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Mar 08 2012

OK, Edmonton, you’re polling us on what?

A continuing education program — which ought to be renamed as a continuing miseducation program — is offering a course on Vedic Astrology. I guess they needed some affirmation of their dedication to nonsense, so they’re running a poll:

Do you believe in astrology?

Absolutely! 15%
To a certain degree 25%
Not at all 60%

Now this ought to inflame some local rivalries: Calgary gets me, Edmonton gets astrology.

32 comments

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  1. 1
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Now this ought to inflame some local rivalries: Calgary gets me, Edmonton gets astrology.

    Does it sound really wrong if I say that given those options I’d *infinitely* rather have you, PZ?

    First to pharnygulate? Latest figures :

    ***
    Poll
    Do you believe in astrology?
    Thank you for your vote.

    Vote Results
    ——————————————————————————–

    Absolutely! = 14.58%

    To a certain degree = 20.83%

    Not at all = 64.58%

    ***

    Astrology is taurine excrement. At least Nostradamus got one thing right -he correctly predicted modern people’s guillibility.

    The stupidity of astrology is just astronomical!

  2. 2
    otocump

    As an Edmontonian, I apologies to the entire world for our school systems DUMB. I would offer up that somehow I made it out of the public school system with my sanity intact, but then I remember how the ‘evolution’ section was finally taught…and it sucked. Royally.

    Ah well, looking pretty well phayngulated, up to 80+% ‘its bullshit’ category.

  3. 3
    joakimrosqvist

    Well, I *do* believe that “astrology” exists, so…

  4. 4
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Brownian will have a sad for pooh-poohing Edmonton.

    Calgary has it’s own share of psychics, so it’s a province-wide problem, not just poor Edmonton. Let’s see if they can predict you’re even there, let alone verbally crushing their funny pretend magic powers to a local audience.

    BTW, if you don’t get the free white hat that visiting VIP’s are supposed to get for visiting Cowtown, I will be royally pissed at the city of my birth, or at least the suits pretending to know how to run the place.

  5. 5
    mikmik

    Speeking as a Edminton guy, so whut weer city of champinz take that flames suk haha *hic* so ther

  6. 6
    greg1466

    Well, that’s kind of a trick question really. Do I believe in astrology in that it exists? Yes, obviously such a thing as astrology exists. The real question is do I believe that it has any descriptive/predictive power in the real world? No, obviously it does not.

  7. 7
    scottplumer

    “Not at all” is up to 98 percent!

  8. 8
    littlejohn

    I’m a Leo. Leos don’t believe in astrology.

  9. 9
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    As the great Canadian philosopher Charlie Farquharson would say: if someone were to ask you what sign you were born under, the obvious answer would be ‘Maternity Ward!’

  10. 10
  11. 11
    shouldbeworking

    Ok, I am a teacher that lives and works in Edmonton. There is no excuse for any educational organization offering such a class. I let them know my opinion on the matter already, even though they are a branch of my employer. I am not responsible for them offering such a course. It is the business model of education, supply, demand and revenue.

  12. 12
    leftwingfox

    Now this ought to inflame some local rivalries: Calgary gets me, Edmonton gets astrology.

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)

    ( live in Ontario now, but it’s the principle of the thing.)

  13. 13
    spiffo

    No you see PZ, that just means that Edmonton needs you MORE

  14. 14
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    This doesn’t bother me. School boards across the country have these “continuing education” programmes. Essentially, they take applications from anyone who wants to offer a course and get paid for the room rental. Some are (traditionally) educational, like second language courses or computing for seniors, others are physical, like learning belly dance or how to swim, others focus on crafts, like knitting or sewing, others are purely hobby courses (many of which admittedly stray into woo), like cooking or astrology.

    The courses are advertised by the school board, but are not accredited, not part of the curriculum, and not taught by certified teachers. They are just classes offered by members of the community to other members of the community. The school board gets some revenue, buildings that would otherwise be empty are utilised, and everyone is happy.

  15. 15
    jolo5309

    Hah hah Edmonton.

    I saw you in Calgary!

  16. 16
    Sastra

    O gawd — if you look at the other “Mind, Body, & Soul” courses you will notice that astrology is just the tip of the iceburg here. Along with classes in art, makeup, and massage, you have courses like
    “Cellular Memory Release”
    “Developing your Intuitive/Psychic Abilities”
    “Energy Medicine”
    “Foot Reflexology”
    “The Law of Attraction”
    and “Understanding Karma.”

    It’s Woo Central. Given the company, I’d be suspicious of the health and nutrition courses, too.

    Ibis3 #14 wrote:

    The courses are advertised by the school board, but are not accredited, not part of the curriculum, and not taught by certified teachers.

    Yes, I know. That happens everywhere; it’s true for my local college and high school. But the implication that this is real education gives unnecessary credibility to crap.

    One wonders how far off the academic wheel someone can spin before the school boards say ‘hey, wait a minute!” A class for Financial Management Through Turning Lead into Gold? A course in How to Walk through Walls? Or would that last one only be turned down due to concern for structural damage to the building?

