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Thread: Science and Astrology

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Tell that to, well, pretty much everyone I know. After all, astrology is still divided into star signs, no matter which version you're using. I know people who draw up horoscopes, and they still use stars and planets. You may not, but it's a kind of astrology of which I've never heard--and since I'm a Pagan, I've heard an awful lot about just about any kind of divination you care to name.

    Oh, and A.DIM, if astrology isn't predictive, which it isn't, what's the point of it? Evolution, regardless of whether it's predictive or not, tells us valuable things. Non-predictive astrology would tell us what, exactly? (And not all predictions need be of things yet to happen; evolution predicts things that we are yet to discover as well.)
    Well, I'm here reading this thread expecting Robert Tulip to show us how predictive Astrology may or may not be.
    Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the greater view?

  2. #32
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    I know better than to let myself be goaded into another absurd debate with A.DIM that can ultimately go nowhere and delves downward into the merits of fringe psuedoscience. It's pointless, and I refuse. It is also irrelevant to the topic. Besides, life's too short. Happy Holidays
    Last edited by Serenitude; 2006-Dec-19 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Clarified...

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    These are good questions which I believe can have clear answers. However, the questions presume a misconceived understanding of the mechanism of astrology. I submit here that a big part of the explanation of the mathematics of astrology is to be found in the mechanism of wave harmonics structuring the gravitational relations between the earth and the sun and planets, and in the use of fractal geometry to model astrological rhythms.

    Astrology, for the purpose of this discussion, should be restricted to the sphere of mathematical logic, ignoring speculations in the unscientific domains of spiritualism and magic, and also ignoring culturally popular forms such as newspaper horoscopes which are entertainment and not science.

    I postulate that any real effects of astrology do not rely on any force other than those already known to physics but can be explained mathematically through the operation of physical mechanisms which are complex instances of the force of gravity. So to speculate about unknown forces is a blind alley. The mathematical challenge is to theorise a mechanism operating within known physical laws to explain documented astrological effects such as Gauquelin’s observation of compelling statistical correlations.
    Firstly, an "explanation of the mathematics of astrology" should probably really contain some equations. So, please provide these for inspection. Also, please be sure to clearly define each and every variable and term in the equations, and it would be really, really great if you could provide an example as to how the equation has been used to make a verifiable prediction.

    And then, if it is not unknown forces, why haven't the very, very detailed and numerous experiements that have been performed to determine the nature of the known forces found any relationship like you propose? You suggest gravity as a cause, but shouldn't the astrological graviational power of the earth overwhelm all other forces? Even if we ignore the earth, the moon then dominates gravitational forces of all the other solar bodies. And then, the gravitational pull of the doctor delivering the baby is not insignificant. Is the baby's life really going to changed by being delived by an overwieght doctor versus a skinny doctor? Which one is better?

    But really, let's see some math and see how to use it. What would be really, really great is if you would use your mathematics to make a prediction in the near future so we (the board members) can see just how good your work is. If you really belive in its validity, let's start putting it to the test.

  4. #34

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    Frog march: “Evolution theory can make predictions. For example the white butterfly species living in a land where people paint everything red will evolve into red butterflys”. This comment illustrates that initial negative thoughts on the scope of empirical work (Vermonter – “AFAIK, evolution theories don't predict the results”) can often be pushed to find predictive content. For astrology, purely empirical material provides the scientific base of signs, aspects etc, and the task is to find patterns within this which are predictive, such as those described by Gauquelin, Tarnas and Sachs.

    Aurora: “Word salad does not answer Bignose's question. Do you have any material put together by an organization that is mainstream science and not woo?” This comment illustrates the major cultural, political and theoretical problems facing the material I am presenting here. Science is prejudiced against astrology for several good reasons, notably
    (i) the enormous predictive power that the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century found in mathematics, which involved the rejection of the miasmic medieval magical world view and a justifiable fear of allowing incoherence to taint modern thought;
    (ii) the fact that much astrology remains determinedly anti-scientific;
    (iii) the fact that astrology is geocentric, hence privileging human subjectivity in a way that infuriates the scientific focus on objectivity; and
    (iv) the absence to date of a coherent and elegant scientific explanation for astrological claims.

