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March 13, 2005

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Ok, you got me. It's a load of made up nonsense.

A very perceptive observation, Virgo79.

Statistical researches could be done without computers, it is just more difficult, but Pepys recorded the Royal Mint, calculating the amount of Cromwell money in the economy,. Then there is John Gaunt about the same time calculating your chance of dying from plague versus other causes, and another study about the same time on a german town, forget the details, done by THE C.Wren

Statistical researches could be done without computers

Of course. But how did the ancients work out all those detailed rules and where are the data?

I do astrology but not professionally. And I'm still studying it. In fact, I began my research into astrology because I had the same questions you did. Who wrote these interpretations? Why do astrologers all produce different reports and where do they get their info from? And who says it's right? Well, it's that last question I've worked hardest on.

Dane Rudhyar (http://www.khaldea.com/rudhyar/) is where you want to start. Robert Hand is good but Liz Greene is better, in my opinion. Kepler is important too. It would be well worth your time to ask StarIQ's Rick Levine and Jeff Jawer their answers (www.stariq.com). Those two even have a radio show and are rarely shy about discussing astrology. They are also two of the best astrologers out there. As is Jonathan Cainer at cainer.com (who I find to be the most helpful and accurate, even in his general horoscopes).

You can test astrology on yourself for free at www.astro.com (you will need your time of birth). Now deceased Lois Rodden, contributed to astro research by creating her Astrodatabank - astrodatabank.com

There are so many different systems and texts to employ that few astrologers agree with each other. And that's what keeps me leaning toward skepticism. But I can say, after running my chart through just about every resource available and researching this stuff since 1996, it has been proven correct in too many instances for me to discount it completely. I consider it in it's early stages with much time needed before it becomes a proven thing we can trust. Much like medicine evolved ;-)

In the meantime, the areas where I have been able to find substantial proof of it's accuracy and effectiveness and trustworthiness are what keep me interested in it.

Carrie:

I do astrology but not professionally. And I'm still studying it. In fact, I began my research into astrology because I had the same questions you did. Who wrote these interpretations? Why do astrologers all produce different reports

Doesn’t that suggest to you that it’s not real? Astronomers all agree exactly where each star and planet will be at any given time. Why can’t astrologers agree what they mean? Could it be because none of astrology is right? Could it be they’re all working on purely arbitrary made-up rules and so it doesn’t matter which ones you use?

and where do they get their info from? And who says it's right? Well, it's that last question I've worked hardest on.

As for who said is it’s right - here are 37 tests that say it doesn’t work. How do you answer that?

Dane Rudhyar (http://www.khaldea.com/rudhyar/) is where you want to start.

I looked at his site. From this page, for example, we get

MERCURY: The position of this planet in a zodiacal sign and natal house indicates the person's essential type of mental activity and the way he tends most naturally and spontaneously to associate the raw data of his existence (i.e., his sense perceptions) and to build, through such an associating or linking process, the concepts and mental images which control his thinking.

This is what I am talking about. How does he know this? How did anyone work this out? His site doesn’t say. I say it’s just made-up.

Robert Hand is good but Liz Greene is better, in my opinion. Kepler is important too. It would be well worth your time to ask StarIQ's Rick Levine and Jeff Jawer their answers (www.stariq.com). Those two even have a radio show and are rarely shy about discussing astrology. They are also two of the best astrologers out there. As is Jonathan Cainer at cainer.com (who I find to be the most helpful and accurate, even in his general horoscopes).

Sure, I’ll email them.

You can test astrology on yourself for free at www.astro.com (you will need your time of birth). Now deceased Lois Rodden, contributed to astro research by creating her Astrodatabank - astrodatabank.com

I have looked at these sites. The charts they provide are meaningless generalities. People believe they are true if they want to.

There are so many different systems and texts to employ that few astrologers agree with each other. And that's what keeps me leaning toward skepticism.

I’m glad you’re leaning to skepticism. Tell me this: how do you choose between all these different systems and texts? How do you tell which is right?

But I can say, after running my chart through just about every resource available and researching this stuff since 1996, it has been proven correct in too many instances for me to discount it completely.

I will do a longer post sometime about why people think astrology works. Briefly though look up Confirmation bias and the forer effect. Remember, the easiest person to fool is yourself.

I consider it in it's early stages with much time needed before it becomes a proven thing we can trust. Much like medicine evolved ;-)

Early stages??? Are you kidding? It’s been around for centuries. Millennia actually. Look at the advances in real science over the past few hundred years and compare with astrology. You pick up your phone, turn on the TV, switch on a light and it works every time, not just some of the time, depending who “interprets” the “meaning” of the button you press. And as for medicine – we eradicated smallpox. What has astrology given us that is the equivalent of eradicating smallpox?Astrology has had plenty of time to demonstrate its worth: tell me one thing that astrology has given us over this period that is useful.

In the meantime, the areas where I have been able to find substantial proof of it's accuracy and effectiveness and trustworthiness are what keep me interested in it.

Again, conformation bias and the forer effect are probably responsible. Ask yourself (1) could those accurate predictions apply to other people and (2) how many predictions were wrong? Did astrology really tell you anything useful and unique?

I appreciate you taking the time to answer but I fear I've got you all riled up.Sorry about that.

Seriously, I'm not a pro but I have found it works for me in terms of giving me a heads up on certain things and aiding my understanding of people. I'll try to answer to your points -

This is what I am talking about. How does he know this? How did anyone work this out? His site doesn’t say. I say it’s just made-up.

I can feel your frustration and felt the same for a long time. But after much research and testing it on people, I've found it fits, that's the thing. I think of astrology in terms of the Wright brothers, Einstein, anyone in history who had a theory they were trying to prove. Yes they proved it because they came up with methods which were accepted. But how the heck do you prove astrology when all the proof is in something you can't see or test really? You look at what works.

Tell me this: how do you choose between all these different systems and texts? How do you tell which is right?

Whatever fits is what is right :-) I know, you are going to go to town on that but it's the truth. I tested their interpretations against me and other people who I knew very very well. The astrologers who consistently interpreted charts accurately are those I've continued to follow. The ones who failed, even once, are the ones I avoid.

I don't think you really ran your chart on astro.com because there is a lot of very specific info you would have gleaned from doing that, which would answer your questions as to it's validity. You know yourself better than anyone else so test yourself first. See what it says about your personality etc. Ignore predictions on future events, because astrology never gets specific on that anyway. It can't. And all respectable astrologers usually agree on that.

I know astrology has been around since the beginning of time :-) When I said it was in early stages I meant in terms of it's acceptance, uniformity and reliability. Yes it's taken a long time. My view on that would take a book to answer probably and I just don't have the energy to argue the point right now (seriously, health issues I'm dealing with).

Your last point -
Again, conformation bias and the forer effect are probably responsible. Ask yourself (1) could those accurate predictions apply to other people and (2) how many predictions were wrong? Did astrology really tell you anything useful and unique?

Ok I'm going to read about the bias and effect (thanks for the links) but my answer to #1 is yes and to #2 is also yes - in fact, in a couple of major life situations for me, astrology was enormously helpful.

I know this isn't what you want to hear and I appreciate you delving into this. But I do wish someone experienced such as those astrologers I mentioned would respond. It's very hard for me to argue and besides, I do remain half a skeptic :-) I think in the end, that's the healthy thing to do. Consider it, look at it, but don't see it as gospel. Same way I view religion and the bible.

I appreciate you taking the time to answer but I fear I've got you all riled up.Sorry about that.

Not at all – no need to apologize.

I can feel your frustration and felt the same for a long time. But after much research and testing it on people, I've found it fits, that's the thing.

So you don’t know how they figured it all out. Doesn’t that tell you something? They didn’t work it out or derive it. They made it up based on what they thought were pictures in the sky. Do you really think something made up like this could be true? Come on, this is fairy tale stuff.

I think of astrology in terms of the Wright brothers, Einstein, anyone in history who had a theory they were trying to prove. Yes they proved it because they came up with methods which were accepted. But how the heck do you prove astrology when all the proof is in something you can't see or test really? You look at what works.

Astrology can be tested. It makes specific predictions that absolutely can be tested to see if they are accurate. And when astrology is tested it always fails. You didn’t comment on these 37 tests that astrology failed. They show it doesn’t do what is claimed of it. How can you say it works when you know (1) it is made up and (2) it doesn’t work? I know you think it does for you, but those tests show your personal experiences are deceiving you.

Double-blind tests were introduced into medical trials because it was found that people’s subjective experiences could fool themselves. The same is doubly true for something like astrology.

Whatever fits is what is right :-) I know, you are going to go to town on that but it's the truth.

You know what I’m going to say then – you obviously already know the weakness in that answer.

I don't think you really ran your chart on astro.com because there is a lot of very specific info you would have gleaned from doing that,

Perhaps I have a better understanding of what is general but can appear specific. Please read about the Forer effect.

Your last point -
Again, conformation bias and the forer effect are probably responsible. Ask yourself (1) could those accurate predictions apply to other people and (2) how many predictions were wrong? Did astrology really tell you anything useful and unique?

