Horrorscopes

By Phil Plait | April 3, 2005 2:43 pm

One of the reasons I started a blog was so I could have a place where I can cut loose a little bit, and say what I mean a bit more directly.

So: I am always amazed at the myriad ways people are willing to throw their money (and their minds) away, and astrology is one of the biggest black holes there is. It’s a one-way ticket for your cash and your consciousness. It has no evidence supporting it (none, folks, nada, zip, zilch, goose egg, zero), tons of evidence against it, and no meaningful causation. It does no better than chance in making predictions, and relies on a host of human fallabilities to survive. Astrology irritates me greatly, because it distorts and perverts the natural wonder and beauty of the Universe.

See what I mean about being direct?

I could go on and on, but I don’t have to because I have a new web page debunking astrology! I wrote an article about astrology for a magazine, and I wanted to follow up with more information on my site. So without any more sturm und drang on my part…

Here is my page debunking astrology.

The essay is long, but it can be summed up rather succinctly: Astrology is wrong, pure and simple. I’m afraid I can’t make it any more clear than that.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience

Comments (42)

  1. The Black Cat

    Yeah! Finally, a Bad Astronomy astrology page. I would have to agree with Phil, astrology is probably one of the worst intellectual perversions affecting our culture today. And it’s absolute wrongness is so massive and simple I cannot fathom how anyone could possibly believe it, not to mention massive numbers of people. It is nothing more than an exploitation of basic logical fallacies that humans naturally commit.

  2. You are so right, Phil – asstrology (surely, half-asstrology?), insidiously encourages anti-science magical thinking. I will read your analysis with interest.

    Great minds must think alike. My blog has a section on astrology, and I just posted another item
    debunking astrology today.

  3. Brady Y.

    I agree. Astrology is absolute nonsense that has no relevance to today’s world. But I also believe it is somewhat connected to the human spirit.

    When we first looked up into the sky a long time ago, we didn’t know what the stars and planets were. It confused us greatly, and we thought about it a lot. But through science, we figured that out and much more.

    I think an important point that should be mentioned is that this natural curiosity was important for humanity. Astrology is nonsense, but the reasons why it exist aren’t, I’d say.

  4. Brady Y.

    One thing that pisses me off a lot is that astrology gets confused with astronomy… They can make ridiculous claims, but don’t get it mixed up with the real thing.;)

  5. YEY! This is sooo… great, I’ve been waiting for ages for this, I’m always saying astrology is wrong, but I have no real referance to refer people or make referance to.
    It’s the Psudoscience I hate the most(homeopathagy isn’t far behind though)
    I hate it because many people devote their lives to this “religon”, espessilly people my age, ….. just so… silly and annoying. And when people confuse it with astronomy, that doesn’t help.

  6. Berkeley

    “Now you may find it inconceivable or at the very least a bit unlikely that the relative positions of the planets and the stars could have a special, deep significance or meaning that exclusively applies to only you, but let me give you my assurance that these forecasts and predictions are all based on solid, scientific, documented evidence, so you would have to be some kind of moron not to realize that every single one of them is absolutely true (where was I?)”

    Weird Al Yancovic may be better known over there than he is here, but if you haven’t heard it, his “That’s your horoscope for today” is something to listen to. According to the song, I am to get a big surprise today when I wind up with my head impaled upon a stick.

  7. Michelle Rochon

    Finally, the astrology debunking! I can’t wait to read it. :)

    Another thing that bugs me is the morning show on a radio station over here. WHY do they include an astrologer? Is that a must? Isn’t it already EVIDENT that it is wrong? Her predictions are highly different than the newspapers’ and the websites’.. (not that I read them. I just take a bet.) Shouldn’t they all be the same if it was real?

    She keeps saying about how much astrology is made to help us “direct our energy in the right places”. I can perfectly direct my energy in the right place without you, lady. I concentrated my energy in my arm and, thanks to mighty celestial forces, turned the button to “off.”

  8. Hi there. Nice work – here a few comments. :-)

    There are actually astrologers who don’t think that any of the “fundamental forces” such as gravity, electromagnetism, etc. has anything to do with the mechanism behind astrology supposedly working.