    These points show that extreme skepticism is justified toward any challenge to scientific orthodoxy on astrology. I do not accept that my comments are ‘word salad’, even if they may be hard to understand. Bignose asked hard questions about forces, and I gave my initial effort at hard answers which I will need to work on further. I will expand on it but you have to make the effort to enter the frame of reference of astrology if you are to understand what I am saying. Like the popes who rejected Galileo, many adherents of existing paradigms will find this effort impossible. Astrology involves a synthesis of disparate fields and is intrinsically very complex, involving epistemological and even ontological questions which challenge the frame of reference of modern astronomy.

    Gillianren: “astrology is still divided into star signs, no matter which version you're using. I know people who draw up horoscopes, and they still use stars and planets. You may not, but it's a kind of astrology of which I've never heard.” Sorry Gillianren, but your comment entirely fails to understand the difference between the sidereal and the tropical zodiac. For western astrology, the sign of Aries begins at the point of intersection of the celestial equator and the ecliptic, marking the northern spring equinox, and this point has precessed to near the beginning of the constellation of Pisces. The phrase “star sign” is a popular misconception which coherent astrologers avoid in favour of the phrase “sun sign” because precession has removed the old correspondence between the position of the sun and the constellations of the zodiac. Your implication that I am rejecting use of planets suggests to me that you have not fully read my posts here. Your comment that horoscopes use stars is true for Vedic astrology but not for mainstream western astrology, which is what I am talking about.

    A.DIM: “Well, I'm here reading this thread expecting Robert Tulip to show us how predictive Astrology may or may not be.” To illustrate this, please consider the following. A popular astrological textbook is The Astrologer’s Handbook by Sakoian and Acker, published in 1973. At the recent fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I looked back on the outer planetary aspects of 2001 to explore retrospectively if there were any correlations with the actions of the terrorists, and to see what Sakoian and Acker had to say about the major planetary events of that year. The results are highly interesting. The basic point is that the alignments of the planets in 2001 indicated by the predictions made in 1973 were highly propitious for the success of the terrorist attack. Other good sources on these themes are http://www.astro-noetics.com/astro_us_6.html and http://www.astro-noetics.com/sept_11.html. Have a read and think about it.

    Saturn station opposite Pluto, 1 August 2001 to 1 November 2001 (during event): Sakoian and Acker: “This opposition indicates serious problems. The natives can be the perpetrators or victims of oppression, cruelty and harsh treatment, usually because of their personal connection with adverse conditions of mass destiny which thwart their ambitions and endanger their safety. Saturn, as the grim reaper, will bring misfortune into their lives… Sometimes the deaths of the natives are fated in some peculiar way. The natives are thwarted in self expression and creative self-development. This opposition requires regeneration through hard work and discipline.”

    Jupiter Opposite Pluto: 1 September 2000 to 9 October 2000, and again on 3 May 2001 (ie during preparation phase): Sakoian and Acker: “Natives often try to indoctrinate others in their religious and philosophical views. They feel it is their responsibility to reform others spiritually. Since others may not agree with their dogma, conflict is likely. In some cases the desire for great wealth or power tempts the natives to use dishonourable means to attain their ends…. The desire for importance stands in the way of harmonious relationships with others… Autocratic attitudes and lack of humility can cause unpopularity. If carried too far they will result in the natives’ ultimate downfall.”