Ok I'm going to read about the bias and effect (thanks for the links) but my answer to #1 is yes and to #2 is also yes - in fact, in a couple of major life situations for me, astrology was enormously helpful.

Actually, your answer to Q2 was really to a Q3 (that I didn’t number). My fault.

You agree that those accurate predictions apply to other people, so what makes you think they are specific for you? And how many predictions were wrong?

With all due respect Carrie, you say that astrology does not predict the future. You go on to say that "You know yourself better than anyone else so test yourself first". If they don't tell me anything about the future, and I know myself better than anyone else, what would I pay these people to do? Tell me things I already know?

I've got to go now because Nostradamus said so.

Would you explain the Forer effect? And next time someone gives you a well thought out, respectful answer to your statements, because we all know you are not looking for the truth, you are simply attacking Astrology because you've lumped it into a category. I bet you are a victim of your confirmation bias or forer effect right now.

Furthermore, the 37 tests astrology failed are flimsy tests, many of which had poor construct validity, which is why Astrology was able to fail. Astrology tests and applies variables from a universal model. In other words, anything in the sky is fair game. If one were to merge it with physics (try to strain your brain on this) it might correlate with the theory of relativity, and the 'effect' the planets have on individuals (by the way it's not an effect but an observed correlation for which few have tested...oops wait a minute. It's funny as hell that you came up with this truckload of information against astrology, when it's already been scientifically proven. Ever heard of a Ham radio? The angular relationship between the planets moderates the result of communication sent from point to point, when bounced off the upper levels of the atmosphere is widely done. You can read about that and see the research for yourself. As for its effect on people, how the ancients came up with their knowledge was lost in centuries of war. Instead of being a rabble-rouser and standing with your arms outstreched shouting 'prove it!' like a schoolboy on a playground, why don't you get behind the wheel and help advance the science--look for the truth. Go and research this material yourself. It's got to be easy for you to stand on someone else's shoulders and assemble a long list of negative proof when you (you are even too skeptical to pull a chart off of astro.com-- you are indeed a 'believer' because you have not even taken the time to read a chart about yourself and question its validity) are in the business of spreading the dogma of skepticism. You are asking on the surface, what is the proof behind astrology, and you think because you listed 37 tests you even gave it due process, but as Carrie put it so respecfully, "whatever fits is right." But you cannot see the symbolism in that...modern medicine cannot even cure the common cold. But stand there proudly on the shoulders of the people who actually worked for a living. A real skeptic searches for the truth, rather than builds a house of cards and screams his conclusions from the top of it. At least you have peace in your dogma, it's much less peaceful to live with an open mind.

This is intended to compare, question, and inform, not to crusade and obsess. I'm sure you will be quick to attack the errors in the last post, but I do not have the energy to count beans right now. There are indeed, more important things to do. Who are you helping by crusading against a discipline that helps thousands of people a day? Take your time and watch carefully, now that religious dogma is not blocking the advancement of Astrology (that's what Carrie means "I consider it in it's early stages with much time needed before it becomes a proven thing we can trust. Much like medicine evolved ;-)" -- you will see isolation of individual theories from the larger discipline and broad statistical research that will enable theoretical models to be developed, tested, proven, rejected/refined, until there is a set of constructs that are widely accepted, or a set of laws and postulates that are nearly infallible concepts. In english, astrology will be a proven scientific study.

You can be insulting with your replies, that must be to keep your readers coming back...(hmm, reminds me of the daily sun-sign horoscopes that have a level of accuracy lower than one's chances of winning a jackpot lotto) when she referred you to astro.com...that is one of the best sites on the planet...that chart will tell you good things...and if you see validity in psychology, Liz Greene is able to merge the two and produce strikingly accurate analysis, and with the aid of the computer, she helps people both accurately and professionally, people she has not even met. But let's be realistic, the ball is already rolling, Skeptico cannot and will not be stopped, there are few rules to free speech, none of them apply here, and this is your site so -- either this post will be deleted or it will be subject to divide and slander sarcastic retorts...go and take your best shot. Again, this was intended to compare, question, and inform, not to crusade and obsess--you my friend, will always be king in the latter categories.

Oh dear, we have a crazy ranter:

Would you explain the Forer effect?

I already provided a link. Surely someone as “open minded” as yourself can’t dismiss this explanation? Is so, on what basis?

And next time someone gives you a well thought out, respectful answer to your statements, because we all know you are not looking for the truth, you are simply attacking Astrology because you've lumped it into a category.

That sentence doesn’t really make sense, does it? You didn’t finish your “And next time…” phrase. Anyway, I’m attacking astrology (this time or the next time) because it is nonsense that doesn’t work.

I bet you are a victim of your confirmation bias or forer effect right now.

Please provide evidence for this. Make sure you read the link and discover what the forer effect is, first.

Furthermore, the 37 tests astrology failed are flimsy tests, many of which had poor construct validity, which is why Astrology was able to fail.

Well, the Nature test was designed by the astrologers, who predicted they would do better than 50%. You did read that, right? If they had succeeded they would have crowed about how astrology was now proven by science. They failed and so the test is no good? That’s heads I win tails you lose.

Anyway, I don’t have to prove astrology wrong. If proponents of astrology want to show it works it is up to them to demonstrate it does. Where are these tests? Why don’t you suggest a better test?

Astrology tests and applies variables from a universal model. In other words, anything in the sky is fair game. If one were to merge it with physics (try to strain your brain on this) it might correlate with the theory of relativity, and the 'effect' the planets have on individuals (by the way it's not an effect but an observed correlation for which few have tested...oops wait a minute. It's funny as hell that you came up with this truckload of information against astrology, when it's already been scientifically proven. Ever heard of a Ham radio? The angular relationship between the planets moderates the result of communication sent from point to point, when bounced off the upper levels of the atmosphere is widely done. You can read about that and see the research for yourself.

How does that show that the positions of the planets and stars at the time of birth affect personality in the precise ways claimed by astrology? And please show your work.

As for its effect on people, how the ancients came up with their knowledge was lost in centuries of war.

And your evidence for this is… ?

Anyway, unfortunately for you, this conflicts with what the astrologers told me. They confirmed it is basically made up.

Instead of being a rabble-rouser and standing with your arms outstreched shouting 'prove it!' like a schoolboy on a playground,

Except I never said “prove it”, did I? I am looking for evidence – something to show it works. Where is it?

And if I were you, with your childish angry writing style, I would cut out the schoolboy references.

why don't you get behind the wheel and help advance the science--look for the truth. Go and research this material yourself. It's got to be easy for you to stand on someone else's shoulders and assemble a long list of negative proof when you (you are even too skeptical to pull a chart off of astro.com-- you are indeed a 'believer' because you have not even taken the time to read a chart about yourself and question its validity) are in the business of spreading the dogma of skepticism.

First – I did pull a chart of astro.com. It was full of generalities. Did you not read what I wrote or do you just have poor reading comprehension skills?

Second – I have researched astrology. It doesn’t work. It’s crap. Why don’t you show us the evidence it does work?

You are asking on the surface, what is the proof behind astrology, and you think because you listed 37 tests you even gave it due process, but as Carrie put it so respecfully, "whatever fits is right."

Gibberish

But you cannot see the symbolism in that...modern medicine cannot even cure the common cold.

Irrelevant to astrology.

But stand there proudly on the shoulders of the people who actually worked for a living.

Evidence please that I don’t work for a living.

A real skeptic searches for the truth, rather than builds a house of cards and screams his conclusions from the top of it. At least you have peace in your dogma, it's much less peaceful to live with an open mind.

Is your mind open enough to look at the evidence and accept that maybe astrology doesn’t work? Seems to me you are the closed minded one – your mind is totally closed to the idea that this magic fortune telling system is not real.

This is intended to compare, question, and inform, not to crusade and obsess. I'm sure you will be quick to attack the errors in the last post, but I do not have the energy to count beans right now. There are indeed, more important things to do.

Translation: I can’t provide any evidence astrology works so I’m just going to bluster and play victim. Boo hoo.

Who are you helping by crusading against a discipline that helps thousands of people a day?

Please provide evidence astrology helps thousands of people a day.

Take your time and watch carefully, now that religious dogma is not blocking the advancement of Astrology (that's what Carrie means "I consider it in it's early stages with much time needed before it becomes a proven thing we can trust. Much like medicine evolved ;-)" -- you will see isolation of individual theories from the larger discipline and broad statistical research that will enable theoretical models to be developed, tested, proven, rejected/refined, until there is a set of constructs that are widely accepted, or a set of laws and postulates that are nearly infallible concepts. In english, astrology will be a proven scientific study.

Great. When will that be then?

You can be insulting with your replies, that must be to keep your readers coming back...(hmm, reminds me of the daily sun-sign horoscopes that have a level of accuracy lower than one's chances of winning a jackpot lotto) when she referred you to astro.com...that is one of the best sites on the planet...that chart will tell you good things...and if you see validity in psychology, Liz Greene is able to merge the two and produce strikingly accurate analysis, and with the aid of the computer, she helps people both accurately and professionally, people she has not even met.

