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Why I think astrology is false

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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 19 Nov 2009, 19:36

Thanks for the list Don. I'll look into your suggestions. You underestimate me though and I have actually learned quite a bit about astrology in the past couple weeks. Hasn't changed me opinion one bit, but I have learned none-the-less. I would love to debate you Don, but posting and then disappearing for 2 or 3 weeks only to pop up again, post something, then disappear again isn't conducive to a good debate.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 20 Nov 2009, 06:03

I've been doing some personal soul searching and you know what, I've decided I am going to try to be more open minded on this whole astrology bit and possibly do some kind of crude research paper on the results of my studies. I have 3 more weeks to go in this semester however, but once this "child" (as I've been called) finishes teaching these 25 adults that are in my class, I'll get right on that. My personal opinion is that I should probably pay more attention to my students who are trying to better themselves through hard work and determination than to astrology and the "3 or 4" of the astrology books that were suggested, but I'll be able to devote more time quite soon and see what I find out.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby Don » 24 Nov 2009, 06:29

Sorry if you don't like my "disappearing." Just as you have your students to teach, I have things to do, too. And "debating" with someone who looked at little booklets and silly newspaper sun sign predictions just isn't worth my time.

I have repeatedly stated that I don't know if astrology is valid. There are certainly parts of it that seem to have some validity while others seem like guesswork based on some sort of logic and too limited a set of test subjects.

Further, I'm anything but an expert on astrology. However, respectfully, debating with you has been like a native English speaker debating the meaning of the word "bad" with someone who is a native speaker of Urdu and whose knowledge of English is based on reading a Spiderman comic from 1985 and who insists he knows more than the native English speaker. That doesn't make the speaker of Urdu stupid. It just has him coming from a knowledge base that is too small. His insistence on knowing more than the English speaker is just not worth the time to debate.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 25 Nov 2009, 17:42

Hmmmm, let's see Don. I've presented peer reviewed studies that involved astrologers themselves and you've given me, well, nothing. I have asked for information you have that suggests there is something to astrology and you've given me, well, nothing. (except a list of books by astrologers themselves that I'm supposed to read.) Certainly not anything scientific, but it's all good. As mentioned, over the course of the next few weeks, I'll draft up some research and present it under a new thread to avoid confusion.
I would like to add Don, that one of the reasons I came to this forum was to learn about the paranormal as I freely admit that I'm not an expert in many areas. Much of what I present in written is using what I consider logic and common sense, but everyone has their own opinion of that. If you have valuable information concerning astrology, then I wish you would share it, but you really haven't presented anything remotely debatable from my point of view but ad homen attacks. If you have presented something valuable, please remind me.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby Don » 04 Dec 2009, 06:23

Actually, ProfWag, you've presented nothing. You know nothing of astrology. You've done no tests. You take things out of context. You refuse to do research.

To call yourself a "scientist" of any kind is an insult to science. I have no doubt that if you were around in the 1630s you'd have been busy condemning Galileo, too. After all, you would know nothing of the subject, do no tests, take things out of context, and refuse to look at the research he presented.

Thank you, however, for being an ideal example of the pseudo-skeptic who claims to be supporting science while doing everything possible to ignore the scientific method.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 04 Dec 2009, 21:56

Don wrote:Actually, ProfWag, you've presented nothing. You know nothing of astrology. You've done no tests. You take things out of context. You refuse to do research.

To call yourself a "scientist" of any kind is an insult to science. I have no doubt that if you were around in the 1630s you'd have been busy condemning Galileo, too. After all, you would know nothing of the subject, do no tests, take things out of context, and refuse to look at the research he presented.

Thank you, however, for being an ideal example of the pseudo-skeptic who claims to be supporting science while doing everything possible to ignore the scientific method.


Don, please refer me to my post where I called myself a scientist. Please. It would be nice that if you are going to defame my character, you do so factually.

As for the scientific method, I'm not ignoring it, I support it wholeheartedly. That's why I think astrology is false, because astrologers do ignore it.
Last edited by ProfWag on 05 Dec 2009, 00:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby Nostradamus » 04 Dec 2009, 22:13

Actually, ProfWag, you've presented nothing. You know nothing of astrology. You've done no tests. You take things out of context. You refuse to do research.


Wow. That was a strong worded post Don. I was looking through here and saw that ProfWag had asked you for evidence to support astrology and you turn around with this claim.

Are you going to provide any evidence to support astrology?
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby Nostradamus » 04 Dec 2009, 23:05

Don I looked back over the thread to see what was being said:

"Real astrology" consists of a wide variety of techniques, all of which involve taking into consideration the apparent positions of the planets, moon, sun, (and even some of the major asteroids) in relation to positions on earth at specific times, as well as their relationships to each other and to the astronomical background of stars. Combining information collected from thousands of years of observation seems to show an interrelationship between all of this information and actions of individuals and groups, allowing for analysis of present situations and predictions of future potentialities similar to the prognostications of meteorologists.