    Saturn trine Neptune, 24 June 01 and 2 April 02 (before and after) Sakoian and Acker: - “ability to carry on organizational plans behind the scenes … favours secret projects”

    Mars opposite Jupiter, 16 Feb 01, 10 June 01 and 1 Oct 1 (before and after) Sakoian and Acker: “…extravagant tendencies… their holy crusades are designed to promote their own material well-being, their sense of importance, or both. Opinionated and aggressive in promoting their religious and philosophical viewpoints, which trait often antagonizes others…. attempt great things without the necessary resources to succeed … desire for travel and adventure … prone to boast and exaggerate their own importance… reputations for wastefulness and unreliability … a lack of steady, sustained, well-regulated effort.”

    Mars opposite Saturn 2 Feb 01 and station in opposition 28 July 01. (just before) Sakoian and Acker: “a resentful and oppressive nature… often frustration and a need to demonstrate personal prowess or superiority through some kind of violent, aggressive action as a cover-up for the fear of personal inadequacies in relating to others… Professional ambitions are stifled… May seek status in undesirable or destructive ways, encountering obstacles and opposition in the process, or they may become victims of this type of behaviour in others… Strained relationships… unfriendly attitudes… others will not help them… in extreme cases, cruelty or criminal tendencies…. Military involvements are also possible.”

    Mars conjunct Pluto, 18 March 1 and again in station 18-28 July 01 (just before) Sakoian and Acker: “tremendous energy and power in action... Able to tap the energy of universal power… can accomplish things beyond the scope of the ordinary person. Their immense courage and willpower gives them the ability to face danger, and even death, unflinchingly.”

    Mars station sextile Uranus 7-13 April 01 and again on 23 Aug 01. Sakoian and Acker: “capacity for rapid, decisive action… bestows willpower and courage…. A do or die attitude … forceful dispositions and know exactly what they want … It especially favours those who are involved with aviation.”

    I would be happy to send anyone excel spreadsheets I have created which clearly illustrate the empirical patterns of these aspects.

    Collegially

    Robert Tulip

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    A.DIM: “Well, I'm here reading this thread expecting Robert Tulip to show us how predictive Astrology may or may not be.” To illustrate this, please consider the following. A popular astrological textbook is The Astrologer’s Handbook by Sakoian and Acker, published in 1973. At the recent fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I looked back on the outer planetary aspects of 2001 to explore retrospectively if there were any correlations with the actions of the terrorists, and to see what Sakoian and Acker had to say about the major planetary events of that year. The results are highly interesting. The basic point is that the alignments of the planets in 2001 indicated by the predictions made in 1973 were highly propitious for the success of the terrorist attack. Other good sources on these themes are http://www.astro-noetics.com/astro_us_6.html and http://www.astro-noetics.com/sept_11.html. Have a read and think about it.
    Thanks, Robert.

    Fascinating stuff to be sure, but I'm more interested in seeing someone like yourself make a prediction of sorts and observing the outcome.
    You see, my wife has been a student of Astrology (as well myself, but more through a history of astronomy and ancient mythologies kind of way) for many years and I've come to recognize "there's something to it" but have also found "there's nothing to it."

    Yes, my sun sign, ascending sign (the most important?), and moon signs are largely representative in my persona, and as faras I remember, always have been, but there are definite "not me's" in my natal chart.

    I'm skeptical.
    Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the greater view?

  6. #36
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    One can predict absolutely nothing with evolution theory.

    With the powers of evolution I can predict that my immediate descendant won´t be a roach.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    With respect, this comment repeats the ill-informed view that the arbitrary constellations which happen to be behind each point on the zodiac are seen as having a causal relationship to astrological observations. This may have been the case 2000 years ago, but is no longer so. Astrology uses the tropical zodiac (based on earth's seasons) not the sidereal zodiac (based on constellations). Debunking such a straw man is as valid as debunking chemistry by talking about phlogiston.
    So are you saying that what astrologers see is a seasonal effect, in other words, people born in the Spring are a certain way, people born in the Fall are a different way? If there was such an effect, why might it have to relate to astrology at all, maybe humans who are conceived in certain weather or temperatures are a certain way. And why doesn't everyone born on a certain date have the same fate?

