Astrology vs. Rationality

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Astrology vs. Rationality

I've been watching a lot of videos on Dawkins' YouTube channel lately. Last night I watched the Four Horsemen. I was struck by how effortlessly they lumped astrology in with supernatural beliefs. I did have a roommate who got seriously into astrology for a while so I couldn't help but pick up an above-average amount of information on the subject. But let me just preface this by saying I put no serious store in it, I don't regularly check newspaper horoscopes, and if I happen to read one, it's more just for fun than anything else. I don't bestow any kind of "faith" onto it.

However, my position is this. I think we can all agree that the moon controls the tides (no small feat) and has a very strong effect on things like menstrual cycles. Yes? So why is it so huge a leap to suggest that different constellations of stars, with different patterns of gravitational pull, could have some more subtle effect on at least human physiology and perhaps therefore our psychology?

And if we can grant just for the sake of this argument that that might be true, since humans have been watching the skies likely from the beginning of human history, why is it so implausible that we could have discerned similarities in events over time that correspond with specific celestial phenomena?

Maybe I'm gullible, but to me, that sounds an awful lot like simply Science.


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Well, Richard Feynman (one

Well, Richard Feynman (one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century) once observed that science begins with a guess. That should not be lightly dismissed as it is the first step and all others follow from it. So let me say that you have done exactly that. We will call it the smartypants conjecture.

 

Anyway, according to the smartypants conjecture, the moon as a direct and observable effect on things of this world. Be it tides, a woman's monthly cycle or whether I will have a positive day at work. Fair enough but if that is the end of the conversation, then astrology is just a bunch of woo.

 

What we need is to check against other data that is available to see if there is any coordination between other known data and the predictions of astrology.

 

As it happens, the specifics of the orbit of the moon are quite well known. Down to a few centimeters in fact. If the predictions of astrology show variations that track with the orbit of the moon, well correlation still does not prove causation. However, finding an apparent connection is going to lead in a very different direction from a complete lack of connection.

 

Also relevant is the fact that the orbit of the moon is not circular. In fact, it varies from that by about five times the diameter of the earth. That and the fact that apogee (most distant part of the orbit) is itself slowly cycling around the earth, hence the reason that lunar eclipses simply do not track to any cycle even close to the calendar year. So if there is anything to astrology, that really ought to show up in the work.

 

As it happens, nothing of the sort has ever been noted by astrologers. The basic assumption is that all astronomical bodies orbit in perfect circles and the only thing that is ever kept track of is where a given body appears in relation to the fixed stars.

 

Astrology in bunk.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Well, Richard Feynman (one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century) once observed that science begins with a guess. That should not be lightly dismissed as it is the first step and all others follow from it. So let me say that you have done exactly that. We will call it the smartypants conjecture.

 

Anyway, according to the smartypants conjecture, the moon as a direct and observable effect on things of this world. Be it tides, a woman's monthly cycle or whether I will have a positive day at work. Fair enough but if that is the end of the conversation, then astrology is just a bunch of woo.

 

What we need is to check against other data that is available to see if there is any coordination between other known data and the predictions of astrology.

 

As it happens, the specifics of the orbit of the moon are quite well known. Down to a few centimeters in fact. If the predictions of astrology show variations that track with the orbit of the moon, well correlation still does not prove causation. However, finding an apparent connection is going to lead in a very different direction from a complete lack of connection.

 

Also relevant is the fact that the orbit of the moon is not circular. In fact, it varies from that by about five times the diameter of the earth. That and the fact that apogee (most distant part of the orbit) is itself slowly cycling around the earth, hence the reason that lunar eclipses simply do not track to any cycle even close to the calendar year. So if there is anything to astrology, that really ought to show up in the work.

 

As it happens, nothing of the sort has ever been noted by astrologers. The basic assumption is that all astronomical bodies orbit in perfect circles and the only thing that is ever kept track of is where a given body appears in relation to the fixed stars.

 

Astrology in bunk.

 

LMAO @ "The Smartypants Conjecture" 

I like that.

Maybe I've misunderstood you, but I'm not sure that you've proven it impossible. Furthermore, astrology DOES account for the many different cycles of heavenly bodies, which is why the exact time and year of your birth is as important to an "accurate" reading (I'm not placing any value on that "accuracy" ) as the month and date. There are long, comprehensive charts mapping the exact position of the moon (etc.) going back hundreds of years that one has to reference.


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he's right, bunk

smartypants wrote:

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Astrology in bunk.

LMAO @ "The Smartypants Conjecture" 

I like that.

Maybe I've misunderstood you, but I'm not sure that you've proven it impossible. Furthermore, astrology DOES account for the many different cycles of heavenly bodies, which is why the exact time and year of your birth is as important to an "accurate" reading (I'm not placing any value on that "accuracy" ) as the month and date. There are long, comprehensive charts mapping the exact position of the moon (etc.) going back hundreds of years that one has to reference.

I'm assuming that AinGS meant that Astrology is bunk.  And I agree.

Long years ago, when I was much younger and more gullible, I actually sent in for a "computerized" astrological chart.  I happen to know the exact time of my birth, as well as city and date, so we had all the information.  Turns out, I am on every cusp there is.  None of the planets align with anything in particular, except Saturn which meant I liked change.  So the entire thing was a joke.

I read horoscopes in the paper occasionally, just for laughs.  How they manage to say nothing without saying "nothing" can be a hoot.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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cj wrote:smartypants

cj wrote:

smartypants wrote:

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Astrology in bunk.

LMAO @ "The Smartypants Conjecture" 

I like that.

Maybe I've misunderstood you, but I'm not sure that you've proven it impossible. Furthermore, astrology DOES account for the many different cycles of heavenly bodies, which is why the exact time and year of your birth is as important to an "accurate" reading (I'm not placing any value on that "accuracy" ) as the month and date. There are long, comprehensive charts mapping the exact position of the moon (etc.) going back hundreds of years that one has to reference.

I'm assuming that AinGS meant that Astrology is bunk.  And I agree.

Long years ago, when I was much younger and more gullible, I actually sent in for a "computerized" astrological chart.  I happen to know the exact time of my birth, as well as city and date, so we had all the information.  Turns out, I am on every cusp there is.  None of the planets align with anything in particular, except Saturn which meant I liked change.  So the entire thing was a joke.

I read horoscopes in the paper occasionally, just for laughs.  How they manage to say nothing without saying "nothing" can be a hoot.

I thought he was talking about bunk beds.

I agree with you that a daily horoscope doesn't have enough information about its audience to really say anything useful. I've found individual, detailed charts to be surprising, though. [EDIT: There's always the possibility that since your chart is filled with so many cusps, an automated system couldn't put all the pieces together properly. I know that won't fly, but it is possible.]


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In case some of you don't

In case some of you don't know, my dad is a professional astrologer and I participate on his courses. His first book on astrology should be this year published in USA. This is why I feel confident, even authoritative about this topic. However, my dad has very modern, unorthodox and progressive approach to astrology. Today most of astrologers work as they did in medieval ages, which is far from being optimal. This is why their reliability becomes more and more relative. My father reinvents the basics of astrology for new millenium or two, and strives to make it meaningful in the light of reason.
My horoscope expresses me perfectly, what I was, what I am, and what I should become. It uses Campanus' system of houses.

By the way, if you, anyone, have a place, year, month, day, hour and minute of birth, you can give me that, I'd like to take a look at you. But please don't make it up for fun, or the result will be unprecise. And I don't promise any conclusions or reports, I'm a beginner. It should be someone who really stands out of the forum crowd, like Marquis. (I can already guess he should have some unusual constellations with Pluto, 8th house or Scorpio, probably with Mars or Aries involved)

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
Also relevant is the fact that the orbit of the moon is not circular. In fact, it varies from that by about five times the diameter of the earth. That and the fact that apogee (most distant part of the orbit) is itself slowly cycling around the earth, hence the reason that lunar eclipses simply do not track to any cycle even close to the calendar year. So if there is anything to astrology, that really ought to show up in the work.

