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Astrology - Fact Or Fiction


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OK. To be clear, we – petrushkagoogol, sanctus, Einstein and I – agree that astrology is bunk.

 

It’s easy to promote an idea you don’t believe in – that is, to play the devil's advocate. Any moderately intelligent person can do it.

 

More important, I think, is having a clear understanding the purpose of playing the DA, of when and where it’s right to do so.

 

These are easily answered questions, I think. The purpose of the DA is to explore an idea – one you support, or hope to support – well, and to discover flaws and weaknesses in it. The right place and time to play it is where and when everyone is aware you’re doing so. A good way to assure this happens is to preface what you say or write with “playing the devil’s advocate”.

 

The danger with not being clear when playing the DA is that, rather than promoting an idea you support, you may support a nearly opposite idea.

 

So, to be clear, not playing the devil’s advocate astrology is bunk.

 

The Devil is in the detail... :innocent:

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Yes, you can always find connections where you want to find them. That is were we humans excelled and always had too, this is how we survived harsh environments before having technology...

Petrush..., exactly like I say you can find connection wherever you want. Why is Taurus ruled by Venus? Why not the other way? Why one ruling the other in the first place? And why is Venus related to

Albert Einstein did not believe in astrology.  The claim that he did may have originated in a 1951 book by Swiss-Canadian astrologer Werner Hirsig that falsely attributed a pro-astrology quote to Ein

I wonder if there is a subtle way in which the season you are born does affect you. A mother's health probably affects the unborn foetus, and her health in turn would be affected by the seasons. Carrying the child during the winter when people are often sick with flu/colds/other illness would affect the development of the child.

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I wonder if there is a subtle way in which the season you are born does affect you. A mother's health probably affects the unborn foetus, and her health in turn would be affected by the seasons. Carrying the child during the winter when people are often sick with flu/colds/other illness would affect the development of the child.

I thought this was rubbish but it appears there may be something in it, though not perhaps for the obvious reasons: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14573 

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Astrology is empirical, it can be tested. It has elements of a science, it is not total bunk.

I quote Wiki on the subject: "With the onset of the scientific revolution astrology was called into question; it has been challenged successfully both on theoretical[8]:249;[9] and experimental[10][11] grounds, and has been shown to have no scientific validity[6] or explanatory power. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, and common belief in it has largely declined.[12] Astrology is now recognized to be pseudoscience."

 

So it can be tested, yes, but in fact has been tested and has failed. Here is an example of one of the tests: http://muller.lbl.gov/papers/Astrology-Carlson.pdf

 

I therefore stand by my previous statement that it is bunk.

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I quote Wiki on the subject: "With the onset of the scientific revolution astrology was called into question; it has been challenged successfully both on theoretical[8]:249;[9] and experimental[10][11] grounds, and has been shown to have no scientific validity[6] or explanatory power. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, and common belief in it has largely declined.[12] Astrology is now recognized to be pseudoscience."

 

So it can be tested, yes, but in fact has been tested and has failed. Here is an example of one of the tests: http://muller.lbl.gov/papers/Astrology-Carlson.pdf

 

I therefore stand by my previous statement that it is bunk.

So why is it so damn accurate all the time?! ;)  Seriously, the birth charts of my 3 children are not even remotely interchangeable and depict the character traits of my kids with terrifying precision.  It leads me to questions concerning the nature of meaning in the universe...  Is meaning a subjective human trait or is meaning an objective reality?  I've leaned towards the former in the past, but more and more i'm considering the possibility that meaning is unlikely to exist only in a human vacuum.  We are not so separate from the rest of existence after all are we?

If meaning is an objective reality underwriting the universe, then potentially astrology has a base from which to work from.   

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So why is it so damn accurate all the time?! ;)  Seriously, the birth charts of my 3 children are not even remotely interchangeable and depict the character traits of my kids with terrifying precision.  It leads me to questions concerning the nature of meaning in the universe...  Is meaning a subjective human trait or is meaning an objective reality?  I've leaned towards the former in the past, but more and more i'm considering the possibility that meaning is unlikely to exist only in a human vacuum.  We are not so separate from the rest of existence after all are we?

