General Question

brettvdb's avatar

Do you have proof that Astrology is not real?

Asked by brettvdb (1192 points ) September 21st, 2010

I am looking for articles or scientific studies that show that Astrology has no basis in facts of empirical evidence.

I would also be interested to see articles that argue the reverse.

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78 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

The burden of proof needs to be on people who think it is real and read this.

iamthemob's avatar

I think you might also do well to see the proof for astrology – I am fairly certain (and I’ll admit the irony of making an assumption here) that most of the evidence in favor of is going to be abecdotal, and if it is actually based on a statistical analysis, I’ll bet there are a couple problems with the sample size, selection, and diversity.

josie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Has it right. The onus of proof is on the positive assertion, since something that is not would leave no evidence of itself. Only something that is can leave evidence that it indeed is.
The proof that Astrology is pseudo science is the absence of any credible evidence to the contrary.

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gasman's avatar

The skeptical literature refuting astrology is vast. Here are a few links to get you started:

Bad Astronomy
The Skeptic’s Dictionary
Astronomical Socieity of the Pacific
Skeptic Friends Network
Scientific Exploration of Astrology
Psychic Investigator

Astrophysicist Carl Sagan once calculated that, at the moment of birth, the obstetrician exerts more of a gravitational effect on the baby than do the planets or stars. There is no scientific justification whatever for the claims of astrology.

As others have pointed out above, the burden of proof is on those who make extraordinary claims to produce credible evidence . Alas there is none. Nary a shred.

brettvdb's avatar

Wonderful – some great articles here – I appreciate the responses!

Ben_Dover's avatar

Of course all the opinions in the world does not constitute an iota of proof against astrology. And the only thing being offered here is mere conjecture. It wouldn’t surprise me that those denying astrology is a relevant field of science probably are unhappy with their birth sign(s).

iamthemob's avatar

@Ben_Dover

I think this is still responsive – however, it is possible to disprove astrology. Astrology holds itself out to be a predictive model – by looking at the position of the stars, you are able to tell certain things about people and future events, etc. If it can be shown that the predictions are vague enough to be irrefutable and that specific ones are no better at predicting events than random chance by any statistically significant margin, you have proof against astrology.

Ben_Dover's avatar

That isn’t proof against astrology. That is merely an opinion.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ben_Dover And stating that people ‘are unhappy with their birth signs’ is scientific fact?

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iamthemob's avatar

@Ben_Dover

Remember, though, this is looking for proof from a scientific fact/empirical evidence standpoint. When the model fails in that context, it is disproven.

Of course in every situation we make assumptions in what we mean by know, prove, etc. But I believe in the context of the question as asked by the OP, we can accept that the failure of it to be a model which predicts in a way that is statistically insignificant from chance means that it has been disproven.

In my opinion. :-)

Ben_Dover's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir That’s right. Just pick on a tiny witticism to try to bolster your unsubstantiated opinion by attempting to ridicule a joke written within an answer. Did you learn to do this at school, or did you learn it at home?

@iamthemob And yet astrology is based in sound scientific principles of observation. And these observations took place over thousands of years.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ben_Dover Hey, you’re funny…sort of…what I learned in school was that astrology isn’t real – but I guess since you also think the Illuminati are real and that we’re all blind..then, this here, is really of no use. But, always a pleasure.

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the100thmonkey's avatar

Season of birth has a statistically significant effect on personality traits

@Ben_Dover: it’s not scientific; it’s anecdotal – there’s a significant difference. Furthermore, the claims made by astrology do not correlate with the ‘evidence’ presented. Moreover, there is no mechanism proposed that could account for the variations in personality.

jaytkay's avatar

In a high school class, a teacher asked each of us our astrological sign, and handed us a folded paper, labeled Aquarius, Capricorn, Libra, etc.

After we had a chance to read our horoscopes, he asked everybody who found theirs accurate to raise a hand, and about 80% of the people did so.

Then he said, “I gave you all the same horoscope.”

Ben_Dover's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I won’t stoop to your level of personal attacks as opposed to actually using facts for a basis of discussion.
@the100thmonkey
the facts are that the sun, moon and stars effect the electro-magnetic field of the earth and the very tides of the oceans on earth.

When you are born, you burst forth from a bag of salt water, your own little ocean. And, you are mostly just a ball of electro-magnetic impulses.

You are affected by the sun, moon and stars just as is the earth.

Then, by observing how different people acted during their lifetimes, ancient scientists (astrologers) noticed that people were acting differently according to the astrological sign under which they were born. (This is known as scientific observation).

What is really funny is that those who disbelieve astrology is not in fact a science are simply parroting the verdict of the Catholic church who was forced to disavow astrology as a legitimate science because it interfered with their control over the people.

iamthemob's avatar

@Ben_Dover

I think you’re assuming that they didn’t gather facts that supported their conclusions which had already been predetermined by mythology surrounding the movement of the stars, and that the didn’t ignore evidence that tended to disprove the theory (confirmation bias). You’re also assuming that the observations were recorded in a manner that took into account other contributing variables. Plus ancient astrologers did not have the observational tools we have today to look at the various competing and coordinating factors. The sample gathered by the astrologers would also have been limited to local people and therefore would have been a greatly skewed sample and could not account for general descriptions. Finally, there very well may have been social pressures associated to each sign or the influence of the stars, and therefore the very subjects themselves may have interpreted things according to the predictions they already had (self-fulfilling prophecy) and the gathering of evidence from these subjects would have thereafter skewed results in a manner showing a favorable result predicted by the theory (see the example of the class survey above).

You’re also assuming that the model again was based on characteristics that would not be found in every individual, and that simply seem more observable in some because they are based on an assumption that they are more a foundation of that person’s personality.

Therefore, we cannot truly trust the observational methodology used by the ancient astrologers and must test the predictability of the model ourselves, on a global level, in modern times with new influences.

CMaz's avatar

Ok, so astrology has more merit and logic then a monkey flying out someones butt?

I think not. Believe what you want, proof is a whole other thing.

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DominicX's avatar

@Ben_Dover

So you just spouting off about electro-magnetism and what ancient astrologers did with no sources is “fact”? Why don’t you practice what you preach? Where are your sources? Where are your links? You provide no evidence to back up what you say and you’re accusing someone else of doing the same thing so you can just dismiss their argument without having to actually defend your own.

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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ben_Dover Feel free to start using facts anytime.

