November 1, 2010

Time for some good old-fashioned debunking.

It seems like Astrology is one of those old myths that manages to pervade everyday language even with some of the most well-educated people. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but it simply is a load of crap. The biggest reason, and the only one I will spell out in this post, (you will get links to more thorough debunking articles later) is that the 12 “houses” of the zodiac are not constant. Our earth’s axis of rotation wobbles, just like a top’s axis of rotation slowly wobbles when you spin it on a table. This phenomenon, called precession, causes the zodiac to slowly change over many years. In fact, there are now 13 constellations that fall within the zodiac, not 12. The Babylonians created the 12 sign zodiac we’re all familiar with, but that was thousands of years ago. The zodiac has shifted so that there’s a good chance that when you were born, the sun was not in the constellation that corresponds with your astrological sign based on the calendar. Said calendar is based on how the Babylonians observed the sky thousands of years ago. It is not the same today!

Modern astrologers have turned this pseudo-science into a huge moneymaking scam that is no different than that of psychics and other scam artists that use misdirection and mentalism techniques to screw people out of their money. They use vague predictions that could be applied to almost anyone or anything, and they use the fact that people always remember the few things they get right, and not the many things they got wrong. The logic people use when they claim that an astrological prediction was right is appalling. “My horoscope said I’d come into money today, and I found a dollar on the ground! It was right!” The predictions made by astrologers have never EVER stood up to actual scientific research. They get no more predictions correct than a person making random chance guesses would.

One more point- the idea that the position of the planets and sun when we were born could have any effect on our personality is totally absurd. How? There are 4 forces in nature- electromagnetism, gravity, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force. None of them can affect you based on the positions of the planets/sun when you were born. This is scientifically proven fact.

I don’t have a degree in science, but I do consider myself an amateur scientist and a skeptic, and I follow the writings of extremely smart scientists who do have degrees in what they write about, and I can be damn sure that I can trust them. Go read their more thorough debunkings of astrology here, here, and here.


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