Change My View: Astrology is Pseudoscience

Hi guys. So as many of you know, I’m a scientist by training. I hear people talk about astrology a lot, but I keep coming back to the same criticism, which is summed up nicely by Wikipedia:

Can any of you counter this argument by suggesting a mechanism by which astrology could work? Esoteric mechanisms count of course. What do you guys think?

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I think astrology is another way of saying that people born at certain times of year can share certain life experiences. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about an example of this in Outliers as to hockey players, of all things. But as society has become less agrarian and seasons don’t really affect our lives much anymore, I think astrology has only weak explanatory power of any

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Gravity. Physicists knew Uranus existed before they found it, because it is large enough to cause perturbations in the orbits of Saturn and Jupiter, which are enormous bodies and very definitely effect the orbits of every other planet in our solar system. One can calculate the Gravitational pull between Earth and the other Planets, and Moon and Sun. I have it in a spreadsheet somewhere. Ceres & Vesta each exert more pull than Pluto, so I support Pluto’s demotion.

Photons. Those things that interact with our outer atmosphere and create things like the Northern lights. Plenty of them make it through the atmosphere. A whole bunch of them together are usually called sunlight. The Planets reflect sunlight.

Neutrinos. Scary little bits of energy. No stopping 'em. These cause the mutations.

These are things that effect Earth. Do they affect us? And could that effect potentially be reflected in a map of the solar system at the time of birth? uh, possibly.

It wasn’t until last year that they (the great big science community in their ivory tower) finally detected the first Gravity Wave. But physicists knew they had to exist long before … Einstein.

Scientists have yet to look in-between.

And, they have a magnetic flux-field right hand rule, but they don’t work with a left hand rule. I mention this as an ironic allegory.

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As above, so below?

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Astrology can be like 85% accurate, but no more than that… Just as man has a subtle body, planets do to… In fact their gravity also has a subtle aspect. This subtle aspects is what is talked about when talking about planetary astrology… Palmistry etc has a different base

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Astrology is accurate as far as the planetary bodies are actually located (if you use the right one) you can verify this with that star app. Planets have gravity (or magnetism, depending on where you stand on Einstein vs Tesla and gravity etc) which affects the earth. Throw one planet out of its position, and all other planets are affected, right? If the earth is affected, it stands to reason that beings on earth also are affected, even if its a very minute effect. Look at the studies correlating the moon with levels of crime, that shows how the moon can affect us. If the moon can, why can’t other celestial bodies? We are in the womb surrounded by water, which the moon (and other planetary bodies to a lesser degree) influences with their gravity. Its possible that the time of our birth, with all these different forces acting on the amniotic fluid and us, could cause different psychological/spiritual developments in us, both our physical and astral bodies.

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Planets are energy manifest. Each has a different energy.

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I believe the activity of Astrology is psychosomatic and is psychologically impactful. Just because there isn’t a physical causality that pushes and pulls with a measurable force doesn’t mean there aren’t effects that could resonate from ancient beliefs that underly both our subconscious minds and the collective unconscious. I mean, it’s probably confirmation bias and self-fulfilling prophecy but planets in retrograde (looking at you Mercury) do seem to have an effect and it does seem that crap just starts to fall apart and go out of control. Some people go with the flow and others fight it (for better or worse). What makes it not a science is repeatability, which until we can simulate multiple universes, astrological correspondences and events can’t be “verified” and/or “falsified.”

I will say that in general, any systematic attempt of understanding humans (and other sentient beings including ghosts) will tend towards pseudoscience unless you focus on aspects that do not depend on interactivity. What I mean by that is, it’s one thing to use genetics to determine the healthiness of a subject by their DNA. It’s another to study a person with that DNA and their eating habits. They might follow a diet, they might not, if anything what we eat and drink can be very inconsistent and so having good DNA could be a waste if the person eats McDonalds everyday.

In my personal view anything that can be explained by science is reproducible by human or observed natural means indefinitely. In other words, it’s just a means of control.

If it is forbidden in the Bible, then it is probably something worth looking into.

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No. You’re right. Astrology is a pseudoscience in that according to the Popperian definition, its claims and predictions, are, unlike those of science, unfalsifiable. Every scientific theory or hypothesis has the potential to be falsified; any new piece of evidence could potentially do this. This means that the better and more refined technology becomes new evidence may come to light that overturns old theories and forces the creation of new ones to fit the new evidence. Thus, falsifiability ensures that science is not a static world view but a dynamic one.

This is in contrast to religion, astrology, magic, Marxism, Psychoanalysis and some aspects of modern psychology (particularly the more cognitive aspects). In all of the preceding, all evidence can be made to fit in with the system in question. Tarot reading is an excellent example of this: I pull up the death card in a standard three card spread reading and it’s in the “future” position within that spread and I’m asking about a relationship. It could mean the death of the relationship or it could mean the death of those factors obstructing the relationship; either way all bases are covered and therefore one can not accuse tarot as a system of being inaccurate. An astrological reading operates on similar lines of unfalsifiability.

