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# Can astrology have a scientific basis?

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...The gravitational pull resulting from the stars and planets had an impact on the bulge of the Earth, which may have had an impact on which sperm hit the egg....at least propose some possible scientific areas which could be explored.

Oki-dokie! :) Let us explore them.

Let us take two "bodies": (1) the paramour within whom you are sperming an egg (or the paramour who is sperming an egg within you, if you are female), and (2) the Sun.

Mass (1) 100 kg -- (2) 2 * 10^30 kg

Distance (1) .2 m -- (2) 1.5 * 10^11 m

The distance (1) assumes the "missionary position".

The gravitational force of the two bodies on the egg-sperm union will be proportional to mass and inversely proportional to distance squared.

So we have F(1) = 100/.04 = 2500 (arbitrary units)

F(2) = 2 * 10^30 / 2.25 * 10^22 = ~ 10^8 (same arb. units)

So it looks like the force of gravity from the sun is ~ 40,000 times greater than the force of gravity of your paramour.

Damn! :doh: :) I had always heard that it would be the other way around!!! Did I do the math wrong?? Of course, the position of the Sun varies every 24 hours! Doesn't matter what "house" it is in, follow?

Next biggest source of gravity would be Jupiter. Distance about 4 times greater, mass about 1/1000 as much. So its gravity on the egg-sperm union would be ~3 times greater than the force of gravity of your paramour.

This doesn't sound right.:)

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Just checked my sky software for your...errr Uranus...it is in Aquarius in conjunction with the Sun. This bodes well for regrowth of vital members.:lol:

Now that I think of it astrology can have a scientific basis. Psychiatry is a valid field of science and astrologers make good subjects for it to study :QuestionM

Lately my thought processes have received fresh fodder. I have been reading some popular literature about astronomy, like a few chapters in the book by Bill Bryson entitled A short history of nearly e

My humble suggestion is only attempt to explain why people are drawn to Linda Goodman. hallenrm

___I suspect it's because those people don't have much scientific understanding of Astronomy.

___On the probability side Pyro gave, I have to say probability is based on a false assumption of equal-likelyhood, that is 'fairness'. Moreover, under the chaos theory's 'butterfly effect' scenario, even the slighest change may have pronounced repercussions.

:doh:

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Just imagine, that you were born, when alchemists were trying to turns other substances into Gold. We all know they never succeeded, perhaps nobody will ever, but they discovered many chemical processes that laid the foundation of modern chemistry!!!

I would like to view astrology on the same footing, as any rationalist would have viewed alchemistry during its hey day.:doh:

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Just imagine, that you were born, when alchemists were trying to turns other substances into Gold. We all know they never succeeded, perhaps nobody will ever, but they discovered many chemical processes that laid the foundation of modern chemistry!!!

I would like to view astrology on the same footing, as any rationalist would have viewed alchemistry during its hey day.:)

The difference being, of course, that while modern chemistry grew out of alchemy, modern astronomy has grown out of astrology so I think you're beating a dead horse here. I'd spend my valuable time elsewhere if I were you (but then all geniuses are told that, right?). :doh:

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Tormod, :)

remember what happened the last time you were on the Nobel committee??

:) I forgot! You mean when I voted for the cold fusion guys?

*looks down in shame*

:doh:

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I think astrology and the 'influence' of the stars is misinterpreted. I see astrology more as a signpost indicating something (a tendency towards a group of personality traits, etc.) rather than an influence or cause of any sort. A compass pointing North doesn't cause North to be in that direction, it is merely pointing to something that is otherwise invisible to us.

I don't believe you can predict the future with astrology, but it may be possible to use it to make yourself aware of personality traits in you, and the consequent pitfalls that you may encounter in the creation of your own future.

Divination is, I believe, an abuse of astrology, and bound to end in trouble, as it encourages people to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions and decisions.

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I think astrology and the 'influence' of the stars is misinterpreted. I see astrology more as a signpost indicating something (a tendency towards a group of personality traits, etc.) rather than an influence or cause of any sort. A compass pointing North doesn't cause North to be in that direction, it is merely pointing to something that is otherwise invisible to us.

I don't believe you can predict the future with astrology, but it may be possible to use it to make yourself aware of personality traits in you, and the consequent pitfalls that you may encounter in the creation of your own future.

Divination is, I believe, an abuse of astrology, and bound to end in trouble, as it encourages people to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions and decisions.

That's it Rincewind!!!

If astrology can indicate the propensity of an individual towards certain traits, it won't be long when it can predict future too!!

Here's my line of thought. Consider human beings as molecules in a gas, if one can tell the velocity and position of a particular molecule, using classical physics one must be able to predict its intire trajectory. What I am leading to, is that, human beings are like molecules made of thousands of atoms, that do not follow the bonding limitations of the chemical molecules. So, if you the trajectory of such a molecule through space, you can know which other molecules it will collide to lead to a transformation, (that's luck) and hence your entire trajectory during your life time.

Just a stray thought, which I thought is worth sharing;)

If astrology can predict

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• 2 months later...

