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Published on June 23rd, 2012 | by Saransh Sharma

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Astrology is NOT science!

I have come across a shockingly high number of reasonably educated and intelligent Indians who happen to buy into the belief that ‘astrology is a science’. This article hopes to show otherwise.

Astrology 001

Last night this was thrown at me again. I am tired of going over the same thing over and over again so from now on I would like to point people to this post and make life easier. You can believe whatever you want but don’t call your unjustified/unverified claim, science. Don’t tell children that its science.

The claim:

Lets begin with the central claim here.

"The alignment of planetary bodies can significantly influence human destiny."

The very first thing we can say about this is that it is a non trivial claim.

It is a claim about physics, biology. All one needs to do is ask, Does it work? That is, do astrologers accurately and specifically predict human destiny from the alignment of the planets? No, they do not. Thus, the theory behind astrology is irrelevant, because astrology simply does not do what astrologers claim it can do.

So, if a person believes this claim to be true he is basically saying to the scientists of the world that they seem to have missed something so crucial to the nature of the universe, not just crucial, but something so inherently obvious that they with all their equations and instruments have missed But, the local astrologer/priest hasn’t! 

So many types of astrology!

It is critical to understand that unlike kinematics, electromagnetism,thermodynamics,etc there is no universal astrology, each culture/civilization has had its own brand of astrology. There is  Chinese astrology(Based upon sun-moon calendar , Mesoamerican astrology(many different versions,based upon sacrifice,different sun-moon calendars), Babylonian astrology (based upon the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal), Hellenistic astrology( based upon the constellations. This is the forerunner to the modern western astrology), Astrology in medieval Islam( based upon position of constellations visible from the desert),  Hindu astrology( original based upon Vedic manuscript called Vedanga Jyotisha and the modern one is the the mixed system which is hybrid of Hellenistic and the old Vedic version)

Now its important to understand that they aren’t all same. the ‘predictions’ by these systems are mutually exclusive. In fact even predictions in the same system do not always have consistency.

Read the scientific researches on the subject, if you wanna:

In case you need to go through the scientific double blind tests done on the subject, good place to start is with the Carlson’s experiment. Although unnecessary,rest are you to dig up and read.

Astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson asserted that "astrology was discredited 600 years ago with the birth of modern science"

Lets use the Simple common sense approach:

The common sense approach says, if it is true, that humanity has achieved such an insight into the nature of the universe, then why is it not taught in schools/colleges. I mean I remember studying the Nelson process, even though the chances of me actually using it to produce elemental sodium are close to zero, so why not teach students the ability to get an insight into the future by teaching them basics of this wonderful science. Why is it that, major corporations, major stock brokerages, etc spend millions and millions of dollars on stuff like market research, hire analysts when they can just have a team of top paid astrologers to tell them how the market will be in the future of how the customers will react to a product, etc.

Why aren’t scientific journals not taking astrology seriously?Why is it that NASA, ESA, ISRO,etc aren’t spending their money on astrology, instead of wasting all of it on astronomy?

Simple fact of the matter is, there have been countless researches on this and all of them show all of the fantastical claims made by astrology aren’t true. It is not science. Not one astrologer predicted the crash of a flight; not one astrologer predicted the 2004 tsunami(killing almost 2.5lac people),etc. Its just inconsistent, bullshit made by humans thousands of years ago. Astrology comes from a time when humanity know almost nothing about the universe and was riddled in superstitious hogwash.   

Astrology has been around much longer than acupuncture; ghosts and demons have been around longer still. They are all relics of a time when Homo sapiens faced a world they had no hope of understanding.

If you believe in this, I hope this post has given you some pointers. No single article can change a persons mind. Rest of the research is for you to do, I cant do it for you. Embrace the magnificent reality of the universe. Instead of wasting precious time of your life on astrology, just spend minutes reading about astronomy(and see your jaw drop!).

Thanks for reading. 🙂 I hope the tone of the article wasn’t condescending; it wasn’t the intention, just my poor written expression. 

 

Interesting media on the subject:

 

Carl Sagan – One of the greatest  astrophysicist on astronomy:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB88HnlLgZ8]

 

Astrology Debunked – Sagan, Dawkins, Nye, Randi, Tyson:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1nsEtjqPg8]

 
Sheldon debunks Astrology (Funny)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhX_nXTF0Ec&feature=related]

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12 Responses to Astrology is NOT science!