 

As it happens, nothing of the sort has ever been noted by astrologers. The basic assumption is that all astronomical bodies orbit in perfect circles and the only thing that is ever kept track of is where a given body appears in relation to the fixed stars.

 

Astrology in bunk.

 

Hello Gene. Forgive me the mischievous joy, but you're 100% wrong on that. Let's take the moon. Astrologers are completely aware, that it and all other planets orbit in an ellipse. Specially the moon. There are two focuses of an ellipse. In astrology of Luna, they are called Lilith and Selena, or White and Dark Luna. They both have astrologic meaning, when projected on exact point of the zodiac. They can be both displayed in any good astrologic software (I use lite version of ZET 7, you can verify it there) together with many other precisely computed points.

Again, astrology does NOT assume, that all astronomical bodies orbit in circles! It's well known fact, that some planets spend more or less time in certain sections of the sky, thanks to their higher or smaller angular speed. Their exact orbits are programmed into the astrologic software, which can display authentic model of solar system. (ZET)  What you say is the same nonsense, like assuming, that all astrologers believe in geocentrism, because they make horoscopes for people on Earth, not on Sun.

cj wrote:
I'm assuming that AinGS meant that Astrology is bunk.  And I agree.

Long years ago, when I was much younger and more gullible, I actually sent in for a "computerized" astrological chart.  I happen to know the exact time of my birth, as well as city and date, so we had all the information.  Turns out, I am on every cusp there is.  None of the planets align with anything in particular, except Saturn which meant I liked change.  So the entire thing was a joke.

I read horoscopes in the paper occasionally, just for laughs.  How they manage to say nothing without saying "nothing" can be a hoot.


According to my dad, the horoscope usually does not display what you are. It shows, what you should become, what qualities you need to develop, and in some sense, what you will be confronted with, and when, for how long, and where lies the solution. Crises should be solved by appropriate method, and times of good fortune should be used to work hard and prepare on future crises. It is all about models of behavior, kinds of emotional intelligence, relationship to yourself, other people, humanity as such, and so on. It's really a lot about psychology. Once you learn astrology's technical basis, psychology prevails.

Of course, the columns in magazines are not horoscopes at all. These are products of writer's imagination. Real horoscope is called radix, and it's a round diagram of lines and symbols, which contains exact position of all heavenly bodies and some computed points.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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smartypants wrote:However,

smartypants wrote:

However, my position is this. I think we can all agree that the moon controls the tides (no small feat) and has a very strong effect on things like menstrual cycles. Yes? So why is it so huge a leap to suggest that different constellations of stars, with different patterns of gravitational pull, could have some more subtle effect on at least human physiology and perhaps therefore our psychology?

Astronomically speaking, the moon is really freaking close. The other "heavenly bodies" be it stars or planets or anything, aren't. If you're looking for physiological changes, astrology should only be able to use the moon. The position of the other planets don't impact our tide. I'm not saying I just disproved astrology, I'm just answering your question.


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JonathanBC wrote:smartypants

JonathanBC wrote:

smartypants wrote:

However, my position is this. I think we can all agree that the moon controls the tides (no small feat) and has a very strong effect on things like menstrual cycles. Yes? So why is it so huge a leap to suggest that different constellations of stars, with different patterns of gravitational pull, could have some more subtle effect on at least human physiology and perhaps therefore our psychology?

Astronomically speaking, the moon is really freaking close. The other "heavenly bodies" be it stars or planets or anything, aren't. If you're looking for physiological changes, astrology should only be able to use the moon. The position of the other planets don't impact our tide. I'm not saying I just disproved astrology, I'm just answering your question.

I understand that. However, the stars are far, far larger than the moon and there's quite a bit more of them. I granted that their effects (if any) would no doubt be much more subtle, but science deals with a good many very subtle things.


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They are much more massive,

They are much more massive, yes, and there are more of them, yes. They are roughly in all directions as well. Any tiny effect is canceled out by a star pulling the other way, just as lightly. We aren't perfectly surrounded by stars equidistant from each other, or planets even less so. But gravitational pull, however subtle, comes from all directions. There isn't another moon to fight the one our tides follow. Our moon orbits us, so wherever it is, we're being sucked that way a little bit.

But if these subtle pulls have any physiological effect, you have a bigger fish to fry than the physics. You would have to explain biologically why a tiny pull impacts our brain. Furthermore, you have to explain what our birth has to do with any of it, otherwise it's no longer astrology at all. You'd be proposing something new entirely.


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smartypants wrote:JonathanBC

smartypants wrote:

JonathanBC wrote:

smartypants wrote:

However, my position is this. I think we can all agree that the moon controls the tides (no small feat) and has a very strong effect on things like menstrual cycles. Yes? So why is it so huge a leap to suggest that different constellations of stars, with different patterns of gravitational pull, could have some more subtle effect on at least human physiology and perhaps therefore our psychology?

Astronomically speaking, the moon is really freaking close. The other "heavenly bodies" be it stars or planets or anything, aren't. If you're looking for physiological changes, astrology should only be able to use the moon. The position of the other planets don't impact our tide. I'm not saying I just disproved astrology, I'm just answering your question.

I understand that. However, the stars are far, far larger than the moon and there's quite a bit more of them. I granted that their effects (if any) would no doubt be much more subtle, but science deals with a good many very subtle things.

Not having done the math....

I imagine the gravitational pull on your body from a star 5 light years away is probably less than that of a penny resting in your pocket, if it is even theoretically existent.  I would be willing to bet the same for the planets in our solar system.

The same thing with radiation from other stars...I imagine anything that made it through to humans would be totally lost in the power of our own sun and locally produces radiation sources.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Now I suppose you could do

Now I suppose you could do something that is sort of astrology...it might be interesting to see if you could map any correlation between levels of solar radiation during gestation and birth defects, for example.

But I don't think that is what anyone has in mind when they talk about astrology.

 

From what I have seen, astrology operates under the same principles as mediums and psychics: You say as much as possible without actually saying anything.  It is all about emotional reinforcement, ego boosting and generic claims that are applicable to the widest possible audience.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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smartypants wrote:I

smartypants wrote:

I understand that. However, the stars are far, far larger than the moon and there's quite a bit more of them. I granted that their effects (if any) would no doubt be much more subtle, but science deals with a good many very subtle things.

 

I would think that the only feasible effect would've been our early ancestors reflection on what they were looking at.  This may have contributed to the development of emotions like wonder and awe, and concepts like the supernatural in general.

 

Physically their impact would be no different than the sun's, with the exception of the effects being significantly weaker given its source is light years away. 


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mellestad wrote:From what I

mellestad wrote:

From what I have seen, astrology operates under the same principles as mediums and psychics: You say as much as possible without actually saying anything.  It is all about emotional reinforcement, ego boosting and generic claims that are applicable to the widest possible audience.

 

I agree.  Predictions are always vague enough to be stretch-fitted to someone's desired outlook on an event.


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If astrology has any

If astrology has any credibility at all, I would think that the effect the position of the stars have is still completely neglible compared to your genes and your local environment. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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JonathanBC wrote:They are

JonathanBC wrote:

They are much more massive, yes, and there are more of them, yes. They are roughly in all directions as well. Any tiny effect is canceled out by a star pulling the other way, just as lightly. We aren't perfectly surrounded by stars equidistant from each other, or planets even less so. But gravitational pull, however subtle, comes from all directions. There isn't another moon to fight the one our tides follow. Our moon orbits us, so wherever it is, we're being sucked that way a little bit.

But if these subtle pulls have any physiological effect, you have a bigger fish to fry than the physics. You would have to explain biologically why a tiny pull impacts our brain. Furthermore, you have to explain what our birth has to do with any of it, otherwise it's no longer astrology at all. You'd be proposing something new entirely.

