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Let's Destroy The Myth Of Astrology!!



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 8th 03, 02:47 PM
GFHWalker
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Default Let's Destroy The Myth Of Astrology!!

I would welcome any comments or input from astronomers regarding the following
article. The idea is to build an overwhelming case against astrology, then to
post the finished article in all astrology newsgroups, and send it to the
editors of newspapers and glossy magazines:

ASTROLOGY

Ancient Greek astronomers, and subsequently Roman astronomers, had a problem.
Their cultures and religions believed in a "perfect" heaven made of perfect
circles, with the Earth at it's centre. Unfortunately, observations regarding
the movement of the planets didn't appear to agree with this belief. In order
to continue believing in a geocentric universe (Earth at the centre),
astronomers devised increasingly complex models to explain planetary behaviour.
In these models, each planet, and also the Sun, was made to move around the
Earth in a perfect circle. To explain discrepancies between theory and
observation, circles were added to circles in an ascending order of complexity.
Anyone who disputed this view was at risk of execution, regardless of evidence,
because these early people were determined to believe what they wanted to
believe.

Many modern astrologers still use Ptolemy's geocentric universe in their
calculations. Ptolemy was an astronomer, mathematician and geographer. He
codified the Greek geocentric view of the universe, and rationalized the
apparent motions of the planets as they were known in his time. Ptolemy
extended Hipparchus's system of epicycles and eccentric circles to explain his
geocentric theory of the solar system. Ptolemy's system involved around 80
epicycles to explain the motions of the Sun, the Moon, and the six planets
known in his time. He believed the planets and Sun to orbit the Earth in the
order Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. This system became known as
the Ptolemaic system. It predicts the positions of the planets accurately
enough for naked-eye observations. (The outer planets; Uranus, Neptune & Pluto
were not know to exist at the time, yet it should be noted that Uranus and
Neptune are massive compared to planets such as Mercury, Venus & Mars).

The geocentric theory of the universe is a common belief among ancient
cultures, but of course it isn't true. In reality, the Sun is at the centre of
the solar system, with the planets orbiting in the order Mercury, Venus, Earth,
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. The discovery that the Earth
orbits the Sun along with the other planets, and that the Sun orbits the centre
of the galaxy, and that the galaxy is moving out from the centre of the
universe, and that there are nine planets, not six, completely destroys the
foundation of astrology. Some modern astrologers now use a model with the Sun
at the centre of the solar system, but this does not solve the problem that the
very foundations of astrology and the core beliefs of astrology still originate
from the geocentric model, and it does not solve many other serious problems:

Early astrologers were unaware of the existence of more than 99% of the matter
which comprises the universe, because they had no idea that more than 99% of
the universe cannot be seen with the naked eye (much is visible only through
infrared, ultraviolet, radio & x-ray, much is dark matter and much is beyond
the resolution of human vision). They considered the stars to all be a similar
distance from Earth and mistook distant galaxies for single stars because to
the naked eye a single star within our own galaxy looks the same as a galaxy of
a billion stars at vastly greater distance. They assumed that the planets were
at a similar distance from Earth to the stars, when in reality light takes just
a few minutes to travel the distance between the Earth and her planets, whereas
the light from even the nearest star takes four years to reach Earth, and the
light from stars on the other side of our galaxy takes 100,000 years to reach
us, and the light from other galaxies takes millions of years to reach us.

These early people had no idea that the universe is in fact comprised of
billions of galaxies which are each in turn comprised of billions of stars.
They also had no idea that what they were seeing when they looked up at the
night sky was in fact history, not reality, because the vastness of space is
such that the light from distant stars and galaxies has taken millions of years
to arrive, therefore we are seeing these objects as they once were, millions of
years ago. In many cases, these objects no longer exist in reality, or are no
longer in the position in which they appear in the sky.

Early astrologers were unaware of the three outer planets, therefore their
calculations do not include all the planets of the solar system. They had no
idea about the size or scale of the universe or that the universe is expanding.
Astrologers had no idea regarding the size and mass of the planets, or of the
materials comprising the planets or the Sun, and were unaware of the existence
of galaxies, supernova, black holes, atoms, molecules, dark matter, dust
clouds, gamma rays, x-rays, alpha particles, gravity, electromagnetism,
electrons, neutrons, protons, neutrinos etc.

Early astrologers believed that the length of a day was constant, yet we know
today that this is not true. The rotation of the Earth fluctuates according to
movements within the core and to the action of the Moon's gravity on the
world's oceans. The net result is that the Earth's rotation is slowing,
unevenly, over time. This means that a second frequently has to be added to the
time kept by all the world's most accurate clocks, such as those used in global
positioning satellite systems, in order to keep our timekeeping synchronized
with the rotation of the Earth.