    Also, not all astrologers believe that the positions of various celestial objects in any way influence, cause, or compel events to happen, or people to be a certain way, etc. Some astrologers believe that instead, the positions of celestial bodies for some reason correlate with, but do not actually cause, these events, personaliy traits, etc. It’s a subtle difference but worth noting.

    Here’s a rather interesting article which proposes some ideas you have not yet refuted, such as the idea that perhaps Carl Jung’s thoroughly unscientific theory of “synchronicity” has something to do with astrology supposedly working.
    http://www.lightlink.com/vic/astrol.html

    (Victor Mansfield, author of that page, also appears to be an example of a proponent of astrology who doesn’t believe in a physical or “fundamental force” mechanism for astrology, and who doesn’t believe that the positions of celestial objects in any way cause personality traits, events, etc.)

    Some astrologers _do_ use asteroids – check out http://ephemeral.info/jcd/ . Also, I hate to give a link to a commercial website, but http://www.astro.com/ , if you register for their free services, contains some options for looking at the positions of asteroids in charts – at least, last I checked.

    Regarding precession – I’d recommend browsing through the Wikipedia article on astrology, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology , as it stands of this writing. And this page, http://www.astropro.com/features/articles/zodiacs/precessA.html , explains one astrologer’s outlook on why precession doesn’t matter, at least in astrology that uses the tropical zodiac.

    Lastly, I would guess that the majority of serious astrologers look down on newspaper horoscopes just as much as anyone who isn’t completely ignorant… :-) I’d recommend you try asking the astrologers on the internet newsgroup alt.astrology.moderated what they think. (In fact, if _any_ of them come out in favor of newspaper horoscopes, I’ll be incredibly surprised… :-) ).

    Best wishes.

  9. Brilliant, Phil. The step by step through the impossibility of the mechanics of astrology is great, When trying to introduce slepticism about astrology into general conversation, I like to take the “but *how* does it work?” tack because it comes across less aggressive than just saying “what a load of bull,” my real view ;-) Even if the old “well, the moon affects the tide and we are 80% water so why wouldn’t it affect us” were true, how does that translate into “you are are a social person and people regard you as friendly, but there is also a part of yourself you like to keep private.” Or whatever. No one ever seems to have an answer for it.

  10. Brilliant, Phil. The step by step through the impossibility of the mechanics of astrology is great, When trying to introduce slepticism about astrology into general conversation, I like to take the “but *how* does it work?” tack because it comes across less aggressive than just saying “what a load of bull,” my real view ;-) Even if the old “well, the moon affects the tide and we are 80% water so why wouldn’t it affect us” were true, how does that translate into “you are are a social person and people regard you as friendly, but there is also a part of yourself you like to keep private.” Or whatever. No one ever seems to have an answer for it.

  11. Gryfin210

    Way to go Phil, I love it… although, it’s weird, somebody was just talking about Astrology… Yes, just yesterday, some girls were asking everybody’s sign in the computer lab, and they definatly said it within earshot of me, and now BA; there must be some sort harmonic-concordinance-Chrono-synclastic-infundibulistic-hippy/dippy-NeoEra-vibrations from the other side trying to lead me down the path of enlightenment to where I will live in peace with the Zetas and Live long past the coming of Nibiru! How could I have been so blind all my life! MAY THE HOLY TELE-PREACHER GET ALL MY MONEY!!!

  12. Sam

    At last. However, there is one argument I think needs to be strengthened. If astrology produces effects through a known force, astrologers could claim the instruments aren’t sensitive enough to detect them. As an example, current physical theories predict gravitational waves but current experiments such as LIGO haven’t been able to detect them because they are so weak. I think it should be shown that any astrological effects would have a magnitude capable of being detected by instruments.

  13. Christopher Ferro

    Another point, which I think I may have first read on the BABB, is that astrology is at its base, bigotry. Replace “Leo” or “Capricorn” with “black”, “white”, “Mexican” or “Italian.” and what do you have? You’re basically sterotyping someone’s behavior or abilities on when they were born. How is that different than stereotyping someone based on their race or religion?