Ben_Dover's avatar

@DominicX Those are facts. Science has proven that we have electro-magnetic fields surrounding earth, and we all know about the CNS in humans, or did you learn that at school yet?
Do you dispute the effect of the moon on the tides of the earth?
Do you dispute that babies live in an amniotic solution until they are born?
Do you understand how to conjecture and theorize based on facts beore your very eyes?
Do you need someone else to tell you what they think to make your assertions factual?
@Simone_De_Beauvoir Feel free to use your own logic instead of copying Dominic and parroting the church.

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DominicX's avatar

@Ben_Dover

And where is the proof that electro-magnetism affects our personality? Where is the proof that manipulation of amniotic fluid by electro-magnetic forces affects our long-term personality?

You just claiming “there is proof out there” without actually showing any is not proof.

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Ben_Dover's avatar

@DominicX
What do you think the electro-magnetic impulses in our body is/are? They are nerve impulses racing back and forth from our brain and NS to various parts of our body.
As such, some of these nerve impulses are part of what makes you decide how to respond to various stimuli. Do i really need to explain this basic biology to you? Are you in high school yet?

DominicX's avatar

@Ben_Dover

You better fucking stop with the age comments.

And again, just because there is electro-magnetism in our body doesn’t mean anything about its relationship to the earth’s magnetic field. This is all guesswork; there’s no hard evidence. There’s electro-magnetism emanating from laptops and cell phones. Do those change our personality? What about electro-magnetism from electronic instruments in the hospital at the time of the infant’s birth? What about a mother’s exposure to televisions, computers, cell-phone towers, etc.?

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Nullo's avatar

In fact, I am rather inclined to believe that there is something to astrology and whatnot, on the grounds that the Bible gives their existence a surprising amount of support. And condemnation, I might add.
I wouldn’t expect there to be much in the way of science to support it.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Flame off, folks. And let’s stick to the topic at hand… providing proof for or against the legitimacy of astrology.

Nullo's avatar

@augustlan I ask you: what is proof? Most evidence will fit a number of differing paradigms.

bob_'s avatar

I agree with what others have said, it cannot be proven that it does not work.

@Nullo The OP asked for scientific studies, which as you recognize, leaves out the Bible.

augustlan's avatar

@Nullo He specifically asked for articles and/or scientific studies. Not our opinions on the matter.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@Ben_Dover – You will see that I suggested that no viable mechanism has thus far been proposed to account for the variations in personality proposed as ‘fact’ by astrologers.

You proposed one. I suggest you go test it.

However, I would suggest that an electro-magnetic induction model for the setting of personality traits at birth has several prima facie problems that you might wish to consider:

1. We spend our lives surrounded by constantly fluctuating electro-magnetic fields. You would need to account for how those fields do not affect our personality as our bodies develop, whilst still allowing for the background field (the moon has no appreciable magnetic field, by the way) to influence us at the very moment of birth and only at birth.

2. You need to account for how the predictions can be broadly the same for people born in different conditions – how can two people born at exactly the same time have the same personality traits ascribed to them when one might be born with an astronomical body such as the moon directly overhead, while the other might be on the diametrically opposite side of the planet, and thus have the same personality characteristics, as defined by the ambient electro-magnetic field, yet have this despite being separated by two thousand billion billion spinning, electrically conductive, field generating, TONS of iron (which doesn’t produce a uniform magnetic field, incidentally).

3. You need to deal with such observable phenomena as:

* orbital precession – the orbits of planets aren’t perfect circles; this was one of the puzzles solved by Einsteinian celestial mechanics, and is a great example of the two way [hypothesis<->evidence] relationship that characterises real science. Basically, this means that the perihelion and aphelion of the Earth’s orbit are never in exactly the same point in space (if such a thing even makes sense under Relativistic mechanics). The same is true of all orbiting bodies, which is actually every body you’ve mentioned.

** Axial precession – the Earth’s rotation is not on a perfect unchanging plane as the geocentric model initially averred; the axial rotation of the Earth itself rotates under exactly the same mechanism as a gyroscope. This means that the relative positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars is not fixed.

*** non-resonant orbits of the planets – the planets’ orbits are not resonant (as far as I know – can someone confirm?). Effectively, this means that they’re never in the same positions relative to the Earth. How, then, can they produce consistent, observable effects in humans that hold true over generations? Could they not have been imputed with personality-conferring qualities as they were discovered and characterised according to the customs of the discoverers?

**** unknown planets – I don’t understand how Neptune can be among the astrological movers and shakers given that it wasn’t demonstrated to exist until September 23rd, 1846. You need to have a really good explanation for that one.

I’ve got more, but I have other things to do tonight. I would apreciate it if you read about the null hypothesis before responding.

@Nullo – read my first post in this thread.

phaedryx's avatar

I know someone who was born on the same day and year as me. We were born hours apart. He and I have very different personalities. As far as I can tell, there isn’t any correlation between the events of our lives, day-to-day or overall.

That’s all the proof I need.

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shilolo's avatar

There are other major flaws with the notion that external magnetic fields could somehow “imprint” a human. One major one is that nerve impulses are primarily electrical, and not electromagnetic. There is a very small magnetic field generated by electrical nerve impulses themselves, but the conductance of nerves is not affected by external magnetic forces. For example, many people have been subjected to strong magnetic fields in MRI machines, yet there are no significant neurologic consequences to said field. One would expect that any effects of orbiting planets would be infinitesimally small compared to an MRI machine. Thus, the “CNS in humans”, which I know quite a bit about, is not comprised of an electromagnetic field, not can it be influenced by magnetic forces.

In any event, the burden of proof does indeed fall on those that propose a specific hypothesis. For example, Albert Einstein made the extraordinary claim that gravity warps space and time around massive objects. This was (and still is) an incredible prediction (much like astrology). However, Einstein and his colleagues were actual scientists and devised a way to test his hypothesis by observing distant stars during a solar eclipse. Sure enough, Einstein’s theory was tested, and proved to be correct. That, in a nutshell, is what astrologers need to do to prove it “works”, though I doubt highly that those types of experiments will ever be done. Your average television astrologer is not really capable of understanding physics, let alone astrophysics or the scientific method.

wundayatta's avatar

I assume someone has already said this in the comments I didn’t read, but just in case, all together people, you can’t prove a negative.