    In one of your posts I believe you state that astrological effects are not from an unidentified force, but the currently known ones. I gather (maybe incorrectly) that you think it is gravity. Can you calculate the relative gravitational influence of whatever objects you think cause this effect, compared to the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun? Can you show why gravity would have any effect on human biology or behavior?
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    Sorry Gillianren, but your comment entirely fails to understand the difference between the sidereal and the tropical zodiac. For western astrology, the sign of Aries begins at the point of intersection of the celestial equator and the ecliptic, marking the northern spring equinox, and this point has precessed to near the beginning of the constellation of Pisces. The phrase “star sign” is a popular misconception which coherent astrologers avoid in favour of the phrase “sun sign” because precession has removed the old correspondence between the position of the sun and the constellations of the zodiac. Your implication that I am rejecting use of planets suggests to me that you have not fully read my posts here. Your comment that horoscopes use stars is true for Vedic astrology but not for mainstream western astrology, which is what I am talking about.
    Again, you're in conflict with every single person I know on this, including the ones who draw up charts. Can you back this up with citations?

    Jupiter Opposite Pluto: 1 September 2000 to 9 October 2000, and again on 3 May 2001 (ie during preparation phase): Sakoian and Acker: “Natives often try to indoctrinate others in their religious and philosophical views. They feel it is their responsibility to reform others spiritually. Since others may not agree with their dogma, conflict is likely. In some cases the desire for great wealth or power tempts the natives to use dishonourable means to attain their ends…. The desire for importance stands in the way of harmonious relationships with others… Autocratic attitudes and lack of humility can cause unpopularity. If carried too far they will result in the natives’ ultimate downfall.”
    Okay, first off, who are the natives? Where are they natives of? What group isn't the natives? And second, that is not an situation exclusive to that time period; it's existed for thousands of years.
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  9. #39
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    just a quick question:

    are astrological polarities reversed for people in the southern hemisphere, as are the seasons of our birth etc?

    and a quick answer:

    evolutionary theory would predict you are currently a member of a species in a state of evolutionary stasis; where it is likely to be for a while.

  10. #40
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    "This comment illustrates the major cultural, political and theoretical problems facing the material I am presenting here. Science is prejudiced against astrology for several good reasons, notably............."

    Because it has nothing do to with real science and anyone with common sense would realize that the only effect cosmic objects such and planets or stars may have on people is if one came close enough to have a physical or gravitational effect on them.

    Or more succinctly, it is bunk.

    tbm

  11. #41
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    Several comments on this:

    1. Googling on wikipedia on Michel Gauquelin and the "Mars Effect" reveal that his statistical analysis is, to say the least, highly questioned.
    2. The references given in Aurora's earlier post suggest that many statistical analyses find no correlations between astrological predictions and outcomes.
    3. When results are fragile such as this, it suggests that there may be no true relationship, but that some analysts are looking until they find a correlation. This can often be an unconcious process, and need not reflect fraud, but rather the honest desire to find patterns. So, Michel Gauquelin found a correlation between some position of the planet Mars and athletic success in French athletes. In evaluating statistical significance, the question is, how many possible correlations did he look at before focusing in on this one. An unusual correlation is not so unusual if it is idenfified among a large number of possible correlations. This is the same critique as that made by Martin Gardner many years ago, in his famous book Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, of whether the correlations found in Rhine's psi experiments were really statistically significant.
    4. The gravitational effects of the planets is so small that it is highly implausible that they could make a difference.
    5. There are probably true seasonal effects of births, but they are probably due to differences in when kids attend school, seasonal illnesses, and different cultural patterns. For example, a paper by John Bound et al "Problems with Instrumental Variables Estimation When the Correlation Between the Instruments and the Endogneous Explanatory Variables is Weak", in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, from 1995, pointed out that there are correlations between birth quarter and performance in school, the incidence of certain mental illnesses, etc. There are also differences in season of birth among different income groups and in different regions. We need to distinguish between true effects of season of the year, and more questionable hypothesized astrological effects.