I don't have to explain it, it's already suggested by the fact that menstrual cycles are twenty-eight days, which is exactly the cycle of the moon. Since it's also accepted that it pulls great bodies of water back and forth in their sea beds, it's kind of silly to suggest that's just a random coincidence. I don't think a matter of degree changes that fact. Using your argument, I could just as easily ask you to explain how a moon as small as ours has that effect, and not one ten times larger.

My point is that a number of very specific stars are decidedly larger and/or closer and more prominent than the rest. The idea that this could have some effect on us I don't think is that difficult to imagine.


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

smartypants wrote:

I understand that. However, the stars are far, far larger than the moon and there's quite a bit more of them. I granted that their effects (if any) would no doubt be much more subtle, but science deals with a good many very subtle things.

 

I would think that the only feasible effect would've been our early ancestors reflection on what they were looking at.  This may have contributed to the development of emotions like wonder and awe, and concepts like the supernatural in general.

 

Physically their impact would be no different than the sun's, with the exception of the effects being significantly weaker given its source is light years away. 

I can't believe you would minimize the impact of the sun, which has literally dictated practically everything that has ever happened on this planet.


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

mellestad wrote:

From what I have seen, astrology operates under the same principles as mediums and psychics: You say as much as possible without actually saying anything.  It is all about emotional reinforcement, ego boosting and generic claims that are applicable to the widest possible audience.

I agree.  Predictions are always vague enough to be stretch-fitted to someone's desired outlook on an event.

I know the kind of scam-artist, magic-trick hucksterism that you're talking about. I put most daily horoscopes in that category. More in-depth astrology, however, I've seen do much more.


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smartypants wrote:I can't

smartypants wrote:

I can't believe you would minimize the impact of the sun, which has literally dictated practically everything that has ever happened on this planet.

 

Huh?  I'm minimizing other stars' impacts as negligible compared to the sun's. 


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butterbattle wrote:If

butterbattle wrote:

If astrology has any credibility at all, I would think that the effect the position of the stars have is still completely neglible compared to your genes and your local environment. 

I agree up to a point. However, if your entire (at least social) environment is also being very slightly effected by those same forces in some predictable, organized way, it could accumulate into something much more substantial.


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

smartypants wrote:

I can't believe you would minimize the impact of the sun, which has literally dictated practically everything that has ever happened on this planet.

 

Huh?  I'm minimizing other stars' impacts as negligible compared to the sun's. 

This is a half-empty/ half-full question. I'm using the indisputably drastic impact of our sun on the development of our planet to suggest that other heavenly bodies may be capable of similar (if less) effect. I'd also like to propose that at night, when the effects of our own sun are blocked (except by reflection), your statement falls flat.


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smartypants

smartypants wrote:

v4ultingbassist wrote:

smartypants wrote:

I can't believe you would minimize the impact of the sun, which has literally dictated practically everything that has ever happened on this planet.

 

Huh?  I'm minimizing other stars' impacts as negligible compared to the sun's. 

This is a half-empty/ half-full question. I'm using the indisputably drastic impact of our sun on the development of our planet to suggest that other heavenly bodies may be capable of similar (if less) effect. I'd also like to propose that at night, when the effects of our own sun are blocked (except by reflection), your statement falls flat.

I'm not trying to be flippant, but do you realize how far away the nearest stars are?

Gravity just doesn't work that way.  I don't see how a gravity field that far removed could have an impact that was measurable beyond the gravitic (is that a word? lol) fluctuations caused by our own planet's motion and the orbit of the moon.  Put another way: Even if there is some theoretical gravity that reaches a human body on this planet from outside the solar system, there is no way it is greater than the daily variance of gravity caused by the earth's orbit, spin and irregular surface and the orbits of the moon and possibly the sun.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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smartypants wrote:This is a

smartypants wrote:

This is a half-empty/ half-full question. I'm using the indisputably drastic impact of our sun on the development of our planet to suggest that other heavenly bodies may be capable of similar (if less) effect. I'd also like to propose that at night, when the effects of our own sun are blocked (except by reflection), your statement falls flat.

 

Stars other than the sun are too far away to have any predictable effect on humans.  In this discussion, distance is an extremely important factor.  All of the things that impact our development are close to us.  The moon and the sun are EXTREMELY close relative to the majority of the stars out there.  Our local environment is EXTREMELY close to us relative to the distance of the earth and the sun.  This is why our environment dictates our development more than the moon does, and why the moon dictates our development more than extra-solar stars do.  If the moon's effects are minimal relative the environment's, then other stars effects are minimal relative to the moon's.  I agree that they are capable of impacting us, but almost all of the effects diminish over vast distances, as is the case with stars that are not our sun.  As such, they are far too indirect and indistinguishable to be of predictive importance.

 


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mellestad wrote:smartypants

mellestad wrote:

smartypants wrote:

v4ultingbassist wrote:

smartypants wrote:

I can't believe you would minimize the impact of the sun, which has literally dictated practically everything that has ever happened on this planet.

 

Huh?  I'm minimizing other stars' impacts as negligible compared to the sun's. 

This is a half-empty/ half-full question. I'm using the indisputably drastic impact of our sun on the development of our planet to suggest that other heavenly bodies may be capable of similar (if less) effect. I'd also like to propose that at night, when the effects of our own sun are blocked (except by reflection), your statement falls flat.

I'm not trying to be flippant, but do you realize how far away the nearest stars are?

Gravity just doesn't work that way.  I don't see how a gravity field that far removed could have an impact that was measurable beyond the gravitic (is that a word? lol) fluctuations caused by our own planet's motion and the orbit of the moon.  Put another way: Even if there is some theoretical gravity that reaches a human body on this planet from outside the solar system, there is no way it is greater than the daily variance of gravity caused by the earth's orbit, spin and irregular surface and the orbits of the moon and possibly the sun.

I never suggested it's "greater." That would be patently ridiculous. What I'm suggesting is that it's present at all, which I think would be difficult to dispute, but very easy to prove.


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smartypants wrote:mellestad

smartypants wrote:

mellestad wrote:

smartypants wrote:

v4ultingbassist wrote:

smartypants wrote:

I can't believe you would minimize the impact of the sun, which has literally dictated practically everything that has ever happened on this planet.

 

Huh?  I'm minimizing other stars' impacts as negligible compared to the sun's. 

This is a half-empty/ half-full question. I'm using the indisputably drastic impact of our sun on the development of our planet to suggest that other heavenly bodies may be capable of similar (if less) effect. I'd also like to propose that at night, when the effects of our own sun are blocked (except by reflection), your statement falls flat.

I'm not trying to be flippant, but do you realize how far away the nearest stars are?

Gravity just doesn't work that way.  I don't see how a gravity field that far removed could have an impact that was measurable beyond the gravitic (is that a word? lol) fluctuations caused by our own planet's motion and the orbit of the moon.  Put another way: Even if there is some theoretical gravity that reaches a human body on this planet from outside the solar system, there is no way it is greater than the daily variance of gravity caused by the earth's orbit, spin and irregular surface and the orbits of the moon and possibly the sun.

I never suggested it's "greater." That would be patently ridiculous. What I'm suggesting is that it's present at all, which I think would be difficult to dispute, but very easy to prove.

 

Yea, but my point is say you have a daily average gravitational change of 1, from the earth, moon and sun.  If you have a daily gravitational impact from distant stars of .0000001, it doesn't matter if it exists or not, because it is swallowed by the greater variation.

Even if there were an impact, it would never be great enough to establish any kind of pattern because it would be lost in the chaotic noise.  Then you add the fact that you trillions of these gravitic sources competing for time, and you get statistical white noise, not astrology.