    Someone I used to know once dismissed a comment I made about politics or education (can’t remember) by saying, “Well, you’re a Virgo, so of course you’d see it that way!” I find such remarks degrading and wrong.

  14. Blahhh:

    That site explaining why the precession doesn’t matter is hilarious. He’s saying the precession doesn’t matter because the tropical zodiac starts at the vernal equinox, regardless of where the actual constellations are. Why? Because “This rule… is clearly stated by writers on the subject” – ie because that’s what they wrote down 2000 years ago. To put it another way, there is no reason.

    He has a point, though. The rules of astrology are purely arbitrary, so a bunch of arbitrary rules based on an arbitrary definition of the zodiac is just as good as a bunch of arbitrary rules based on a more scientific definition of the zodiac. Which is to say they’re both equally useless.

  15. Mr. Plait:

    Your site is mentioned in my review “Mooning America—The Moon Landing Myth” at Paper Frigate, and also at BlogCritics.

    Thank you for supporting rational thought! I look forward to reading your thoughts on the lunacy that is Astrology, as well.

    “DrPat”

  16. Sever

    On a another fourm I visited until it was shut down, a lot of young females were apparenty into it.
    So when they did a little “About You” section, they wanted to know my “element” (fire, water, earth, etc.).
    I put hydrogen.
    I’m bad. :P

  17. Gryfin210

    Sever:

    Yeah, I’m a Nitrogen. My girlfriend’s a Ceisium.

  18. zebo-the-fat

    Posted on the BA forum :-

    As I have said before, if I give my birth date, time and location to 50 astrologers will they all give the same predictions for me? If not why not?

    If I give a sample of copper to 50 chemists they will all give the same results for mass, purity, density etc.

    (Chemistry works, astrology doesn’t)

    (My birth sign is a beer glass)

  19. Dr. Pat, thanks! But one thing: Jay Windley is the one who consulted with the TV show, and actually appeared on the show debunking the claims, not me. ;-) Jay’s site is http://www.clavius.org.

  20. Well, I can’t say as I’d ever let either argument persuade me to waste any time reading a horoscope or trying to work out whether my day worked out more or less like what was “predicted”, but here (if only in the spirit of narrowing down the field of possible ways it could contain a grain of truth) are two arguments in favour of horror scopes: stirring the brain; and stereotypes aren’t always wrong.

    The first is a psychological argument. Folk commonly look at the world in fixed ways. Getting them to look at each day differently may get them to notice things about their life that otherwise they’d miss. So a cultural instrument (astrology) that feeds folk arbitrary schemes for looking at each day (horoscopes) may actually get them to live their lives less ineptly. We can doubtless dig out of this a memetic evolution theme that would explain why something so obviously dumb would survive in human culture.

    This mechanism is counter-productive for anyone who would otherwise have engaged in introspection on some more rational basis; and other folk are unlikely to pay much attention to it if it’s actually presented as a random guide to introspection, so the above will only work in so far as it presents its daily scripts as Real and Specific. Inconveniently, this makes it problematic once any better way of dealing with the world is available, that depends on a clear enough habit of critical thinking to be inconsistent with taking the mumbo-jumbo seriously.

    The second just deconstructs the whole mumbo-jumbo into a causal argument based on when in the year you’re born having an effect on your early childhood development and, since the child begets the adult, your subsequent character. To take a relatively simple example, the way the school system bunches up kids to take them all in at one point in the year leads to some kids being only just old enough to fit in that year while others were almost old enough to fit in the previous one; the difference in age is enough to influence their roles within the class they’re all shoved into.

    In agrarian cultures of bygone times, life was heavilly shaped by the cycle of the seasons: where in that cycle you enter the play is apt to have effects on how you are treated (indeed, how well fed you are and how well you are kept warm) in your early months. In our modern world, we acknowledge that if an expectant mother smokes or drinks during pregnancy, this can have a lasting effect on the child, as can similar matters while breast-feeding. It should not be surprising, then, if other conditions of her life during pregnancy and nursing might also have lasting effects: the seasons would influence how much she ate, rested, kept warm and so on; they’d also affect what she ate and may have affected her emotional state (e.g. seasonal affective disorder).