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    ... To illustrate this, please consider the following. A popular astrological textbook is The Astrologer’s Handbook by Sakoian and Acker, published in 1973. At the recent fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I looked back on the outer planetary aspects of 2001 to explore retrospectively if there were any correlations with the actions of the terrorists...
    But this is not fair, people look back and look into Nostradamus' works and find that he predicted many things 'right'. All they really are doing is using the facts that occured to match the olds tuff. As far as I know, none of Nostradamus' works has ever been used to predict any modern occurance whatsoever. Unless there are very specific predictions made that have come true, this is just looking for something you want to find. Wanting to find something completely destroys any semblance of nonbias you may have had. And what exactly does 'highly propitious' mean? 95% chance? Depending on what you deem a 'terrorist attack', that can happen every single day in the world, or a once in a lifetime event. Unless the text said something like 'terrorists will attack NYC in September of 2001', this is just looking for results that match your idea, not letting the idea predict something new.

    So, on that front, please predict something easy and unambiguous and easily verified.

    I also asked you some very pointed questions about the math in my last post, how soon can I expect a responce to those questions?

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bignose View Post
    As far as I know, none of Nostradamus' works has ever been used to predict any modern occurance whatsoever.
    Actually from what I recall Nostradamus's works have never predicted any occurance before it happened, modern or no. Just post-hoc shoehorning by adherents. James Randi wrote a decent book about Nostradamus and shoehorning by supporters. Attempts by Nostradamus supporters to use his works to actually predict an event have always failed -- but appears to be a good way to sell copies of Weekly World News.

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    [Snip!] To illustrate this, please consider the following. A popular astrological textbook is The Astrologer’s Handbook by Sakoian and Acker, published in 1973. At the recent fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I looked back on the outer planetary aspects of 2001 to explore retrospectively if there were any correlations with the actions of the terrorists, and to see what Sakoian and Acker had to say about the major planetary events of that year. The results are highly interesting. The basic point is that the alignments of the planets in 2001 indicated by the predictions made in 1973 were highly propitious for the success of the terrorist attack. Other good sources on these themes are [Snip!]

    Saturn station opposite Pluto, 1 August 2001 to 1 November 2001 (during event): [Snip!]
    Jupiter Opposite Pluto: 1 September 2000 to 9 October 2000, and again on 3 May 2001 [Snip!]

    Saturn trine Neptune, 24 June 01 and 2 April 02 (before and after) Sakoian and Acker: - “ability to carry on organizational plans behind the scenes … favours secret projects”

    Mars opposite Jupiter, 16 Feb 01, 10 June 01 and 1 Oct 1 (before and after) [Snip!]

    Mars opposite Saturn 2 Feb 01 and station in opposition 28 July 01. (just before) [Snip!]

    Mars conjunct Pluto, 18 March 1 and again in station 18-28 July 01 (just before) [Snip!]

    Mars station sextile Uranus 7-13 April 01 and again on 23 Aug 01. [Snip!]
    Amazing how accurate astrology is after the fact!

    And so precise, too. I didn't see anything in the generic psychobabble that I snipped that predicted New York instead of Stockholm, Washington, DC instead of Mexico City, DF.

  15. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by TriangleMan View Post
    Actually from what I recall Nostradamus's works have never predicted any occurance before it happened, modern or no. Just post-hoc shoehorning by adherents. James Randi wrote a decent book about Nostradamus and shoehorning by supporters. Attempts by Nostradamus supporters to use his works to actually predict an event have always failed -- but appears to be a good way to sell copies of Weekly World News.
    Well, ya know, I never looked at any of that nonsence, but for all I knew he might have predicted it would rain one day and just got lucky. I do remember reading an article in Omni magazine (that should tell you how long ago it was), that his poems would predict an asteroid hitting the Earth in 1999, and aliens revealing their presence in 2003. I must have missed that... or maybe that is why Omni magazine ceased to exist.