Again, that is assuming there is even any impact, and I will leave that up to someone who knows more about it.  My money is on no though, at least for gravity.  Light and radiation make it through (obviously, we can see them), but again, every time you turn your microwave or cellphone on you would fuck up the entire thing.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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v4ultingbassist wrote:

smartypants wrote:

This is a half-empty/ half-full question. I'm using the indisputably drastic impact of our sun on the development of our planet to suggest that other heavenly bodies may be capable of similar (if less) effect. I'd also like to propose that at night, when the effects of our own sun are blocked (except by reflection), your statement falls flat.

 

Stars other than the sun are too far away to have any predictable effect on humans.  In this discussion, distance is an extremely important factor.  All of the things that impact our development are close to us.  The moon and the sun are EXTREMELY close relative to the majority of the stars out there.  Our local environment is EXTREMELY close to us relative to the distance of the earth and the sun.  This is why our environment dictates our development more than the moon does, and why the moon dictates our development more than extra-solar stars do.  If the moon's effects are minimal relative the environment's, then other stars effects are minimal relative to the moon's.  I agree that they are capable of impacting us, but almost all of the effects diminish over vast distances, as is the case with stars that are not our sun.  As such, they are far too indirect and indistinguishable to be of predictive importance.

 

This is just selective (and no offense, but perhaps biased) interpretation of the facts. I'm fairly certain I could find studies on the gravitational pull on the earth by the most prominent stars in the sky without too much trouble. "Negligible importance" is an entirely relative concept.


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mellestad wrote:smartypants

mellestad wrote:

smartypants wrote:

mellestad wrote:

smartypants wrote:

v4ultingbassist wrote:

smartypants wrote:

I can't believe you would minimize the impact of the sun, which has literally dictated practically everything that has ever happened on this planet.

 

Huh?  I'm minimizing other stars' impacts as negligible compared to the sun's. 

This is a half-empty/ half-full question. I'm using the indisputably drastic impact of our sun on the development of our planet to suggest that other heavenly bodies may be capable of similar (if less) effect. I'd also like to propose that at night, when the effects of our own sun are blocked (except by reflection), your statement falls flat.

I'm not trying to be flippant, but do you realize how far away the nearest stars are?

Gravity just doesn't work that way.  I don't see how a gravity field that far removed could have an impact that was measurable beyond the gravitic (is that a word? lol) fluctuations caused by our own planet's motion and the orbit of the moon.  Put another way: Even if there is some theoretical gravity that reaches a human body on this planet from outside the solar system, there is no way it is greater than the daily variance of gravity caused by the earth's orbit, spin and irregular surface and the orbits of the moon and possibly the sun.

I never suggested it's "greater." That would be patently ridiculous. What I'm suggesting is that it's present at all, which I think would be difficult to dispute, but very easy to prove.

 

Yea, but my point is say you have a daily average gravitational change of 1, from the earth, moon and sun.  If you have a daily gravitational impact from distant stars of .0000001, it doesn't matter if it exists or not, because it is swallowed by the greater variation.

Even if there were an impact, it would never be great enough to establish any kind of pattern because it would be lost in the chaotic noise.  Then you add the fact that you trillions of these gravitic sources competing for time, and you get statistical white noise, not astrology.

Again, that is assuming there is even any impact, and I will leave that up to someone who knows more about it.  My money is on no though, at least for gravity.  Light and radiation make it through (obviously, we can see them), but again, every time you turn your microwave or cellphone on you would fuck up the entire thing.

I think the microwave is irrelevant, and I don't own one, anyway. As I said, the degrees of impact are totally relative. That doesn't mean the impact doesn't occur.


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smartypants wrote:I don't

smartypants wrote:

I don't have to explain it

This gives me plenty of reason to end discussion here.

Quote:

it's already suggested by the fact that menstrual cycles are twenty-eight days, which is exactly the cycle of the moon.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

There's no evidence to suggest any correlation between the two, and it has been investigated scientifically. Rotton, James. "Moonshine," Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1997.

Quote:

Since it's also accepted that it pulls great bodies of water back and forth in their sea beds, it's kind of silly to suggest that's just a random coincidence. I don't think a matter of degree changes that fact.

That's called gravity. The moon pulls the tides with it.

Quote:

Using your argument, I could just as easily ask you to explain how a moon as small as ours has that effect, and not one ten times larger.

Okay. All you have to do is ask. We understand gravity. It can be calculated.

Quote:

My point is that a number of very specific stars are decidedly larger and/or closer and more prominent than the rest. The idea that this could have some effect on us I don't think is that difficult to imagine.

It isn't difficult to imagine... until you learn science.


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JonathanBC wrote:smartypants

JonathanBC wrote:

smartypants wrote:

I don't have to explain it

This gives me plenty of reason to end discussion here.

Quote:

it's already suggested by the fact that menstrual cycles are twenty-eight days, which is exactly the cycle of the moon.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

There's no evidence to suggest any correlation between the two, and it has been investigated scientifically. Rotton, James. "Moonshine," Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1997.

Quote:

Since it's also accepted that it pulls great bodies of water back and forth in their sea beds, it's kind of silly to suggest that's just a random coincidence. I don't think a matter of degree changes that fact.

That's called gravity. The moon pulls the tides with it.

Quote:

Using your argument, I could just as easily ask you to explain how a moon as small as ours has that effect, and not one ten times larger.

Okay. All you have to do is ask. We understand gravity. It can be calculated.

Quote:

My point is that a number of very specific stars are decidedly larger and/or closer and more prominent than the rest. The idea that this could have some effect on us I don't think is that difficult to imagine.

It isn't difficult to imagine... until you learn science.

Okay, try again and this time maybe talk to me without all the condescending, arrogant attitude. I'm not an idiot, I'm just trying to explore ideas in order to understand the why things like astrology might have come into being and popularity.


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smartypants wrote:This is

smartypants wrote:

This is just selective (and no offense, but perhaps biased) interpretation of the facts. I'm fairly certain I could find studies on the gravitational pull on the earth by the most prominent stars in the sky without too much trouble. "Negligible importance" is an entirely relative concept.

 

It's not too selective.  Gravitational force of one mass on another has the masses in the numerator and the distance between squared in the denominator.  This means that a star that is 10 times farther away than our sun will have 1/100 of the force.  The closest star is 4 light years away (the sun is .0000158 ), and is smaller than the sun.  Even if it were the same size, it's force would be around 1/64100000000ish that of the sun's.  It's gravitational pull on a human is effectively nothing compared to the earth's, let alone the sun's.  Like mellestad said, it is insignificant and will be lost in the chaotic background noise.

 

Also, you could find their pull on earth, but a human is significantly less massive than the earth is, so again, less force.

 


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v4ultingbassist wrote:

smartypants wrote:

This is just selective (and no offense, but perhaps biased) interpretation of the facts. I'm fairly certain I could find studies on the gravitational pull on the earth by the most prominent stars in the sky without too much trouble. "Negligible importance" is an entirely relative concept.

 

It's not too selective.  Gravitational force of one mass on another has the masses in the numerator and the distance between squared in the denominator.  This means that a star that is 10 times farther away than our sun will have 1/100 of the force.  The closest star is 4 light years away (the sun is .0000158 ), and is smaller than the sun.  Even if it were the same size, it's force would be around 1/64100000000ish that of the sun's.  It's gravitational pull on a human is effectively nothing compared to the earth's, let alone the sun's.  Like mellestad said, it is insignificant and will be lost in the chaotic background noise.

 

Also, you could find their pull on earth, but a human is significantly less massive than the earth is, so again, less force.

 

First of all, I'd say that astrology concerns itself with not just one star at a time, but whole groups of them in concert. Mathematically, that raises the number, granted, probably not by much, but still. Secondly, I'd like to call on constancy. Whatever small effect this process may have, it happens over and over and over again, day after day after day. I'm sure it's been proven elsewhere that repetition reinforces things in the human mind. I fail to see why a cosmological constant wouldn't acheive the same thing.


