop 50% of the opponents' shots, I'm quickly released from the team.
But, there is one area where ANY percent other than 100% is deadly.
"But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)
A Biblical prophet was called by God to proclaim His Word. Of course, there were times when God's Word was a prophecy or prediction of a coming event. In those cases, God's prophet has 100% accuracy or he's not God's prophet. And, if he is not a prophet of God but is passing himself off as one, well, Scripture says "that prophet shall die".
There are many over the centuries who have called themselves "prophets" and gathered followers. They may be a prophet, however, if even one of their "prophecies" was not fulfilled, they are not a prophet of God.
I guess Punxsutawney Phil is glad he has never claimed to be a prophet of God!