  16. #46
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    I have noted this several times before, but never had a reasonable response to it:

    At the end of 1997, I researched as many back-issues of various publications with astrological predictions for famous figures as I could find (and there were quite a few!). Practically all made predictions for the year ahead for Diana Spencer, yet not one predicted her death in a Paris car accident. One would have thought that this would have rather stood out amongst the other astral plane signals, but apparently no.

    If that is the quality of the predictive power of astrology, then forgive me if I pass.

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    I've read through this thread and some conflicting thoughts have gone through my head.

    I think I hate astrology as much as anyone on BAUT, and I recoil at the thought of there being anything in it. However, if there is scientific evidence for a link between planetary positions and human behaviour and characteristics, then we are deluding ourselves if we say it is not there.

    Also, I think that many of the replies to Robert Tulip were disappointing. It doesn't matter if 99% of astrologers go on about the sun being in Aries when it's actually in Pisces and so on, because that was not what [i]he [/]was talking about. He was talking about the positions of the planets relative to the equinoxes and solstices.

    However, from what I understand of Mr Tulip's posts, the idea is not very compelling. I cannot see any evolutionary advantage to feeling the pull of another planet. And I cannot see how ancient people would have given Mars its anthropomorphic characteristics based on this - it seems much more likely that they were inspired by its blood-red appearance.

    For a while I the posts got me thinking that something relatively quiet but regular - such as the dripping of a tap - can have more of an effect than something noisy but occasional - such as a car alarm going off. But I don't think the motions of planets can apply. Sure, they're regular and deterministic, but it's over such a long time period that I just don't believe our bodies would be saying, "Ah, there it goes again, regular as clockwork!"

    (Eclipses are deterministic, yet they take the natural world by surprise every time.)

    As others here have said, it would take an unambiguous prediction of a non-obvious event in the near future to convince me that this is worth considering further. (That is, a one-off prediction - not a whole set of them set to cover every eventuality!)

    I have a few other things to add but will leave it at this for now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    I cannot see any evolutionary advantage to feeling the pull of another planet.
    Particularly since the gravitational pull of a person that happens to be standing next to you will effect you more than the gravitational pull of Mars will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    As others here have said, it would take an unambiguous prediction of a non-obvious event in the near future to convince me that this is worth considering further. (That is, a one-off prediction - not a whole set of them set to cover every eventuality!)

    I have a few other things to add but will leave it at this for now.
    Hmmm. I asked for a prediction and it didn't go over well with a certain individual - "nonsensical" I believe the idea was called - although I fail to see what good non-predictive Astrology can be put to

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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    Particularly since the gravitational pull of a person that happens to be standing next to you will effect you more than the gravitational pull of Mars will.
    Indeed. But the argument (as I see it) is that the person standing next to you is not going to be standing next to you at regular intervals, whereas the (smaller) pull of Mars is a regular event.

    The reason I hesitate to dismiss the argument out of hand is because it reminds me of Lorenz and the sensitive dependence on initial condition. As you may recall, he set up a simple computer simulation of a weather system back in the 60s (IIRC). He got unpredictable results because when he fed output values back into the program, he was rounding off the values to the nearest whole numbers - in other words, changing the values by a tiny amount. This led to the realisation that a small change in an iterative system can have a big knock-on effect - later known as the butterfly effect.

    The scientists who dismissed Lorenz found themselves with egg on their faces.

    However, on reflection, I am prepared to bite the bullet and say that Mr Tulip's theory appears to have no discernible merit. Maybe I'll end up with egg on my face when it becomes mainstream science... but I'm prepared to take that risk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenitude View Post
    Hmmm. I asked for a prediction and it didn't go over well with a certain individual - "nonsensical" I believe the idea was called - although I fail to see what good non-predictive Astrology can be put to
    Perhaps non-predictive astrology could be where you contemplate the stars and planets, admire their beauty, find out more about them, send probes to the planets, develop theories about why the stars shine, and so on and so on... in fact you could change its name to astronomy!