Now, if we were to examine a hermetic theory for astrology, it would broadly fall into the same category of unflasifiability; why? because Hermeticism, like all systems that have their basis in Platonic philosophy is a static world view whose claims are unfalsifiable; for example it posits a “form of the good” like being that is both the origin of the universe and the ground of being of the universe, but whose existence is itself unfalsifiable. Therefore, if you were to use Hermeticism as an underlying theoretical basis for astrology; you would be using a unfalsifiable pseudo science to justify another unfalsifiable pseudo science which epistemologically is a zero sum game and ultimately gets you know where.

A true astrologer doesn’t care and shouldn’t care whether the world thinks astrology is a pseudoscience as long as s/he knows how to use astrology as a tool. Scientists are better off in their labs fooling themselves that they are doing god’s work… I like it that way. Anything they can’t explain they brand it as pseudoscience.

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Having said all of that; if a theoretical mechanism for astrology could be developed that contains the element of falsifiability within its structure, then such a theoretical basis could be considered to be scientific. For example, if I came up with a theory that attempted to describe astrology in terms of quantum entanglement and that theory explained existing evidence (ie specific events on earth correlated with the planets, their aspects and essential dignities) as well making new predictions that could be potentially falsified (ie; that if quantum entanglement is involved in the the correlation between a planetary position and an event on earth, then it should be detectable and measurable using such and such an instrument in such and such a way) then that theory fulfils the definition of a scientific theory.

It’s also interesting to note that by the Popperian definition of falsifiability many theories that are currently being taken seriously by some physics departments, are not in fact, scientific theories and therefore fall in the category of pseudoscience. String and “M” theories are examples of this. For while they explain existing evidence very well and offer a promising vision of an ultimate “unified field theory”, they make predicitions and claims that are incapable of being falsified with the use of current technology precisely because the technology currently available is incapable of measuring or observing such minute quantities (approaching the Planck length of 1.6 x 10 -35m)

So from the above considerations, yes, astrology is a pseudoscience as are the theoretical mechanisms that currently attempt to explain it. But that does not mean that such a categorisation is static. There may yet be a futural theoretical framework that explains astrological evidence in such a way as to epistemologically redefine astrology from the pseudoscientific to the scientific.

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Do you guys trust science? Or more importantly, the people who fund it?

#keepitsimple

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In west astrology is thought to be only movement of the planets in our solar system. Almost same in vedic astrology. But I came to know from a siddhas that Astrology will work even if one goes out of solar system, in some other planetary system. Generally it is said that 9-12 forces constitute the fabric of our physical universe (not in the elemental sense). This forces are given more or less same names as as planets of our solar system.

Now, the nine planets can be said to be part of/representative of this main forces. And mathematical astrology is based on their movements. The real forces are way too big.

Now here is the funny thing, in countless planetary systems discovered by our scientists non has more than 13 planets!!! Strange ha!!!

Real astrology/Jyotish is about figuring out rhythms of existence and thus its predictive power. The one used now a days is just a small part of the real science of it. How it is done? By figuring out the rhythm of existence. And if you ask me explain in details, well I can’t. But at the end of the day science also can’t explain in details/fully how I raised my hands!!!

Also know that just cuz something isn’t proven by science doesn’t mean it ain’t true. Otherwise scientists would have no work left to further prove/ discover. And no real scientists genuinely tried to see if astrology really works or not, in its predictive capability.

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As far as falsifiability goes, that depends on the person doing the reading and their credibility. What I do is have them do the reading, giving me a few specific examples and timelines with possible events and my characteristics etc. I get the full reading with no interruptions, then I see if its accurate or not. If they say “it says here youre likely to join the military” that’s an example of good evidence, as I was in the military and a very low percentage of people are veterans, so that’s a falsifiable example. If they say something like “someone close to you has died”, that’s an example of a bad reading, as everyone has someone close to them die. If they say “you’re great with money and love to save it” but I am horrible with money, that’s evidence that its false. The way I chalk it up is if there is an 85% correct reading, based on a good amount of falsifiable examples, then astrology is, regardless of HOW, legitimate. I have received such a reading, which is why I lend it credibility, in spite of not knowing exactly why or how it works.
A bad reader will give you the generalized wack readings; that discredits the practitioner, not the practice. The same goes for tarot. I can read your cards in a way that they will 100% be correct. Or, I can read them CORRECTLY and hopefully get at least 85% of it correct. If I do a reading that is wrong, and I’m sure I did it correctly, that’s when I will start to question its legitimacy.

:joy::grin:

What adds the awesome factor of your points in this discussion is that your avatar (when small) reminds me of Data from Star Trek New Generation.

Proven Science can definitely be trusted. (Rocketships! They exist.)
The $$$, often sleazy.

resonant waveform patterns.

astrology is governed by the movement of the stars. stars as we know are giant hydrogen explosions that produce all kinds of radiation x-rays and even radio waves. is it really so difficult to imagine that a cluster of stars could theoretically produce a resonant energy wave that could physically effect us on earth?