Why Is Astrology Not A Science

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  1. See full list on astrologybay.com.
  2. Astrology was never intended to be a science, and it doesn’t need to be. In the same way that religion can be used in a healthy, nondogmatic way, astrology can create spiritual meaning of life.
Astrology

Why astrology is not a science?

Scientists have produced many studies on astrology, both to refute the accuracy of astrology systems and to explain why so many people believe astrology is real. Peter Hartmann conducted, in 2005 one of the most famous studies with a sample group of 4000 persons. May 27, 2009 Science is the formal logical investigation of reality on the basis of empirical evidence. Astrology is not founded on either logic or evidence, it is founded on primitive superstitions and occultism. It is therefore not science, in the same way that religion, stage magic and 'witchcraft' are not science.

Eyebrows raised? read the question again.

There are mis-beliefs more than beliefs about astrology. But still people visit astrologers for solutions on their problems when all other scientific methods fail. These mis-beliefs starts from the moment they read their birth horoscope casted by some family astrologer or printout taken from some astrology software in a cybercafe, that has predictions about one’s life. When people compare these pages with their real-life events and understand that events happened in their life does not matches with their birth horoscope, its natural for them to come to this conclusion that Astrology is not a science and more over its not perfect at all. But then one should think about this again.

If its not a science then why it has lasted for so many centuries. Nothing is immortal in this world. The things, technology, culture, lifestyle, fashion that does not fits in this world, which is not perfect has not lasted for so long. Even scientific theories that were considered correct were proven wrong afterwards and were changed. If astrology is not a science and perfect in its sense, then how it has survived for so long?

A patient dies in the hospital in spite of good medical treatment. Cause may be, doctor’s mis-diagnosis of a disease, his mental and physical health not supportive for medicines and treatment or may be no cure has been found till date for the disease. But then nobody blames the Medicinal Science. People blame the doctor or the company that manufactured the drug or the management of the hospital but have you heard anybody saying that this science of life, drug, medicine is fake and its not a science at all?

No!

Then if some Jyotishi’s (astrologer’s) prediction fails then how a complete Astrology can be wrong and blamed for. Actually its the astrologer who has failed and not the astrology. The reasons of failure can be wrong methods, wrong data used to calculate and cast horoscope, or even the timings could be wrong.

All technologies, sciences are based on maths. Maths is also behind drug formulation and genetics. Its behind aeroplanes, cars, space shuttles. Even a planet (Pluto) was discoverd only on the basis of maths. After deciding its location, based on mathematical computation, it was accurately seen at that location from telescopes. Similarly, maths is the core of astrology. Without mathematical computation one cannot erect/cast a correct horoscope. Panchang’s (Ephimeries) used in erecting horoscopes perfected with the help of mathematical calculations only. “Aynamsha” used to convert sayan charts to nirayan charts is nothing but the speed with which Axis of the earth is declining each year and is mathematically computed correctly. Rahu, Ketu are considered as the nodes in Astrology, and they are are defined as the intersection points between axis of rotation of earth and axis or rotation of moon.

If Astrology is based on Maths and Astronomy, then how can one say that this is not a science. I agree that, similar to other scientific theories required more research and were perfected or agreed upon by the masses only after thorough research, further research is required in Astrology as well. But, very few mathematicians and modern highly educated scholars, do this.

Let me give you one present day example. A research is going on, on a BIG-BANG theory by spending enormous amount of money and human efforts. But, consider the fact that still Big-BANG is just a theory and not a proven reality. When people are willing to spend so much money and efforts just to check whether, this theory is correct or not, why occult science like Astrology is left aside?

In my next post I’ll try to present my thoughts on “Why horoscopes give wrong predictions?” or “Why Astrologer fails?”

I also request your comments and views on this subject matter.

thanks and regards

What is a rising sign astrology pisces. S.K. Arun Murthi teaches philosophy of science. His areas of research include epistemology and metaphysics of science, Indian philosophy and political philosophy.

Vasudevan Mukunth’s article, ‘How Much of a Problem Is an Astrology Workshop at IISc?‘, urges us – rightly so – to think about what will eliminate one’s vulnerability to beliefs in astrology. The reason why such superstitious beliefs take root, even among the so called educated, is due to a fear of an uncertain and insecure future. And this fear makes one forsake evidence and meaning as a guiding principle of our thinking. This, among other reasons, makes one vulnerable to astrology.

