Saturday, December 20, 2008

She Blinded Me With Science!

Maybe I am somewhat perverse, obsessive or simply like butting my head against a concrete wall, but I just can't seem to just keep my mouth shut and walk away when people insist that astrology is scientifically provable, ala Gauquelin, and that someday, soon, science will finally accept astrology.

For example here is an article, entitled ASTROLOGY AND MODERN SCIENCE: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS by Lawrence E. Jerome, from Leonardo, Vol. 6, pp. 121-130. Pergamon Press 1973.

The author states,

"...many recent authors have attempted to ascribe a scientific basis to astrology in light of modern scientific discoveries. All such attempts in the end are futile for, as we shall see, astrology is neither a science nor an art but rather a system of magic divination based on ancient superstitions and the principle of correspondences. There can be no scientific validity in the methods, predictions or supposed 'influences' of astrology, almost by definition. It originated as a magical system and the passage of some 6000 years has not altered its status."

Astrology and Modern Science at 121.

"Astrology, as we have seen, is based on magical correspondences and not on any possible physical influences by celestial bodies. Astrology can never be made 'scientific', essentially by definition; it belongs to the superstitious past and there it should remain."

Astrology and Modern Science at 121.

Hmmm....doesn't this sound familiar?

There is tremendous social pressure to accept Science, after all don't you want to be on the winning team? The technological prowess that is associated with Science has been very convincing, in addition to its ideological attractions, ala Progress & the promise of Technological Utopia. Tremendous prestige accrues to Science and to be unscientific is to be false or at the least, extremely suspect.

But Science is officially materialistic. We therefore cannot obtain scientific validation and the imprimatur of scientific approval for anything spiritual.


Anonymous said...

As Rob Hand has stated, 'good scientists are too busy doing science to waste time attacking astrology. The scientists who do spend time attacking astrology are usually second rate hacks.'

Anonymous said...

Of course, the scientists who are actually doing typical science are funded either by governments or large corporations, and these scientists usually work at universities.

These scientists are lovely people, but they only know one specialty, and most of them do not know the philosophy of science.

Further, their academic positions often allow them to dismiss taboo questions without admitting that they have a conflict of interest when deciding such questions.

Finally, note that real scientists sometimes do address taboo questions, such as the work of Rupert Sheldrake. Personally I know several engineering professors who practice qigong -- CSICOP would damn them for it, but they don't care.

The *debunkers* who attack astrology, like CSICOP, are not practicing scientists - they are showmen. And in the case of Gauquelin, their misconduct is well known.

Philosophy of science is a noble pursuit, but time consuming, and I don't know whether the blogger wants a lengthy discussion of it in these comments.

Christopher Warnock, Esq said...

I always get the same responses to this point that, "science is officially materialistic", basically consisting of either "I know a scientist who does X, Y or Z that is spiritual in nature" or "My personal opinion is that science is not materialistic"

A scientist can be a ballet dancer in his spare time and that doesn't make ballet dancing science. An individual scientist can say that the earth being flat is science and that doesn't make it science either.

When I cite to a peer reviewed science journal, no one seems to pick up that this has a higher validity in the scientific community than their own personal opinion disagreeing with the article.

When I see an article from a peer reviewed science journal validating astrology as scientific, then I will withdraw my argument!

Christopher Warnock