    Note, in particular, that this second argument hinges on the time of year and doesn’t give a fig for star signs; which actually makes sense of those astrologers who ignore the position of the sun relative to the zodiacal constellations and instead work in terms of a nominal star sign based on time since an equinox – i.e. time in the year – using constellation names merely as tokens. It’s also notable that the weakness of the correlations would oblige those trying to make predictions based on them to be somewhat vague – which is entirely compatible with my earlier suggestion of “useful mumbo-jumbo”, so some co-evolution is entirely possible.

    While I would expect most aspects of character to be significantly affected by things poorly coupled to season of birth (thus creating enough noise in the system to prevent any systematic correlation) there is no inescapable reason why a (reasonably static) culture could not learn, fragment by fragment over the course of generations, patterns of correlation that manage somehow to survive such disruption. To some degree, once a culture starts believing in such patterns it will re-inforce them so discover them to be true. All the same, I imagine the drastic changes in (at least) “Western” culture over the last three centuries would be enough to severely disrupt any such long-range learning – enough so to demolish at least the correlations caused by cultural factors. And, of course, even before this modern disruption, the best a “star sign” could have told you about anyone is statistical in character.

  21. The Black Cat

    Even if what you are saying is true, the fact remains that astrologers can’t predict anything. It is entirely possible that there is some strange force that emanates only from the planets in our Solar System and can influence people’s lives, or alternatively that doesn’t decay with distance withing a solar system but disappears the moment it leaves. It is also possible that such an energy has not been detected even with our extremely sensitive detectors. Both those scenarios are possible, although extremely unlikely. I would say those scenarios are about as unlikely as the month of birth somehow causing an identical massive effect on everyone in the planet irrespective of culture, diet, local weather, local seasonal patters, and including people in the southern hemisphere whose seasons are 6 months different than ours and thus should, under your system, have their horoscope shifted by 6 signs. However, it is still possible, you cannot disprove any of those scenarios.

    However, whether such an effect exists or not is sort of irrelevant. Even if the effect exists, astrologers cannot use it. Their “predictions” fail to predict anything. The predictions have no consistency, contain no useful information, and apply equally well to just about everyone on the planet irrespective of their sign or birth month. Some strange correlation unexplainable by science may connect the month of birth, but the fact is astrologers have not learned to interpret it. So all this talk of possible ways astrology may possibly be able to work is academic, if there is any affect astrologers cannot interpret it in any useful way at the present time. Astrology may work, but astrologers do not.

  22. Not to intrude or anything, but I think it’d be a good idea to take this to the BABB?

  23. Nigel Depledge

    I agree with a lot of what you guys are saying. There is one thing in Eddy’s comment that particularly caught my attention, about the time of year a person was born. I vaguely remember reading an article in New Scientist several years ago, that essentially said that someone had carried out a study and found a small (but statistically significant) effect. I can’t remember any details but it boiled down to the fact that a person’s behavioural traits are, to a limited extent, affected by what time of year that person was born. To see this effect above statistical noise, they had included an enourmous number of people in the study (it must have been in the thousands at least). Based on this, I guess it would be possible to make some fairly vague, general and probabilistic predictions about people based on their date of birth, but it would be meaningless to interpolate to the level of the individual.

  24. A slightly less rigorous (but nonetheless true) debunking of astrology (URL may be funky, depending on blog settings):

    http://maddox.xmission.com/c.cgi?u=astrology

  25. Rock Howard

    My dear departed mother never understood that I got a degree in Astronomy and not Astrology. Some of rer friends would even ask me for a reading when I visited my hometown. Sigh.

    Anyway I caught a comic doing a stand-up bit on TV lampooning astrology and pointing out how stupid it was to diss people or let them off the hook for their behavior just because they were born in June. Anybody catch the name of that comic?

