« A Straw Man gets AIDS | Main | 43rd Skeptics’ Circle »

September 13, 2006


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hey, all our problems are solved! All the astronomers have to do is to name all the planets "Mother Theresa 1 - n", and the constellations "Gandhi", "Schweitzer", "Jesus" etc.

Then all strife, discord and disharmony will be banished for ever, and we can all get on with being nice to each other for ever and ever!


Eris? So - the Discordians (which is about the only religion EoR has time for) are obviously involved in the conspiracy...

Skeptico, to annoy all those woo-masters out there, I will say this before any of them do:

Why are you so angry, and why don't you have a sense of humour? Get a life, man, then you won't be so sad!

Ha, Alties! Now if you use that standard speech you will just be agreeing with a Skeptic (yuck!)! Hahahahaha!

this new planet will represent the female archetype of sacred warrior.

Awhatnow? Do they know anything about Eris? I mean, really.

Cork, I do believe they said that when the planet was named Xena.

Skeptico, to annoy all those woo-masters out there, I will say this before any of them do:

Why are you so angry, and why don't you have a sense of humour? Get a life, man, then you won't be so sad!

Ha, Alties! Now if you use that standard speech you will just be agreeing with a Skeptic (yuck!)! Hahahahaha!

Yeah, Skeptico's a real big meanie who leads a miserable life.

This reminds me of two personal anecdotes about morons who believe astrology.

The first is a university professor I know, a religions scholar who refuses to work whenever possible if Mercury is in retrograde, because presumably communicating with others gets messed up during that time. He can't figure out why he's never gotten tenured. Maybe the tenure reviews always happen when Mercury is in retrograde...?

The second is about a group of neopagans I know. There was a newcomer who showed up at one of their get-togethers. She tried to show off by guessing some people's astrological sign. She got one wrong almost immediately ("You're a Taurus." "No, I'm a Cancer.") and then later, after her missed-guess said something, she responded, "Oh, now I see why you're a Cancer." Later, everyone was impressed with how intuitive she was.

It is completely impossible to reason with people who feel the need to believe in astrology. Even as they admit it's difficult to believe that planets can affect your personality, they still believe it wholeheartedly. Being shown to be wrong doesn't bother them in the slightest. It's simply more comforting to them to believe in the story behind it.

Their belief doesn't help them in any way. As I think has been pointed out here before, it actually does the opposite. Negative personality traits are justified. "I'm a Taurus, that's why I'm so stubborn. Can't do anything about it!"

Funny. I read some time ago that Eris (it's actually a nice, elegant name, far way better than Xena) was so far and so slow that it was pointless to map it in astrological charts. At least that was what astrologers down the border were saying.

The smugness of that website is absolutely disgusting:

"Like children playing with a new toy (a more apt metaphor than you could ever imagine), they [astronomers] are aiming their telescopes and computers at the sky at every chance to see what's there."

Unlike you, who would rather play at your fairy tales rather than actually learn something about the real universe you live in.

"While much of this astronomical exploration is ego-driven for the purpose of career advancement, the point is that astronomers are the (very) unwitting communicators of the symbols which will guide us into the new 25,000-year Great Year cycle which is now commencing."

The only ego here is yours, claiming to have super-secret knowledge about the universe. Too bad you have to wait for the astronomers to give it to you first.

"Right now, your humble webmaster is working flat out just to keep up the the new planets as they are announced and attempting to sort out the meaning of each one. It needs to be done quickly because we barely have one planet figured out, and bingo! There's another new planet."

So the astronomers give planets names, then you figure out how the name is meaningful for astrology? Again, it's the astronomers who are really in charge here.

"In this rush of discovery, the pattern of the patterns has not yet emerged, and probably will not for a little while as the full complement of new planets as yet is not discovered. But sooner rather than later the patterns will gradually emerge."

Translation: "I don't know what the hell I'm doing. Astrology really doesn't work at all, and I'm just faking it here. Those astronomers are making my life hard. Every idiot who knows even less about astrology than I do wants these new planets in their charts, so I have to fake it even more now."

The *names* of the planets matter now? So what effect did it have on us when it was called UB313? Were we all unfeeling robots when it was in our house?

