Monday, May 16, 2005

What does astrology do if anything? and why you can NOT test astrology

There have always been deceptions amongst people and astrology is one of the biggest.

The very essence of the astrological paradigm is a subtle and intuitive one, and that vagueness makes it impossible to falsify.

If someone finds that astrology works in guiding their own life, it will be a positive result, and validate the hypothesis for them. But if someone finds it doesn't work, it doesn't refute it, it merely fails to confirm it.

To get an absolute result to disprove/prove astrology, you'd have to couch any piece of essential astrological theory as an absolute general and testable rule. If you can't come up with a falsifiable hypothesis regarding what astrology can do and if you can not formulate hypotheses, there is no measurable effect and then it is pretty useless.

If astrology has any real substance, even on the individual level, then it shouldn't be that hard to find test criteria that a) all could agree upon, believers as well as skeptics, and that b) is possible to test.

Astrology claims that natal chart interpretation yields valuable insight in the personality for anyone. There are no persons excluded from this according to the claims of natal astrology.

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That makes me wonder what a man born on South or North Pole should do. Concept of houses that determine a persons ascendant is based on longitude, and on the Poles, it is undefined. And what if a man were born on the Moon?

Gauquelin investigated more traditional natal chart interpretation, and his conclusions were:

"It is now quite certain that the signs in the sky which presided over our births have no power whatever to decide our fates, to affect our hereditary characteristics, or to play any part, however humble, in the totality of effects, random or otherwise, which form the fabric of our lives and mold our impulses to action." (The Scientific Basis for Astrology)

Gauquelin didn't find any correlation.

Then what does astrology do if anything? and can somebody measure its effect?
In fact astrology does something besides fun:

(1) Believing in nonsense like astrology is waste of time and waste of money.
(2) By teaching people to accept anecdotal stories astrology promotes the worst thing in the world: uncritical thinking.

Nobody denies that all life on Earth is influenced by the gravity and light and heat from the Sun. The fact that all life on Earth is very dependent upon light and heat from the Sun is no "verification" of the "astrological paradigm.

Further reading:

Bad Astronomy

The Mars Effect in Retrospect

Is There Really a Mars Effect? by Michel Gauquelin

See who links to your web site.