  26. Kyle

    How odd (well, not really, considering Google’s technology) that the ads for your page deal with astrology.

  27. I hate to say it, but these articles about astrology aren’t as good as they should be. When you go on and on about the forces which could (not) be in effect, you are not attacking what astrologers actually say. They can legitimately say (about that part of the argument) that you are attacking a straw man.

    They are usually determinists. Note all the talk about your “fate”. If you believe all things are ordained beforehand, by someone or something, it’s simply not necessary to believe in a mystical force acting from the planets in order to believe in a correllation between planet movements/birth moment and life events.

    Now I’m not a determinist, and certainly not an astrologist, but when reading your articles on Hoagland, Planet X etc. I have though: Wow, someone accidentaly googling in on this when they were looking for the adherents may be saved a lot of pain and confusion! Not so with the astrology article.

  28. Let me begin with a disclaimer: The following post is from a Christian point of view. If you are not a Christian, don’t bother reading this because you will dismiss it anyway.

    That being said, I am not going to quote word for word the scriptural references that say not to worship the sun or the stars.

    This post is based in mathematics. Numerology is one flavor of astrology, and upon resarching numerology I found some interesting information. I originally got started on the subject when I stumbled upon magic squares, which were very interesting to me as a lover of mathematics. Briefly, they are symmetrical squares broken into a grid (3×3, 4×4, etc) in which each square in the grid is assigned a number (1-16 for 4×4 for example) so that each column, row, and diagonal add up to the same sum. The numbers have to be arranged in a specific fashion in order to acheive this numerical symmetry. In numerology, each planet (only those known at the time of it’s creation) as well as the Sun and Moon are represented by magic squares (3×3 on up to 9×9). The 6×6 magic square is represented by the Sun in numerology, which to occultists is the most powerful symbol. I’m sure some of you have heard of the correlation many astrologers try to make with Jesus Christ (the Son) actually being the Sun. Not to mention the various pagan sun gods, Ra, Sol, etc. Here is where it gets freaky. If you take all the numbers of the Sun square, 6×6=36, and add them together: 1+2+3+…+34+35+36 the answer is 666, the number of the beast according to Revelations. If you add up all the numbers in 666, 1+2+3+…+664+665+666 you get 222111. Also, if you add up all the numbers in any row, column, or diagonal in the Sun square, the answer is 111. According to numerology, the most sacred of all numbers is 9, and the reason for this is because 3 is also sacred, and 9 is comprised of three trinities, which you can see illustrated above numerically. According to this concept of three trinities being the most sacred, and the fact that they attribute the number of the beast to the Sun, 666 is likely the most sacred of all numbers in numerology, which makes it apparent who is the source of astrology. To anyone who accepted Jesus Christ into their heart, this should be more than enough reason to stay far away from astrology.

  29. The Black Cat

    Yes, but if you take the sum of any column, row, or diaganol in the sun square (111), multiply it by the number of planets known to the ancients plus the sun (which is 7) you get 777, which is the number of God. Therefore the astrologists are actually serving God. That is the great thing about numerology, you can make it prove anything you want.

  30. I can see your point, maybe it is all just a big coincidence. However, as a Christian I am not aware of any biblical scripture that refers to 777 as the number of God. Also, the ancients assigned 666 to the Sun. You derived 777 from a formula that is slightly plausible, but the origin is already known to be the number of the beast. Attempting to turn around and use it to justify that it is from God can only make sense from a secular view which would seem to negate the idea that it’s coming from God in the first place. The difference between what you posted and what I have posted is that I stuck to the numerological guidelines, and you have created a formula with random logic in an attempt to disprove what I have shown concretely.

  31. Ninjawanker

    Harald Korneliussen is spot on. I believe most astrologers would agree with everything, save the generalisations. From my perspective, BAs statements are about as educated as “Evolution is just a theory”.

    Square peg and round hole.

  32. Ninjawanker, Harald, I disagree. If they talk about fate and predestination, why bother with planets and all that? If they bother, then the planets must affect us. if they affect us, there must be some carrier of this, and I have shown that to be impossible.

