Sunday, April 30, 2006

Latest study made them see stars yet again

Thousands of years since it was cooked up and that pseudoscientific poppycock astrology is still around infesting minds. About a year ago the Bad Astronomer minced it to bits. Now the latest and perhaps the biggest (German-Danish) correlational study of some 15,000 individuals tells us that "in no cases did date of birth relate to individual difference in personality or general intelligence."

Still, belief (or should we say faith?) in astrology remains. Regarding that study former president of the British Astrological and Psychic Society Adam Fronteras countered:

We've had these reports many times before. Because such research tests one or two factors only, it's a bit like judging a work of art using only one or two colours or a book by reading two pages. Astrology is much more complex than that.

Maybe it's irreducibly complex.

So where's the substantiation from them that their vaunted astrological cause and effect phenomena are real? The important questions they can't seem to answer are: What is or are the mechanisms by which the positions of planets and other celestials objects determine an individual's personality? How do they know that these heavenly bodies have an effect? How do they measure these effects? How do they test and verify their claims? Where's the evidence?

Meanwhile, astrologer Marlene Houghton asserts that "Astrology is a metaphysical doctrine, not a science, and cannot be easily judged by the narrow instrument that is science." Metaphysical? They claim that empirical objects--planets--have an empirical effect--determination of personality/behavior. And that they have some formula to arrive at this. Whose legs is she trying to pull? She got one thing right though. Astrology is no science. Never was and very very very doubtful it ever will be.

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