Astrology is not Science-Part-II

I always advocate one thing. Do not criticize anything until you do not know about it. If you do not understand something, study it. Learn about it. If learning creates more doubt that means most probably, you were right. If learning removes your doubts that’s means you were wrong initially in criticizing it. Nevertheless, when I wrote my last post, I made the same mistake. Without knowing much about astrology, I declared, “Astrology is wrong”. Click here to read my last post.

We all are bias towards our own belief. Since Islam does not support Astrology, I do not need any strong reason to reject Astrology. However, astrology is part of Hindu culture and religion. For them, it is not easy to disbelieve in it so easily. They want others to prove astrology is worng and fail to underatand that burdon of proof is on them because they are making an extra-ordanary claim.

Finally, I decided to learn about Astrology. I search for various astrologers and selected one. In two days, I watched eight videos and took notes. I learn that to be an astrologer you need 2-3 month practice. However, that was not my goal. I wanted to understand basic concept of astrology, how it works and how planets affect us. I acquired more knowledge than an ordinary individual who believe in Astrology and horoscope. Now, I am in better position to comment on Astrology.

I am more confident now that Astrology is not a Science. Astrology is faith-based mythology. There is no truth in it. In fact, no planet affect us by any ways. Gravity of planets is far less than gravity of your nearby objects. Sun being the biggest and the energy powerhouse and moon being closest affect earth. However, they are not planets. Calling them planet is first blunder Astrologers made. Second blunder is considering earth being center and sun, and all planets revolving around earth. Long back Geo-centric theory was disproved by scientist. At present, we know that the Sun is at one foci of planets elliptical orbits. Moon is a satellite orbiting earth. Sun is a star. Earth is also a planet. If any planet affect us more than rest of the planet, it must be earth. Nevertheless, in Astrology there is no space for earth’s effect on us! Astrology deals with only five nearby planets, even though we have eight planets plus Pluto. Size and weight wise only two things matters in our solar system. First, Sun and second is Jupiter. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. It is approximately 318 times as massive as Earth. If the mass of all of the other planets in the solar system were combined into one Giant planet, Jupiter would still be two and a half times as large as the Giant planet. Sun is almost 10 times larger than the planet Jupiter.

Astrology can at best be defined as ancient astronomy combined with religious mythology. At present, Astronomy and astrology are far more different.

There is a concept in psychology called “cognitive dissonance”. When we have a very strong core belief, anything against it make you feel uncomfortable. You are willing to discard everything how so ever logical which goes against it. For most of the Indian religions (which originated in India like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism etc.) Astrology is one of the core belief. Hence, it is not only difficult for them but somewhat uncomfortable to disbelief in astrology.

Astrology is around 3000 years old. For first 2500 years, when Science was not an organized institute, there was no contender of Astrology. As telescope were perfected , people like Galileo and Copernicus come up with new model of solar system with sun in center and all planets including earth revolving around sun. A new branch of Science originated called Astronomy. If astrology was correct, we never had Astronomy. Astronomy gave us correct and much deeper view of universe. Based on Astronomical findings we are able to send rovers on other planets.

In Vedic Astrology, there are two more mysterious character besides so-called seven physical planets-Rahu and Ketu. Rahu-Ketu is the Sanskrit name given collectively for the Nodes of the Moon. Rahu is the North, and Ketu is the south node of the Moon. They are always directly opposite each other, that is 180 degrees apart. You can read more about Vedic Astrology and mythology by clicking below link at your own risk.

http://vedicastrology.net.au/blog/vedic-articles/rahu-and-ketu/

Based on astrology we can only make guesses. Sometimes they are right, most of the time they are wrong. Whole concept of astrology is flawed. Astrology was developed by those people who didn’t knew the size of planets, eccentric orbits of planets, total no. of planet (they consider only 5 planets and left earth) weight of planets and distance of planets from each other. Moreover, they didn’t knew difference between planet, satellite, sun and star. They treated all the same! Further, they didn’t knew that sun is not revolving around earth. Furthermore, they consider flat earth model while dividing sky in 12 part, each part represent one Zodiac sign.

Mare existance of something for long time does not make it true. Historically many things survived for long period of time but no one believe in their truthness. For example Pyramids were made 3500 years ago and still exists. They were built with a belief that dead person will need all those things which we need while alive. Many stories susrived for thousands years but that does not make them true, if they were not true initially.

This blog is not intended to hurt feelings of any person. Since religion is sensitive issue even mild criticism can hurt someone. I apologise for that in advance. But there is no point in believing pseudo science. With correct world view we can live more meaningful life. Please do not believe in any superstition. Embrace reality.

Truth about Astrology-Part:I

We never know what can inspire us to write new blog. While surfing through different blogs, I come across a blog on astrology. In 21st century, when we already landed on moon and planning to send man on mars, here is one person like millions other who is advocating Astrology as Science.

People believe all sorts of things, it does not bother me until their belief are against Humanity or Science. Astrology is definitely against Science. As long as you keep it away from science and enjoy reading your horoscope or make a tattoo of your Zodiac it hardly bother anyone. However, when you claim, astronomy is science; you need to produce evidence. Moreover, extra ordinary claims require extra ordinary evidence. So, where are the evidence?