  17. 17
    fireweaver

    I have found that there are two kinds of astrology:

    One version, spelled “astrology”, involves gazing at the heavenly bodies up in the sky and contemplating their involvement in your destiny. This version is bullshit.

    The other version, spelled “asstrology”, involves gazing at the heavenly bodies on the beach (or around the swimming pool) and contemplating their involvement in your destiny. This version is just human nature.

  18. 18
    Glen Davidson

    I believe in crystals.

    Not any woo magic crap, they’re just cool, beautiful things.

    Glen Davidson

  19. 19
    mikmik

    I feel sick. Metro Main used to be Bonnie Doon High School, my alma mater. ‘Twas bad enough when they had the Cornerstone Christian Daycare there for a while, but this is going woo too far.
    Sastra – “A course in How to Walk through Walls? Or would that last one only be turned down due to concern for structural damage to the building?”
    LOL, but I don’t see why not. Precedence has been set:

    Swing Into Golf Level 1: Indoor

    If you’re a beginner golfer, learning from a professional will ensure the information you receive is as consistent as your swing will become.

    fireweaver – “The other version, spelled “asstrology”, involves gazing at the heavenly bodies on the beach (or around the swimming pool) and contemplating their involvement in your destiny. This version is just human nature.”
    LOL, the other venue for the woo courses is Hairy Analy High School, at least that’s what all Bonnie Doon student’s called our rival place of lerning.

  20. 20
    gragra, something clever after the comma

    This is hardly unusual. The Continuing Education program here in Syracuse/Liverpool off all kinds of course in woo.

  21. 21
    carinade almeida

    Latest update:

    Absolutely! 0.69%
    To a certain degree 1.71%
    Not at all 97.6%

  22. 22
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    The previous poll asked about the number of languages people speak, and 63% said they speak two or more languages. I wonder how that compares with the U.S., because I sometimes get the impression it’s pretty unilingual except where there are Spanish-speaking immigrants.

  23. 23
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Markita,

    here you go

    http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/language/data/census/index.html

    However, the US Census seems to ask about what languages are spoken well. So only 30m US residents are counted as speaking a language other than English well.

    Maybe the question in Canada was phrased differently?

  24. 24
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Hi, Pelamun! The question was simply, “How many languages do you speak?” leaving it up to people to decide how well. I never claim my high-school French without qualifying it thus or “well enough to order in a restaurant.”

  25. 25
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Markita,

    oopsie: the 30m US residents are those who speak a language other than English at home. Many of those presumably also speak English to some degree, but that’s quite a different point of departure and make the data uncomparable.

    I remember seeing some census data on multilinguality, but I might have misremembered. Sorry.

    A Gallup poll 10 years ago said that 20% of Americans can hold a conversation in a foreign language.
    That’s probably a higher standard than “how many languages do you speak”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/1825/about-one-four-americans-can-hold-conversation-second-language.aspx

  26. 26
    Anthony K

    Brownian will have a sad for pooh-poohing Edmonton.

    Not today. Today I’m in Calgary. Ha-ha! Edmonton sucks!

    So I’m fickle. So what?

  27. 27
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    As an ex-Edmontonian I can’t say this surprises me. An increased level of woo is a side effect of being one of the few liberal-ish places in an overwhelmingly conservative province.

    As to the Calgary/Edmonton rivalry, I never saw much validity in that other than I always had trouble navigating Calgary’s system of one way streets. No doubt that’s more a failing in me than in Calgary.

    I do have the sadz that PZ came to Calgary. I’d have been able to afford to go see him there had it happened while I still lived there. Even though I’m now only a 3 hour train ride from Melbourne I couldn’t afford to go the Global Atheist’s Convention last time around and this time is no different.

  28. 28
    OldEd

    Urps….. I misposted… Sorry….

    However, as of this posting it stands at

    Absolutely! 0.56%
    To a certain degree 1.54%
    Not at all 97.9%

  29. 29
    mikmik

    Brownian
    Not today. Today I’m in Calgary. Ha-ha! Edmonton sucks!
    So I’m fickle. So what?

    You pretty much have to be around here. Telling the locals that you’re from the other city is equivalent to saying, “Kick me, I’m stupid.”
    I was born in Cowtown also, and I’m still a Stamps fan. And a Canadiens fan. Actually, Edmonton does suck, except for the U of A! Dino’s suck!

  30. 30
    'Tis Himself

    Sastra #16

    A class for Financial Management Through Turning Lead into Gold?

    Please send me the details on this one. My email is credulousdupe at alchemist.com.

  31. 31
    poppaneedsanap

    Last time YEG got Pharyngulated it was for the “Rot In Hell” Sun headline. We need to sort this out!!

    PZ, come to Edmonton, I’ll buy you a giant sandwich!

  32. 32
    poppaneedsanap

    “Kiss winter goodbye and ring in the spring with one of these upcoming Metro courses:

    Legal Choices After Separation”

    How uplifting!

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