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Thread: Astrology = Garbage

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Astrology = Garbage

    Something our esteemed Bad Astronomer seems to have overlooked in his debunk of Astrology is that there is an extremely powerful force, or set of forces, operating right here on earth that could explain most of Astrology's claims. When you consider the effects of group psychology and the fact that humans seem to have an instinct to believe in a higher power guiding our destinies as well as our "ability" to perceive even one result in line with our preconceptions as "confirmation" while dismissing all anomolous results as unworthy of attention... It's not difficult to envision how those early scholar priests were able to build up such a body of psychological "knowledge" based on seasonal movements of the sun, moon and visible planets. Perhaps some of their observations were even valid and based on seasonal differences in child-rearing at times when resources were relatively scarce or plentiful. We may never know for certain whether that is the case, but it seems clear to me that Astrology became its own self-fulfilling prophecy due to cultural expectations that children would exhibit the qualities of character related to their "birth sign".

  2. #2
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    I strongly agree, esteemed unregistered user.
    I am often amazed at group psychology and peoples willingness to go along with it.
    It amazes me even more when people cannot look around and see this for themselves.

    I don't think it's because they are unable- it's because they don't want to.

    The one major perversity of the human mind.

  3. #3
    Unregistered Guest
    "almost thou persuadest me...." to register as a user. ;-)

    I'll have to lurk for a while and observe the relative proportion of genuine inquiry and discussion vs. flamewar and slugfest.

  4. #4
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    If you see a flamewar, report it to the mods. It's against the rules.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    I don't think the BA overlooked anything. Certainly not what you suggest.

  6. #6
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    It's important to remember that astrology is not a coherent body of bogus knowledge.

    I remember hearing that during the Second World War, the allies asked an astrologer to cast Hitler's horoscope. The reason being, they knew Hitler believed in astrology, so if they knew what he'd been told, they could make an educated guess about his movements.

    Unfortunately, there is no correlation between what any two astrologers say, so the plan didn't work.

    (How was that - I mentioned Hitler in an internet discussion without it being an instance of Godwin's Law!)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    It's important to remember that astrology is not a coherent body of bogus knowledge. [Snip!]
    That has been my consistent beef with astrology -- that there is no "paper trail" leading back to the first person to write, for example, "Jupiter in trine with Mercury in a water sign means such and such." Nowhere is there a database with all of these so-called "bits of wisdom" compiled together for cross-referencing and checking. Everybody, whether Chaldean, Indian, Chinese, or Greek pretty much made it all up as they went along.

  8. #8
    ToSeek Unregistered Guest
    Hmm, I can log out and still post. Not good!

  9. #9
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    This has been true in this subforum for ages.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  10. 2008-Sep-03, 11:10 PM


  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestial Mechanic View Post
    That has been my consistent beef with astrology -- that there is no
    "paper trail" leading back to the first person to write, for example,
    "Jupiter in trine with Mercury in a water sign means such and such."
    Nowhere is there a database with all of these so-called "bits of wisdom"
    compiled together for cross-referencing and checking. Everybody,
    whether Chaldean, Indian, Chinese, or Greek pretty much made it all
    up as they went along.
    Does that mean that each individual astrologer makes up everything
    ad hoc? I've wondered about this for quite a while -- pre-Internet,
    anyhow. I have never heard of a reference text for astrological
    interpretation, which would seem to be as essential as a reference
    for the positions of the planets. Surely they must have some
    kind of reference for interpretation? Or hundreds of conflicting
    references, at least? I've never heard of them.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesarra View Post
    the lack of coherence is simply an indicator of Astrology's place in history as the basis for modern psychology.. or psychobabble at least. Sincere apologies if any of you are practicing shrinks.
    No. Just one of the many, many people who have benefited from modern psychology.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesarra View Post
    does this mean I'm no longer esteemed, Neverfly?
    Nope. You're now an esteemed member.
    Welcome to BAUT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesarra View Post
    the lack of coherence is simply an indicator of Astrology's place in history as the basis for modern psychology.. or psychobabble at least. Sincere apologies if any of you are practicing shrinks.
    I'm not- so I will agree with you.

    A person can easily see those same trends and patterns of mentality in everyday conversation. People look for and 'find' indicators of belief in just about everything.
    I think if I were to try to sum it all up in one word it would be "Selfishness."
    It's all about making things about how you want them to be.

    It's really the hard part about being human. I can fall into this trap just as easily as anyone whom I can point my finger at. And it really takes daily maintenance to not fall into it- even though I still do and have to back up...
    and try going at it again.

    A Dumb Example:
    I went outside to do some yardwork and it started raining. I say to myself, "Figures, it only rains when I try to work outside..."

    That lack of coherence really is the foundation but no one really wants to see it either.
    Instead, they look to justify it with further lack of coherence by looking for patterns within it. And when, inevitably, they find some pattern they invented, they think they are a genius that stumbled onto something.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    Does that mean that each individual astrologer makes up everything
    ad hoc? I've wondered about this for quite a while -- pre-Internet,
    anyhow. I have never heard of a reference text for astrological
    interpretation, which would seem to be as essential as a reference
    for the positions of the planets. Surely they must have some
    kind of reference for interpretation? Or hundreds of conflicting
    references, at least? I've never heard of them.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    It's like Fantasia.
    All you have to do is BELIEVE.
    When believers talk, they tend to support each other in their beliefs rather than argue.

    Put two very different astrologers into the same room and they will leave clapping each other on the back for finding mysterious patterns in stellar movements.