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    I had maintained once on this board in respect to astrology, that "there might be something to it". After a very long discussion, we finally agreed to conducting a test, with about 20 participants. They were bunched in groups of 5 persons, and had to identify which birth horoscope corresponded to them. The test failed completely. Ergo, I realized that my statement was wrong and said so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    "there might be something to it"
    You probably did too detailed a test. I think you can use astrology to predict when the best time of year to plant seeds in a given region should be, or to predict when a tropical river like the Nile will flood (within a few days). It gets useless when you try to use it to deal with people's personalities and fortunes.
    Forming opinions as we speak

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    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    You probably did too detailed a test. I think you can use astrology to predict when the best time of year to plant seeds in a given region should be, or to predict when a tropical river like the Nile will flood (within a few days). It gets useless when you try to use it to deal with people's personalities and fortunes.
    Which, I suspect is how astrology got started. But the use of astronomical objects for time keeping (whether daily or annual events) would now be classified in astronomy, not astrology.
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    Particularly since the gravitational pull of a person that happens to be standing next to you will effect you more than the gravitational pull of Mars will.
    Depends upon how big the person is
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Perhaps non-predictive astrology could be where you contemplate the stars and planets, admire their beauty, find out more about them, send probes to the planets, develop theories about why the stars shine, and so on and so on... in fact you could change its name to astronomy!
    Weirdly, I would classify astronomy as "predictive"

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    Re: Science and Astrology

    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    You probably did too detailed a test. I think you can use astrology to predict when the best time of year to plant seeds in a given region should be, or to predict when a tropical river like the Nile will flood (within a few days). It gets useless when you try to use it to deal with people's personalities and fortunes.
    gzhpcu's tests were well-constructed. The results remain quite concise, rational, and demonstrative.

    The example you give might have had the misnomer of "astronomy" at the time, but now we know the assigned causes were astrology, the observations were astronomy.

    For example, when they used astrology to predict when was the best time of year to plant seeds in a given region, the appearance of the Dog Star (Sirius) didn't cause the Nile to rise, it just so happened that it appeared at the dawn about the same time the flood waters came down the Nile from its origins to engulf the rather shallow Egyptian basin.

    Cart before the horse, to put it mildly.

    To put it not so mildly, astrology is good for one thing: separating suckers from their money.

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maksutov View Post
    gzhpcu's tests were well-constructed. The results remain quite concise, rational, and demonstrative.

    The example you give might have had the misnomer of "astronomy" at the time, but now we know the assigned causes were astrology, the observations were astronomy. [snip]
    I think this is exactly the point Antoniseb was trying to make - couched in a somewhat ironic way.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhEb09'1 View Post
    Weirdly, I would classify astronomy as "predictive"
    Touche!

  29. #59
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    Re: Science and Astrology

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Originally Posted by Maksutov
    gzhpcu's tests were well-constructed. The results remain quite concise, rational, and demonstrative.

    The example you give might have had the misnomer of "astronomy" at the time, but now we know the assigned causes were astrology, the observations were astronomy. [snip]
    I think this is exactly the point Antoniseb was trying to make - couched in a somewhat ironic way.
    I too hope it was ironic.

  30. #60

    Gauquelin Cosmic Rhythms

    I will respond to questions raised in this thread about the possible scientific basis of astrology in several stages. In this first stage, I will expand on how cosmic rhythms are genetically encoded into our DNA in order to show that planetary effects are theoretically possible. Later I will try to respond to specific comments and also expand on the theme of astrology as a complex system by examining it against the framework of chaos theory.

    My earlier postings discussed how French statistician Michel Gauquelin identified a number of periodic biological rhythms which are only explicable by postulating sympathetic resonance between earthly DNA and the near-permanent rhythms of the planets. In this post, I detail empirical work described in Gauquelin’s “The Cosmic Clocks”, published in 1982, to expand on the scientific nature of these findings.