  1. Varinder says:

    Million copies sell each year from astrologer like Bejan Daruwala and many like him… These books write out a description of your personaility traits, your habits, your likes and dislikes etc and very high percentage of folks who read these description feel that the description of their personality is quite accurate – probabaly better than a psycologist/ psychatrist can provide after some ‘in person meetings’

    • No doubt astrology books sell in millions. This just implies that astrology business is big big money, and not that astrology is true! In fact in many major news papers in US and Europe, the daily horoscope section has a fine print which says ‘For entertainment purposes only’. As for the people reading and thinking that the description of personality traits feels mostly accurate, I urge you to read about ‘conformation bias’ on wiki. This is why just like a serial gambler who only remembers his hits, the reader of such books, armed with conformation bias, ignores the parts of the horoscope book which fall flat. BTW, the nature of language used in such horoscope books is so vague and general that almost everything applies on everybody. There have been experiments where the labels on the horoscopes were swapped and given to test groups(who didn’t know of this), and even then the subjects reported that they were accurate.
      One example of conformation bias can be the reports around India of Hindu god Idols ‘drinking’ milk. Now anybody who has passed high school should realize this ‘miracle’ simple capillary effect. But people are desperately looking to validate their beliefs and they tend to hang on to anything they can get(however small). If a person is desperate enough, he/she will believe absolutely anything.

  2. EMRAAN says:

    very well written dude.. if u cud u may put in sum points how people believe in something which is so superficial, and commercial and the mindset of laymen who aren’t so familiar of the scientific terms u specifically mentioned.. what about them.. , ok leave them.. what about people who study science.. dey still cross their fingers when the space shuttle is about to leave the earth.. ,this astrology.. has been studied for years dey say.. den.. hw such feeble minded could come up with such a theory which is universaly aclaimed.. were their stars too wright? 😉

    • A scientist believing in astrology is just as absurd and wrong as a chicken taking a pro-meat industry stance! As, if any of the claims of astrology is true then, it instantly invalidates whatever the science has learnt out about the nature of reality of the universe. Just as the article points out, numerous researches on astrology show that it fails to do what it claims. Your question as to why people came up with such a theories shouldn’t be difficult to understand as early humans were just trying to make sense of the world they knew nothing about. Also, you say its ‘universally acclaimed’ but he article showed that there isn’t ONE type of astrology. Hindu astrological ‘predictions’ will not agree with Babylonian astrology or Islamic astrology. In fact, even one form of astrology will differ from astrologer to astrologer.

  3. Captain Mandrake says:

    Awesome clip from big bang theory. LOL!

  4. Shitij Bagga says:

    Hi, I congratulate you on the very articulate blog. I really liked your post quite a lot but I must also add that a lot more information on the subject must be brought out into the open and the only way to discredit this pseudoscience is to battle their specific claims point by point. This is important because those who are already stuck in the clutches of this evil will not listen to plain reason because they will claim astrology to be far more complicated a “science” than we can understand. It doesn’t matter to them if you point out that astrology if not taught in schools and colleges because they will then start saying it is indeed taught in a university in India. And even pointing out that many claims turn out to be false will elicit a reply that those were not made and by astrologers with “real knowledge” or “vidya” and you need to go to the “real” astrologers.

  5. Titan says:

    If you research astrologist’s credentials and degrees, they all have the same thing: Arts, History, Psychology, Sociology, Humanities and Economics (Econ is a vague degree – it is not manufacturing nor logistics – it is prediction) whom could not obtain real employment and thus cannot contribute to economic growth financially nor resourcefully for the nation they belong to. This includes Indian astrologers 2000 years ago to the new western astrologers of today.

    There is a not a single astrologer out there with a PHD/Bachelors in Medicine, Law, Finance, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Accounting, Business, Marketing, Human Resources, Nursing, Forestry, Engineering, Geomatics & Geodesy, Kinesiology and Dentistry.

    Astrologers could not cut it in the real world and could not deal with rejection nor responsibility thus creating an illusion that a planet/star is responsible for their losses.
    They did not work hard and now lead boring unfulfilled lives teaching planetary movement to people. These people would be eaten alive in a court room or on a political podium because they lack thinking and logical reasoning abilities.

    Believe in one thing: yourself. If you want something, you must work for it.

    P.S. There is no Veda, Bible, Quran, or any holy scripture that has ever once mentioned a piece of garbage called astrology in their teachings. These books have been re-written for thousands of years and up until this day have ever recorded it. This should give you a clear idea of the poor critical thinking capabilities of humans today.

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