So here is your definition and reasoning for the validity of astrology. So you give a definition and state that this has been done for thousands of years. In fact, you claim 10,000 years at some point which is much longer than history has recorded information so you are inferring this length of time from guesses about the purposes of some archaeological site. Is that right?

But I did get my degree in philosophy with a specialization in formal logic and can easily recognize and illogical, bad argument when I read one.

This is one of your statements Don. What troubles me is the number of scientific statements that you made that are very, very wrong.

Your question is like asking how the sun worked for billions of years before we figured out the way fusion works.

The problem Don is that people didn't think the world and sun were billions of years old till recent times. Estimates of the age of the sun were based on computations assuming that the sun was on fire. That gave an age in the hundreds of thousands of years. Before that Bishop Usher had an age of 6000 years. The billions comes from knowledge of radioactivity.

You're like the "scientists" of Europe who denied that there were little people-like animals in Africa and who had to admit their error when gorillas were finally introduced to European zoos.

Monkeys and apes were known in Europe. To state that an example must be shown as proof of existence is an important issue. To accept something without evidence is what is happening here.

It's clear that Newton knew astrology and used it.

Here is a claim you make without supporting evidence. ProfWag backed up his claim. For now I'll consider this statement flawed until you provide something to support your claim.

For thousands of years the planetary movements have been studied, chronicled, tested and verified. And so have the methods of astrology.

The first part of this statement does not support the second part. You claim knowledge of formal logic. You should see that the two are unrelated statements that you have made no effort to connect.

Your argument is so devoid of logic that it's astounding. Statisticians are simply not interested in astrology. But tell you what. YOU put up U.S. $500,000 and I'm sure we can find some academic scholars willing to do this objectively rather than from those who wish to promote their agenda from either side of the issue.

Put up or shut up.


Fine. YOU supply a few hundred thousand dollars to test it. If you won't. We'll just have to settle for 10,000 years of people using it (earliest references seem to be in the Rg Veda dated to 8,000 b.c.e.).

Where did you get this date? It appears that you have pushed this date back many more thousands of years than it should be. Please justify this date.

In fact, I've personally met hundreds of astrologers who would love to have their science scrutinized by academic evaluation. How many have you actually met in order to make your claim, or is that just your fantasy? The problem is that there is NO reason for academics to evaluate astrology. What purpose is there in it? So who ends up doing it? People who have an agenda, and more times than not, the agenda is debunking.

I also find it incredulous that you have discussed the topic of verify or justifying astrology with hundreds of astrologers.

OK, to be fair I think this is a silly claim you tossed out when you were thinking 5 to 10 tops you upped the number to 100 and then made it sound softer by changing it to hundreds.

You listed a number of books. I'm not going to pick a book at random and come back and complain that it had nothing in it that attempts to justify astrology, why don't you tell us the book that provides the strongest arguments supporting astrology.

Seems fair doesn't it. I'm not asking you to read a big pile of books on the history of dating methods, history of science in Europe, Newton, ...
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 05 Dec 2009, 01:02

Thanks Nostradamus, appreciate the post. I have actually started a research paper on astrology, but I have a long way to go. Whether it is purposeful or not, there are a lot of areas in astrology and finding information on specifics has been quite challenging, especially when trying to research it from an unbiased attitude, but with little in the way of peer reviewed articles supporting its value or validity. I hope to have it completed over the holiday periods though.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby NinjaPuppy » 05 Dec 2009, 04:51

ProfWag wrote:Thanks Nostradamus, appreciate the post. I have actually started a research paper on astrology, but I have a long way to go. Whether it is purposeful or not, there are a lot of areas in astrology and finding information on specifics has been quite challenging, especially when trying to research it from an unbiased attitude, but with little in the way of peer reviewed articles supporting its value or validity. I hope to have it completed over the holiday periods though.

This is how you will be spending your holiday time? We gotta get you out more. ;)
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 05 Dec 2009, 19:43

NinjaPuppy wrote:
ProfWag wrote:Thanks Nostradamus, appreciate the post. I have actually started a research paper on astrology, but I have a long way to go. Whether it is purposeful or not, there are a lot of areas in astrology and finding information on specifics has been quite challenging, especially when trying to research it from an unbiased attitude, but with little in the way of peer reviewed articles supporting its value or validity. I hope to have it completed over the holiday periods though.