I ran across this article this morn which purports to demonstrate scientific experimentation that debunks Sun location aspects of astrology.

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20060424/astrology_hum.html

The study adds to the growing body of evidence that there is no scientific basis for star signs, such as Aries, Taurus and so on. These signs are based on the place of the sun in relation to the date of birth of the subject.

The researchers, however, leave open the question as to whether other, more detailed and personal forms of astrology hold any validity.

One thing at a time. I planned to say more, but my horoscope says it's a good day for silence, plus my sky software shows the Sun in Aries today:eek2:

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Consider human beings as molecules in a gas, if one can tell the velocity and position of a particular molecule, using classical physics one must be able to predict its intire trajectory.
Uhm, you need to know those for every molecule in the gas and, for every time one of them's gonna bounce of the container's side, you also need to know how that collision's gonna be. Even for each collision between the gas molecules, and even if you considered them spherically symmetric which only goes for atoms of a noble gas, a slight uncertainty in the impact parameter gives a great one on the outcome.

Try it. :QuestionM

The Lorenz butterfly doesn't cause the storm...

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Now that I think of it astrology can have a scientific basis. Psychiatry is a valid field of science and astrologers make good subjects for it to study :QuestionM

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• 5 months later...

Lately my thought processes have received fresh fodder. I have been reading some popular literature about astronomy, like a few chapters in the book by Bill Bryson entitled A short history of nearly everything, and then some threads on Hypography about meteorites and the effect of cosmic radiations on earthly clouds.

So without much beating about the bush, let me expose my thoughts.

I have always wondered why to make the Horoscope of a person astrologers ask the exact time and place of birth, and they then try to correlate the future of the individual through the positions of the planets with respect to the Sun and constellations.

So, while reading the chapter on meteorites in the book by Bill, I paused when I came to know that archaeologists found the first meteorites through the element Iridium, an element quite scarce on the Earth but present in copious amounts in the outer space. It is also a scientific fact that there is a constant rain on the Earth of meteorite dust, accompanied with the cosmic rays.

So, there is a distinct possibility that their may be some periodicity in the intensity of these gifts from out space on various places on the Earth, that may match the periodicity of the revolutions of various planets etc. around the Sun and hence positions relative to the Earth.

The influence of cosmic radiations on clouds (they are just water vapors right) and the element iridium on the human psyche have been explored to some extent by now.

It is then not a totally wild idea, that the fate of an individual, who was exposed to a unique dose of cosmic radiations and perhaps some meteorite dust, at the time of birth can have an influence on his/her mental capabilities that determine his/her future course of life.

Now, the ancient astrologers never had all the information we have today, at best they could make some correlations from observed facts. These correlations may not always be valid or true, but they can be scientific!

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...It is also a scientific fact that there is a constant rain on the Earth of meteorite dust, accompanied with the cosmic rays.

So, there is a distinct possibility that their may be some periodicity in the intensity of these gifts from out space on various places on the Earth, that may match the periodicity of the revolutions of various planets etc....

There is a periodicity associated with passing through both concentrations of meteors--an annual event such as the Perseids and Leonids--as well as comet tails--rarer, but pretty much associated with the comets orbits, with no correllation to planetary positions. The former would expose us to increases in Iridium and possibly other radioactive stubstances while the latter are mostly made up of innocuous substances like water and carbon dioxide. In both cases, the amount absorbed is so small as to be overwhelmed by the regular radiation we get in a steady stream from the Sun.

The really big ones--the ones that might have enough material to really have some sort of impact--hit so infrequently that there's no way that they would have any affect over the kinds of things that they predict with it (like Nancy Reagan's astrologer telling her not to let Ronnie go out because it would be "dangerous").

If you were looking for patterns, the Earth covers up the evidence too quickly, but the Moon and even Mars show plenty of evidence to show that meteor impacts are Poisson distributed (i.e. completely random over time).

Now, the ancient astrologers never had all the information we have today, at best they could make some correlations from observed facts. These correlations may not always be valid or true, but they can be scientific!
And as I said above, the correlations require datapoints spanning far beyond human history, which they could not possibly have had. Thus, the only way they could have any "useful correlations" is if they were handed it by aliens or God or some such, which isn't necessarily impossible, there's just no evidence for it, nor do Astrologers even claim such.

They *do* claim simple correlations between planetary positions and events/predictions, but as has been pointed out in many places (including, I believe, in Bill's book), the gravitational effects of these positions--the only known natural force that has any effect over "long" distances--are totally overwhelmed by the Earth, Sun and Moon. Thus there's no known theory based on known forces that could show that any measured correlation is actual *causation*. Without a theory of causation, all you have is an interesting quinkydink.

But the real issue is that Astrological predictions have been tested over and over and over and no one has ever been able to get anything more than an occasional very vague "true prediction". And what you see is one success for every million predictions, which is way worse than random chance.

So, bottom line is that this is an interesting area to study scientifically, and I'd even argue worthwhile if only because so many people believe in it and really need to hear the scientific data refuting it.