    Plus, I also showed that *there is no predictive power to astrology*. That is the second half of the one-two punch of this attack. If they could make predictions reliably, they would do better than chance. *They do not*. Therefore, astrology does not work.

  33. Ninjawanker

    The idea is that all things are connected, springing from one common source, and that a human life has a sort of trajectory, or actually lots of them intermingled that is reflected in and connected to everything that exists around us. The stars are just convenient in that they are predictable and slow moving enough to allow their movements to be mapped, but the basic idea is that anything and everything can be predicted and studied in anything else.
    And the fact that there is no physical interaction between jupiter and my spleen does not say that one cant be used to get information about the other.

    I guess my point is that this article seems more like a skeptics rant than a proper debunking to me.

  34. “And the fact that there is no physical interaction between jupiter and my spleen does not say that one cant be used to get information about the other.”

    Um, no, that’s *exactly* what it says. If they don’t interact, then they cannot get information about each other. That’s pretty much by definition.

    And as far as the title “skeptic” goes, I’ll take it. It means I don’t accept things on faith, but instead only use evidence to base my judgement. Where’s the evidence for astrology? It’s had 2000 years; I’d expect to see one thing at least. But there’s nothing.

  35. Ninjawanker

    You are missing the holistic aspect. You are in essence arguing that one book can not give you any info about what is in another copy of the same book because they happen to be separated by time and space.

    And for the record, I dont believe in astrology, I’m not arguing for it, but I understand where they are comming from with regards to the cosmology and I think you are being unfair.

  36. Pissed off worker bee

    Hi,

    I don’t know why I ended up here, on your blog…………. I was looking for something that I can’t put a “finger” on concerning the date 05-05-05. But, since I have dropped by and read a few things, I have a few suggestions that you may someday comprehend…………… First and foremost: Remove your nose from the canvas of the painting, open both eyes, slowly and carefully step back……removing yourself from the picture/ portrait/ painting. Now, look at the big picture with a neutral attitude……… “Astrology is not a legitimate, mathematical science” would have been a more concise statement for your “succinct summation” than your “Astrology is wrong”(!) (AND you will LIKE IT!!!!!!…….or I will BEAT you with my rubber hose because I am your DADDY!!!) selection of words. In my mind, I have no doubt, what-so-ever, that YOU can’t grasp the true value of what astrology could be to anyone other than yourself. If you were forced to choose between opening your wallet to pay for an astrology session or peeing on an electrified fence; I sense that you’d have to think about it. “Mind over matter”: Don’t discount the entertainment value that could be had by reading a horoscope. And, what about the pyschological catalysts that could be triggered in a person who “believes”? ……….. If I read that: “Tonight, you will meet someone very special………..”; it might subconsciously trigger a sense of confidence which could “domino” into things like taking my bi-monthly shower ahead of schedule, trimming my hair…………which could serve as a reminder to go out and get a hair cut for the other end of my body, wash some clothes, find my deodorant, clean my mom’s car, ect., ect.,…….. all of which leads up to the “all important” remove myself from the basement and get out to mingle with the wild animals…………you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a lottery ticket / do you understand my point yet? So, as a “black hole”…………: No, not even close. A $30,000 (U.S.) a day hooker (oops,…….personal companion,……and not even a “top of the line” one at that), casinos, crystal meth, self managed socialist security, “Dubya”………….. those are black holes. True astrology fits better under psychology than anything else……….. I’m just trying to help.

    Um……… I spent less than 25 seconds reading your blog before I sensed where your wind was blowing. So, if I missed your boat and made an ass of myself……………….well,………..”hee haw”.

    And, just for the record: For me, astrology is less valuable than a pile of dung. I wouldn’t have to think about it; I’d pee on the fence. But, that’s “for me”. As for everyone else: If astrology floats your boat…….great. Whatever (legal, non-violent) works for you works for me.

  37. “If they talk about fate and predestination, why bother with planets and all that?”
    That was one thing I never found out about determinism: if it’s preordained, how can knowing it make a difference? Let me repeat that I do not believe in astrology in any way.