By the way, the Sudoku in my local paper is right next to the astrology section, so I take the time every week to check them out. Along with the two paragraphs of predictions, they give a 1-5 star rating for the week, where 1 is bad, 3 is average, and 5 is great. I haven't written these down (though I should!), but over the past two months since I've started doing this, THERE HAS NOT BEEN A SINGLE SIGN THAT HAD LESS THAN A 3-STAR WEEK. That is, nobody *ever* has a week that is less than average.

Apparently astrologers have a different conception of 'average' than we do. That's why we can't understand them; they use more advanced math!

I'm still waiting for a daily newspaper horoscope (or any other) to say, "Insult your boss today - he'll regard it as a harmless joke.

"Feel free to throw your money into the gutter. Every gamble you make will win you shed-loads of money.

"Don't bother to think about what you say, because the stars are with you. Make rash decisions, by all means; you can't lose.

"Ignore what your closest friends are telling you, because they're all mindless know-nothing dorks right now."

I really need some clueless jerk to tell me, "This is not the time to antagonise good friends. Sometimes it's good to hold your corner,. but sometimes you need to listen. At times, you may appear too forceful, so try to rein in those emotions if you sense your friends are growing distant."

C'mon, astrologers! Tell me the day when I can tell my boss to stick his job where the sun doesn't shine, with impunity! Tell me when I can shut my eyes when I cross a busy road! Tell me when I can drink like a born-again alcoholic who's denied his faith for twenty years! Tell me when I can take my friends for granted!

Don't just tell me not to play with fire, be nice to people or refrain from hasty remarks. I do that every sodding day of my life, because I have a brain and I prefer to rub along with people.

I have written about Richard Brown, the Toronto moron who runs Karmic Astrology.

One thing to note is that he is freeloading off the hard work of legitimate astronomers to make money and promote his BS.

What a jackass.

Babbler, your comment that these freeloading astrologers should help fund astronomical research was insightful. Astronomers have to scrape together funding for research while astrologers are sucking money in by the ton from the terminally gullible, then turning around and claiming the results of astronomical research as their own. What a great scam they've got going!

Big Al: I understand something did happen along the lines of what you describe re: newspaper horoscopes. I have no idea how apocryphal/urban-legendy this tale is, but it's the kind of thing that very well could happen. A cub reporter on a city paper drew the short straw one day and was assigned to write the day's horoscopes. He decided to have some fun by randomly inserting, under one of the signs: "All the pain and anguish of the past will be as nothing compared to what you will suffer today." He was fired following a deluge of panicked phone calls to the editor.

Didn't he see that coming? ;)

I still find it amusing how people think newspaper horoscopes have anything to do with astrology.

People believe in dumbed-down versions of astrology just for the same reasons they believe in dumbed-down religions. It's comforting thier non-existant and desperate selfs.

Newpaper horoscopes and sun-signs have done more harm than good for both the victim and the legitimate astrologer.

Astrology can be amazingly accurate and useful... But when 99.88% of its supposid followers are as dumb as the quoted tard in the above article, who's going to take it for anything more than the junk they practice?

OK, unukalhai, so "real" astrologers aren't so simplistic as the daily newspaper "one horoscope per sun sign" brigade.

I'd gather you're saying it's much more complicated. Yet we're told that the simple correlation of celestial body positions with later personality traits was clear enough to these ancient luminaries.

I could just about accept that if there were 12 basic personality types - it would then be apparent pretty soon by a fairly casual examination. We're told that the ancients saw events and looked up in the sky to see what the positions of the stars and planets were at the time. If it's as simple as a given planet crossing a given constellation, that's susceptible to casual observation.

However, if you are saying that there are hundreds or thousands of other factors to take into account before astrology becomes useful, I can't see that being latched onto by some ancient naked-eye observer taking (presumably mental) notes.

"Now, it's Tuesday, Mars is retrograde and just entering Libra, the moon's just past full, it's dark and I'm wearing sunglasses..."

Sorry, that was something else.

Astrology can be amazingly accurate and useful...

Then show us. Get some of these "real" astrologers to pass tests like those mentioned in the "Astrology Doesn't Work" post or something.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search site