Early people further believed that the length of a year was an exact number of
days, but eventually had to add whole days and weeks to their calendars in
order to keep the months of the year synchronized with the seasons. The reason
is that the Earth does not orbit the Sun in a precise number of days, but they
were determined to believe that the Sun orbited the Earth in a precise number
of days. Over the centuries, hundreds of days have been added to calendars,
arbitrarily by different leaders and institutions, yet these corrections were
often imprecise and therefore the days and months of the year that we know
today do not relate to the same time of year as experienced by early
astrologers, which of course means that ancient calculations cannot be applied
today (yet modern astrological charts are all based on these ancient
calculations).

Astrology is also fatally flawed because it doesn't take into account the
procession of the equinoxes. The signs of the zodiac that can be observed today
coincided with the zodiacal constellations about 2,000 years ago, but because
the Earth's axis does not remain fixed, and instead moves through a 26,000 year
cycle of movement, caused by the gravitational pulls of the Sun and the Moon,
the vernal equinox has moved westward by about 30 deg since that time. The
signs have moved with it and thus no longer coincide with the constellations.

This means that you are not the sign that astrologers say you are. Because of
the shifting of the equinox you are really the next sign along the zodiac. So,
for example, if you were born on August 14, 150 B.C. (the time of Hipparchus),
then your sign would have been Leo, and that's what modern astrologers still
say today. But they are wrong because they use the old dates as if they still
applied. When you take the procession of the Earth's axis into account, in
actuality, if you were born on August 14, 1999 your star sign would now be
Cancer. So the zodiac, heart and soul of astrology, is one complete sign off of
where it should be. This one fact alone renders horoscopes completely false and
useless.

Early astrologers were unaware that time varies according to speed and gravity
(Einstein's relativity) and is therefore not constant throughout the universe.
They were also unaware that all matter or Mass is comprised of Energy, as
revealed in Einstein's famous equation E = MC2, and as demonstrated through the
nuclear bomb. They were unaware of the strong and weak nuclear forces.

It is simply impossible to make any accurate predictions about the cosmos, or
it's effects on Earth or on people, without such modern scientific knowledge,
yet astrologers even today do not include such knowledge in compiling their
charts. Most modern astrologers have extremely limited knowledge and
understanding of the universe, as is understood by modern science today, and
are unaware of even the most basic facts about the universe and our place in it
as outlined in this document.

The truth is that NASA could never use the calculations upon which the
foundations of astrology are based to send a rocket to Mars, or to any other
planet. If they tried, their rocket would never arrive, because the
calculations are completely wrong, and therefore have no predictive capability
whatsoever. The Earth is not at the centre of the universe, and is not even at
the centre of our galaxy, or even at the centre of the solar system, and the
axis of the Earth has moved since the days of the early astrologers, and the
rotation of the Earth has slowed. Anyone who believes that all this can simply
be ignored by astrologers is just fooling themselves. If you accept the modern
scientific view of the cosmos then you cannot believe in astrology because its
core foundation is unscientific, illogical, and based on a serious lack of
accurate knowledge. It is for these reasons that modern science considers
astrology to be a pseudoscience, and that even by the end of the 17th century,
astrology was considered a pseudoscience by most educated people.

Pseudoscience literally means "fake science" and has been defined as "claims
presented so that they appear to be scientific even though they lack supporting
evidence and plausibility." In contrast, science is "a set of methods designed
to describe and interpret observed and inferred phenomena, past or present, and
aimed at building a testable body of knowledge open to rejection or
confirmation" (Shermer 1997).

The truth about astrology is that early astrologers would have observed that
the tides of the oceans are influenced by the moon, and would have been aware
that the Sun provided warmth, and that many plants grew faster in sunlight than
in shade. It is therefore easy to understand why this led them to believe that
all celestial objects must have an effect on the Earth and on people. They
looked up at the night sky and found patterns in the stars which vaguely
resembled creatures and objects on Earth. They then named these patterns as the
signs of the Zodiac and attributed certain preconceived beliefs to these
patterns, in the same way that people have often attributed powers and beliefs
to statues, rocks, lucky charms etc. This is how astrology was born.