    But that there is a relationship between two things does not mean that the one causes the other, like you seem to assume with your talk about forces. They could have a common explanation.

    Now with planets, I can’t see what that should be. But especially for a determinist, who belives that everything is preordained by someone or something, it could be “logical” that because Mars was in the house of the butterfly in the moment of my father’s birth, I have a tendency to a foul temper – because _it was set up to work like that_. But of course, you are right that no such correlations are there with astrology, because astrology is, indeed, bunk, as you say.

  38. Love to see the different ways this blog goes…

    As a chemical engineer (yes I also loved Sci Am as a kid, specially mathematical games), besides the science (math, chemistry, physics, thermodynamics) I was exposed to the engineering point of view: even if you can not explain why or have a perfectly proved model, you have to make it work! (disgression to numerical methods – math blessing on engineering! they do not worry about the exact function but get the root!!)

    So astrology does work – that’s a fact !!

    Being social animals, survival comes from our own efforts and our social skills:

    1.- You can make a living out of it.
    2.- Gives you social standing, you can be a perfect stranger at a reunion and talk asstrology, and you’ll walk out with tens of friends. If you say you just saw a beautiful false color (oxygen, hydrogen and sulphur) picture of Orion’s nebula everybody edges away from you.

    Given that it works on the basal (survival) sense, it does not matter that it’s premises do not conform to the scientific method

    On a quality of living perspective, in the reunion example, astrology believers will be happy, releasing endorphins to their bloodstream which will make them healthier, whereas you and I would release adrenalin that, not being properly used as our inherited instincts for fleeing (run or be eaten) or fight (get to mate or capture the prey), which would make us healthier by exercise, would then cause stress (which we could define as a self damaging exercise), thus lowering our life expectancy and making us clearly not happy.

    On a historical sense, astrology was the mother of Astronomy, so we have to respect our parents, even if we don´t quite agree on the way they behave – ( I know, this is a shaky argument, nobody wrote about it so it’s not historical and there is no law that says you have to be civil to your parents) – hahaha

    I agree with BA on the point that uncritical thinking should not fluorish,
    but as long as people are happy with it and politicians don’t use it to take important decisions (mhh), I say do not get too angry with the situation.

    Education is the only weapon, and it is slow… but it can change our world.

  39. Erik Johnson

    From a philosophical point of view the truth is that which you can observe first hand, and everything else is merely a proposition of the truth. You can say that the sky is blue, but if someone has never seen the sky before they cannot know that without having faith that your proposition is correct. Everything other than what we experience for ourselves requires some degree of faith. Astrology is just another religion, and all religion is the same; if you believe it’s real then it becomes real to you.

  40. Karma

    Everyone is equal in God’s eyes… I’m sure we humans are not classified
    to do, like, hate.. certain suffs..
    Astrology I believe is NONSENSE that has been made to eat away my head!
    Met this girl we really gel well.. but acordin to the Astro we are a bad combo!
    Wish it was that simple! But still it gets on my nerves!
    Humans made races, humans divided lands, made borders, et al
    …. I’d like to be the mighty Blue Whale in my next life and
    ” “