This is how you will be spending your holiday time? We gotta get you out more. ;)

I know, huh? Actually, I can think of about 257,632 other things I'd rather do, but to be fair, if I'm going to have a strong opinion about a subject, I should at least give it some objective thought.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby NinjaPuppy » 05 Dec 2009, 21:04

I'm not so sure that a term paper is really the way to go. Perhaps for a skeptic of higher education it's second nature and a great way to put all the information into one organized package. However, perhaps just going to the library and checking out one or two of the books that Don suggested may be more enjoyable. Spend some quality time with a cup of tea or your beverage of choice in a comfy chair, while enjoying your winter break from reading other's papers and just read.

You may actually enjoy the content. You may have questions that might be answered by reading that content. Either way, you can spend your time in a leisurely setting without making it into a work project.

Don't worry, if you're thinking that your credibility may be questioned by reading a book of this nature, you can wrap it in a plain brown paper wrapper and tell people it's porn. Trust me. I've done this when reading books that contain the word 'WITCH CRAFT' on the cover, in 2 inch letters. I've switched dust jackets as well.

No need to make a project out of it right now. Should you find something that requires a bit more 'study' then you can think about doing a term paper. You're starting this journey with a working mindset. Try it from a curious mindset and just read.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 05 Dec 2009, 22:36

NinjaPuppy wrote:I'm not so sure that a term paper is really the way to go. Perhaps for a skeptic of higher education it's second nature and a great way to put all the information into one organized package. However, perhaps just going to the library and checking out one or two of the books that Don suggested may be more enjoyable. Spend some quality time with a cup of tea or your beverage of choice in a comfy chair, while enjoying your winter break from reading other's papers and just read.

You may actually enjoy the content. You may have questions that might be answered by reading that content. Either way, you can spend your time in a leisurely setting without making it into a work project.

Don't worry, if you're thinking that your credibility may be questioned by reading a book of this nature, you can wrap it in a plain brown paper wrapper and tell people it's porn. Trust me. I've done this when reading books that contain the word 'WITCH CRAFT' on the cover, in 2 inch letters. I've switched dust jackets as well.

No need to make a project out of it right now. Should you find something that requires a bit more 'study' then you can think about doing a term paper. You're starting this journey with a working mindset. Try it from a curious mindset and just read.

I just might take your advice on that Ninja. Although, I looked back at my posts here and in the beginning, I quickly admitted that I wasn't knowledgable on astrology, and then BAM!, I get criticized immediately. So, let's assume that I read a couple books then post questions. How do I know I won't get criticezed again for asking questions? I was thinking that perhaps the best course of action would be to approach it from a research standpoint, though admittadely, when I have posted references to studies by academics, those got tossed out also because the person making the critical post didn't agree with the results. So, what's a skeptic to do? Believe without any proof?
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 05 Dec 2009, 22:46

I think this thread has become convaluted with finger pointing, ramblings, and back and forth arguments. It has become confusing and non-condusive to my personal education in astrology. So, I'm going to start a new thread in a bit that I hope can focus on learning. This one can continue for those of us interested, but sometimes, it's best for me to just start from scratch.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby Don » 10 Dec 2009, 18:48

Nostradamus wrote:Don I looked back over the thread to see what was being said:

"Real astrology" consists of a wide variety of techniques, all of which involve taking into consideration the apparent positions of the planets, moon, sun, (and even some of the major asteroids) in relation to positions on earth at specific times, as well as their relationships to each other and to the astronomical background of stars. Combining information collected from thousands of years of observation seems to show an interrelationship between all of this information and actions of individuals and groups, allowing for analysis of present situations and predictions of future potentialities similar to the prognostications of meteorologists.


So here is your definition and reasoning for the validity of astrology. So you give a definition and state that this has been done for thousands of years. In fact, you claim 10,000 years at some point which is much longer than history has recorded information so you are inferring this length of time from guesses about the purposes of some archaeological site. Is that right?


While I stand by my discussion of real astrology--as opposed to "pop astrology" or "newspaper astrology" as is used by some of those attempting debunking without any knowledge of the subject--you're completely misrepresenting my position. I have never said that I believe astrology is valid. Nor have I said that I believe it is invalid. I have written that some aspects of astrology seems to have validity as a result of statistical investigation.

My claim as to the antiquity of astrology has nothing to do with guesses. Rather, it has to do with astronomical observations used for astrological interpretations found in the rg veda. The sightings indicate astronomical positions that are about 10,000 years old, figures that have been determined by computer backdating of the skies. Since the writers of the document did not have access to computers, it is far more reasonable to assume that they are actual records of sightings rather than multiple guesses of planetary positions.




But I did get my degree in philosophy with a specialization in formal logic and can easily recognize and illogical, bad argument when I read one.

This is one of your statements Don. What troubles me is the number of scientific statements that you made that are very, very wrong.


I'm sorry you're troubled at having your myths exploded.

Your question is like asking how the sun worked for billions of years before we figured out the way fusion works.

