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Get smarter each time you open a new tab with the Curiosity Smart Tab Chrome extension. Sign in close. Download the free app. Written by Ashley Hamer. How Astrology Works. Why It Isn't Science. According to astrology, the subject should have had very similar traits. The babies were originally recruited as part of a medical study begun in London in into how the circumstances of birth can affect future health. More than 2, babies born in early March that year were registered and their development monitored at regular intervals.
Researchers looked at more than different characteristics, including occupation, anxiety levels, marital status, aggressiveness, sociability, IQ levels and ability in art, sport, mathematics and reading - all of which astrologers claim can be gauged from birth charts. The scientists failed to find any evidence of similarities between the "time twins", however. They reported in the current issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies: "The test conditions could hardly have been more conducive to success.
Analysis of the research was carried out by Geoffrey Dean, a scientist and former astrologer based in Perth, Australia, and Ivan Kelly, a psychologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Dr Dean said the results undermined the claims of astrologers, who typically work with birth data far less precise than that used in the study. The findings caused alarm and anger in astrological circles yesterday. Roy Gillett, the president of the Astrological Association of Great Britain, said the study's findings should be treated "with extreme caution" and accused Dr Dean of seeking to "discredit astrology".
Frank McGillion, a consultant to the Southampton-based Research Group for the Critical Study of Astrology, said of the newly published work: "It is simplistic and highly selective and does not cover all of the research. Astrologers have for centuries claimed to be able to extract deep insights into the personality and destiny of people using nothing more than the details of the time and place of birth.
Astrology has been growing in popularity. Before one asks for evidence, one has to be able to evaluate that evidence. The lessons here are for everyone who wants to learn how astrology is done and how to do astrology. They are especially for skeptics because science demands that knowledge of a subject must come before evaluation. Skeptics get into trouble when they try to discredit astrology because they fail to keep things simple. Unfortunately, many skeptics try to go further.
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This is where problems arise because it is obvious that they know nothing about the subject. Not only that, some rush into print without bothering to check what they write for flaws in their logic. Here are some errors committed by two Ph. The first is Dr. Answer : Well this one I agree with. Those so-called horoscope columns in the newspapers were designed as a publicity stunt to increase circulation. Unfortunately, that worked. Absolutely untrue. Sun-sign columns are most emphatically not real astrology.
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I denounce them at every turn, and I do so again here. However, Dr. Franknoi would know this if he were familiar with the field.
An Astounding Proof of Astrology – Llewellyn Unbound
Answer : The reason astrologers use the time of birth is because birth gives us a completely formed human being. After conception, all we have is a fertilized egg.
But notice the subtle shift here. It took years for it to be accepted. Whether something sounds right or not is not proof one way or another. The question itself assumes facts not in evidence. So he is making a second error here as well: the strawman fallacy. Please notice that this question contradicts the previous one. The proper procedure is to investigate first and see if there is any effect at all.
Then, if there is, one looks for a reason as to why. By reversing the order, Dr. For decades, no one could explain how bumblebees could fly. They seemed to violate all known laws of aerodynamics. Following Dr. Answer : Really Dr. The answer is that knowing something valuable and making money off of it are two different skills entirely. You could ask the same question of economists and financial analysts. Not a billionaire among them.
Bill Gates and Michael Dell, on the other hand, are dropouts. And by the way, this question is an ad hominum fallacy. Does the discovery of a new element invalidate all previous knowledge in chemistry? Yes, horoscopes in past centuries were less complete. Yes, some things were missing. No, they were not totally wrong.
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The knowledge that doctors have today dwarfs that of doctors years ago. In a civilized society we deplore all systems that judge individuals by sex, skin color, national origin, or other accidents of birth. Yet astrologers boast that they can evaluate people based on another accident of birth — the positions of celestial objects.
Answer : This is another clear example of the error called the argumentum ad hominum, or what can better be called the argument by insult. Does astrology work or not? Never mind that. Astrologers are BAD! Tell me doctor Franknoi, can genetics be used to determine the probability of people getting certain diseases?
Can this knowledge be used by insurance companies, for instance, to deny coverage? Read ten different astrology columns, or have a reading done by ten different astrologers, and you will probably get ten different interpretations. Franknoi; you are assuming facts not in evidence. Scientific ideas generally converge over time as they are tested against laboratory or other evidence. In contrast, systems based on superstition or personal belief tend to diverge as their practitioners carve out separate niches while jockeying for power, income, or prestige.
Answer : If that is the case, Dr. Franknoi, when a doctor tells you that an operation is needed, why bother to get a second opinion? First of all, there are disagreements in every field. Secondly, the disagreements between astrologers are not nearly as great as you make them out to be. Thirdly, there has been, until recently, no certification of astrologers. Anyone can call themselves an astrologer after reading a book or two, or even without any knowledge of the field at all. By way of contrast, imagine the chaos in the health field if anyone could call themselves a doctor and there were no way to tell the difference between a Harvard graduate and someone who just decided to hang up a shingle.
This situation is slowly being remedied. I believe I talk to other astrologers more than you do, so I am most likely in a better position to know.
That situation, as I have mentioned above, is changing.