  41. Celestial Terrestrial

    ah, we silly humans….we fail to remember there was a time when things were yet beyond the realms of our understanding, when we had no concept of gravity or electromagnetism…does that mean they did not exist because we didn’t fully understand them?
    I would also be interested in knowing the astrological text you used for your research. Especially one in which the planets were all given equal weight in determining the characteristics of the individual. Of the reputable sources I have studied, I have found none that ascribe equal emphasis to all the planets. Additionally most modern astrology texts do take into consideration the placement of asteroids, but then you must already know that. And as to the planets to which we have no knowledge as of yet, I would ask you if the discovery of the outermost planets relegated all astronomical studies to date invalid?
    As I have already refuted the claim of distance having no relevance, the argument concerning the effects of planets orbiting other stars in irrelevant or inconclusive as of yet.
    You state that astronomers (the real scientist) can determine that the planets are out there due to their real effects on their parent. Then why weren’t they aware of Uranus as a planet prior to the late 1700’s, when despite being observed it was classified as a star?
    Your example illustrating the fallacy of astrology using a generalized personality model does not disprove astrology, as the article being passed around was not even written by an astrologer. Any individual can write a personality profile so generalized and contradictory it seems to apply to everyone. All this does is prove the validity of the “Barnum effect” or the placebo effect, not the illegitimacy of astrology. To illustrate a “saline injection is 70% as effective as morphine in reducing pain” as in people react at least as much to their expectations as to the stimulus.
    You claim that astrologer’s rely on individuals selective retentive memory to survive. Do tell, what does not. Physicians, meteorologists and even astronomers have been known to make errors and false claims….mostly sunny seems a pretty generalized statement to me yet we don’t hear of people arguing it’s validity as a science.
    So in order for something to be true, there must not be controversy among it’s supporters…ummm….seems to me their was some pretty clear inconsistency and debate regarding Pluto’s position as a planet….and once their was a pretty heated argument regarding the model of the solar system….perhaps we should have just thrown in the towel then as clearly disagreement is synonymous with fabrication. I’m pretty sure if you went to 5 different doctors with the same complaint you would get at least 3 different diagnoses…but one wouldn’t use that to discredit the medical community…
    You say there is no force, known or unknown, that could possibly affect us here on earth the way astrologers say, I ask you, how can you possibly assume to know the properties/nature of an unknown force?
    There is claimed to be links between genetics and personality….so would a geneticist be able to accurately select the personality profile of an individual, and if they were not, would it relegate genetics as a pseudoscience?

  42. Messier Tidy Upper

    Horror scopes? Here are some Horrorscopes for y’all! :

    Aries : Today will be your last day before you are either machine-gunned to death, run over by a truck or eaten alive by bedbugs. Make it a good one.

    Aquarius : LOOK OUT!!! LOOK OUT! LOOK OUT! Bugger I just foresaw I will be too late, you’re dead, no need to write anymore .

    Pisces : Feeling something’s fishy and rotten smelling? Yes that‘s a harbinger of your imminent demise. Still got to be better than this current incarnation of yours with the only star sign that’s wet, smelly & alcoholic.

    Gemini : You or your twin &/or other half will die a particularly nasty, drawn out and agonising death today. My condolences either way.

    Leo : Avoid zoo’s, avoid safari parks in Africa and elsewhere, avoid poachers & you’ll be okay. Maybe. If you’re lucky. And quiet. And don’t eat the wrong wildebeest.

    Cancer? : Yep. Sorry.

    Sad-git-hairy-ass : Enough said.

    Libra : Women beware of your tampons today. Men beware of your women! Also avoid scales whether fish, reptilian or measuring- they’ll be bad news for you all month, indeed all your life.

    Scorpio : Today you will die in your sleep in the early morning being scared to death by a nightmare Freddy Kruger-style! In fact, you’ll die before you ever get to read this, so why am I bothering to write it?

    Virgo? : No, you’re not. Unless you’re very young in which case maybe you are. Anyway, its none of my business. Watch out for Richard Branson as he thinks he owns you. Avoid eating fortune cookies this week and even more so avoid misfortune cookies.

    Taurus : Red is not your colour. Beware of matadors or anyone Spanish or non-vegetarian. Avoid china shops, Pamplona & the stock exchange.

    Capricorn : Beware the ides of march, the first of the month, the last of the month, the sixteenth, thirteenth , second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth , tenth, seventeenth, nineteenth and indeed any day of the month with either an ‘e’, ‘a’, or any consonant at all in it.

    ****

    NB. The 13th star sign Ophiuchus (serpent bearer) not included. Seeing as astrological lore holds that Ophuichans are sceptical, logical thinkers who don’t believe in superstitious mumbo-jumbo that’s just as well really. ;-)

    DISCLAIMER : Horrorscope predictions may not (hopefully!) match actual reality – no money will be refunded! ;-)

    PS. Yeah I know the “bulls hate red” thing is a myth that got busted by the mythbusters, but anyway ..

    – Stevo Raine aka Messier TidyUpper

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