All you can say is that there is no credible evidence that supports the theory of astrology.

iamthemob's avatar

@wundayatta

(the details rephrase the question in a way that removes that issue. As it’s supposed to be a predictive model, though, it can essentially be disproved in the presented context).

wundayatta's avatar

@iamthemob Surely the question should have been changed, too? I mean, the title clearly asks for proof of a negative. Title always takes precedence when details and title disagree.

Nially_Bob's avatar

Forgive my bluntness but having unexpectedly read four separate questions pertaining to astrologys validity as a science in recent days am I the only individual who assumed that astrology was thought of as no more than perhaps a silly bit of curious fun by most of humanity? I guess everyday’s a school day afterall.

Firstly, as has been stated previously, in accordance with the conventional scientific method it is those that propose a hypothesis that must prove it. Choosing to believe something solely because it cannot be disproven will likely lead to instability and extensive delusions.

I’ll proceed to debate each point made beginning with those mentioned in the article provided by Simone:

“1. Astrology probably gave birth to Astronomy. There is nothing supernatural about casting a horoscope, most of it is done according to precise astronomical and mathematical principles.”
Phrenology contributed to the development of brain lateralisation and for this reason one should be appreciative of phrenologists. However the study of phrenology itself has been discredited. This is analogous to astrology.

“2. Many famous scientists have been into Astrology: Tyco Brahe, Karl Jung, Kepler, Huxley, and Copernicus.. Many others remain anonymous.”
If they remain anonymous then how does one deduce their existence? Famous thinkers, thoughtful though they have been, are not infallible.

“3. Astrologers do not necessarily believe in fate. They believe the stars impel not compel.”
How?

“4. There are 10,000 practicing paid Astrologers and millions of horoscope followers. There are hundreds of books on the topic. Only 10% of Americans believe there can’t be anything to it.”
Argumentum ad populum is a flawed argument.

“5. Astrology doesn’t have to involve pphacthic phenomenon or even direct causation. Many Astrologers believe in a natural synchronicity between the stars and events. Other countries place even more value in it.”
An interesting fact.

“6. It is a undisputed scientific fact that the planets have a measurable magnetic, gravitational and electromagnetic influence on the earth. Most people agree that bizarre behavior tends to peak on full moons.”
Yes, that certainly is a scientific fact (whether it is undisputed is debatable as some physicists have their doubts but that’s unrelated). There however is a neglible amount of valid empirical evidence that concludes that interstellar objects, moons or planets affect humans. The notion that humans tend to be more “crazy” during a full moon is a long held myth (so long in-fact that the term ‘lunatic’ derives from ‘lunar’) that has never been conclusively proven when studied – http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/12/1218_021218_moon.html

“7. Astrology is not limited to natal. There is also electional, horary, mundane, medical, meteorological, Chinese 12 year and millennial.”
I was not aware of this and will commit myself to further study on the matter.

“8. The vast majority of those who look at their own chart (not just a newspaper column) find uncanny accurate hits.”
If you wrote an extremely thorough personality description on a sheet of paper I would bet $1000 that by the end of the day I could find atleast 5 people who thought that it matched their personality accurately. This is due to what’s known as the ‘Forer effect’ and is believed to be related to subjective validation as covered in the link.

“9. There are scores of natural phenomenon with regular periodicity’s”
The moon orbits, people sleep and wake, animals enter different heat cycles etc. Having natural patterns occur does not inevitably imply that they occur in all facets of existence.

@Ben_Dover
“What do you think the electro-magnetic impulses in our body is/are? They are nerve impulses racing back and forth from our brain and NS to various parts of our body.
As such, some of these nerve impulses are part of what makes you decide how to respond to various stimuli. Do i really need to explain this basic biology to you? Are you in high school yet?”
The incidence of nerve signals is more chemical based than magnetic and is far more complex than you seem to be insinuating. With this said, the electro-magnetic pulse that does indeed eminate from humans is not significant enough to interact with any of our surroundings else our computers and televisions would be reacting to it accordingly, which they do not.

Your closing statement was an unnecessary and disrespectful ad hominem and will only work to your detriment as a debater. May I sincerely suggest you reconsider such statements in the future.

CMaz's avatar

And with all that said.
Taking that “data” and condensing it down to whether or not your week will be good or bad.
If it is a good time to play the lottery. Or, the right time to pursue that special goal you have bee thinking of. Is a stretch, to say the least. I misuse of that celestial information.

Turning any “scientific” information into noting but wishful thinking and manipulation.

gasman's avatar

@Nially_Bob A lot of the tricks you describe comprise what’s known as cold reading:

“Cold reading is a series of techniques used by mentalists, illusionists, fortune tellers, psychics, mediums and other con artists to determine or express details about another person, often in order to convince them that the reader knows much more about a subject than they actually do…”

Nullo's avatar

It is said that you cannot prove a negative.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, there are plenty of studies and experiments involving thousands of test subjects.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Nullo – It is a myth that you cannot prove a negative. Here’s a simple example:

There are no even prime number greater than 2.

It’s a negative statement and we can prove that this statement is true.

Here’s a more complex example:

There are no computer programs that can solve the halting problem. These kind of programs do not exist. Again, it’s a negative statement and we can prove that this statement is true.

Dan337's avatar

Wikipedia, of course, has a good summary of the research:

“Astrology”
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology#Astrology_and_science

Studies have repeatedly failed to demonstrate statistically significant relationships between astrological predictions and operationally defined outcomes. Effect size tests of astrology-based hypotheses conclude that the mean accuracy of astrological predictions is no greater than what is expected by chance. For example, when testing for cognitive, behavioral, physical and other variables, one study of 2000 astrological ‘time twins’ born within minutes of each other did not show a celestial influence on human characteristics.

Following their footnotes:

“The Universe At Your Fingertips Activity: Activities With Astrology”
Andrew Fraknoi
Foothill College & Astronomical Society of the Pacific
http://astrosociety.org/education/astro/act3/astrology3.html

The “Ten Embarrassing Questions” illustrate some very basic logical arguments, but you requested empirical data, so scroll down to the “Testing Astrology” section. Here are some excerpts:

Psychologist Bernard Silverman of Michigan State University looked at the birth dates of 2,978 couples who were getting married and 478 who were getting divorced in the state of Michigan. Most astrologers claim they can at least predict which astrological signs will be compatible or incompatible when it comes to personal relationships. Silverman compared such predictions to the actual records and found no correlations.

