A “spiritual science”

Back in the dim and ancient days of usenet, I used to take astrologers apart for fun. They had such goofy ideas, and they were so serious about it. But fortunately for us, astrology is unlike creationism in that it is mostly powerless and unpersuasive, and only the deeply gullible and ignorant can fall for it any more. And it’s so darned inconsistent — even the rationale that forms the foundation of the belief doesn’t hold up. I’ve tended to ignore the irrelevancies of astrology most of the time, but the Star Tribune had a short piece on astrology, and it’s nicely dismissive — so I’ll mention it again.

“When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it’s really not in Pisces,” said Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society.

Indeed, most horoscope readers who consider themselves Pisces are actually Aquarians. So instead of being sensitive, humane and idealistic [Hey, I’m a Pisces, that’s a perfect description of me!], they actually are friendly, loyal and inventive.[Oh, wait…that’s also a perfect description of me! Maybe there’s something to this astrology mumbo-jumbo}

Or not. [I think I’m going to go with that choice]

There is no physical connection between constellations and personality traits, said Kunkle, who teaches astronomy at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. “Sure, we can connect harvest to the stars,” he said. “But personality? No.”

That’s the case. There are no good correlations even between astrology and personality, and definitely none that match the claims of astrologers. All horoscopes are is a crude form of cold reading.

The funny thing about this article is that it has smoked out a kooky astrologer, who is quite irate. He fulminates about the article, explaining that there are three kinds of zodiacal interpretations, the Sidereal, the Tropical, and the Constelllational, and while those wicked scientists may have nitpicked away at one of them, they haven’t touched his zodiac. He does medieval astrology which has its own specific set of pulled-out-of-his-ass presumptions and assertions and funky clunky rules.

And then he goes further and declares that Scientists should stay the hell out of astrology. Why? It’s hilarious. Because science doesn’t support his lunacy and works to debunk his beliefs.

Why would astrologers even CARE what modern science has to say about astrology? Modern science is almost universally hostile to astrology; and modern scientists who do have some sympathy for our Art usually are trying to “help” by proving astrology on scientific grounds. Being a Spiritual Science, if you will, astrology will never be proven correct, true, or valid to the satisfaction of the modern academy, which is still held captive by the materialist/atheist world view. I’m not suggesting that astrologers ignore everything that modern scientists say about astrology (or any other field), but why would we give it such weight? Is their goal to work with us? In most cases, their goal is to debunk astrology completely. Do you think that these scientists who “corrected” the zodiac dates actually consulted with an astrologer? Of course not! If they had, they might have realized how absolutely ridiculous their “corrections” are.

This is the attitude I recall from all the astrologers I used to argue with, and it’s the same stuff we get from any pseudoscience or theology. In the rare cases when astrologers made specific and testable claims, they didn’t work. So they demand exemption from the way the universe works; their art doesn’t actually have results that can be assessed empirically, or measured, or even seen…which makes one wonder how astrologers and theologians ever came up with their claims, and why we should care about the operation of invisible rules that simply don’t function.

But maybe some astrologer out there will try to defend his superstitions here. If they show up, try not to break them right away — they can be fun, but they’re very fragile.