An easy thing to claim. Can you back up that claim with evidence? Didn’t think so.

But let's be realistic, the ball is already rolling, Skeptico cannot and will not be stopped, there are few rules to free speech, none of them apply here, and this is your site so -- either this post will be deleted or it will be subject to divide and slander sarcastic retorts...go and take your best shot. Again, this was intended to compare, question, and inform, not to crusade and obsess--you my friend, will always be king in the latter categories.

Since I haven’t censored your replies I think I have proved you wrong with your insulting accusation that there is no free speech here. If my replies are sarcastic you only have yourself to blame. Show me the evidence and I will be convinced. Easier to rant and accuse me of all sorts of stuff though, isn’t it. Hope you had fun; you didn’t convince anyone.

Can these people not see that we are hoping, nay, BEGGING for evidence that astrology is not bullshit? This person sounds like one of those ID proponents - accuse the person questioning the validity of their unprovable statements of all sorts of silly things. To say we are not open minded is ridiculous. All we ask these people for is evidence astrology is not bullshit. Instead, they respond with "we know it works, we don't need to prove it. Research it yourself!" We have. It's crap. If I were to see solid proof that this stuff works, cool, we're on our way. Call Randi before me though.

Carrie said "I think of astrology in terms of the Wright brothers, Einstein, anyone in history who had a theory they were trying to prove."

You're getting this back to front - scientists don't make up a theory and then go and try to prove it, theories are developed as a result of observing data.

--cite--
The Astrology Challenge
Here’s my challenge to proponents of astrology: show me how those ancient people figured it all out.
--/cite--

It's not a question of showing, but of recognizing, because nothing except the physical forces can be proofed. Not time, not space, and not colors, not brightness, not music, not love, not logic, not math, nothing of theese things can be shown.

But you can proof me wrong. Simple show it.

In Sumer they was aware about the Pythagorean triangle, but if you show it to a cat, it will understand nothing. For that the ability to recognize an immaterial 'existence' is the discriminator of truth, not the showing the whole nature besides the physical forces.

--cite--
.. how did they ever work out which specific astrological aspect affected which personality characteristic and in what way? Because if they didn’t derive it somehow, they must have just made it up. And if they made it up, it’s very unlikely to be true. So my challenge to you is prove me wrong: show me it was not made up.
--/cite--

Wrong. It is just only your suggestion that they must have just made it up: Without knowing anything about the air stream and nothing about the shape of the earth, one can find out, that north winds are cold and south winds are warm. This method of science is called empiricism.

--cite--
Every scientific fact, from how Maxwell derived his famous equations to how we know about the strange behavior of the quantum world, was derived from observation and experiment. It’s all recorded somewhere, it can all be checked, and nothing is known by magic. No accepted knowledge was simply “made up” because it sounded right; we always know how it was derived and tested. Where is the equivalent body of knowledge for astrology?
--/cite--

Well, that what you say is not true. No one ever has given a proof to time. No one ever have given a proof to space. No one ever has shown where the universe space ends. The properties of the space are permittivity and permeability. The impedance of the space is 377 Ohm for a moving wave, wich is not detachable from time. Space is just magic and has no physical relevance; it exist only in the brains of scientists (space & time indivisible as it can be found in the cycles of the bodies in the sky mostly without a lost in energy over millions of years is an other thing).

If you can show that time or space are more than magic, then we can begin to talk about science and its values.

The key of this knowledge that all things besides physical forces cannot be shown, but must be recognized by an adequate consciousness is fundamental.: This means, that the idea, that astrology must show any proof is not only an error in thinking, it is a political abuse of science, knowing that nothing can be shown except physical forces. There is nothing to show. But many to be recognized, unfortunately not for typical skeptics; As Deborah Frisch said: "The typical skeptic is skeptical of the paranormal, other people, and is not skeptical of skepticism. The true skeptic is skeptical of the normal, himself, and of skepticism."


Volker:

Re: It's not a question of showing, but of recognizing, because nothing except the physical forces can be proofed.

Then how did they figure it all out?

Re: Wrong. It is just only your suggestion that they must have just made it up: Without knowing anything about the air stream and nothing about the shape of the earth, one can find out, that north winds are cold and south winds are warm. This method of science is called empiricism.

1)Actually, you are wrong - The astrologers basically agreed it was made up.
2) But prove them wrong - show me how they did it. Be specific.

Re: Well, that what you say is not true. No one ever has given a proof to time. No one ever have given a proof to space. No one ever has shown where the universe space ends. Blah blah

Apples and bananas. Time is not a “scientific fact” it is an interval separating two points on a non-spatial continuum. Nothing to be derived.

What I said most certainly is true. Scientific knowledge was derived and we can always check how. If astrology is real, show me how they figured it out.

Re: The key of this knowledge that all things besides physical forces cannot be shown, but must be recognized by an adequate consciousness is fundamental.: This means, that the idea, that astrology must show any proof is not only an error in thinking, it is a political abuse of science,

I didn’t say astrology must show proof, did I? I said it should be able to show (a) how it was derived and (b) evidence that it works. Why can’t you? If you can’t how do you know it works?

Re: knowing that nothing can be shown except physical forces. There is nothing to show. But many to be recognized, unfortunately not for typical skeptics; As Deborah Frisch said: "The typical skeptic is skeptical of the paranormal, other people, and is not skeptical of skepticism. The true skeptic is skeptical of the normal, himself, and of skepticism."

Just blather to cover up the lack of content in your post. Stick to the subject. Where is the evidence that astrology works? If you have none, how do you know it works?

Volker: It's not a question of showing, but of recognizing, because nothing except the physical forces can be proofed. Not time, not space, and not colors, not brightness, not music, not love, not logic, not math, nothing of theese things can be shown.

But you can proof me wrong. Simple show it.

In Sumer they was aware about the Pythagorean triangle, but if you show it to a cat, it will understand nothing. For that the ability to recognize an immaterial 'existence' is the discriminator of truth, not the showing the whole nature besides the physical forces...

Sceptico: Blah Blah

Volker: You have not shown any, and no valid scentific back arguments, black hole cat.

EOD

Volker

Skeptico, remember you have to keep it easy for them.

OK, for proof astrology is bullshit, click --->HERE<---

Why do people always have trouble following links on your site? The forer effect person...now this one...

/laughs

Volker:

I already showed that Astrology Doesn’t Work! So I have already “proofed” you wrong.

I’ve done my job. Time for you to back up your claims. You need to tell me:

(a) how astrology was derived
(b) evidence that it works.
(c) if you have no evidence it works, how do you know it works?

Stop blathering: answer the questions.

Sceptico,

Stop blathering: Show time, show space, show colors, show brightness, show music, show love, show logic, show math.

If you can show any of these 'dimensions' - I will tell you something about astrology. But the thing is you can not and you are recognition resistant like a stone. This is proofed by the fact, that you are anable to reply in a serious scientific way on my _arguments_. (!)

Don't care about astrology; if there is no relevance, please ignore. Nothing, that is not, can be shown.

Make your science and good, Black cat hole.

Or do you like to burn people, who are able to recognize the order of astrology symbols like Giordano Bruno?

"God is not the infinite over the universe or outside the same in the infinite, the ubiquity in all, but in highest way in all present, all immanent."

"I claim, that the universe is infinitely, that an immense number of world bodies exists: Heavenly bodies, earth's, suns."

"I believe in an infinite universe, as creation of the infinite omnipotence, since I it the divine kindliness and power for it considers unworthy if it can create innumerable worlds to have created only a finally restricted world."

"Each human being is his own center."

"Middle neither is in the universe, nor vicinity but if you want, a middle and each point are in all as center can any a vicinity is valid."

"Realization, wisdom, truth, unit, love is one and the same."

"The spirit, which grasps everything in a simple act of the visionary of 'looking', follows a mirror comparably, that lives, and at the same time so complete is, that the light, the mirror and all forms and formations are together identical."

"All the true philosophy is music or poetry and painting at the same time. True painting is music and philosophy at the same time. Maintain Poetry is a type of divine wisdom and painting."

"God Amor does me on the gates, and the noble truth teaches me understands. The Eye is my God's gate; in seeing originate from, lives, it grows, eternally, it prevails there."

"Dr. Nundinus therefore, in that het set right his weighty personality, one little the back, both, leaned back Hands of the table put, one little about itself looked, one little the tongue in the mouth laid out, the eyes of the blanket raised, at the same time with hiss fine smile the teeth showed, once again one cleared the throat little itself and spit, said in Latin: 'I therefore, I would like to assure them that we hold the Copernicus' opinion for unbelievable, that the earth moves... "

"Aristotle teaches, God is the first mover and with it creators of the universe. That is wrong. The universe is uncreated and immortal."