Physicist John McGervey at Case Western Reserve University looked at biographies and birth dates of some 6,000 politicians and 17,000 scientists to see if members of these professions would cluster among certain signs, as astrologers predict. He found the signs of both groups to be distributed completely at random.

. . . French statistician Michel Gauquelin sent the horoscope for one of the worst mass murderers in French history to 150 people and asked how well it fit them. Ninety-four percent of the subjects said they recognized themselves in the description.

Geoffrey Dean . . . reversed the astrological readings of 22 subjects, substituting phrases that were the opposite of what the horoscopes actually stated. Yet the subjects in this study said the readings applied to them just as often (95 percent of the time) as people to whom the correct phrases were given.

. . . [A]stronomers Culver and Ianna tracked the published predictions of well-known astrologers and astrological organizations for five years. Out of more than 3,000 specific predictions (including many about politicians, film stars, and other famous people), only about 10 percent came to pass.

The article also includes some activities you can try yourself:
http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astro/act3/astrology.html

“A Double-blind Test of Astrology”
Shawn Carlson
Nature, 318, 419 1985
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v318/n6045/abs/318419a0.html

. . . [A]strology was given every reasonable chance to succeed. It failed. Despite the fact that we worked with some of the best astrologers in the country, . . . despite the fact that every reasonable suggestion made by advising astrologers was worked into the experiment, despite the fact that the astrologers approved the design and predicted 50% as the ‘minimum’ effect they would expect to see, astrology failed to perform at a level better than chance. . . . The experiment clearly refutes the astrological hypothesis.

“Is Astrology Relevant to Consciousness and Psi?”
Geoffrey Dean and Ivan W. Kelly
Journal of Consciousness Studies, 10, No. 6–7, 2003, pp. 175–198
http://www.imprint.co.uk/pdf/Dean.pdf

A large-scale test of persons born less than five minutes apart found no hint of the similarities predicted by astrology. Meta-analysis of more than forty controlled studies suggests that astrologers are unable to perform significantly better than chance even on the more basic tasks such as predicting extraversion.

The paper summarizes a great many others (see the three pages of references), several of which are also available on-line.

Here’s some more:

“The Astrotest”
Rob Nanninga
Correlation, Journal of Research into Astrology, Northern Winter 1996/97, 15(2), p. 14–20.
http://www.skepsis.nl/astrot.html

The average number of hits was 0.75. This is 0.25 below the mean change expectation (MCE), a deviation that is not significant. Moreover, there was no evidence that the most experienced astrologers did any better than beginners.

he lack of agreement was striking. . . . Of . . . 49 possible combinations, none was selected more than twelve times. It was as if each astrologer had used a random generator to determine the correct matches.

The Scientific Exploration of Astrology
http://astrology-and-science.com/hpage.htm

But by 2000 over one hundred [empirical studies of astrology] had appeared in psychology journals and four hundred in astrology journals, equivalent to about 200 man-years of scientific research. . . . The findings have been clear and consistent whether obtained by astrologers or by scientists—astrology has not contributed to human knowledge, it has failed hundreds of tests, it has no acceptable mechanism other than hidden persuaders (see below), and users do not usefully agree on basics such as which zodiac to use or even on what a given birth chart indicates. Today, for the first time in twenty centuries, we can say with some certainty that no, the heavens do not reflect our destiny.

This site is a maze of data.

Here are some lists of references and links:

“Astronomical Pseudo-Science: A Skeptic’s Resource List”
Section 1: “Astrology”
by Andrew Fraknoi
Foothill College & Astronomical Society of the Pacific
http://www.astrosociety.org/education/resources/pseudobib.html#1

“Astrology”
Phil Plait
Bad Astronomy
“Links”
http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/astrology.html#links

(Feel free to read the article, too, of course, but it’s another series of reductio ad absurdum arguements.)

“Astrology”
Robert T. Carroll
The Skeptic’s Dictionary
http://skepdic.com/astrology.html

Scroll down the the “further reading” for a list of several articles and websites—the article itself is a logical rather than empirical critique.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but I’ve gotta get some sleep. (Follow the links for more.) I hope you find this helpful.

Dan337's avatar

P.S.: I see that I repeated most of Gasman’s links—sorry about that; no plagiarism was intended.

Jeruba's avatar

@mattbrowne, with all due respect to your considerable intellect and your powers of argumentation, I don’t think that’s what we mean by proving a negative. A statement that is factual in form can still be a positive assertion, even if it involves a negative expression. “I am not a man” is such a statement, and “The sun does not shine at night” is another. “There are no even prime numbers greater than 2” is the same as saying “All prime numbers greater than 2 are odd.” No negative.

When we speak of proving a negative, we are talking about an absence of something; for example, there is no ghost in my house, and I did not steal your money, and unicorns do not exist.

It may be true that a negative can indeed be proved, but I don’t think it can be done by simply recasting an easily proved positive statement. That’s just a word game and not really a proof of anything.

I also object to the use of the word “myth” to mean “falsehood” or “erroneous belief” or “misconception.” Myths are an expression of a kind of truth in special language and are not meant to be factual.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Jeruba – I was also talking about an absence of something, for example the absence of a certain computer program analyzing other computer programs to find out whether they contain endless loops or not. Sorry, it’s not a word game and I really resent statements like ‘It is said that you cannot prove a negative’ which I have encountered hundreds of times. Very often like some kind of knee-jerk reflex when someone mentions this totally horrible word god.

It is true that some negatives cannot be proven such as there is no ghost in my house or God does not exist. It is also true that science cannot answer everything.

I accept your objection to the term myth. Let’s talk about misconception instead.

gasman's avatar

From SkepticWiki.org :

The claim “you can’t prove a negative” is often used as a shorthand in discussions to refer to the difficulty of gathering experimental evidence to “prove” that something does not exist. Proving that a phenomenon isn’t real takes a lot more time and effort than it takes to demonstrate it. This is especially true when the definition of the phenomenon can be changed at will by its believers. Its very difficult to prove the general non-existence of a phenomenon, and this difficulty is used by believers of many kinds of phenomena to give the appearance of credibility to their beliefs.
——————
In other words, you can’t prove the non-existence of something.