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smartypants wrote:First of

smartypants wrote:

First of all, I'd say that astrology concerns itself with not just one star at a time, but whole groups of them in concert. Mathematically, that raises the number, granted, probably not by much, but still. Secondly, I'd like to call on constancy. Whatever small effect this process may have, it happens over and over and over again, day after day after day. I'm sure it's been proven elsewhere that repetition reinforces things in the human mind. I fail to see why a cosmological constant wouldn't acheive the same thing.

 

The issue is that, while constant, it pails in comparison to the constant gravitational force of the earth.  The earth's gravity is constant, so it will constantly dwarf the other gravitational forces.  It would take me too long to figure it out, but the sum of all the forces doesn't really matter because the largest is 1/whatever relative to the sun.  Even if you add all of them up, you still won't be likely to halve that number in the denominator.  What are your thoughts on your car's gravitational effect on you?  It too has negligible gravitational pull, and you're INSIDE it.  It doesn't matter how massive these stars are, they are simply too far away to affect you, just like it doesn't matter how close you are to your car, it is simply not massive enough to alter Earth's gravity.


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v4ultingbassist wrote:

smartypants wrote:

First of all, I'd say that astrology concerns itself with not just one star at a time, but whole groups of them in concert. Mathematically, that raises the number, granted, probably not by much, but still. Secondly, I'd like to call on constancy. Whatever small effect this process may have, it happens over and over and over again, day after day after day. I'm sure it's been proven elsewhere that repetition reinforces things in the human mind. I fail to see why a cosmological constant wouldn't acheive the same thing.

 

The issue is that, while constant, it pails in comparison to the constant gravitational force of the earth.  The earth's gravity is constant, so it will constantly dwarf the other gravitational forces.  It would take me too long to figure it out, but the sum of all the forces doesn't really matter because the largest is 1/whatever relative to the sun.  Even if you add all of them up, you still won't be likely to halve that number in the denominator.  What are your thoughts on your car's gravitational effect on you?  It too has negligible gravitational pull, and you're INSIDE it.  It doesn't matter how massive these stars are, they are simply too far away to affect you, just like it doesn't matter how close you are to your car, it is simply not massive enough to alter Earth's gravity.

I'm not sure who the burden of proof is on here. I don't want to back away from that responsibility, but to me it seems you're making a lot of presuppositions about the irrelevance of what I think we both agree are forces that do effect the earth (and therefore humans on it) to some relatively small degree. As far as my argument here is concerned, the relatively miniscule effect is still, nonetheless, an effect.


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smartypants wrote:I'm not

smartypants wrote:

I'm not sure who the burden of proof is on here. I don't want to back away from that responsibility, but to me it seems you're making a lot of presuppositions about the irrelevance of what I think we both agree are forces that do effect the earth (and therefore humans on it) to some relatively small degree. As far as my argument here is concerned, the relatively minuscule effect is still, nonetheless, an effect.

 

My issue is regarding the magnitude of the effect.  I am trying to help show how minuscule the effect really is, in order to establish that it doesn't produce predictable events.  To be honest, I don't even think they are detectable, let alone measurable.  The 'small degree' is so small that for all intents and purposes it is nothing.

 

I'd say it is on you, since you are exploring whether or not extrasolar stars have any measurable effect on the human body.  I am simply using physics (force calculations) and common knowledge (in regards to a car not producing a noticeable gravitational field) to help explain why they don't.


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butterbattle wrote:If

butterbattle wrote:

If astrology has any credibility at all, I would think that the effect the position of the stars have is still completely neglible compared to your genes and your local environment. 

Astrology works by Kammerer's laws. (Das Gesetz der Serie) Astrologic influence is not only derived from a size of star or planet, (which is minimal) but also from it's repeated, cyclical orbits. In such a way, even small influence can send everything around into resonance. All that we are made of, was for countless ages under the cyclical influence of our planets, and so every atom resonates with them.



It is esoteric axiom, that cosmic energies and matter, known as "dark matter" is the stuff of ideas, thoughts, emotions, and vitality. The flow of cosmic energies  from surrounding constellations is modulated by local planets, or better said, by their resonant systems that they created for past aeons. Every planet resonates with different kind of cosmic energy. But distant, tiny and slow planets like Pluto or Quaoar surprisingly resonate with the strongest cosmic energies! Transit of Mars, although feared, is nothing compared to transit of Pluto, which is hell on earth.


The planetary influence is finally specified by local thought system. Local thought system, or convention, is interface between cosmic energies and human consciousness. In this way, chinese astrology works for chinese people, and western astrology works for western-type people. If there is no such interface, if the planet is unknown or not understood or accepted, then the influence is still present, but subconsciously. Only certain groups of people may have this mental interface, for the average majority such a planet is "Great misfortune," because they don't know how to handle it. A typical case is Saturn or Pluto.



Why are some constellations taken as signs and others not? Because we take only these, that lie on our ecliptics! These have the greatest radial speed, as our solar system turns, there is the greatest factor of change. The constellation "above" or "below"  our solar system closer to axis turn less, so they have lesser factor of change, and therefore no significant influence.

That and more can be found in my dad's book that should be this year on American market.

 


mellestad wrote:

From what I have seen, astrology operates under the same principles as mediums and psychics: You say as much as possible without actually saying anything.  It is all about emotional reinforcement, ego boosting and generic claims that are applicable to the widest possible audience.

I'm sure there is a lot of astrologers, psychics and mediums who are like that. But I stay away from those people, and prefer only astrologers who say specific, concrete things about client and suggest real solutions for situations in life. An astrologer shouldn't boost client's ego, unless the client is subdued. On the other side, astrologer must never make absolute claims, like YOU WILL GET BLIND. A good astrologer can only say, that in such and such time, there is an increased danger of problems with eyes, so client should be specially careful about them. There must be no self-fulfilling prophecy.


 

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Luminon wrote:known as

Luminon wrote:

known as "dark matter"

 

"Dark Matter" is a term for whatever it is that produces the required gravity that keeps galaxies together, since they don't have enough mass to have the gravitational fields that they do.  Aside from that, there is little known as to what exactly it is. 


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Luminon wrote:Astrology

Luminon wrote:

Astrology works by Kammerer's laws. (Das Gesetz der Serie) Astrologic influence is not only derived from a size of star or planet, (which is minimal) but also from it's repeated, cyclical orbits. In such a way, even small influence can send everything around into resonance. All that we are made of, was for countless ages under the cyclical influence of our planets, and so every atom resonates with them.

This is exactly what I was trying to hint at before. Sort of like Saturn's shephard moons leaving patterns behind in the gas and particles.


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Luminon wrote:Astrology

Luminon wrote:
Astrology works by Kammerer's laws. (Das Gesetz der Serie) Astrologic influence is not only derived from a size of star or planet, (which is minimal) but also from it's repeated, cyclical orbits. In such a way, even small influence can send everything around into resonance. All that we are made of, was for countless ages under the cyclical influence of our planets, and so every atom resonates with them.

 

OK, that would be cyclical gravity waves. The fact is that scientists are looking for them and despite many very carefully controlled experiments, they have yet to come up with anything. Even so:

 

Luminon wrote:
Hello Gene. Forgive me the mischievous joy, but you're 100% wrong on that. Let's take the moon. Astrologers are completely aware, that it and all other planets orbit in an ellipse. Specially the moon. There are two focuses of an ellipse. In astrology of Luna, they are called Lilith and Selena, or White and Dark Luna. They both have astrologic meaning, when projected on exact point of the zodiac. They can be both displayed in any good astrologic software (I use lite version of ZET 7, you can verify it there) together with many other precisely computed points.

 

Well, I am happy for you that your software contains modern mathematics and known observations that could not have existed a few thousand years ago. Isn't it great to live in an age when we actually know these things?

 

However, that was not my original point.