"Since the universe now is the one in all parts in all, so each thing includes the world soul. Everything, which in originating and Offenses, in change and changes exists, is one some, infinite, motionless substratum, matter, lives soul, True and property."

"Each organism is an image of the world organism."

"God is present in each part of the universe."

"I am somebody, that dares it, into the heart his, to penetrate even, in the consciousness, that God is near, with himt and in him, since God is the soul of the souls, the life of the lives, the essence of the essences."

"The soul will go through the undoing of the eternal change further and further and ever after improves into others or worse ways of life and fates arrive."

"The soul of the human being is the same like this of the flies, the oysters, for the plants, at all all beseelten being. Because there is not any body, that would not have share, at the world soul."

"Whoever is able to include the kindliness and beauty of the Allity it in alive understanding, is the true human being, his Morals laws will agree with the natural laws of the world."

"Moral good is, embedded itself who and lifted knows in the infinite universe."

Campo die Fiori

Giordano Bruno is burned the Fiori lively at the 17.2.1600 on the Campo on the pyre. He said "With bigger fear announces ye maybe the judgment as I accept it." An eyewitness reports about the execution: "Giordano Bruno looked pale and pale - apparently weakened from the blood loss, that he had suffered through the bygone tortures. His arms hung down lifelessly. One had torn them from the joints as one had woven him over the wheel. Not enough with it - the shocking torture tool had down-scraped the meat until on the bones at many places." He remain himself and his philosophy loyal until into the death, and as one holds the sacred cross in front of him to the remorse, Bruno turns his Head hates to the side.

Two days later, a report appears in the Roman newspaper "Avisi di Roma": "Saturday, 19.2.1600. - The repulsive Dominican brother of Nola, on which we reported already earlier, became at the Burned Thursday mornings on the Campo the Fiori with alive body. He was an immensely obstinate heretic, that from fabricated his own intuition of deceased dogmas against our belief, particularly however against the sacred virgin and other saints. He misery was so stubborn that he was willing to die. He even said that gladly he and as a martyr will die and that his soul will rise in the flames to the paradise. Now, he will probably know, whether he the Truth said."

Volker

Volker:

I claimed astrology doesn’t work and I produced evidence to support that claim. No one, including you, has yet managed to show a flaw in my case.

If you’re claiming astrology is real, you need to answer my questions. It’s your claim not mine, so stick to the subject. Here they are again:

(a) how astrology was derived?
(b) show evidence that it works.
(c) if you have no evidence it works, how do you know it works?

Your last post really does not warrant any detailed rebuttal – it’s just gibberish. I am going to leave it there for everyone to see and marvel at how much nonsense one person can write. However, my patience is now at an end: if you post any more garbage like that I will just delete it. So answer the questions, present some evidence not blather, or go away.

Sceptico: Your last post really does not warrant any detailed rebuttal – it’s just gibberish.

Volker: Can you show it in a scientific manner, that it is gibberish, or its just your personal superstition?

Sceptico: I am going to leave it there for everyone to see and marvel at how much nonsense one person can write.

Volker: Oh Sceptico, thats just an opinion, but no scientific argument. If you would like to be taken seriously in the scientific world, I think, political fallacies and inquisition of a stone brain will not help to find the truth about that, what astrology is.

Science has a basis. Power has a bases. Your turn is power, but not science. If here are scientist, who are interested in the thruth, they are able to reply to argumnets, one has written. You have no interest in truth, but in discussing the person.

Sceptico: However, my patience is now at an end: if you post any more garbage like that I will just delete it.

Volker: Who cares? Truth is invariant to your mind war. You can delete text, but not truth.

Skeptico: So answer the questions, present some evidence not blather, or go away.

Volker: You are not able to understand it, because you are recognition resistant, what you have demonstrated here several times, because you have _shown_ NOTHING but typical skeptic black hole mentality: Never give (feed-)back to any argument.

But to show you an example of empiriciscm in astrology:

The following people were born at a time where Saturn was placed in mid of the sky, what astrologers call medium coli (M.C.) of 10th house.

Catherine de Medici
Napoleon I
Zar Nikolaus II
Adolf Hitler
Rasputin
Nehru
John Mitchell (Watergate)
Herman Göring
Richard Nixon
J.F.Kennedy
Uwe Barschel
Ingeborg Bachmann
Michael Gorbatschow
Art Garfunkel
Rajivc Ghandi
Franz Schönhuber
Rudolf Scharping
Oskar Lafontaine
Gregor Gysi
Milosevic
Bill Clinton
Helmut Kohl
Albert Camus
Abraham Lincoln
Aldo Moro
Oliver Stone

Astrologers take note on such things in relation to their biography and doing research on that with scientific methodes.

Skeptics not.

That's the different. Skeptics never do any scientific work; the just only delete text and doing inquisition like the catholic church 400 years ago.

This is the absolute EOD from my side.

Volker

Volker:

I asked you for evidence and yet again you failed to produce any. In fact, if that load of drivel is the best you can do I think it is even clearer than before that astrology is for people will no grip on reality. Just so everyone can see that you have no arguments, and so they can see it is not worth trying to discuss anything sensibly with you, I will leave that last post of yours to stand for everyone to see. But I am now tired of your bullshit. You’ve had your chance, you decided to be an idiot, and now you are banned. Do not attempt to post here again.

If anyone else has any actual evidence in support of astrology, then please post it. I’m still waiting.

Proof should be easy for you to find.
Have an astrologer prepare your astrological birth chart and it will show that you are an asshole!
Something like... your mercury (mind set) conjunct your anus.

Note the quality of the argument presented in the above comment and consider this is the best that proponents of astrology can come up with.

Ask for evidence, get an ad homenim. Textbook woo response. They can't defend any of their stuff, so they attempt wit and fail embarrasingly.

Dude, that's great. I'd love to go into some spooky little astrologer's office, have them prepare a chart for me, and tell me with a straight face "Oh, Mr. Whitmore, this is not good. It appears that...that...you are an ASSHOLE!"

Proof should be easy for you to find.
Have an astrologer prepare your astrological birth chart and it will show that you are an asshole!

Anyone have suggestions on how to double-blind this? I also have concerns about the very, very small study size.

I had to respond... I am a professional astrologer myself, and I find all of this discussion fascinating. Immediately I sensed if I even told you I found it fascinating, many of you skeptics might start picking it apart. I guess I'm kinda uptight myself, but many of the comments going against astrology seem to be pretty anal. Fluff from some of the others who are believers too, but maybe mine are as well... what do you think though? (I really don't think the comment about all the Saturn-10th-Housers was completely told... I haven't "researched it" myself, but I think you'd find that Saturn has a different effect in that house depending on other angles... and that's asking us astrologers to write a friggin' book... so Skeptico could immediately point out, HEY, YOU ARE LIEING, MY BROTHER HAS SATURN IN 10th AND HE ISN'T FAMOUS.... WHY NOT??? with a dumb look on his/her face)--sorry, didn't know gender here, Skeptico. I just hopped onto your blog a bit ago for the first time.

AS FOR YOUR CONCERNS, SKEPTICO... I find them very relevant as well. I think you're asking something that requires someone to have WAY WAY WAY too much time on their hands to fully put into a book or moreover into one steeenking post here on your blog.

My idea is this: Would anyone in the world have so much time on their hands that they could look at the entire life of a person and match it up with certain progressions/transits, solar returns, lunar returns, blah blah blah... and THEN make their judgments for what's happening RIGHT NOW in this very moment just so they can avoid "generalities"?? I hiiiighly doubt it.

Even the smallest influences (a word spoken for example at the age of 3 by a caring parent) can influence behavior at age 41 --- hypothetically speaking. Perhaps that same word influences decisions made years later --- ever been in a situation where you said to yourself, "Momma always told me..." and then make a decision based on that motherly influence (sorry, Forrest G.)?? OK, for you super-independent types, ever done something seriously out of habit with no conscious control on the situation? I doubt anyone is that self-controlled.

I have yet to see anyone step up to the plate with so MUCH time on their hands (as I seem to have right now, even bothering to post a comment, ha ha!), and honestly say, "Well, because you had a Moon Square Pluto transit under ... at age 3, again at age 11, and then at age 21,... year 41 and 42 is lookin' like you're going to ..." WHATEVER (insert the desired conclusions or analysis). Real astrologers don't have time to mess with that - they ask questions and confirm the bigger picture.... I gotta lot of work to do, I'm not going to sit for a 5-day seminar with people to learn about their past history, sheesh!

Not sure if that makes sense, put it into another perspective for ya'-- when you go to a doctor, they aren't going to know anything either about your past health-history. (I'm not straying from your questions, hear me out, ok??)

Why do people go and get "second opinions" then?? EACH CHART that is read can have different interpretations depending on which astrologer you consult. Why? It's gotta be because it's an art - you can't take into account all the minute details of a person's life and expect ANYTHING MORE than what you debunker's call "generalities". These studies these people do, are kind of ridiculous.