@Jeruba I agree with what you say, but I’m not sure that proving a “negative” is meant to be taken in the linguistic sense to describe sentence morphology. It’s meant in the sense of the philosophy of science. I am reminded of Carl Sagan’s example of an invisible dragon that he asserts is present in the room with him. When challenged to explain why the invisible dragon is silent, he explains that it makes no sounds you can hear, either. Nor can you smell it. Nor can you feel it, and so on in endless regress of rebuttals to the absence of evidence.

That why skeptics insist that the burden of proof is on those who make claims. (Moreover, as the proverb goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.) This goes back to Karl Popper’s notion of “falsifiability” as a prerequisite for scientific explanations. Non-falsifiable claims should be ignored by science.

@mattbrowne I draw a sharp distinction between the proof of a mathematical theorem and the confirmation of a scientific theory by physical evidence. One is pure logic, the other involves the messy and tentative world ofobserving reality and making logical inferences whose confidence may approach but never equal 100%.

Call me a Platonist, but I feel the Pythagorean Theorem, say, is absolutely true and definitely real, independent of any past or future observations, reasoning purely by logic. The same cannot be said of even the most obvious physical laws, which are—in principle—always tentative and potentially subject to new observations that may overturn accepted dogma.

This discussion thread was about astrology, which makes specific claims about physical reality, which can be tested scientifically. It’s nothing like a mathematical conjecture waiting to be proved true or false.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Nullo's avatar

@mattbrowne Perhaps the language needs to be more precise, then. There are negatives that cannot be proven: the existence of a planet made of cheese, for instance. These are characterized by difficulties in procuring relevant data. We have proven that there is nothing caseform in our immediate celestial vicinity, but there could be, in an infinite universe. That whole monkeys-with-typewriters business.

mattbrowne's avatar

@gasman – Thanks for your clarification, but I’d like to point out that it isn’t just about math or computer science. It’s also about physical reality. Here’s an example

In our universe a perpetual motion machine doesn’t exist.

Is it a negative? Yes.
Can we prove this negative? Yes.
How? We use observation, experimentation and scientific method to posit natural laws. In this case there are two laws that matter: the first and second law of thermodynamics. They are basis for the proof of this negative and there’s undisputed scientific consensus about this.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Nullo – Yes, exactly and here’s how more precision can be achieved:

1) There are some negatives we can’t prove.
2) There are some negatives we prove.
3) There are some positives we can’t prove.
4) There are some positives we can prove.

Examples:

A planet made of cheese (1). A perpetual motion machine (2). For the real number pi the places after the decimal point consist of an equal amount of the digits zero to nine (3). There’s an infinite amount of prime numbers (4).

This is debate is about astrology. So here’s another negative we can prove based on statistical data used in countless studies:

Astrology cannot reliably predict future events

In contrast science can reliably predict solar and lunar eclipses.

mammal's avatar

What you are really asking is whether Astrology is Astronomy? No it isn’t.

Does Astrology conform to scientific method? Obviously not.

Is Astrology irrelevant, obsolete or worst, completely untruthful? Only if Science dictates the terms of qualification.

If Astrology does attempt to qualify according to specifically Scientific truth criteria, it will invariably become unstuck. They parted company a long time ago, in the epic dialectic confrontation between Astrology and Christendom, whereby the Church negated the aspect of Astrology that dealt with Human affairs and the psyche, supplanting it as the supreme authority. However the Astronomical practice remained preserved in order to organise the Church calender, often superimposing significant Church Holidays over the old pagan feast days, into a shrewdly devised new cosmology.

This new arrangement continued until Copernicus and other renaissance scientists spoilt the party by rearranging the planetary system in such a convincing way that the Church and the Earth upon which it was built, was no longer at the centre of our Cosmos. Science and Religion have been at war, on and off, ever since.

What is real, however, very real, what is most glaringly obvious is the struggle for supremacy between these dynamic forces.

urbanprimate's avatar

I strongly say no. its such an early religion developed before christianity, judaism, just about any religions we know about. there are different astrologys all over the world. chinese and pagan western europe are the most known but there are so many more and they all have such similarities in their horoscopes thats why noone has disproved it but the majority wants to thats why u dont hear of it as being an old religion. i believe there are mistakes though such as our horoscopes being one sign too late cuz of our inaccurate technology back in the day. were supposedly the sign of a month before we were born

urbanprimate's avatar

we all want to simplify everything to say its just coincidence but astrology doesnt contradict coincidence. every day has a different weather forecast cuz of “mere coincidence”. obviously the forces of earth our ever changing just as astrology says.

raisedhand432's avatar

I have many thoughts on this subject, as I have devoted 10 years to the study of it, alongside its’ companions mythology, and religion. What I will do is explain the chain of events and thoughts as they happened and try to explain my viewpoint on this. There is also a study I have devised to test astrology that I am currently working on.