 

You see, I picked n the moon because that should have the most obvious effect of anything in the sky, if there is anything to this. So let me assume that it does. Would it not be true that the effect of the moon would vary with the specifics of it's orbit?

 

Now, if that is true, then astrologers should have known the details of the moon's orbit centuries before it was known to the astronomical community. However, they did not know any of those details. Until modern computers came into use for the purpose, the basic assumption is that all heavenly bodies orbited in perfect circles.

 

So yah, any astrological reading would be, to use your own word “imprecise”. Here I mean that astrologers tacitly ignored effects that ought to have been really obvious in their calculations. The real effect if anything was considerably less important than making sure that the calculations based on the orbits being perfect circles.

 

Well, the moon orbited in a perfect circle for those purposes. The sun also orbited in a perfect circle. Mercury, Venus and Mars? Not in perfect circles But also not in elliptical orbits!

 

This is my point. Pay attention to it. For thousands of years, people made calculations based on a patently wrong model of the universe. The information that was used by astrologers was wrong. Yet it was exactly the sort of thing that claimed to uncover some type of hidden truth to the basic order of things. Well, if it was capable of revealing hidden truth, why is it that the hidden truth was not the real model of the universe but rather the dates on which the stars favored the launching of major wars?

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Luminon wrote:In case some

Luminon wrote:

In case some of you don't know, my dad is a professional astrologer and I participate on his courses. His first book on astrology should be this year published in USA. This is why I feel confident, even authoritative about this topic. However, my dad has very modern, unorthodox and progressive approach to astrology. Today most of astrologers work as they did in medieval ages, which is far from being optimal. This is why their reliability becomes more and more relative. My father reinvents the basics of astrology for new millenium or two, and strives to make it meaningful in the light of reason.
My horoscope expresses me perfectly, what I was, what I am, and what I should become. It uses Campanus' system of houses.

By the way, if you, anyone, have a place, year, month, day, hour and minute of birth, you can give me that, I'd like to take a look at you. But please don't make it up for fun, or the result will be unprecise. And I don't promise any conclusions or reports, I'm a beginner. It should be someone who really stands out of the forum crowd, like Marquis. (I can already guess he should have some unusual constellations with Pluto, 8th house or Scorpio, probably with Mars or Aries involved)

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
Also relevant is the fact that the orbit of the moon is not circular. In fact, it varies from that by about five times the diameter of the earth. That and the fact that apogee (most distant part of the orbit) is itself slowly cycling around the earth, hence the reason that lunar eclipses simply do not track to any cycle even close to the calendar year. So if there is anything to astrology, that really ought to show up in the work.

 

As it happens, nothing of the sort has ever been noted by astrologers. The basic assumption is that all astronomical bodies orbit in perfect circles and the only thing that is ever kept track of is where a given body appears in relation to the fixed stars.

 

Astrology in bunk.

 

Hello Gene. Forgive me the mischievous joy, but you're 100% wrong on that. Let's take the moon. Astrologers are completely aware, that it and all other planets orbit in an ellipse. Specially the moon. There are two focuses of an ellipse. In astrology of Luna, they are called Lilith and Selena, or White and Dark Luna. They both have astrologic meaning, when projected on exact point of the zodiac. They can be both displayed in any good astrologic software (I use lite version of ZET 7, you can verify it there) together with many other precisely computed points.

Again, astrology does NOT assume, that all astronomical bodies orbit in circles! It's well known fact, that some planets spend more or less time in certain sections of the sky, thanks to their higher or smaller angular speed. Their exact orbits are programmed into the astrologic software, which can display authentic model of solar system. (ZET)  What you say is the same nonsense, like assuming, that all astrologers believe in geocentrism, because they make horoscopes for people on Earth, not on Sun.

cj wrote:
I'm assuming that AinGS meant that Astrology is bunk.  And I agree.

Long years ago, when I was much younger and more gullible, I actually sent in for a "computerized" astrological chart.  I happen to know the exact time of my birth, as well as city and date, so we had all the information.  Turns out, I am on every cusp there is.  None of the planets align with anything in particular, except Saturn which meant I liked change.  So the entire thing was a joke.

I read horoscopes in the paper occasionally, just for laughs.  How they manage to say nothing without saying "nothing" can be a hoot.


According to my dad, the horoscope usually does not display what you are. It shows, what you should become, what qualities you need to develop, and in some sense, what you will be confronted with, and when, for how long, and where lies the solution. Crises should be solved by appropriate method, and times of good fortune should be used to work hard and prepare on future crises. It is all about models of behavior, kinds of emotional intelligence, relationship to yourself, other people, humanity as such, and so on. It's really a lot about psychology. Once you learn astrology's technical basis, psychology prevails.

Of course, the columns in magazines are not horoscopes at all. These are products of writer's imagination. Real horoscope is called radix, and it's a round diagram of lines and symbols, which contains exact position of all heavenly bodies and some computed points.

 

 

I'm still watching the stars for the star-like luminary to appear to me Lum...

Seriously, I thought that the thought-receivers would have picked up by now I want to be visited.

 

"Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such."
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Now, if that is true, then astrologers should have known the details of the moon's orbit centuries before it was known to the astronomical community. However, they did not know any of those details. Until modern computers came into use for the purpose, the basic assumption is that all heavenly bodies orbited in perfect circles.

What? Centuries ago, most of astronomers were only astronomers because they needed it for their astrology. IOW, at these times it was pretty much the same thing.
By the way, I thought there was a problem with explaining observed retrograde movement by circular orbits, I'm not sure, though. It doesn't matter anyway, see further.

 

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
 

This is my point. Pay attention to it. For thousands of years, people made calculations based on a patently wrong model of the universe. The information that was used by astrologers was wrong. Yet it was exactly the sort of thing that claimed to uncover some type of hidden truth to the basic order of things. Well, if it was capable of revealing hidden truth, why is it that the hidden truth was not the real model of the universe but rather the dates on which the stars favored the launching of major wars?

 

With all respect, I still have to explain the basics to you. In astrology, it doesn't matter if we understand how the planets move, as long as we can see where they are! People just just looked at the damn sky. That's enough for practical purposes, because we are talking here about linear transmission of energy, probably at the speed of light. It's like there would be huge mirrors, lenses and prisms flying in the universe, that constantly irradiate us with something. Planets transmit and modulate the incoming cosmic energy, so it's important if they overlap each other looking from our position, or if we are between them, what constellation is on the background, and what the angles are. Some angles make the energies support each other, go smoothly, other angles are really interfering and dissonant. Perfect astronomy and software is very, very helpful, but NOT necessary for of astrology.

Astrology is about us, people, and it uses the astronomy to predict "cosmic weather", which is very basic information and represented in symbolic form. An astrologer doesn't need to understand astrophysics, but psychologic models of behavior that each constellation, house and planet represents, IOW, what resonates with what, for what kind of person, in what situation. A really good astrologer just oversteps the astrologic theorems and understands the person directly. The hidden truth is 'as above so below', IOW, the events on Earth correspond to events on the sky.

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So actually understanding

So actually understanding how the universe works is irrelevant to astrology?

 

Even so, the distance of the moon varies from about 20 earth diameters to 25 earth diameters over the course of the month. Surely that is a detail of some importance. And yet astrologers were unaware of that fact until about the time of Galileo.

 

Now that that detail is known, it is factored in but to what result? Well, if you are the captain of a ship, it helps you to know how deep the water will be near shore. If a port that you want to do business with has a shallow spot near the entrance and you miss the opening, then you run the risk of being stuck in port for a few weeks until the moon comes around to the right spot again and the tide is high enough to get out.

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So actually understanding how the universe works is irrelevant to astrology?