I received a links in support of astronomy being science. Let me present to you their analysis

https://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/astrology_checklist

 

It gives checklist to compare astrology with Science as below:

 

Focuses on the natural world?
Astrology’s basic premise is that heavenly bodies — the sun, moon, planets, and constellations — have influence over or are correlated with earthly events.

 

First, Planets are different from moon and sun. Sun is actually a Star like billions other stars in our galaxy. People who invented astrology didn’t knew that planet revolves around sun and not earth. How they can measure planet influence correctly if they did not know correct position of earth, sun, moon and planets respective to each other?

 

Aims to explain the natural world?
Astrology uses a set of rules about the relative positions and movements of heavenly bodies to generate predictions and explanations for events on Earth and human personality traits. For example, some forms of astrology predict that a person born just after the spring equinox is particularly likely to become an entrepreneur.

 

 

When you make a prediction, there must be a certain degree of certainty. Just stating that person is “likely” to become an entrepreneur is mere a guess-work. Astrology explain nothing with high degree of certainty. Thus, it can’t be considered as science.

 

Uses testable ideas?
Some expectations generated by astrology are so general that any outcome could be interpreted as fitting the expectations; if treated this way, astrology is not testable. However, some have used astrology to generate very specific expectations that could be verified against outcomes in the natural world. For example, according to astrology, one’s zodiac sign impacts one’s ability to command respect and authority. Since these traits are important in politics, we might expect that if astrology really explained people’s personalities, scientists would be more likely to have zodiac signs that astrologers describe as “favorable” towards science.1 If used to generate specific expectations like this one, astrological ideas are testable.

 

The above point refutes itself as “astrology is not testable” . If some theory can make a prediction, it must be true in most of the cases, but if we find few cases, which goes against it, the whole theory is wrong.

Relies on evidence?
In the few cases where astrology has been used to generate testable expectations and the results were examined in a careful study, the evidence did not support the validity of astrological ideas.2 This experience is common in science — scientists often test ideas that turn out to be wrong. However, one of the hallmarks of science is that ideas are modified when warranted by the evidence. Astrology has not changed its ideas in response to contradictory evidence.

 

Once again, the above point proved that astrology is not science as evidence did not support astrological ideas.

Involves the scientific community?
Sharing one’s findings and critically evaluating the results of others are not integral parts of practicing astrology. An astrologer can go his or her entire career and not present findings at a scientific meeting or publish a single article. When astrologers do publish, these articles are not usually peer-reviewed or published in places where they will be critically scrutinized by the scientific community.

 

Any article which is not peer-reviewed cannot be considered as scientific paper.

 

Leads to ongoing research?
Scientific studies involving astrology have stopped after attempting and failing to establish the validity of astrological ideas. So far, there are no documented cases of astrology contributing to a new scientific discovery.

 

A correct theory must produce some new discoveries. Astrology has produced none in thousand years of its existence.

Researchers behave scientifically?
Scientists don’t wait for others to do the research to support or contradict the ideas they propose. Instead, they strive to test their ideas, try to come up with counterarguments and alternative hypotheses, and ultimately, give up ideas when warranted by the evidence. Astrologers, on the other hand, do not seem to rigorously examine the astrological ideas they accept. As reflected by the minimal level of research in the field, they rarely try to test their arguments in fair ways. In addition, the astrological community largely ignores evidence that contradicts its ideas.

No test, no evidence, no Science.

Truth about Astrology:

 (Source: http://www.thedailystar.net/is-astrology-science-or-pseudoscience-37018)

The horoscope shows the position of the Sun, planets and the Moon relative to the twelve constellations of the zodiac as they were thousands of years ago. Since then, change in the orientation of the Earth’s rotational axis due to precession shifted the position of the ecliptic—path of the Sun against the background of stars. Consequently, the location of the constellations in the sky changed. They no longer correspond with the constellations in the horoscope.

As an example, astrologically I am an Aquarius because the Sun is believed to have been located in that sign at the moment of my birth. But that was thousands of years ago. In the year I was born the Sun was in Capricorn, not in Aquarius.

Astrologers divided up the year equally, ignoring variations in the size of the constellations. Since Virgo is huge, they chopped some of its sky and added it along with bits of Scorpio to the tiny Libra to bring it up to size. Astronomers call it “equal-opportunity swindling.”

There are currently thirteen zodiacal constellations, not twelve. Astrologers have ignored the thirteenth one, Ophiuchus, because they believe that this constellation was invented by the astronomers to bedevil them.

Unfortunately, people put their trust on the predictions and advices offered by the astrologers without demanding proof or verification. By doing so, they are not gaining any real knowledge. Instead, their blind faith on the prophecies shows a lack of understanding of what science is and of the distinction between scientific theory and faith-based convictions. Many careful tests have shown that, despite their extraordinary claims, astrologers really can’t predict anything.

Astrologers sometimes argue that astrology is based on statistics and may not, therefore, be accurate for an individual. If their claim is true, then there should be a correlation between astrological lore and the different signs under which a person is born. Scientists have made serious attempts to test this hypothesis, but no correlation has ever been found.

Continue…

Click here to read PART-II

The writer is Professor of Physics at Fordham University, New York.

Read more on same website: http://www.thedailystar.net/is-astrology-science-or-pseudoscience-37018