On April 2nd, 2001, I met a man named Nick, who was born May 21, 1979. During the first hour we spent together, I noticed that his manner was very similiar to mine, unnervingly so. At this point in my life, I did not think there was any validity to astrology or to much of anything really. I have always been extremely skeptical and a very left-brained, logical mind. Anyways, I asked Nick, “Are we the same or something?” I asked him what his birthday was at that moment, and the urge to do so was instinctual. His birthday was exactly four days before mine, which is May 25, 1979. I then, instinctually, shared my experience of losing my left eye at the age of 15. He then told me he had also lost an eye. I injured my left eye June 2, 1994 and he injured his right eye May 13, 1994. This prompted me to study astrology and see if our similiar birthdates was the reason we are so similiar.
I devoured books on traditional astrology and mythology and religion for the next few years. I noticed a few interesting things and had some intriguing thoughts in that period. First, in relation to Christianity, it seemed that the story of Jesus and his disciples was a sort of allegory representing the zodiac. There are a couple of reasons why I thought this. The main reason deals with the disciple Thomas. Thomas translates literally to “twin”. Thomas’s most memorable and significant role in the bible is when he demands to stick his finger into the wound of Jesus, hence the term “doubting Thomas”. From this, I deduced that Thomas is representative of the sign of Gemini, the twins, for two reasons. The first is obvious: because Thomas literally means twin. The second reason is because he says he won’t believe until he is given proof, which is like the traditional idea of the personality of Gemini(which is my sign), that of a logical, skeptical person. Next, I deduced that the character of Jesus is the other twin. Gemini, the twins, is associated with the archetypal character of Hermes or Mercury, who is the messenger of the gods. The archetype is also the son of god and a selfless character devoted to service and the delivery of a message. The next curious thing I realized deals with the virgin birth. It occurred to me that perhaps it had to do with the sign of Virgo, the virgin. I realized that if Jesus were conceived during the time of Virgo(August 21-September 22), that he would emerge nine months later as a Gemini, as a twin, as Mercury, as the messenger of God. The last thing I noted about the disciples was that John the Baptist is probably a representation of Aquarius the water bearer. Next I discovered the myth of Odin, the scandinavian equivelant of Mercury, Hermes, and Jesus. I read a story about how he sacrifices his eye at the well of Mimir for wisdom. This affected me in a profound way, because I felt like I was basically one of many versions of Hermes/Mercury/Odin/Jesus and that I had lost my eye, so that this knowledge would become clear to me and that I should deliver the message. However, do not judge me as a fanatic for this. I am just a man observing and living. I recognize my inability to know, and keep an objective stance. But, this really got me thinking about the purpose of religious literature and mythology. It seems plausible to me that these stories resulted from these ancient peoples knowledge of the existence of these patterns that we call astrology, and that the stories were a way of passing the information along. Lastly, in regards to ancient people and how they came about these ideas, I wonder if they may have actually been smarter in certain ways than we are today. Perhaps, their right-brains were more developed and they could actually see and understand the patterns of life on a higher level than we can now because their minds were not hindered by language based thought. They were more enveloped in direct experience and therefore may have been able to actually see the pattern, which brings me to the next period of my studies- the last 6 years.
From the moment I met Nick and began to wonder about whether there was any truth to astrology, I began to ask everyone I met and knew what their birthday was. I also would look up the birthdates of any person I might study, see on television, read a book by, etc..
Any person I am familiar with in any capacity, I know their birthdate. For the first few years, nothing out of the ordinary occurred. I just sort of collected the data in my mind, and started questioning and comparing. Does this virgo guy act like this virgo girl? etc…

Now, here is the MEAT of what I have to say about this. I started to notice physical patterns. I started to see that virgos had a certain shape to their eyes. I started noticing geminis talked and acted a certain way. Then, I started, on occasion, to know someone’s birthdate within a few days because they looked very similiar to someone else I knew. I guessed Neko Case’s birthdate in this manner, simply by looking at a picture. I have done this quite a few times, and it is starting to happen more frequently as the pattern is becoming clearer in my mind. At some point, I realized that the simple reason this had happened was because I knew everyone’s birthday. If everyone went by their birthdate as their name, then everyone would have seen this pattern I am becoming aware of a long time ago. It is strange for me though, because I have not met one single person who looks at this the same way I do. Everyone seems to fall into two camps: they are either fanatical, gullible followers of astrology that regurgitate info from books like it is a religion that is all worked out already, or they vehemently deny the possibility and scoff at it. I have felt alone and isolated with what I feel is knowledge that could change the world as we know it. So, I have spent the last year or two trying to figure a way to show what I see. I figured if I can observe these patterns, there must be a way to show these patterns to others scientifically. One day, it hit me.
I have designed a study that can show what I see. The study will look at sets of siblings. If a pair of brothers have the same parents, it seems that they should be almost identical, yet they rarely are. I attribute this to their birthdate. There are other reasons, of course, but I think the birthdate is the main reason. I have noticed that some signs are taller while others are shorter, so height will be the focus. Since I am looking at same-sex siblings, it removes the unwanted variables of race, different genetics, gender, etc… Virgos and Pisces are the apex of the hypothetical line while Gemini and Sagittarius are the trough or the shortest of the hypothetical line. To make it very simple to understand, the hypothesis is that a virgo brother will be taller than his gemini brother a huge percentage of the time, if not every time. I will link a picture of the hypothetical line if anyone is interested. I am in the midst of collecting data right now, which is actually the reason I came to this site. I have been looking for ways to collect data online and figured this community may be willing to take part since it is devoted to knowledge.
There are a few more thoughts I’d like to add about this subject before I finish. I think that it is a science that could be developed. I don’t think that all of traditional astrology is correct. I think much of it is flawed. For instance, I do not think that the more in-depth astrological charts have any validity. I simply look at the birthdate. I also think that the 30 day span of a sign is too broad, and that as we study people to figure out the reality of the pattern, we can break it down into smaller increments, like 5 day spans. I also don’t go for the idea that it is causal. I think that the movement of the planets and everything is what time really is and that time and birthdates are just symbols we use to understand it, but the reality of it is understood without those symbols. To quote Bob Dylan, “Really the truth is just a plain picture”. I also think that we should learn about astrology from people, and not learn about people from astrology. Basically, it is completely undeveloped, though there is some truth in the ground plans the ancients laid out for us. We are the reality of it though, and that is where the answers will come from: the study of the people in correlation with time.

Nially_Bob's avatar

@raisedhand432
To borrow Dan337s quote above,
”Studies have repeatedly failed to demonstrate statistically significant relationships between astrological predictions and operationally defined outcomes. Effect size tests of astrology-based hypotheses conclude that the mean accuracy of astrological predictions is no greater than what is expected by chance. For example, when testing for cognitive, behavioral, physical and other variables, one study of 2000 astrological ‘time twins’ born within minutes of each other did not show a celestial influence on human characteristics.”

I appreciate and respect that you’ve spent a significant period of time researching this matter, but there have been far more scientific studies performed by far more people that have plainly stated that astrology has no effect on our personality.

Whether it has an affect on us physically is a possibility, but a more reasonable conclusion to draw from people born in february being taller than people born in september (which in itself isn’t especially likely) would be that the early months of fetal development would be the summer. And that having the pregnant women in the sun more causes feelings of pleasantness which affect her eating habits which then leads to the fetus receiving more nutrients. That being just an artificial example on my part and not necessarily scientifically valid.

Your story about your friend Nick is the anecdotal evidence of an individual and so is invalid evidence. If Astrology were true then surely I, and almost every other person, would have noticed a notable similarity between those who share our star sign, and this is not the case. The whole matter is likely just a coincidence that you’re trying to find patterns in, as mammals are prone to doing.

I share your refusal to dismiss any perspective, but surely you must accept that certain phenomena are more probable than others and are accordingly worthy of more investigation (we only have so much time and so many resources at our disposal afterall). If I were a physician with a patient having frequent seizures I’d check their brain before I checked their appendix.