What astrology researches, is also a part of how the universe works. Astrology, together with other esoteric sciences is more concerned with the unseen part of the universe, that is known as dark matter or matter of higher string dimensions. This part of the universe also participates on human emotionality, mentality and spirituality. So there is an interest in universe, just from a different point of view.
When science will discover subtle states of matter in cosmic space, today summarized as "dark matter" or aether, then science and astrology will gradually come to agreement. I'm sure that astrology will have to develop even more than it does now, and it's medieval concept will be finally rejected forever. Medieval astrology is based on observation and application, not understanding. My dad's book will surely contribute to start of new astrology, based on understanding.

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
Even so, the distance of the moon varies from about 20 earth diameters to 25 earth diameters over the course of the month. Surely that is a detail of some importance. And yet astrologers were unaware of that fact until about the time of Galileo.

 

Now that that detail is known, it is factored in but to what result? Well, if you are the captain of a ship, it helps you to know how deep the water will be near shore. If a port that you want to do business with has a shallow spot near the entrance and you miss the opening, then you run the risk of being stuck in port for a few weeks until the moon comes around to the right spot again and the tide is high enough to get out.

You answered yourself. Distance of the moon to Earth is a physical phenomenon, and has a direct physical impact on our world. This effect is so material, that it's more important for sailors and farmers, than astrologers.
There may be astrologic method that give some attributes to distance of the moon, but I never heard of it, I'd have to ask my dad.
[rambling]From astrological, energetic and psychologic point of view is more important the phase of moon. New moon and full moon , or better said, it's position in relation to Earth and Sun, is much more important. It's not about gravity, but about the interaction of lunar and solar energies, that spread linearly regardless of distance. (that's how I understand it) I guess that on northern hemisphere (where western astrology started) the size of moon does not vary much, it's always rather small. If there would be any astrologers in jungles and deserts of equator, they would probably pay much more attention to the size of moon, because it looks much bigger there. It may also be similarly in Chinese astrology, which is lunar.[/rambling]

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Meta-analyses of nearly 300

Meta-analyses of nearly 300 empirical studies
Putting astrology and astrologers to the test

http://www.rudolfhsmit.nl/d-meta2.htm

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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smartypants wrote:I think

smartypants wrote:

I think the microwave is irrelevant, and I don't own one, anyway. As I said, the degrees of impact are totally relative. That doesn't mean the impact doesn't occur.

I just mentioned that because, if you were concerned about radiation, you get doses of different kind all day from human technology.

 

Ok, to the great point.  Do you know what margin of error means?  If I weigh something on a digital scale, say it goes to two decimal points.  So 1.23kg.  That means my margin of error is two decimal places...I cannot actually measure the difference in weight between something weighing 1.2353663 and something weighing 1.235782826 because my margin of error is too big.  With me so far?

When we are discussing gravity, everything has mass, so everything has gravity, from the moon to a star to the coin in your pocket, to the airplane that just went over my head.  Still with me?

If the earth accounts for 1.0 unit of gravity (on my body), and the moon accounts for 0.01 units of gravity, and the sun accounts for 0.001 units of gravity and the airplane that just flew over my head accounts for 0.000001 units of gravity, and the closest star accounts for 0.00000000001 units of gravity, my margin of error is, at best, 0.001, because the sun is at least regular.  Other things will have  a greater effect, like large moving objects, other passing humans, cars, asteroids, etc.

 

So that is the first point: margin of error combined with the relative chaos of other, more impactful terrestrial gravitic sources renders the impact of extra-solar stars unknowable, if it even exists.  Stars cannot have a meaningful impact if you get a greater hit of gravity from a passing car.

The second point: There are 100 billion stars in our galaxy, and ~70 sextillion in our universe, and even with modern science we do not know all of their motions.  We never will.  If the stars gravity *where* somehow affecting human life, there is literally no way you could discern their impact by looking at the few hundred we have names for.  If there were an effect, it would be so hideously complex that it would be far beyond the realm of human computational capacity.  The patterns would be so subtle as to be indistinguishable from chaos.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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neptewn wrote:Meta-analyses

neptewn wrote:

Meta-analyses of nearly 300 empirical studies
Putting astrology and astrologers to the test

http://www.rudolfhsmit.nl/d-meta2.htm

Awesome.

Edit: Of course, I see the problem.  There were *too many* astrologers tested!  Everyone know that only the Grand Pibtarian Jefferey *really* knows astrology, everyone else is totally fake!  If they had tested *him* it *totally* would have been different, but you *can't* test him because his woo *can't* be *tested*, so that means it's *TRUE*!!!!!!!

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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smartypants wrote:JonathanBC

smartypants wrote:

JonathanBC wrote:

smartypants wrote:

However, my position is this. I think we can all agree that the moon controls the tides (no small feat) and has a very strong effect on things like menstrual cycles. Yes? So why is it so huge a leap to suggest that different constellations of stars, with different patterns of gravitational pull, could have some more subtle effect on at least human physiology and perhaps therefore our psychology?

Astronomically speaking, the moon is really freaking close. The other "heavenly bodies" be it stars or planets or anything, aren't. If you're looking for physiological changes, astrology should only be able to use the moon. The position of the other planets don't impact our tide. I'm not saying I just disproved astrology, I'm just answering your question.

I understand that. However, the stars are far, far larger than the moon and there's quite a bit more of them. I granted that their effects (if any) would no doubt be much more subtle, but science deals with a good many very subtle things.

Not just subtle, but virtually non-existant.  The stars are not mere hundreds of millions of kilometres from us like the moon, they are (at least) 10's of trillions of kilometres from us.  Further, not all those points of light in the sky are even stars!  A good deal of them are galaxies that are (at least) 10's of quintillions of kilometres from us.  Gravity, like magnetic fields, rapidly looses it's effects over long distances.  Think of it like this: Our sun has a megnetic field that extends into infinity.  That is the nature of magnetic fields; they extend into infinity.  There is no butterfly effect from that and certainly not one which would be discernable considering the immense effect our local magnetic fields exert over us already.  Further, the planets in our solar system are not even massive enough nor close enough to affect our local gravity.  There is no way in which the gravity of something so distant could affect the local gravity of Earth or the phsyiology of humans.

The moon can't have an effect on our physiology either.  It is too distant and its gravity too weak to have an effect on such a small, insensitive mass as humans.  Some animals do use the gravity or light of the moon for certain things, but they have developed mechanisms to sense changes in gravity or tides of natural light, much as some have adapted to be sensitive to magnetic fields or slight pressure changes or sub-sonic noise.  There is no supernatural force behind anything like the moon which might affect humans, let alone its gravity or light.

In fact, smartypants, your proposal and that myth you entertained:

smartypants wrote:
I think we can all agree that the moon controls the tides (no small feat) and has a very strong effect on things like menstrual cycles. Yes?
Is really stupid!  No, you fucking moron!  NO!  Stop being stupid!  You're not this stupid!  The moon does not appear, in any study, to have a 'very strong effect' on female human menstrual cycles.  A google search will confirm that!  Other species, however, may depend on the light of the moon for reproductive activities, even to trigger certain reproductive events.  The gravity of the moon, however, except for it's effect on tides and their effect on reproductive activities in certain species, has no effect on the reproductive activities of any animal.  So, no!  I don't agree!  Vehemently so!

Astrology is bunk.  It's a complete myth with abolustely no evidence supporting it.

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Why everyone's thinking that

Why everyone's thinking that astrologic effect must be like gravity or magnetism? Obviously, in all these ages all humanity observed stars by their...light. And nowadays also by other kinds of electromagnetic radiation. This is what I say for quite a while, the influence of planets and stars is similar to light, not to gravity.

Well, I know why. It's a total nonsense, it can't possibly work. This is why skeptics choose the limits gravity as the easy and quick way to reject astrology, so they can go back to their wives and children and still come home soon enough for dinner.

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Luminon wrote:Why everyone's

Luminon wrote:

Why everyone's thinking that astrologic effect must be like gravity or magnetism? Obviously, in all these ages all humanity observed stars by their...light. And nowadays also by other kinds of electromagnetic radiation. This is what I say for quite a while, the influence of planets and stars is similar to light, not to gravity.