  15. 2008-Sep-04, 03:14 AM

  16. #14
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    I'm not sure if its garbage, astrology

    read: The secret Zodiacs of Washington DC

    also 12 is esoteric number (zodiac),12 Knights of the round table, 12 knights of the Order of the Death's Head (Himmlers SS at Wewelsburg castle)

    I keep an open mind

  17. 2008-Sep-04, 03:35 AM

  18. #15
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    You need a screen door for that open mind of yours Paul Leeks.

    The bugs are getting in.

  19. 2008-Sep-04, 04:30 AM

  20. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesarra View Post
    You haven't been in the room with two equally rabid true believers of different flavors of Astrology, have you, Neverfly? The behavior you'll observe will assuredly be almost, but not quite, completely unlike patting one another on the back.
    Ok, well.. You got me on the flavors...

    Like putting a Wiccan in a room with a Druid.

    So yes, there is variance there. But you can observe right here on BAUT the effect of putting believers together in a thread in CT or ATM etc, in which they may differ in their views but Ultimately are supportive of each other anyway.

  21. 2008-Sep-04, 05:25 AM


  22. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesarra View Post
    I had a response to this post that ran afoul of the anti-spam filter, Jeff.
    You should be all right once you've made another three posts. Then the automated system will know you're not a spammer and will allow you to post URLs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesarra
    A "good" diviner uses subtle cues of body language and subliminal gestures while interacting with the subject to determine which of the keywords and phrases related to their divinatory medium of choice will invoke the desired responses in the client.
    This is very plausible.

    As a teacher of adults, I was surprised at how quickly I started to pick up on these cues/clues. (I've only been teaching since 2005; prior to that I was in engineering and didn't think of myself as a "people person".) Many is the time I've known exactly what incorrect answer a student has been about to give. Often I can see from the student's eyes the exact moment when bewilderment has switched to understanding.

    It often feels how I'd imagine telepathy to be.

  23. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Leeks View Post
    I'm not sure if its garbage, astrology
    As far as I can see there's no mechanism that would allow astrology to work.

    And there's no evidence that it works in spite of the lack of an obvious mechanism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Leeks
    read: The secret Zodiacs of Washington DC
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Leeks
    also 12 is esoteric number (zodiac)
    If you ignore Ophiuchus...

  24. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesarra View Post

    On another post, someone proposed and conducted a "scientific test of (Jungian) astrology" which was extremely interesting to me. I believe this test ultimately gave a negative (rather than a null) result because the "astrologer" was separated from the test subjects by the medium of the internet.
    That was a test Grey proposed to set up because I had made a statement that I thought "there might be something to astrology". The results showed the contrary, which I readily accepted, and realized that with so many parameters returned from an interpretation, I had probably just been concentrating on the inevitable "hits".

  25. 2008-Sep-04, 04:39 PM

  26. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesarra View Post
    Gz, The reason you thought "there might be something to astrology", if I read Grey's thread correctly, was due to a personal experience you had with casting charts for yourself and people you know. Yes?
    Yes, correct. Coupled with tending to not attach importance to the discrepancies... Initially extremely skeptic, then "surprised" at the inevitable hits...

  27. #21
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    Tesarra, it's very pleasing to read a new member's posts and think, "This poster is intelligent and articulate." I hope you stay.

  28. 2008-Sep-04, 09:35 PM

  29. #22
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    Thanks for the info about astrology interpretation standards...

    Thinking about the methods used by astrologers to interpret the data
    they begin with, a very short story by Isaac Asimov came to mind:
    'The Machine that Won the War'.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  30. #23
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    I was actually one of the participants in that little study, and the thing that I think surprised most of us was all of those, myself included, who wanted a "none of the above" option.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  31. #24
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    Which maybe in retropsect is not so surprising, considering the randomness of the "inevitable" hits. A little here, a little there, but odds are against a good match...

  32. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    I strongly agree, esteemed unregistered user.
    I am often amazed at group psychology and peoples willingness to go along with it.
    It amazes me even more when people cannot look around and see this for themselves.

    I don't think it's because they are unable- it's because they don't want to.

    The one major perversity of the human mind.
    that's not all not all…… .

  33. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by johanneshornyoma View Post
    that's not all not all…… .
    I'm a wee bit confused...

    Are you saying that is not what is going on in the case of Astrology?

    Welcome to BAUT by the way I remember your first post made a good point about extremist ideals in desperation in an OTB thread.

  34. #27
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    I'm guessing that what was meant is that the perversity you mention
    is far from being the only major perversity of the human mind.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  35. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    I'm guessing that what was meant is that the perversity you mention
    is far from being the only major perversity of the human mind.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    Oh.
    True. Good thinking Jeff Root.

    Since my brain lacks perversity, I have a hard time keeping track of the Human Condition

  36. #29
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    Your brain lacks perversity, and I'm the most hard-working, active,
    go-getting overachiever I know.

    Is there a retching smiley face?

    Call me "Jeff" and I'll call you "Neverfly", okay? Since I seem to be the
    only Jeff posting, I can get away with it.

    BTW, I started adding the "in Minneapolis" to my signature after The Bill
    White of Miami explained years ago in Fidonet that he added his location
    to his signature to distinguish himself from another Bill White who posted
    in some other Fidonet echo. I thought it was a good idea, so I've been
    doing it ever since. And I sometimes referred to him as "TBW", which is
    uncannily similar to how I started this paragraph...

    -- Jeff, in cognito
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  37. #30
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    I've been to both astrologers and psychoanalysts (in fact, having been born with clinical depression, I have spent most of my life in psychotherapy) and I can say that the average astrologer has a far firmer grasp of the human condition than the average psychoanalyst.

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