If meaning is an objective reality underwriting the universe, then potentially astrology has a base from which to work from.   

All I can say is read the links I posted and ask yourself how accurate the predictions really are.

 

A lot of the time we tend to self-select the data that seem to make a point, without taking into account the data that does not fit. And a lot of astrology seems to me to make the sort of vague predictions that encourage the susceptible to fill in the blanks and convince themselves. 

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So why is it so damn accurate all the time?! ;)  Seriously, the birth charts of my 3 children are not even remotely interchangeable and depict the character traits of my kids with terrifying precision. 

 

The point is that it is not accurate all the time. Given random predictions, some people will be impressed with the accuracy of the birth charts of their 3 children, and others will not. If you want to be really impressed, try it with a statistically significant number of birth charts. Countless trials have been done with these, and absolutely no convincing correlation has ever been found been birth charts and character traits. 

 

The only exception I know of is a survey reported in the UK some time ago, where several thousand star charts and personal characteristics were examined. They found a 60% correlation between star chart predictions and the characteristics of the individuals, when these individuals were asked to specify their own characteristics and their birth dates. Astrologers tried to make capital on this, claiming it was clear proof. What these idiots failed to notice was the blindingly obvious error that the survey was carried out by some astrological society by asking their own members to complete the survey. So the survey was exclusively on people who were already biased towards accepting the results anyway. These are the kind of pseudostatistics which astrologers consistently  play with.

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I think the study of astrology is a real and true thing whereby some people are certified proffessionals, some are true believers, and some are hobby advocates. The important thing to remember about these things is not to prove them wrong, but in fact, to respect that different people take from them what they will and what they may need during a certain period in their life.

When it comes to a study that has such ancient roots, who are we to bunk? If YOU think something resounds with YOU, then I think that is something very special.

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When it comes to a study that has such ancient roots, who are we to bunk? If YOU think something resounds with YOU, then I think that is something very special.

 

Because we are in a position to demonstrate that astrology has absolutely no basis in science. It is utterly incapable of being able to predict anything, and never has done, except on a purely arbitrary basis when a random prediction is bound to be correct now and again. If you want to believe this rubbish, it's your choice.

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 If YOU think something resounds with YOU, then I think that is something very special.

 

I think what you are referring to there is the placebo effect:

 

The placebo effect is the mechanism at work with astrology. Many people believe in astrology. When they read their horoscope and follow its advice, they feel better. But it is the belief itself and not the astrology that is making them feel better. Many pseudo-scientific treatments – from crystal healing to homeopathy – help people through the placebo effect. Believing in a treatment that does not actually do anything may help, but believing in a treatment that does is even better. Sticking to scientifically proven treatments gives you the benefit of the belief and the benefit of the treatment's action. For instance, instead of reading your horoscope each morning, go for a walk. Exercise is proven to be good for body and mind, and your belief in its effect will also help you.

 

 

But, as far as being a science, it is not:

 

Numerous scientific studies have disproven that astronomical bodies affect people's lives according to their birth date. For instance, Peter Hartmann and his collaborators studied over 4000 individuals and found no correlation between birth date and personality or intelligence. In one of the most famous experiments, Shawn Carlson had 28 astrologers make predictions and then tested the accuracy of their predictions. Before conducting the experiment, he fine-tuned the method so that various independent scientists agreed the method was scientifically sound, and also so that all of the astrologers agreed the test was fair. As published in Nature, he found that the astrologers could do no better at predicting the future than random chance.

 

 

The gravity of a star technically extends throughout the universe, but its individual effect on the universe does not extend much beyond its solar system.  Because of the effect of distance, the gravitational pull of Polaris on an earth-bound human is weaker than the gravitational pull of a gnat flitting about his head. Similarly, the electromagnetic waves (light) reaching the eye of an earth-bound human from Sirius is dimmer than the light from a firefly flitting by. If the stars and planets really had an effect on humans, then gnats and fireflies would have even more of an effect. Even if the gravity of the planets was strong enough to affect you, an alignment of the planets would not lead you to win the lottery for the simple reason that a literal alignment of the planets never happens in the real world.

 

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