    Gauquelin’s research began as an effort to disprove astrology, but ended in a partial proof of it, providing statistical validation of planetary effects (eg Mars, Jupiter, Moon, Saturn correlations) while finding no basis for sun signs (Aries, Taurus, etc). Some scientifically minded astrologers (eg Richard Tarnas, Dale Huckeby) give similar emphasis to planetary effects while ignoring sun signs completely. Other research (Sachs) has found statistical basis for sun signs, so Gauquelin’s negative findings on this are not conclusive.

    An extraordinary chapter in The Cosmic Clocks discusses the empirical research of Frank A. Brown Jr., Morrison Professor of Biology at Northwestern University, Illinois. Brown conducted a series of laboratory experiments in which various animals were deprived of any external stimulus to measure the response of their body clocks.

    “A rat was kept for months in a closed cage with constant light, temperature and pressure. There was no way for the rat to know if it was night or day, whether the moon was above or below the horizon. When Brown and Terracini recorded the rat’s physical activity, they found clear peaks in activity corresponding to the moon’s position: the rat was more active during the hours in which the moon was below the horizon, and quietest when it was above the horizon… The above experiment has been duplicated and confirmed.” (cited by Gauquelin, p.85, from ‘Exogenous Timing of Rat Spontaneous Activity Periods” Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biological Medicine, CI, No 3 (1959) 457).

    How can this be explained? There is a clear evolutionary adaptive advantage for a rat to be active when the moon is down in order to avoid predators who hunt by sight. Given the lack of sensory stimulus in the experimental conditions, it appears the rat senses the position of the moon in an unknown way – either by a ‘tidal’ sense of the moon’s gravity or some magnetic influence. My postulate is that the rat’s DNA, having evolved within the moon’s constant orbit and having been circled by the moon some fifty billion times since the dawn of life, is attuned to the rhythm of the moon. The alternative hypothesis, that it is solely an internal clock within the rat, is refuted by the next experiments:

    “Brown was recording the activity of hamsters… At first the rodents synchronized their activity with the rising and setting of the sun, which was probably their natural rhythm before they had been confined to their cages. Then, suddenly, the 24 hour rhythm changed to a new, slightly longer rhythm, one that lasted 24 hours 50 minutes. This period corresponds exactly to the length of the lunar day… Their pattern of activity switched through the study, first following one and then the other of the two celestial bodies – without their ever knowing the position of either in the darkness of their experimental lodgings.” (cited by Gauquelin, p.85, Propensity for Lunar Periodicity in Hamsters, op cit, CXX (1965) 792)

    Here we have a further extraordinary example of how the tides of the ocean caused by the moon also exist within a mammal – and presumably would also exist in humans.

    My final example:

    “Brown had some live oysters sent in closed, darkened containers from Long Island Sound to his laboratory in Evanston, 1000 miles from the sea… At first the oysters kept to their natural rhythm, opening and closing themselves to the rhythm of the tides washing Long Island Sound. But after about 15 days Brown noticed that a slippage in the rhythm had occurred. The oysters now opened up at the time the tide would have flooded Evanston, had the town been on the seashore – ie when the moon passed over the local meridian. The oysters had abandoned their rhythm tied to actual tides and responded to an exclusively lunar rhythm.” (cited from ‘Persistent Activity Rhythms in the Oyster’, American Journal of Physiology, CLXVII 1954, 510).

    These three examples illustrate how animals are adapted to the gravitational rhythms of the moon. Brown notes that “definite hostility met anyone who as much as suggested that one might search for subtle celestial influences” (Gauquelin p. ii). Gauquelin (p86) says Brown offers an explanation that the rhythms are external, with these three experiments taken together showing that internal clocks of the organisms were not sufficient to obtain the observed results.

    My hypothesis, to be expanded in a next post, is that similar subtle relationships can be theorized for the planets, based on complex system themes such as turbulence, fractal geometry, attractors and sensitive dependence on initial conditions.

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