If people start being more intelligent about it all and blend skepticism with a bit of compassion and willingness to learn, the world would be a better place. Who cares who made the rules, some of the skeptics here are talking like astrology should be used to track every breath taken. That's not what people should intend. Heck, if I hung on every word of a solitary conventional doctor (or solitary homeopathist, for those natural-healing-peeps out there), I would limit myself... what if someone else had a more accurate diagnosis for (example) my nasty skin rash? In that, you could say a doctor is somewhat like an artist as well. The word holistic comes to mind - it's not easy as "flipping on a switch" (as alluded to in one of the posts here). You're not GOING to get every astrologer to agree, just the same as you don't get any other "scientifically-bent" person to agree on their findings either.

So rephrase what it is that you want to know, Skeptico. You have a lot of years of pass/fail readings that "astrologers" have done to sift through - on top of it, you got a lot of astrologers who aren't really serious astrologers. You need a team of people and a serious plan to organize all of the teeny-tiny details to get more than "generalities". Medicine's been around for many years (less than astrology maybe?), but do you see a viable cure-all for cancer yet? Some stuff works, some don't.

Point made.

oh, what I meant in the previous post was... that cancer's been around for years as well. We just didn't know that it was cancer way back when... I'm very sure there are many other things that we don't know about astrology or the Universe itself, but to completely say it's too general, is limiting. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto weren't always on the astrological chart for the "millenia" you speak of... humans never knew it existed! Think of how much more we know now than we did before about astrology ------ yea, compared to tomorrow, SQUAT! Compared to yesterday, a crapload.

There is much more than our immediate solar system to consider- again my point, real astrologers can look at the bigger picture as we have it for right now and keep an open mind and suggest that there could be more on the table than what we evaluate - never ever believe an astrologer who says, "This is what is going to happen... like it or not". That's a crook! The fakes or inexperienced astrologers will try to explain their way out of a paperbag, as they avoid "seeming too general" or "seeming to change their interpretations" as you, Skeptico, absolutely don't understand. I can't garuntee how you breath when you're under a Saturn-Conjunct-Mercury transit... maybe you'll decide you want to approach the situation differently and inadvertantly avoid it.

No one's made comments about "free will" in here??? What the hell is wrong with these astrologers posting??

Post your chart Skeptico.

Scott:

Re: I think you're asking something that requires someone to have WAY WAY WAY too much time on their hands to fully put into a book or moreover into one steeenking post here on your blog.

I’m asking how the rules were derived. If they were derived, the way that scientific knowledge was derived, this would already be written down somewhere in a book or other papers. Just ask an evolutionist where the evidence is for evolution. They won’t bleat “you're asking something that requires someone to have WAY WAY WAY too much time on their hands to fully put into a book all the evidence for evolution". It’s already there. Masses of it.

The fact that you admit it would take someone a lot of time to do this for astrology is an admission that it’s never been done. If it’s never been done then it was just made up. It’s odd to me that you don’t see that your own words have confirmed exactly what I said.

Re: My idea is this: Would anyone in the world have so much time on their hands that they could look at the entire life of a person and match it up with certain progressions/transits, solar returns, lunar returns, blah blah blah... and THEN make their judgments for what's happening RIGHT NOW in this very moment just so they can avoid "generalities"?? I hiiiighly doubt it.

OK, then suppose you tell me what evidence there is that astrology works. All you’re doing is bleating that it’s hard to show evidence astrology is real. That’s your problem – if you want me to believe astrology is real then you have to show me the evidence. “It’s hard” is just a smokescreen for “there isn’t any”.

Re: Not sure if that makes sense, put it into another perspective for ya'-- when you go to a doctor, they aren't going to know anything either about your past health-history. (I'm not straying from your questions, hear me out, ok??)

Why do people go and get "second opinions" then??

Doctors are sometimes wrong so astrology is real. Sorry, that old fallacy won’t wash here. Sure doctors can be wrong, but their knowledge base is backed by evidence. Where is yours?

Re: If people start being more intelligent about it all and blend skepticism with a bit of compassion and willingness to learn, the world would be a better place.

I am willing to learn how astrology was derived. Trouble is, no one can tell me. Including you.

Re: So rephrase what it is that you want to know, Skeptico.

Why the hell should I? I suggest you rephrase your answer so that it explains how astrology was derived. Except you can’t, can you.

Re: Point made.

The only point you made was that you have no reason to suppose that astrology works. Thanks for playing though.

General Notice

This thread was set up to challenge proponents of astrology to explain how all the detailed astrological rules were derived. I am leaving comments section open for anyone to post their explanations, or links to same.

Take note, the comments section of this post are not open for astrology proponents to whine about how difficult it is to show such evidence, how scientists have been wrong before, how skeptics need to keep an open mind etc etc. You have had your time on these fallacious red herrings. Post details of how astrology was derived, or do not post at all. Posts that violate these rules will be summarily deleted.

So now’s your chance – show me how the detailed rules of astrology were derived. If astrology is real they must be there somewhere. Post the data or shut up.

Do you mind if I throw one litte wrench into the works? I was born at 9 degrees North Latitude... that is very near the equator. While living there again as a teenager I noticed it was very dfficult to see many of the constellations related to the zodiac. A couple years later in Arizona I did finally see Scorpio in its utter glory... Here's my question: If the zodiac is based on constellations that are best seen in the temporate latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, how could they have any effect on anyone born in the tropics (like me) or the Southern Hemisphere? Why on earth do the astrologers in Australia rely on Northern Hemisphere constellations? And why have the dates of the horoscopes not changed since over the centuries the time of year the constellations can be seen have changed?

Detailed rules for astrology have been (and continue to be) derived from observation.

Not good enough.

Where can I read how these observations were made and recorded? In detail please, no more vague waffle.

Observation would point out that the constellations that make up the zodiac do not appear on the particular date dictated by astrology... and nor do they appear in major portions of this planet's surface (like the Southern Hemisphere).

Anyway... when my second child was born on a particularly busy day on the hospital's maternnity ward. A couple of the half a dozen infants were born within minutes of each other. Do those now 15 year old people all share the same horoscope?

HCN:

I asked the same question when notoriously spammed by famed asstrologer Rochelle Gordon. It's really not fair; like boxing a parapalegic.

These observations were not recorded in the same sense a physicist calculates time and speed of a falling object. When something happened in nature and it corresponded to a particular event (over and over again), whether in someone's personal life or as in a mundane (worldly) event such as an earthquake (or "insert catastrophe") it was noted as more reliable to assert its worth when a particular planetary event happened yet again.

It is almost akin to Native American culture, in that, all stories told were oral - it was an oral culture - this means a lot of information has been warped over the years. The fact that it's been warped over the years and subject to the controversy it's been subjected to, however, does not prove to me that astrology is warped AS A WHOLE and an invaluable tool for prediction entirely at this point in time. It only suggests the possibility that it could be false.

Does anyone know of a test that's been made in the following manner:

1) Get a well-praised "professional astrologer" on board.

2) Take 5 different people and have them confidentially (by themselves) write a 5 to 10 page report on their life. Minimum of 5 pages, single-spaced, one-inch border (to be specific), each on white pieces of paper... no consulting others during the writing. This report will include the person's own creative and subjective input, even down to using whatever words that come to mind to describe their feelings during specific periods in their life. These periods/events may be things such as a long-term illness, death, grief, marriage, opening a business, hitting the loterry, getting laid off/hired, having a head-on confrontation at work, having a close friend expose an important secret, etc.. The subjectivity is up to the person themselves- whatever he/she feels to write!

3) The astrologer has 5 different astrological charts, that he/she must calculate knowing only the person's birthdata: month, day, year, place of birth.

4) The astrologer must match with 100% accuracy each of the 5 different charts with the 5 different reports.

Guess it doesn't have to be 5. Could be more? What do you guys think? I don't know what would be considered "scientific".

Or is this not scientific enough? What would be fair? Maybe have instead of a "report", like a long questionaire, asking questions like "when married? Answer: Jul 15, 1973" and so on... Also, I think, each person would need to be roughly within 2 years or so of each other, and better yet - within a couple minutes of each other.

Yes, HCN, each person has a different birth chart, even the ones born within minutes of each other. Any real astrologer should have told you this before. As for Northern/Southern Hemispheres, I'm not sure if you realize that there are Tables of Houses for both Northern and Southern Latitudes. Even then, the actual predicting of past/current/future events in a person's life has nothing really to do with North and South; an astrological chart uses more of its longitudinal positions. There is, however, some indication that a planet's influence within a chart is stronger than the others' influences if the latitude of the planet from the ecliptic is closer to 0 degrees. As for proof, this is also observed knowledge that has been written in books, but been past down in an oral sense.

Looks like you're not going to find the answers you're looking for, Skeptico. Got me on that one! :-)

Scott:

Re: These observations were not recorded in the same sense a physicist calculates time and speed of a falling object. When something happened in nature and it corresponded to a particular event (over and over again), whether in someone's personal life or as in a mundane (worldly) event such as an earthquake (or "insert catastrophe") it was noted as more reliable to assert its worth when a particular planetary event happened yet again.