Well, I know why. It's a total nonsense, it can't possibly work. This is why skeptics choose the limits gravity as the easy and quick way to reject astrology, so they can go back to their wives and children and still come home soon enough for dinner.

I can't imagine why I'm dignifying this with a response, let alone asking you a question, but for the sake of it could you please tell me how exactly light has any special properties or any electromagnetic radtion (the moon does not produce light, I'll remind you, or any noticeable radiation) has any special properties that would affect humans in the way that astrology claims?  Such as affecting whether I am more lucky on a particular day or whether I will be happy or sad on a particular day.  Then you can tell me why you threw up the claim that skeptics have chosen limits on how astrology could possibly work, because I haven't.

I'll argue with you about light and its properties if you really want.  You are so bizarre sometimes.  Honestly, light?  We're only choosing to argue about gravity because it's the easy way out?  Talk about projecting.  You have no evidence that astrology works.  Don't be so intellectually dishonest, Luminon, or show us the evidence ...and you know what sort of evidence I mean - I do not mean you rambling on about shit or posting anecdotes.  Find the studies conducted by scientists that show the evidence that supports the claims of astologists and show it to us.  Go and win that million dollars from James Randi.  But don't try to bullshit me or project your own failings onto skeptics as though we're the ones choosing arbitrary goal posts for proof of astrology.  Or, fuck off.

Wait, this is incredible.  Let me just recap Luminon's reasoning here.

Luminon wrote:
Of course astrology isn't effected by gravity or magnetism, that's impossible!  How silly!  It's light!  Light is what effects astrology.  Duh!
If anyone else can't see how utterly stupid that is, please, stop breathing.  I don't often advocate violence, but I feel rather strongly about this.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Thomathy wrote:If anyone

Thomathy wrote:

If anyone else can't see how utterly stupid that is, please, stop breathing.  I don't often advocate violence, but I feel rather strongly about this.

Lol.

Also, if light causes something like that astrology would change depending on things like light polutution, where you are in the world, time spent indoors, etc.

Astologer voice: "If I shine the flashlight just so, you become the life of the party, with a gentle soul!"

 

Nevermind though, because this is light....from stars!  Totally different, the photons aren't greasy and full of toxins like other light.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Luminon wrote:Why everyone's

Luminon wrote:

Why everyone's thinking that astrologic effect must be like gravity or magnetism? 

 

Because that's what smartypants brought up.  I'd like to see how exactly stars provide any significant amount of light to our skin relative to the sun... the same goes for everything in the electromagnetic spectrum.  None of it can travel vast distances without diminishing.  That has kind of been the whole point during this entire discussion.


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Thomathy wrote:I can't

Thomathy wrote:
I can't imagine why I'm dignifying this with a response, let alone asking you a question, but for the sake of it could you please tell me how exactly light has any special properties or any electromagnetic radtion (the moon does not produce light, I'll remind you, or any noticeable radiation) has any special properties that would affect humans in the way that astrology claims?  Such as affecting whether I am more lucky on a particular day or whether I will be happy or sad on a particular day.
You actually missed the small nuance of meaning. I compared the astrologic influence to light, I didn't say it is light, or electromagnetic radiation. Astrologic influence is much more similar to light than to gravity, that is what I wrote. It's a comparison, of how it spreads through space. Get it? It has also other properties which resemble hydrodynamics, or wave interference in general, but I'd need someone who knows more about these areas, to be sure.

Thomathy wrote:
Then you can tell me why you threw up the claim that skeptics have chosen limits on how astrology could possibly work, because I haven't.
So far, I saw only comparing the astrologic influence to gravity. And it's not only you, it's every skeptical society I've ever seen. But when I got to know astrology better, unlike you, I saw that this is in many ways not like gravity. I don't know if skeptics do that intentionally or not, but for some reason, nobody I know yet considered a light-like model. I'm sorry, perhaps I was too overwhelmed with emotions, but it was like HEUREKA moment, I just received an intuitive packet from Mr. That's Obvious.

Thomathy wrote:
I'll argue with you about light and its properties if you really want.  You are so bizarre sometimes.  Honestly, light?  We're only choosing to argue about gravity because it's the easy way out?  Talk about projecting.  You have no evidence that astrology works.  Don't be so intellectually dishonest, Luminon, or show us the evidence ...and you know what sort of evidence I mean - I do not mean you rambling on about shit or posting anecdotes.  Find the studies conducted by scientists that show the evidence that supports the claims of astologists and show it to us.  Go and win that million dollars from James Randi.  But don't try to bullshit me or project your own failings onto skeptics as though we're the ones choosing arbitrary goal posts for proof of astrology.  Or, fuck off.
Your confidence flatters me, but though I learn to understand astrology, I don't understand why nobody yet succeeded in Randi's test. Winning that is another supernatural achievement on it's own! What's the difference between Randi's million dollars and Yeti? Reputedly, Yeti was already seen. What you're telling me is to go for a lottery with zero statistical winning chance and no privacy if I fail.
By the way, my and my father's interpretation of astrology is almost new, unique and still developing. It works with astrology in a very different way, which I have no idea how to measure statistically. Only the client himself can say if that was accurate and helpful, (which they say) and I don't know how much that's statistically valid. And of course, knowledge of this method requires years of practice, which I don't have. I only study it to understand myself and others, not to be a professional.

Wanna a peek into my mind, heart and soul? Doing paranormal stuff is one thing, and proving it to the whole world is something completely different. I'd gladly welcome a cooperation of both sides to develop a reliable method of winning the paranormal challenge, but in privacy and peace, because whatever these people are doing, it obviously doesn't work. Paranormal challengers are always different, the problem must be in something else, that stays the same every time.
Scientific evidence? I don't know what do you mean! I might know, but deep down somewhere in my heart, it doesn't fit. Nobody proved to me the existence of protons, electrons and neutrons yet. Universally valid scientific evidence is a foreign concept, like explaining a Slovak gypsy from ghetto the meaning of private property. I'm fascinated and perversely attracted by the magical power of scientific evidence. Someone does a test, that produces a paper, and everyone then take it as a fact, although they didn't see it working? For me, it's just a paper, backed by authority, money and public opinion. What does it have in common with reality? Reality is something that we can see, touch or hear, but only for a moment, then it becomes a past, memory, anecdote and hearsay, like fairy gold. (not that I believe in fairy gold) So as I said, for me the scientific evidence is a foreign concept, desirable and tempting, but strange, something I don't trust entirely yet. There must be some catch in there,  something I overlooked, otherwise Randi's challenge would be already won, with that crowds of psychics I've seen so far. So I think.

Yeah, I am bizarre, people just don't realize, how much. I seek ways to transform myself from being powerfully bizarre to being a powerfully practical visionary. You can trust me in one thing, I'm always willing to take steps to self-perfection. This also means that I will never fuck off, unless I decide it's a productive step to do. I just can't endanger my self-perfecting process every time someone wants me to fuck off, it would be irresponsible. No kidding. Although, I'm allowed to take a break Smiling

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Quote:Only the client

Quote:

Only the client himself can say if that was accurate and helpful, (which they say) and I don't know how much that's statistically valid.

 

It isn't.  That's our point.  OBJECTIVELY, astrology is bullshit.  Subjectively, it has whatever value the person practicing wants it to, just like religion.

 

Quote:

Nobody proved to me the existence of protons, electrons and neutrons yet.

 

Dude, seriously?  You believe the dots in the sky are stars, but you don't know what it is that makes up atoms?  You believe planets have orbits, but will question whether electrons do?  Stop using science as you see fit.  It is what it is, not what you want it to be.

 

Quote:

I just can't endanger my self-perfecting process

 

Your process has clearly led you in the wrong direction.