19 October 2005

What's wrong with Astrology

Have you noticed that when you click on people's blogger profiles, it lists their astrological sign?

There are numerous things wrong with astrology.

  • At its vaguest, it is unfalsifiable by making general statements that can apply to anyone. (I.e., this aspect is unfalsifiable.)

  • At its most precise, it should have been able to predict the discovery of planets such as Neptune, Uranus, Pluto, and maybe even asteroids (Ceres) and Kuiper Belt Objects (Quaoar, Sedna, Xena/2003UB13). Astrologers failed to do so, and therefore have failed the one objective test that we could administer. (I.e., this aspect has been falsified.)

  • Precession - a wobbling effect of the Earth's axis - means that you weren't actually born in your birth sign, but the one after. The "first point in Aries" (vernal equinox, first day of Spring) actually is in Pisces, and it's nearly the "Age of Aquarius."

  • They left out Ophiuchus. There's actually 13 zodiacal constellations, and it's the extra.

Now that you've listened to me rant about it, listen to someone else rant, and then try very hard not to mock ID proponents.


Tor said...

I've always been more interested in how the traffic around the hospital was when someone was born. If someone was born during rush hour, those moving vehicles would have had more gravitational influence on the newborn than the stars and planets. And if you were born at a time when lead was still widely used in gasoline, the effects on the brain (and putatively the personality) would be increased.



zandperl said...

If we believe it's gravity and pollution that make the difference. Playing devil's advocate, perhaps there is a fifth fundamental force after the four known ones (gravity, electromagnetic, strong, weak) and it is through that force that the planets and stars affect us. Could call it something like the star force, or the planet force, or just the astrological force. Then we'd have to perform experiments to try and determine what particle mediates the A-force, and convince Stephen Hawking to come up with a super-GUT also unifying the A-force with the rest...

Of course, that would be turning astrology into more of a testable science, and goodness knows we can't have that!