Experimentally,

Buffy

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But the real issue is that Astrological predictions have been tested over and over and over and no one has ever been able to get anything more than an occasional very vague "true prediction". And what you see is one success for every million predictions, which is way worse than random chance.

These are just vaguely held beliefs, there is no statistical study, so far as I know, behind such a belief, as much as there is against the belief! :)

So, bottom line is that this is an interesting area to study scientifically, and I'd even argue worthwhile if only because so many people believe in it and really need to hear the scientific data refuting it.

That's indeed a true scientific spirit, as per my belief! ;)

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These are just vaguely held beliefs, there is no statistical study, so far as I know, behind such a belief
On the contrary, there's *lots*. Here's a great place to start: The Scientific Exploration of Astrology website. I also recommend you spend some time looking at the CSICOP web site. Its founder, James "The Amazing" Randi of course has a standing offer of a million dollars for anyone who can show proof of paranormal powers (including astrological predictions)

I agree with you about one thing though: You can't be skeptical without data!

Enjoy!

Bogosity,

Buffy

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• 3 weeks later...

Return of the King!

Well,i visited here after a looong gap & found ur thread impressive.

The Indian Astrology is a core science and much complimentary to modern astronomy.Since i know somethimg about Indian astrology i can frankly say that it do have a scientific basis.

You know i can say too much on this topic because I being an astrophysics student have an environment with astrology believers,thus i always find so much similarities between these sciences.You try to read out indian astrology ,u will begin finding not only similarities but results also.

If u have a RadaKrishna ISCKON temple in ur area than they can make u aware of such a wide science.

I refused to give any opinion because my own evidences in favour of this topic are endless incompressible in a thread.

I am Back!

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• 2 weeks later...

The Astronomically Accurate Zodiac Calendar

Astrology is actually 2000 year old accurate astronomy. The calendar changes one day every seventy years, so the usual Zodiac calendar is actually 2000 years out of date.

I have included this data for those who want to know their actual Sun Sign. This data is accurate and will be for another 70 years when the calendar will shift approximately one day. This also means that this data is accurate for the last 70 years as well. The data in use today is 2000 years old, and every astrological reading ever given using the outdated data is inherently erroneous.

The definition of the Sun Sign is position of the Sun on that particular day of the year. The Sun gradually moves through the 13 signs on the ecliptic, which is the path of the Sun, Moon and planets through the sky. The Sun actually passes through 13 signs, and the Moon and planets actually pass through 21 signs.

The definition of a Zodiac Age is the position of the Sun on the Vernal Equinox. By understanding this we can come to understand why the Zodiac Sun Sign calendar slowly changes. On the Vernal Equinox in 67 BCE (Before Common Era) the Sun was in the constellation Pisces. Every year the Sun moves slowly through Pisces on that day until the year 2597 CE (Common Era) when it will be in Aquarius for the first time. The stars slowly shift behind the motion of the Sun. Therefore, someone born on the Vernal Equinox in 67 BCE was a Pisces according to their Sun Sign. However, someone born on that same day 2597 CE will be an Aquarius. Therefore you have to account for the slowly changing Sun Sign calendar over long spans of time. The data in use today is approximately 2000 years old.

This is the actual position of the Sun for the next year:

Capricorn: 1/20/06 - 2/15/06

Aquarius: 2/16/06 - 3/11/06

Pisces: 3/12/06 - 4/18/06

Aries: 4/19/06 - 5/13/06

Taurus: 5/14/06 - 6/20/06

Gemini: 6/21/06 - 7/20/06

Cancer: 7/21/06 - 8/10/06

Leo: 8/11/06 - 9/16/06

Virgo: 9/17/06 - 10/30/06

Libra: 10/31/06 - 11/23/06

Scorpio: 11/24/06 - 11/29/06

Ophiuchus: 11/30/06 - 12/17/06

Sagittarius: 12/18/06 - 1/19/06

3/23/67 BCE- 3/20/2597 CE Age of Pisces

3/20/2598 CE- 3/20/4312 CE Age of Aquarius

3/20/4313 CE- 3/20/6275 CE Age of Capricorn

3/19/6276 CE- 3/18/8625 CE Age of Sagitarius

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I have a cool perspective on divination:

Remember in the Matrix when the Neo visits the Oracle and breaks the vase, and she says "watch out for the vase" then he breaks it, and she replies "What will really boggle your mind is would you have broken it if I hadn't warned you."? (Something to that affect). Then later she tells him he's not the One, so that he'll face that challenge to save Morpheus. So if she hadn't said that he wasn't the One would he have saved Morpheus and became the One?

What she was suggesting is that if you tell someone the future you instantly change the future based on the knowledge of the future. In other words if I say you will die in a car crash tomorrow, you won't get in a car. That'll change the outcome and in turn my prediction was wrong.

This is how it works in the universe if you try to measure the future of a sub atomic particle, you inherently change it by observation. If you try to measure the velocity and direction to predict the future of that particles path, you inherently change it through observation of it. If you measure the speed you change the direction, if you measure the direction you change the speed.

So if you try to measure the future you will inherently change it just by trying to measure it and gaining knowledge of it.

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