Skip to comments.Astrologers fail to predict Proof they are wrong
Posted on 08/18/2003 6:25:02 PM PDT by RockDoc
Good news for rational, level-headed Virgoans everywhere: just as you might have predicted, scientists have found astrology to be rubbish, writes Science Correspondent Robert Matthews.
Good news for rational, level-headed Virgoans everywhere: just as you might have predicted, scientists have found astrology to be rubbish.
Its central claim - that our human characteristics are moulded by the influence of the Sun, Moon and planets at the time of our birth - appears to have been debunked once and for all and beyond doubt by the most thorough scientific study ever made into it.
For several decades, researchers tracked more than 2,000 people - most of them born within minutes of each other. According to astrology, the subject should have had very similar traits.
The babies were originally recruited as part of a medical study begun in London in 1958 into how the circumstances of birth can affect future health. More than 2,000 babies born in early March that year were registered and their development monitored at regular intervals.
Researchers looked at more than 100 different characteristics, including occupation, anxiety levels, marital status, aggressiveness, sociability, IQ levels and ability in art, sport, mathematics and reading - all of which astrologers claim can be gauged from birth charts.
The scientists failed to find any evidence of similarities between the "time twins", however. They reported in the current issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies: "The test conditions could hardly have been more conducive to success . . . but the results are uniformly negative."
Analysis of the research was carried out by Geoffrey Dean, a scientist and former astrologer based in Perth, Australia, and Ivan Kelly, a psychologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Dr Dean said the results undermined the claims of astrologers, who typically work with birth data far less precise than that used in the study. "They sometimes argue that times of birth just a minute apart can make all the difference by altering what they call the 'house cusps'," he said. "But in their work, they are happy to take whatever time they can get from a client."
The findings caused alarm and anger in astrological circles yesterday. Roy Gillett, the president of the Astrological Association of Great Britain, said the study's findings should be treated "with extreme caution" and accused Dr Dean of seeking to "discredit astrology".
Frank McGillion, a consultant to the Southampton-based Research Group for the Critical Study of Astrology, said of the newly published work: "It is simplistic and highly selective and does not cover all of the research." He added that he would lodge a complaint with the editors of the journal.
Astrologers have for centuries claimed to be able to extract deep insights into the personality and destiny of people using nothing more than the details of the time and place of birth.
Astrology has been growing in popularity. Surveys suggest that a majority of people in Britain believe in it, compared with only 13 per cent 50 years ago. The Association of Professional Astrologers claims that 80 per cent of Britons read star columns, and psychological studies have found that 60 per cent regularly read their horoscopes.
Despite the scepticism of scientists, astrology has grown to be a huge worldwide business, spawning thousands of telephone lines, internet sites and horoscope columns in newspapers and magazines.
It seems that no sector of society is immune to its attraction. A recent survey found that a third of science students subscribed to some aspects of astrology, while some supposedly hard-headed businessmen now support a thriving market in "financial astrology" - paying for predictions of trends such as the rise and fall of the stock market. Astrology supplements have been known to increase newspaper circulation figures and papers are prepared to pay huge sums to the most popular stargazers.
Some of the most popular figures in the field, such as Russell Grant, Mystic Meg and Shelley von Strunckel, can earn £600,000 or more a year.
A single profitable astrology website can be worth as much as £50 million.
When the Daily Mail discovered that its expert on the zodiac, Jonathan Cainer, was about to leave the newspaper in 1999, it reportedly offered him a £1 million salary and a £1 million bonus to stay. He still preferred the offer at the Daily Express: no salary but all the money from his telephone lines.
The time-twins study is only the start of the bad news for astrologers, however. Dr Dean and Prof Kelly also sought to determine whether stargazers could match a birth chart to the personality profile of a person among a random selection.
They reviewed the evidence from more than 40 studies involving over 700 astrologers, but found the results turned out no better than guesswork.
The success rate did not improve even when astrologers were given all the information they asked for and were confident they had made the right choice.
Dr Dean said the consistency of the findings weighed heavily against astrology.
"It has no acceptable mechanism, its principles are invalid and it has failed hundreds of tests," he said. "But no hint of these problems will be found in astrology books which, in effect, are exercises in deception."
Dr Dean is ready for a torrent of criticism. He said: "I'm probably the most hated person in astrology because I'm regarded as a turncoat."
Any Free Republic believers?
Maybe I should cancel that round the world cruise I booked for Thanksgiving.
"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, then are dreamed of in your philosophies." - William S.
One case to support astrology, at least as a lead for clues - try a little reading on Hillary's horoscope. The results are pretty good, albeit chilling...
Then either you're an heir to bazillions, or your father was a total dope.
I consider an honest horoscope as one that required the exact minute, Latitude and Longitude and other details of the moment when you were born.
