Astrology is foolishness

2017-10-20

in Psychology, Rants

Astrology maddens me, especially when generally sensible people treat is as harmless fun. Back in 2006, I said: “astrology is utter nonsense, and … human life in general would be better if everyone could completely and finally reject it as bunk”.

I just learned another way in which the practice goes beyond being a harmless form of entertainment. Not only have people with way too much power sometimes put credence in it (Ronald Reagan is a frightening example), but apparently having an “unfavourable astrological chart” is a sufficient impediment in the Indian marriage market as to justify specialist dating sites for those thus afflicted. Including horoscope details in matching algorithms is similarly questionable.

Richard Dawkins was right to note that “a constellation is of no more significance than a patch of curiously shaped damp on the bathroom ceiling” as each is “a miscellaneous set of stars all at different distances from us, which have no connection with each other except that they constitute a (meaningless) pattern when seen from a certain (not particularly special) place in the galaxy (here)”.

If people remain unable to internalize that, it doesn’t leave one with a lot of hope that we will do better on more important matters.

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. November 2, 2017 at 6:16 pm

One month into her new job as Canada’s Governor General, Julie Payette is taking on fake news and bogus science.

Payette was the keynote speaker at the ninth annual Canadian Science Policy Convention in Ottawa Wednesday night where she urged her friends and former colleagues to take responsibility to shut down the misinformation about everything from health and medicine to climate change and even horoscopes that has flourished with the explosion of digital media.

“Can you believe that still today in learned society, in houses of government, unfortunately, we’re still debating and still questioning whether humans have a role in the Earth warming up or whether even the Earth is warming up, period,” she asked, her voice incredulous.

“And we are still debating and still questioning whether life was a divine intervention or whether it was coming out of a natural process let alone, oh my goodness, a random process.”

She generated giggles and even some guffaws from the audience when she said too many people still believe “taking a sugar pill will cure cancer if you will it good enough and that your future and every single one of the people here’s personalities can be determined by looking at planets coming in front of invented constellations.

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