Nially_Bob's avatar

Concerning my point of how physical attributes can be affected by ones month of birth. I found this article which can offer an idea. I was initially a little wary of the credibility of the website, but they’ve referenced studies at the bottom so I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt: http://io9.com/5706687/why-being-born-in-winter-can-affect-your-biological-clock-for-the-rest-of-your-life

raisedhand432's avatar

@Nially_Bob
I will address your points individually. I appreciate the conversation.

The first thing I’d like to point out is that I have collected a small sample and analyzed it. In the groups of siblings with a virgo or a pisces(virgo and pisces are virtually the same sign, with the spring mirroring the fall and the summer mirroring the winter), the virgo or pisces was taller than 19 of their siblings, while only being the same height with two of their siblings, and only being shorter than two of their siblings.

I will not debate the effect on personality, because it is far too difficult to quantify and test and prove personality, though I do see trends in personality also. That is why I chose the physical as a way to show what I see, becaue it is quantitative.
As for their failed attempts, people are not as developed as we think we are. We seem to think since we’ve come this far, that we must know everything by now. That was sort of hinted at when you said “surely I, and almost every other person, would have noticed a notable similarity between those who share our star sign, and this is not the case”. But, people just aren’t that smart. That is the reason. The people who study astrology are definitely not that smart, because they tend to be the religious type. They just follow it. The study I have designed is most likely the best study to determine the validity of astrology ever designed.

As for your last paragraph, I don’t see why it is so improbable. There is a certain characteristic to the seasons, to every day of the year. People are merely reactions to the environment, and that is how this pattern comes to be.

I don’t expect you to see what I see because of my words(though my data should sway you some), because you haven’t seen it yet. But, I have seen some of the pattern. And it is there for you to see also. You must look. There are siblings everywhere.

raisedhand432's avatar

@Nially_Bob
One last thing regarding “surely I, and almost every other person, would have noticed a notable similarity between those who share our star sign, and this is not the case”. You don’t know everyone’s birthday you meet, and you are not actively trying to see the pattern. If everyone used their birthdate as their name, this pattern would be clear to most people. This is how the pattern is becoming clear to me. It is because I memorize everyone’s birthday, and actively observe the correlations. It took 10 years for my mind to have enough data stored to start to see it, but the speed with which you can witness the pattern all depends on the amount of activity.

AdamF's avatar

I think one of the great benefits of science is that it has clarified our understanding of just how unreliable we are at determing the difference between real patterns and perceived but imaginery patterns.

Confirmation bias is rampant in everyone. We all have hopes, desires, wishes, etc..

Science is the best approach we have for stepping outside such biases. Furthermore, it works at two levels, pattern and process. So even if we don’t understand how a mechanism works (which still is the case for many medical interventions at different levels), we can nevertheless confirm that there is in fact a pattern or association, regardless of whether we understand it.

As such, if there was any link between astrology and people’s personality, future, etc..that went beyond coincidence, random chance, confirmation bias, anecdotal evidence, etc…ie if there was anything there, the scientific method should detect it if applied correctly.’

Multiple studies have been performed, and the net outcome of those studies is no.

There is no discernible pattern. There is no mechanism that needs to be explained.

This is an ancient mythology and the ball is well and truly in the court of those who claim it is true to provide overwhelming scientific evidence that that is the case, to overwhelm the overwhelming scientific evidence that there is nothing there.

Frankly, this wasn’t exactly a revelation. What I think is far more interesting and is worth studying further is the persistency with which people hitch themselves to ideas and worldviews that have no evidence…like astrology, homeopathy etc..

By they way…some more links. (but there will be overlap with others).

http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/02/what_do_you_mea.html

raisedhand432's avatar

@AdamF
I am performing a study that is returning results that show a strong correlation between birthdate and height. See my posts above.

Nially_Bob's avatar

@raisedhand432 Thank you for your thorough reply. I too appreciate the conversation :)

I’ll offer my reply in a similar manner to that which you have to keep matters simple.

- “The first thing I’d like to point out is that I have collected a small sample and analyzed it. In the groups of siblings with a virgo or a pisces(virgo and pisces are virtually the same sign, with the spring mirroring the fall and the summer mirroring the winter), the virgo or pisces was taller than 19 of their siblings, while only being the same height with two of their siblings, and only being shorter than two of their siblings.”

This is a reasonable study, presuming you’ve handled the data in a logical manner. But as I mentioned earlier, is it not more likely that these physical difference are a result of a more scientific areas of study? You make these claims of height amongst siblings, but sibling differences has been a focus of interest in Psychology, Genealogy and Sociology for decades now and there have been various studies that have shown that older siblings are typically taller than and also often more intelligent than their younger siblings. To be honest this is quite surprising to me but would explain why brother frequently beats me at chess (we’ll see who’s laughing someday Daniel).

Astrology, as defined by Wikipedia, is “a set of systems, traditions, and beliefs which hold that the relative positions of celestial bodies (the Sun, Moon, and planets) and related details can provide information about personality, human affairs and other “earthly” matters.” – The sun affects us for obvious reasons; the moon and planets do not. This has been proven repeatedly. Including the common misconception that the moon makes people “crazier” – http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/12/1218_021218_moon.html – If there were evidence of celestial bodies affecting us would it not be evident through some empirical means? For example, a correlation between certain brain activity and date of birth?

- “I will not debate the effect on personality, because it is far too difficult to quantify and test and prove personality, though I do see trends in personality also. That is why I chose the physical as a way to show what I see, becaue it is quantitative.
As for their failed attempts, people are not as developed as we think we are. We seem to think since we’ve come this far, that we must know everything by now. That was sort of hinted at when you said “surely I, and almost every other person, would have noticed a notable similarity between those who share our star sign, and this is not the case”. But, people just aren’t that smart. That is the reason. The people who study astrology are definitely not that smart, because they tend to be the religious type. They just follow it. The study I have designed is most likely the best study to determine the validity of astrology ever designed.”

Firstly, I’d disagree. You mention that we’re not as smart as we believe ourselves to be (which I concur with). Similarly, I think our personalities are not as complex as we believe them to be. Unfortunately, you are right in stating that it’s reasonably difficult to quantify such a thing. All the same, regarding your mention of you observing patterns between Astrological signs and personalities: Astrological signs often boil personalities down to the point that basically anyone could believe that they’re describing them. This is due to, as I mentioned above, the ‘Forer Effect’ and is counter-intuitive to your belief that personalities are too complex to study.