Translation – you can’t produce anything that shows how astrology was derived. You can’t show one piece of data where what you claim was done, was in fact done. Do you realize what a huge undertaking it would have been to do the study you are suggesting? How do you think they did all this and worked out all these detailed rules without writing anything down? Think about it. It didn’t happen.

The rules of astrology were made up - that's all you've shown.

Re: Does anyone know of a test that's been made in the following manner:

1) Get a well-praised "professional astrologer" on board.

2) Take 5 different people (snip)

3) The astrologer has 5 different astrological charts, that he/she must calculate knowing only the person's birthdata: month, day, year, place of birth.

4) The astrologer must match with 100% accuracy each of the 5 different charts with the 5 different reports.

It’s been done – in more detail than that with 116 subjects not five, and they only needed 50% accuracy to pass the test (not 100%), but they only got 33% the exact percentage expected by pure chance. The astrologers were all chosen by the San Francisco chapter of the National Council for Geocosmic Research, as being experts. Instead of the subjects writing a report, they completed a personality test questionnaire, exactly as you suggest. Astrology failed. It doesn’t work.

I wrote about this test that astrology failed here. What more can you possibly want? How can you justify saying astrology works?

Looks like you're not going to find the answers you're looking for, Skeptico.

Because they don't exist.

Off topic comment deleted by Skeptico

Scott:

I warned you that childish off-topic comments would be deleted. You were doing OK there for a while but when faced with the facts about astrology it seems all you have left are insults.

Fyi, I am especially insulted that you suggested I had “deleted much of” your last post. I deleted nothing of your other posts.

General Notice (repeat)

This thread was set up to challenge proponents of astrology to explain how all the detailed astrological rules were derived. I am leaving the comments section open for anyone to post their explanations, or links to same.

Take note, the comments section of this post are not open for astrology proponents to whine about how difficult it is to show such evidence, how scientists have been wrong before, how skeptics are closed-minded etc etc. You have had your time on these fallacious red herrings. Nor is it an opportunity to claim that it was all worked out, really it was, but it’s just that no one wrote any of it down. Post details of how astrology was derived, showing all your work, or do not post at all. Posts that violate these rules will be summarily deleted.

Post data or shut up.

Scott wrote: "As for Northern/Southern Hemispheres, I'm not sure if you realize that there are Tables of Houses for both Northern and Southern Latitudes" ...

Uh, so why do they use the same constellation names? The "Table of Houses" should use SOUTHERN constellations!!!

But I checked a horoscope from an Aussie paper, and they used the same as the NORTHERN hemisphere.

Of, course... there is still the problem with precession. Tell me, what are the dates that Scorpio is supposed to effect... and WHAT are the dates that it is actually in the night sky? Have you ever taken a tellescope and looked at the night sky?

Truthfully, I do know how to spell... I'm just having trouble typing!

I'm an ex-astrologer. I find astrology and astrologers oftentimes just as dogmatic as christianity or islam. Here's a question. Why is it that asteroids and other space debris are accorded psycho-spiritual significance, yet I have never seen a delineation for, say, one of Jupiter's moons? The moon Ganymede is actually larger than the planet Mercury, so it stands to reason that it would have some sort of astrologically verifiable influence on a human being. Allow me to speculate that it's simply because the collective ephemeres of all of Jupiter's satellites would be more or less the same. This, of course, does not make for very exciting astrology. If Jupiter is currently in Scorpio, then Ganymede is in Scorpio as well (At least form a geocentric perspective.) I read earlier that anything in the sky is fair game. Why not satellites? Sorry to be a spoilsport, but it's probably because asteroid Dawkins is conjunct my Sun.

The answer: There is an interpretation acient script manual that resides in Tibet.

tihson, I congratulate you, not for "coming over to the side of the skeptics", but for asking sensible and very important questions in a critical and open-minded manner.

I would like to know how astrologers have been modifying their ancient methods based on the planetary discoveries of Neptune, Pluto, Charon, Quaoar and Sedna.

I found an interesting discussion on the "astrology" of Sedna on http://www.karmastrology.com/Sedna.shtml

Note that nobody was saying "Oh, all our predictions up to now must have been wrong because we couldn't take Sedna's influence into account." It's just another "personal facet". They seem to be making all sorts of dire predictions about Sedna based only on the Inuit name chosen for it.

I wonder what their "calculations" would be like if the planet had been named, say, Ghandi, Churchill or Mickey Mouse.

What I'd really like to know is if any astrologers made predictions about it when it was just numbered rather than named, and if they then had to revise their thinking when a name was chosen.

I find it interesting that Venus is accorded supposed caring, feminine factors and Mars masculine, belligerent ones. Suppose the names (chosen, let's face it, at random) had been transposed, so that the red planet was called Venus. . .

By using the natal chart as a starting point, it is possible to determine the lifespan of any individual. One does need a fairly close time of birth-say +- 15 mins.for accuracy. I believe that this is the real purpose of the natal chart, so if any sceptic out there wishes me to verify this statement, I shall be happy to do so.Anne Brogan, 2.5.2006


Yes Anne, can you please back up that statement with some evidence.

If Anne can determine a person's lifespan, it should be a simple task for her to determine from a list of precise bdays whether or not the corresponding people are alive or dead. If she sticks with that, it should make for an easy entry for the Randi Challenge, after they get all that mess with Kramer leaving and Randi recovering sorted out.

Dear Skeptico, thanks for your time and effort. I had been curious as to the question of how and from whom were the rules and correlations of astrology derived. I think I've spent more time on this than it is worth. My mind is at peace with the subject, and after reading the blog in its entirety I'm fairly confident there is no evidence available today that can point to a scientific based derivation of astrology. Now I can focus my energies on other curiosities.

I must admit that even I, an engineering professional schooled in scientific thought, was astonished upon reading a report based on my astrological birth chart, produced by my girlfriend’s mother. At the time, the recognition of self in the descriptions was seemingly too uncanny to dismiss as phooey. Now, I see my experience of this information as probably explained by the Confirmation bias and the forer effect. Being a scientist, the evidence you presented in "here are 37 tests that say it doesn’t work" is compelling enough for me to register as a Certified Astrology Skeptic (aka CAS).

For those staunch believers in the validity of astrology, take heart. As a skeptic, I am not saying that I know with 100% confidence that astrology was invented by human fantasy and has no predictive power. I am open-minded to hear evidence to the contrary. The fact is that the evidence to date is not persuasive.

Having said all that, I would like to throw a bone to you believers, in part to demonstrate that skepticism and an open mind can coexist. You might be experiencing unbearable psychological tension because Skeptico’s points are hard to argue based on logic, but your heart can’t let go of the desire to believe that Astrology is truth. You may find solace by latching on to the following possibility, in response to Skeptico’s challenge (a): “tell me how astrology was derived.”

It’s clear that the people who dwelled on earth during the time of Astrology’s origin did not have the skills required to establish Astrology based on scientific method. In other words, if the results predicted by Astrology are due to natural laws that govern cause and effect, the fathers of Astrology were not sophisticated enough to discern those laws and derive from them the theory of Astrology.

However, the fathers of Astrology could have gone the other route of empirical study. This would involve comparing the positions of celestial bodies at the point of birth of various individuals to the subsequent personalities and events in the lives of these individuals, discovering common patterns (correlations) that are repeatable and thus deriving the rules of Astrology. Perhaps the written evidence and oral traditions that would provide proof that this is in fact what happened have been forever lost.

You could latch onto this as a logical retort to Skeptico’s challenge (a).

There is another possibility that some believers might choose to hold, to respond to the challenge “tell me how astrology was derived”. I personally find it highly improbable that our Astrological ancestors had the sophistication, tools and perseverance required to derive a robust body of Astrological rules from either cause and effect analysis or empirical study. However, suspend disbelief and assume for a moment that there is an underlying natural phenomenon at work here. It’s possible that a life form more advanced than us humans has discovered it, understood it, and has mathematically modeled it. If you are open-minded enough and have the stomach for this, you might choose to believe that Extraterrestrials visited the earth a long time ago, and taught the humans dwelling on earth these Astrological rules.

Perhaps the Astrological rules taught to our ancestors by Extraterrestrials a long time ago have become polluted over time. This is because there was not a collective body to shepherd their preservation, advancement, and integrity (i.e. a self-regulated science community). Without such a body, there would be no efforts to document and preserve the origins. Anyways, who would believe it, and who would be brave enough to author such a treatise, only to face the wrath of mortal death from disbelievers?

Over time, without a process to maintain the science it becomes changed, added to, and amended without adjudication. Charlatans become involved and further adulterate the original teachings. What we are left with today in the body of Astrology is some of the fruit, amongst a whole lot of weeds and thorns. It becomes polluted to the extent that scientific methodologies to test validity of Astrological predictions consistently show no difference vs. random guessing. Yet some of the fruit is still there, causing the strong factors at certain times, under certain conditions, and for some people to be heard above the noise. Maybe it’s these whispers of a connection that some people hear when they compare Astrological predictions to their lives, and this compels them to believe.