The problem Don is that people didn't think the world and sun were billions of years old till recent times. Estimates of the age of the sun were based on computations assuming that the sun was on fire. That gave an age in the hundreds of thousands of years. Before that Bishop Usher had an age of 6000 years. The billions comes from knowledge of radioactivity.


And the minor problem of your statement is that you're making false assumptions without any knowledge of what you're talking about. The calendric system of India shows a repeating cycle of billions of years. However, you're taking this out of context and focusing not on the point that I was making. Perhaps you should try reading it again. Also use a dictionary and look up the terms "analogy." The expression that X "is like" Y should have given that away, but apparently you didn't understand that.

You're like the "scientists" of Europe who denied that there were little people-like animals in Africa and who had to admit their error when gorillas were finally introduced to European zoos.

Monkeys and apes were known in Europe. To state that an example must be shown as proof of existence is an important issue. To accept something without evidence is what is happening here.


Beside the grammar in your second sentence making no sense, you again miss the point. Scientists in Europe, especially Britain, denied that there were little human-like animals in Africa. Yes, they knew of monkeys and chimps, but they didn't know about the great apes. It was only when gorillas were introduced to zoos that they admitted they were wrong. It's about denial.


It's clear that Newton knew astrology and used it.

Here is a claim you make without supporting evidence. ProfWag backed up his claim. For now I'll consider this statement flawed until you provide something to support your claim.[/quote]

Oh, please! There is so much evidence to support this in his writings that your comments are silly. Here is just one examination I found that actually looks at the subject:
http://www.astrozero.co.uk/articles/Newton.pdf


For thousands of years the planetary movements have been studied, chronicled, tested and verified. And so have the methods of astrology.

The first part of this statement does not support the second part. You claim knowledge of formal logic. You should see that the two are unrelated statements that you have made no effort to connect.


I'm sorry you don't understand English grammar. See that little dot between the two items called "sentences?" That dot is called a "period." Some refer to it as a "full stop." It means that one thought is concluded and another begins. Nice try, Nostradamus. EPIC FAIL. Again.


Your argument is so devoid of logic that it's astounding. Statisticians are simply not interested in astrology. But tell you what. YOU put up U.S. $500,000 and I'm sure we can find some academic scholars willing to do this objectively rather than from those who wish to promote their agenda from either side of the issue.

Put up or shut up.


Fine. YOU supply a few hundred thousand dollars to test it. If you won't. We'll just have to settle for 10,000 years of people using it (earliest references seem to be in the Rg Veda dated to 8,000 b.c.e.).


Where did you get this date? It appears that you have pushed this date back many more thousands of years than it should be. Please justify this date.


See In Search of the Cradle of Civilization by Georg Feuerstein, Subhash Kak, and David Frawley.

In fact, I've personally met hundreds of astrologers who would love to have their science scrutinized by academic evaluation. How many have you actually met in order to make your claim, or is that just your fantasy? The problem is that there is NO reason for academics to evaluate astrology. What purpose is there in it? So who ends up doing it? People who have an agenda, and more times than not, the agenda is debunking.


I also find it incredulous that you have discussed the topic of verify or justifying astrology with hundreds of astrologers.

OK, to be fair I think this is a silly claim you tossed out when you were thinking 5 to 10 tops you upped the number to 100 and then made it sound softer by changing it to hundreds.

You listed a number of books. I'm not going to pick a book at random and come back and complain that it had nothing in it that attempts to justify astrology, why don't you tell us the book that provides the strongest arguments supporting astrology.

Seems fair doesn't it. I'm not asking you to read a big pile of books on the history of dating methods, history of science in Europe, Newton, ...


I have been going to conferences on a variety of topics, some of which have included astrology, for over 20 years. I have easily met hundreds of astrologers. There attitude, as I claimed, is that they would love it if they could have honest and objective research into their practice. Well, that's not completely true. Many have found that their practices have been so successful and that they have helped so many people that such research would be irrelevant. They really don't care.

You're looking for arguments supporting astrology. Frankly, I'm on the side of all your debunking is irrelevant since it's based on pseudo-science rather than objective inquiry. You're looking for a tiny flaw in an attempt to destroy an entire practice instead of looking at each aspect of the practice and discovering whether or not that is valid.

As I wrote, I don't know if astrology is valid or not. I DO know that it's easy to look at one tiny aspect of just about anything and find a flaw, and then use that in an attempt to destroy the whole rather than saying the part examined is problematic. Talk radio and Fox news does it every day.

The strongest arguments for astrology, IMO, come from understanding it completely.

The fact is, however, it's much easier for debunkers to come in with an agenda and find fault. That's not science, that's just prejudicial dogma. It's nothing new. Over 100 years ago British philosopher Herbert Spencer wrote: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which
cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

Spencer saw the fault with pseudo-skeptic and dogmatic debunkers. It's a shame you do not.
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