Peter Achinstein, a philosopher of science, has written a book titled The Book of Evidence. The book delineates the different conceptions of evidence and meaning analysis, particularly with respect to the relationship that an experimental observation has to a scientific hypothesis. Whatever the concept of evidence that Achinstein was trying to describe, the idea of evidence seems to be lacking in the obscurantist beliefs of astrology. The idea of meaning also seems to be absent.

If astrology is about how planetary positions influence humans, then what exactly does the ‘strength’ of a planet mean as far as humans are concerned? This is not made clear. Meanings in such cases have to be made clear in empirical terms – by deriving meaning from observational correlations.

For example, there is a certain astrological concept called shukra asta, a period of around two months or more during certain parts of the year. According to astrological traditions, no auspicious ceremonies are to be performed during this period.

An internet search revealed that, according to astrological texts, planets come very close to the Sun at certain times of the year. As a result they lose their brightness, or lustre, with respect to the Sun. This is symbolic of a planet losing its strength, resulting in shukra asta (Sanskrit for ‘combustion of a planet’). The implication for astrology is that shukra asta robs the beneficial effects of the planet.

From this, we can infer that a planet’s strength stands for the intensity or brightness of its light, and such strengths or brightness symbolises certain good and bad effects for human lives. However, this explanation is puzzling because no planet has a light of its own. It only reflects the light of a star. Thus, to speak of the brightness of a planet being blunted because of its proximity to the Sun is empirically meaningless.

There are many people who have been exposed to school-level science and who attempt to provide a rational defence of astrology. Their superficial argument of how planets influence human beings, stemming from an evident lack of understanding, goes typically like this: Planets (in astrology, this includes the Sun and the Moon) influence Earth. Therefore, they influence water bodies that, in turn, influence the lives of living beings. This is essentially an appeal to Isaac Newton’s and Albert Einstein’s laws of gravity.

Astrology

But this is demonstrably naïve. Of course, the gravity due to one object influences every other object – but the assumption is that these objects ought to be quite heavy for their effects to be perceptible. Second: the attractive force between two massive bodies is a physical force. So the question arises: how can the gravitational force exerted by a planet be able to affect out love lives, matrimonial prospects, business affairs, etc. – in other words, the typical issues that astrologers deal with? Can astrologers or astrological texts establish a literal causal relationship?

The flyer for the workshop proposed in the IISc campus (which stands now cancelled) described astrology as “a scientific tool for individual progress”. Individual progress is a matter of human activities (such as those listed in the previous para) and aspirations. Other animals that we inhabit our Earth with do not have to bother with these things and so astrology does not matter to them. Then again, this is precisely the point: how can there be natural influences on our socially constructed practices and behaviours, the evaluation of which is also socially constructed?

Why Is Astrology Not A Science Major

For example, to be successful at something is to achieve a specific set of outcomes that our society has evolved. So planets guided by natural laws can’t have any say in whether a person will achieve those outcomes. In fact, any such connection in this context will either be completely alien to us or, of course, simply meaningless. The astrological texts that do claim to make this connection will have resorted to metaphors. There is, as a result, a complete lack of meaning and evidence.

Explain Why Astronomy Is A Science And Astrology Is Not A Science

Such analytical demand for meaning and evidence is usually met by appealing to something unquestionable, such as a tradition. However, the excuse of a tradition is easily invoked as a shield whenever beliefs like shukra asta are threatened by rational sensibilities. If a tradition is taken as ground for belief – a ground where neither reason nor empirical thinking operate – then tradition becomes connected to ignorance, such as is the root of all superstitions some people adhere to in the name of tradition. It is time that a society guided by such baseless traditions works to right itself, and that TV channels stop airing nonsensical programs on astrology.

Tradition is mostly a construction of beliefs that have been handed down over a period of time in oral or written forms. Unfortunately, very little of the knowledge that is passed down bothers to remember the rational or empirical components involved in the original construction of the beliefs. This is the thing about tradition that people clinging to outdated and irrational notions fail to understand.