The human mind is rather amazing and may sometimes be able to see things in the future. Most often these predictions prove to be false, but there is enough historical documentation available to keep the question open.
Astrology is only one of many methods to help the human mind open up to it's own abilities. The key is to use the method that works best for you as an individual.
No, the stars do not rule your future and Astrology is only one of many methods to help the human mind focus upon the abilities already there.
The secret of Astrology is locked inside the human mind, and not in the stars.
What exactly does that mean? We want audited financials!!!
As Bart Simpson said:
I wasn't there, I didn't do it, and you can't prove anything...
I remember a summer school teacher allowing me to make a horoscope for her. I predicted that she was pregnant and would get married in the next.
When I presented her with my horoscope, she almost fainted. She was pregnant and her boyfriend proposed marriage to her the previous evening. I was totally ignorant of her personal life!
Eventually I learned how this works. It is not the stars or the positions of the planets that mattered.
The important thing was the hours of concentration, detailed analysis of all aspects in a horoscope, and the "FAITH" required to make it work.
Good Christians will recognize how important "FAITH" is, and should be able to figure out how it actually worked.
Next, they'll be saying Kent Hovind has a mail-order PhD.
You have perhaps said it better than I ever could.
That there are still people who will ignore this powerful refutation leaves me speechless.
Second, as Cromwell said, Put your trust in God; but mind to keep your powder dry!
Each week the very wealthy John Beresford Tipton would summon his trusted aide, Michael Anthony, to his luxurious estate where Anthony would be given the name of un unsuspecting person and a cashier's check for one million dollars to be given to them, no strings attached.
Tipton was interested in what people would do with the money and how it would affect their lives.
For myself, being a younger person at te time, that was the first time I had ever heard the term "cashier's check," and to this day whenever I see the phrase I think of Michael Anthony. Ha!
Find the the signs. . . 'air, earth, water, fire' as basic personality descriptions/types very helpful when trying to understand other people;whether they are your parents, children, mate/spouse, employer/employees or just trying to understand, better. . .ones friends;
. . .or anyone for that matter, that warrants your interest.
The four classifications and their combinations, are no more mysterious than making sense of, a Myers/Brigg personality analysis.
A 'Sagittarius'; of course :^)
When my son was little, I bet I heard that darn "Conjunction Junction" about a bazillion times. Ha!
Depends on what 'shelf' you find your information, perhaps.
The not-so, "Amazing Randi" has written volumes 'proving' that psychic talents do not exist - you might read it; and believe it. . .
Does not make him right, however. . .
That there are still people who will ignore this powerful refutation leaves me speechless.
Funny thing about astrology.
The signs of the Zodiac were set more than 2000 years ago, early in the Age of Pisces. Due to the Precession of the Equinoxes, we are now in the Age of Aquarius. The practical upshot of this is that everyone's astrological sign is really the one after whatever they think it might be. If you think you're a Cancer, you're really a Leo, etc.
Yep. Everyone following their uncannily accurate horoscopes in the daily papers is reading the wrong sign.
I'm sure it was telling me to become a porn star.
As in, blowing it out Uranus. LOL.
Also, watch this fall, around October 9th... Might be some setbacks, restrictions, losses, etc for the US and George W. Bush around that time.
Might be some successes, gains, etc for the US and George W. Bush around that time.
The time period between late Sept thru November, centered around Oct. 9th, is going to be interesting because of a Saturn transit to the US chart... I dunno, though. i am not psychic, and do not believe in using astrology to make money from people. The Bible says it is wrong to do so.
BS, crap and horse piss. But you're a Virgo, Mars in ascension, with Uranus up the Asteroid conjunction, so you're given to hot air. Give us some testable hypotheses.
But, i find it interesting to study and then see how it works out. I think it is a like a peek into God's plan for our world, but we can only "see through a glass darkly"
Looking at your star chart, I can see God's plan for is either con artistry or complete gullibility.
As for your "prediction" for your summer school teacher, that could have been a number of things. It might have been just a really good guess, or you might have some natural gifts in ESP, or you could have actually used a chart effectively. I have known many astrologers through the years my mother charted and taught, however the subject of faith was not a componant part of their process.
There are a number of interpretive schools in astrology. I have seen things that were similar to your esperience.
Welcome to the 21st century.
I know that it works as a tool to help people focus their own metal abilities. The Bible is full of Astrology, and if you consider the Bible as the true word of God, then pay attention.
Because of Astrology, I had some outstanding scientists accept me as their own personal challenge around 1973. Their mission was to train me how stupid Astrology was and to teach me the science of Astronomy.
I became a scientist and they totally changed my life. Lessons I learned from them, altered my adult life in so many ways, it would be impossible to explain.
However, if it had not been for Astrology, I never would have become a scientist.