Skeptico, I know what you’re thinking--- pure speculation to support an unfounded belief---- and still no proof. I agree.

However, I hope you preserve this post in it’s entirety to afford those believers some psychological relief, so that they can proceed to believe if they so choose.

I Googled Extraterrestrials and Astrology and found an interesting connection. It has to do with President Ronald Reagan. It’s common knowledge that Nancy Reagan consulted with astrologists and was Ronny’s closest confidant. What’s not as well known is Ronald Reagan’s obsession with UFO phenomenon. Ronald and Nancy Reagan supposedly had an encounter with a UFO. There are number public speeches made by Reagan during the cold war where Reagan verbalized imaginings of how the world would spontaneously unite if there ever was an external threat to humanity from an alien invasion. And most intriguing, are the comments that President Reagan made to Steven Spielberg after a private screening in the White House of his soon to be released movie ET: The Extraterrestrial. Along with the Reagans and Spielberg thirty-five people were invited to the special E.T. screening. During the screening, the President leaned over, clapped Spielberg on the shoulder, and quietly commented, "You know, there aren’t six people in this room who know how true this really is." Unfortunately, the sudden press of people following the movie prevented Spielberg from pursuing the strange comment made by Reagan.

CAS

If you find someone to explain why electricity works and why gravity works, perhaps they would answer your question.

To ask how they did it, without asking if it actually worked, is not a strong line of logic.

anononymous:

I did not ask “why astrology works”. I asked how the rules were derived.

As for if astrology works, I think I have already shown that astrology does not work.

I recently claimed to be able to determine personalities from just a birth date and place. I gave three separate readings, the first one using the Forer text, the second using an example of Forer-style text and the third made up from random quotes off horoscopes. All three thought I was stunningly accurate.

You can read about it here, if you wish:

http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Body_and_Soul/Question241845.html

Off topic post deleted by Skeptico.

General Notice (repeat of a repeat)

This thread was set up to challenge proponents of astrology to explain how all the detailed astrological rules were derived. I am leaving the comments section open for anyone to post their explanations, or links to same.

Take note: post details of how astrology was derived, showing all your work, or do not post at all. Posts that violate these rules will be summarily deleted.

Post data or shut up. And yes Bobby, this means you too.

- Skeptico

The sound of silence is overwhelming. Without getting into vituperation, ad hominem attacks or slanging-matches, what is so unreasonable about what Skeptico is asking? It's something I'd love to know too.

Astrology apparently has a detailed set of procedures and algorithms so detailed that only a computer can sort them out with any accuracy. These, presumably, have been faithfully coded from the unerring hand-me-down lore of the wise ancients. Nobody today knows how those frighteningly complex rules were derived.

Now, believe it or not, people 8 or 10,000 years ago were not noticeably more or less intelligent than people today. They were people just like us.

Without the benefit of scientific method, detailed astronomical measurements or computers, they came up with an accurate, detailed and potent method of predicting an individual's future. This was passed on through the generations by oral tradition, and would seem to have reached the 20th century intact, since its practitioners swear to its continuing accuracy.

The ancients didn't have detailed ephemerides, telescopes, accurate clocks or star maps.

Are present-day astrologers, armed with the vast body of knowledge and equipment we have today, unable to go back to first principles and derive astrology's tenets from scratch?

People believe what they need to believe. It's not impossible that there are broad seasonal influences on character, physiology etc., and that these were noticed and recorded over thousands of generations. Skeptico, I think your challenge simply demonstrates your own bias that this stuff just must have been made up. I would say that the fact that astrology demonstrably doesn't work doesn't mean it was simply made up. Rather, like most knowledge systems in human cultures, it incorporated culturally significant memes in an effort to make sense of the chaos of life. Scientists and philosophers and skeptics do the same thing. It doesn't matter whether you or the astrologers are right or wrong; what matters is that people are compelled to try to understand themselves and the world, and there exist methods - including astrology and religion - which may be unscientific, superstitious and "primitive", but nevertheless help them to do that.

Kaz:

Re: People believe what they need to believe. It's not impossible that there are broad seasonal influences on character, physiology etc., and that these were noticed and recorded over thousands of generations.

Whether that is possible or not was not the question. The question was (a) what did, actually, happen and (b) please show your work.

Re: Skeptico, I think your challenge simply demonstrates your own bias that this stuff just must have been made up.

Kaz, I think your response demonstrates you didn’t read my post or the numerous follow up posts. Even the astrologers admit it is made up.

Re: I would say that the fact that astrology demonstrably doesn't work doesn't mean it was simply made up.

That wasn’t what I was saying so this is just a straw man argument. One more time – I am saying that if it was made up it is unlikely to be true. At the very least, astrology’s doubtful provenance means we would need extraordinary evidence that it works, before we should accept it does. But we are only offered weak evidence. It’s right there in the post if you had read it.

Re: Rather, like most knowledge systems in human cultures, it incorporated culturally significant memes in an effort to make sense of the chaos of life. Scientists and philosophers and skeptics do the same thing. It doesn't matter whether you or the astrologers are right or wrong; what matters is that people are compelled to try to understand themselves and the world,

Bullshit. Of course it matters if it is right or wrong. What a moronic argument.

Re: and there exist methods - including astrology and religion - which may be unscientific, superstitious and "primitive", but nevertheless help them to do that.

Oh no, not Astrology as psycho-analysis again.

Kaz, you seem to have a problem with reading comprehension. As do many other commenters to this thread. I’ll lay it out again, and try to pay attention this time:

General Notice (repeat of a repeat of a repeat)

This thread was set up to challenge proponents of astrology to explain how all the detailed astrological rules were derived. I am leaving the comments section open for anyone to post their explanations, or links to same.

Take note: post details of how astrology was derived, showing all your work, or do not post at all. Posts that violate these rules will be summarily deleted.

I really don’t know how much clearer I can make this.

Not one of the astrology proponents has even come close to addressing the very clear question of "how were the complex rules of astrology worked out in the first place?"

Surely this has to be the crux of the matter. Whether it's "genuine" or not is not the question here. The "pros" believe it is and the "antis" (including me) believe it isn't.

However, if someone wants to debate that, there is a thread here called "Astrology Doesn't Work" for that subject.

This is a challenge to show that astrology has some basis in rational thought. All the arguments so far have been broadly divided into the following categories:

It works.
You should be open-minded enough to accept that it works.
If you don't believe it works, you must be a wilful idiot or a shill for Big Science.
Lots of people believe it works.
It's ancient, and those people knew a lot more than us.
Look, it works, OK?

If it were 100% effective, I really don't think we'd be debating the "it works" challenge; instead, there would be lots of scientists working late into the night on how it does work.

The bottom line: astrologers claim that their discipline is based on complex and arcane rules passed on from ancient times.

Let us say that the presence of Mercury in the constellation Aquila (the eagle) at the time of a person's birth is supposed to indicate a later penchant for flying. I'm not saying that this is an actual tenet of astrology, and it may be a gross simplification, but the bottom line seems to be that the location of a planet or planets at the time of birth imbues the new-born babe with certain tendencies.

We have here a rule, and one which seems pretty much to apply to the modern world. I have seen excerpts from detailed "professionally-produced" horoscopes which have similar resonances - a modern-world aspect which SEEMS to be included because a group of stars appeared to the ancients to resemble an object, animal or mythical person.

Given that there are aspects of the modern-world which would mean nothing to the ancients (computer whiz, anyone?), this implies that new rules emerge from time to time.

This implies that the most ancient axioms of astrology (if there are any) are sufficiently detailed to allow new aspects to be derived.

How is this done? How are new associations derived?

We might not be having this debate if astrology involved a crystal ball, channelling ancient spirits or an effort of will.

However, astrology claims to be very effective and based on very, very detailed calendrical, mathematical and astronomical rules and guidelines.

These sound awfully like rules well amenable to scientific study, yet statistical studies seem to show absolutely no correlation to the predictions.

We skeptics therefore doubt that astrology, WHETHER IT WORKS OR NOT, is based on more than the ancient pipe dream of a man seeing pictures in the night sky. We will continue to do so until we see that there was some reason to the rules of astrology.

WHERE DID THE RULES OF ASTROLOGY ORIGINATE?

HOW WERE THEY DERIVED?

HOW ARE NEW RULES OR ASSOCIATIONS GENERATED?

WHAT SORT OF TRAINING OR EDUCATION DOES ONE NEED TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL ASTROLOGER?

If a believer would attempt to answer even one of the above questions, I'd feel happier.

However, the utter, utter, utter refusal of anyone to even address these issues so far is, frankly, laughable.

Can anyone, succinctly, without casting aspersions at anyone else, answer ANY of these questions?

Post full of off topic psycho-babble deleted by Skeptico.

Note:

From now on I will be strictly enforcing the “post details of how astrology was derived, showing all your work, or do not post at all” rule. Posts that violate this rule will simply be deleted.

Comments are open for anyone to show me that I am wrong, and that the rules of astrology were derived. Still waiting.