But moving onto the key issue I take with this paragraph. If you do not study personality then how are you studying Astrology? The study of how the patterns of the environment affects a humans physical attributes is more akin to Ecology.

- “As for your last paragraph, I don’t see why it is so improbable. There is a certain characteristic to the seasons, to every day of the year. People are merely reactions to the environment, and that is how this pattern comes to be.”

I believe I’ve covered my perspectives on this above.

- “I don’t expect you to see what I see because of my words(though my data should sway you some), because you haven’t seen it yet. But, I have seen some of the pattern. And it is there for you to see also. You must look. There are siblings everywhere.”

You have certainly come with your guns loaded, and your data is intriguing me, but I’m currently more interested in how the effects you describe are happening than how they relate to Astrology. I’m thankful for the stimulating thought though.

- “One last thing regarding “surely I, and almost every other person, would have noticed a notable similarity between those who share our star sign, and this is not the case”. You don’t know everyone’s birthday you meet, and you are not actively trying to see the pattern.”

The primary issue with this approach is that, though you are more likely to note patterns, you are equally likely to fall prey to observer bias and false positives. That is to say you’ll see patterns where they don’t exist; even the most objective among us will unwittingly perform these mistakes when having dedicated 10 years of study to a subject.

In summary, though you present credible evidence for your perspective, I believe the evidence that is valid is often based on another field of study and that which is not is anecdotal.

I look forward to your response :)

AdamF's avatar

@raisedhand432

Growth is influenced by a variety of factors which are known to be related to the timing/quanity of the availability of nutrients during development, poverty/rural livelihood (higher exposure to the seasonal environment), probability and extent of sickness during childhood, etc.., all of which (at large enough population sample sizes), within consistent time periods, and regional boundaries, have the potential to show correlations with season of birth in exposed populations (due to such seasonal influences on the availability of more nutritious foods,sunlight exposure (vitamin D), illness, physical activity, etc.).

See this study.

http://www.staff.amu.edu.pl/~anthro/pdf/paar/vol071/01puch.pdf

What’s interesting is that the effect of season on height of young children in this study is decreasing with time, and is correlated with improvements in nutrtion and other socio-economic changes. They also review other studies which have been conducted on this same topic.

In short, none of these observed patterns with respect to height provide any support for astrology as commonly defined. It sounds like you’re trying to extrapolate from known patterns between human height and seasonal influences on development to…therefore astrology is real. All that indicates is a non sequitur/false equivalency.

Also, “performing a study” isn’t in itself a scientific hurdle, no matter how long you’ve been doing so. Publication in a recognized peer-reviewed scientific journal is. Then comes the verification of one’s results by other independent published studies, and agreement with one’s interpretation of those results.

raisedhand432's avatar

@Nially_Bob

Thanks for your response.:)

“You make these claims of height amongst siblings, but sibling differences has been a focus of interest in Psychology, Genealogy and Sociology for decades now and there have been various studies that have shown that older siblings are typically taller than and also often more intelligent than their younger siblings. To be honest this is quite surprising to me but would explain why brother frequently beats me at chess (we’ll see who’s laughing someday Daniel)”

In regards to the paragraph above, I am aware of this idea. I analyzed the data with this in mind, and found that most of the time the pisces or virgo was actually the younger sibling. However, the sample size is just too small right now to really be convincing. Not to mention the fact that it is not a random sample, rather it is a sample of convenience. So, I have to figure out a credible way of collecting a large random sample. That is the very first step for me. The preliminary results are very encouraging, but are by no means anywhere close to the final product. If you have any ideas on how to collect this large random sample of greater than 1000 sets of siblings, please suggest them. I will be entertaining methods in the next few weeks and attempting to choose one.

“But moving onto the key issue I take with this paragraph. If you do not study personality then how are you studying Astrology? The study of how the patterns of the environment affects a humans physical attributes is more akin to Ecology.”

As for this idea, it brings up some interesting points I’d like to make. Regardless of the words, Astrology and Ecology, the idea here is that there is a synchronicity between the way a person is and the time of their conception(which would be the more definite point of reference, with births being influenced by many other factors). I have often said that I study people to learn about Astrology, instead of studying astrology to learn about people. I prefer to leave the word Astrology out of my work, for multiple reasons. First and foremost, I do not think all of the ideas associated with astrology are valid. I only know I have witnessed patterns that correlate to birthdate. I do not care much for the idea of predicting things, horoscopes, casting charts, etc.. I want to isolate the few tenets of astrology that are valid and go from there, to develop it from the ground up, losing the parts that are reaching and keeping the parts that observable. For instance, a sign consists of a 30 day period. This period is way too broad. A person at one end of the sign is very different from a person at the other end. Basically, we need to zoom in further to identify smaller increments. Anyways, I hope you see my point here. I am not developing the whole of “astrology”. I am seeing some validity in it, and trying to weed out the fluff. To me, it is a fledgling science that desperately needs to be developed, because it has great potential for furthering humanity in its’ quest for understanding. It could aid so many fields, particularly medicine, anthropology, religion, psychology, and many others.

“The primary issue with this approach is that, though you are more likely to note patterns, you are equally likely to fall prey to observer bias and false positives. That is to say you’ll see patterns where they don’t exist; even the most objective among us will unwittingly perform these mistakes when having dedicated 10 years of study to a subject.”

I recognize that I am certainly capable of falling prey to confirmation bias, but I happen to be the type of person who is not prone to it. I’m sure I have had some false positives and that I have looked for results, but I am also sure that I have seen patterns of significance. There is not a doubt in my mind that the pattern is there, as I have seen some of it. It is just a matter of time to put the puzzle together. I am putting together a list of observations concerning particular areas of the year and trends in physical attributes I have observed. I will post those soon, if you’re interested. I also am putting together some pictures of people to serve as visual aids in explaining those observations.

sutikshna's avatar

Actually there are so many things has no proof of its existence, u only can feel it .
for example human; mind nobody can touch it,it has no color, it has no weight ,it has no shape
but u can feel it’s existence.
and suppose doctor get failed to cure any patient, do we blame medical science for that?
no! we just say that it is fault of doctor.
The perfection in prediction is depend upon astrologer.
REMEMBER , astrology is only science which base upon“As yo give ,so u get” theory.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@mattbrowne – you cite a tautology in giving the idea that no even number greater than 2 is prime. That’s freshman logic.

You can’t disprove an empirical negative.

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