I can feel an "Akashic Record" reference coming up soon...

Very good post.

A fun exercise for me is to look up one of the horoscopes that says something like "such and such planet is in Scorpio." Then, I take my students outside. There is Scorpius. And there is the planet, smack dab in the middle of ... Sagittarius.

I might be a little less skeptical if Scorpius, Sagittarius, Ophiucus et al were actual groups of stars instead of disparate stars that only seem to form a certain shape to some people from our viewpoint. They also change apparent shape over time, due to the different recession velocities of the component stars.

Surely some astrologer can explain how effects such as the above, recession and lunar regression due to tidal effects are taken into account in present-day horoscopes?

First off, if you are interested in the answer to the question: "Why would any self-respecting persopn who can run two brain cells together believe in astrology?"
I highly reccomend _The_Night_Speaks_ by Steven Forrest. It's written with sceptics in mind. Steven is *not* a fluffy-bunny astrologer.

Second, I'm going to answer another question:

WHAT IS THE MEDIUM BY WHICH ASTOLOGY WORKS?

Synchronicity. As above, so below. As within, so without. The holographic universe model: the whole exists in every one of its parts if one knows where and how to look. It's the same mechanism by which Tarot and I-Ching, and any other divination works. It's way more complicated than that, and I don't even pretend to know WHY it works, but it seems that given a sufficiently random system with a set of limiting rules based on observational correlation, that information can be gleaned by following the rules. It's never perfect, though. The more complex, the more accurate, but more difficult to use.
There's more to it, but that's the gist.

Astology's power lies in its complexity (more complex than say, turning over a tarot card), specificity (astronomical scale of precision) and amount of time spent in developing/refining it. It's also good that the system itself is outside of the biased manipulation of the user (one can't move the planets). I think it's great, actually, that the people who name the planets are astronomers, those least likely to believe in astology. It's almost as if some cosmic force were protecting the integrity of the system from wishful thinking.

But Synchronicity is the key. Happy coincidences. I've seen enough to make my skin crawl at times. I used to beleve in pure randomness, but after getting my chart read to me, as a sceptic, with lots of stuff in the house of death and the house of friends WHILE IN A GOTH CLUB, I had to take a second look. Nowadays, though, I'm not even fazed to find out that a minor asteroid I hadn't previously heard of, called "Astrowizard" was on rght on top of my Mercury (associated with the thoughts/cognition/communication) when I was born.


WHERE DID THE RULES OF ASTROLOGY ORIGINATE?

Difficult question. No one really knows. There are many guesses, but essentially they are lost in antiquity. It doesn't really help that the Library at Alexandria got burned.

There's only really one rule of astrology: AS ABOVE, SO BELOW. The night sky looks like what you see when you close your eyes. Dark, mysterious, with faint lights. Maybe the two are connected.

Most guesses are that the details were worked out through simple correlation of observations.

Remember, some very intelligent people, including Isaac Newton took astrology for granted as a science. Scientists observed, and looked for patterns. Apparently, over the years, they noticed that (for example) people with bright Jupiter high in the sky (and slightly east) when they were born were enthusiastic prominent members of their community, or more often received big accolades.

HOW WERE THEY DERIVED? (see above)

This was always the hardest part for me, when I was a non-believer. For my part, the fact that the system *is* complex was a clincher. People are complex. The clincher for me was when my chart showed me prominent influences from signs I had previously identified with more than my sun sign. "I'm more like Libra or Scorpio than Virgo" I had said. And then I saw influence calculations on the back (courtesy of astolog) of a chart that said that indeed, I was mostly Libra and Scorpio. Virgo was #5 after the aforementionsed two and Aquarius and Cancer.

HOW ARE NEW RULES OR ASSOCIATIONS GENERATED?

The paradign says that as the consciousness of the individuals who make up humanity grow and expand, new planets are discovered. But it takes a while to figure out what they mean. Uranus is a good example. In the mythology, he's simply a sky-god, and father of Saturn/Cronus.

Well, astrologers started putting them in the charts and waiting to see if any patterns popped out, due to the pre-determined-to-seem-to-work rules of astology. What they began to see was accidents, sudden mishaps, upheavals were associated with Uranus. Generally seen to be malefic (a very outdated term to the modern astologer) at first, they eventually saw Uranus as simply change, chaos, the unpredicted, unusual, upheaval, and rampant individuality/rule-breaking. THROUGH OBSERVATION AND CORRELATION. Interestingly enough, Uranus threw astrology itself into upheaval, as there had previously been only the "7 classical planets". (Sun, Moon, Mercury thru Saturn). It also is unusual -- it rotates on its side. Oh, and it's sky-blue. Happy synchronicites, really.

Neptune is similar -- he wasn't that much like the astrological planet. He was much more grumpy and masculine. Astrological Neptune is more about connectedness, dreams and fantasies, and mysticism, and also the loss of innocence than naivete can cause, and victimization and loss. These were derived through 150 years of study. It taks time to refine. So forgive the astrologers who are enthusiastic and trying to guess. The Xena quote was funny and make my eyes roll though.
Guesses are all these new planets can be. Geusses tempered with observation and correlation, and an objective mind.

WHAT SORT OF TRAINING OR EDUCATION DOES ONE NEED TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL ASTROLOGER?

Kepler University is a good start. I personally learn from Steven Forrest, an Evolutionary Astrologer who promotes personal responsibility, growth, and free will, and doesn't abide by fluffy bunny crystal-gazers.

One more thing. Like all things in this universe, Astology is filtered through the individual perception of the operator/user/observer, in this case the astrologer. And since it deals better with more squishy things like emotions, experience, growth, and issues we face, than actual hard facts, then the method of interface with the operater is of prime importance. The perception of the user generates the information through the connection with the symbols which are in turn connected to the objective universe. Sound like psychobabble, I know, but it's like the universe is a computer, astrology is a the software, and the specific style of astrology is the language the keyboard is written in. What the user understands is kindof important in that instance. That's why there's so many different schools of thought and methods.

Maybe some day string theory will expand to encompass metaphysics/occult philosophy to answer the mystery of information and how it seem to exist simultaneously and with such synchronicity.

Voron Xarya
Baltimore, MD

Thank you for having the courage to reply ro this thread, VoronX.

However, this does look very much to me like "it is, because it is".

To my question, "How were the rules of astrology derived?" you replied, "This was always the hardest part for me, when I was a non-believer. For my part, the fact that the system *is* complex was a clincher. People are complex. The clincher for me was when my chart showed me prominent influences from signs I had previously identified with more than my sun sign. "I'm more like Libra or Scorpio than Virgo" I had said. And then I saw influence calculations on the back (courtesy of astolog) of a chart that said that indeed, I was mostly Libra and Scorpio."

You say you were an unbeliever, as am I. However, although I know my sun sign is Scorpio, I have no idea if I'm a typical one or not, still less if I'm more like the recipient of another sign. You, as a supposed unbeliever, seem to have known far more about astrology than I do.

Having ploughed through the rest of your post, I can't find any reasons for believing: just statements that things are the way you think because they are.

Please, please, please don't just make statements like "The paradign (paradigm!) says that as the consciousness of the individuals who make up humanity grow(s) and expand(s), new planets are discovered. But it takes a while to figure out what they mean."

How do you know this? Are you saying that all the time between the discoveries of Neptune and Pluto was wasted - we weren't growing or expanding?

So it takes time to figure new planets out - who does so, and how do they do it?

Please - as Skeptico often says - show your working!

I'm willing to listen (read), if you're willing to explain rather than pontificate.

The post above by Voron was the most long-winded way anyone has yet had of saying “I don’t know” in answer to my question.

I don’t know why proponents of astrology find it so hard to comprehend simple instructions such as:

Post details of how astrology was derived, showing all your work, or do not post at all.

Since it’s clear that (a) no one has an answer to the question, and yet (b) no proponent of astrology can comprehend the simple instruction above, I am closing this post to comments. In nearly 18 months since the original post, no one has been able to answer the question “how did the ancient people derive all the detailed rules and charts astrologers use”. Not one person. Not even close. And that includes several professional astrologers. The rules of astrology were made up fairy-tale style, as I wrote back in March 2005:

Supposed characteristics of one of the pictures in the sky are assigned to a person, depending on where the Sun, Moon or planets were in relation to the magic picture at the time of birth. But it was never derived from factual data; it was made up fairy-tale fashion. And if it was made up, it is highly unlikely to be true. At the very least, astrology’s doubtful provenance means we would need extraordinary evidence that it works, before we should accept it does. But we are only offered weak evidence.

Weak evidence, for example, such as Voron’s various anecdotes.

If anyone thinks they have a different answer, then please email me with it. If sufficiently interesting I will make a new post on it, but this post is now closed.

And I will just add one more (oft repeated but always ignored) fact – it is pointless speculating about “how” astrology works when we know that Astrology Doesn’t Work! Anecdotes are not evidence: you are being fooled by confirmation bias and the forer effect.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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