These early people were just trying to make sense of the universe with the very
limited knowledge that they had at the time. When they saw a pattern which
looked vaguely like a lion if they joined up the dots, they attributed
lion-like characteristics to that pattern, and when they saw a planet move
across that pattern at the time of a new birth, they believed that the new baby
would possess some of these lion-like behaviours. This is what astrology is all
about. It was just early people trying as best they could to make sense of what
they saw around them, but with the benefit of modern scientific knowledge, it
is simply irrational to continue believing in such things.

The fact that astrology has become popular in modern times worries many
scientists, as it reveals a serious lack of basic scientific knowledge among
the public, and a willingness to accept fantasy as truth. The science community
is worried that a high proportion of the public seem unable to distinguish
between genuine science and fake science.

A quote by Dr. Carl Sagan, a world famous scientist:
"Astrology can be tested by the lives of twins. There are many cases in which
one twin is killed in childhood, in a riding accident, say, or is struck by
lightning, while the other lives to a prosperous old age. Each was born in
precisely the same place and within minutes of the other. Exactly the same
planets were rising at their births. If astrology were valid, how could two
such twins have such profoundly different fates? It also turns out that
astrologers cannot even agree among themselves on what a given horoscope means.
In careful tests, they are unable to predict the character and future of people
they know nothing about except the time and place of birth."

The Evidence of Non-Identical Twins:
Scientific studies of non-identical twins born within minutes of each other in
exactly the same place reveal that there is no connection between birth date /
place and major life events such as marriage, divorce, health, death etc, or
even temperament, etc. If the lives of people born in exactly the same bed
within minutes of each other can be shown to follow profoundly different paths,
and reveals no evidence for astrology, then it cannot be rational, or sensible
to believe in astrology.

Scientific enquiry is not limited to any particular areas of study. There are
no no-go areas. Scientific enquiry even includes fields such as art and poetry.
Scientific method and enquiry has been applied over many decades to the
investigation of all areas of the paranormal and astrology. The fact that
astrology remains as pseudoscience, and has not become science is purely
because there is overwhelming evidence against there being any truth whatsoever
in astrology.

In scientific tests, astrologers have been shown completely unable to tell
anything about the major events of any person's life, where that person is
unknown to them. In a number of such tests astrologers have been given the
birth details of terminally ill people, yet they continue to produce detailed
charts detailing long, active and eventful futures for these people. If there
was any truth in astrology, the charts would show that these people don't even
have a future to look forward to, because they only have days or months to
live. In other tests astrologers have been given the birth details of people
who have recently been bereaved, and of people who have a very close family
member who is terminally ill. Again, the astrologers fail to predict any such
major life changing events.

Many astrologers are unable to identify more than a couple of constellations in
the night sky. Many are even unable to correctly identify any of the planets.
Any astronomer, however, is able to correctly identify the planets and
constellations, as well as providing a vast amount of additional informationabout each constellation and the individual stars and other objects within the
constellations.


Some of the following information is taken from a government website, regarding
concerns about the public's lack of education and understanding of modern
science, and willingness to embrace pseudoscience. It also highlights the
responsibility of the modern media which is motivated by profit from selling
stories and television shows as entertainment, regardless of truth or accuracy:

http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/seind00/access/c8/c8s5.htm

Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Public Understanding

Belief in the Paranormal or Pseudoscience

Does it matter if people believe in astrology, extrasensory perception (ESP),
or that aliens have landed on Earth? Are people who check their horoscopes,
call psychic hotlines, or follow stories about alien abductions just engaging
in harmless forms of entertainment? Or, are they displaying signs of scientific
illiteracy?

Concerns have been raised, especially in the science community, about
widespread belief in paranormal phenomena. Scientists have observed that people
who believe in the existence of paranormal phenomena may have trouble
distinguishing fantasy from reality. Their beliefs may indicate an absence of
critical thinking skills necessary not only for informed decision making in the
voting booth and in other civic venues (for example, jury duty), but also for
making wise choices needed for day-to-day living.

For a better understanding of the harms associated with pseudoscience, it is
useful to draw a distinction between science literacy and scientific literacy.
The former refers to the possession of technical knowledge. Scientific
literacy, on the other hand, involves not simply knowing the facts, but also
requires the ability to think logically, draw conclusions, and make decisions
based on careful scrutiny and analysis of those facts (Maienschein 1999; Peccei
and Eiserling 1996).

The amount of information now available can be overwhelming and seems to be
increasing exponentially. This has led to "information pollution," which
includes the presentation of fiction as fact. Thus, being able to distinguish
fact from fiction has become just as important as knowing what is true and what
is not. The lack of this ability is what worries scientists (and others),
leading them to conclude that pseudoscientific beliefs can have a detrimental
effect on the well-being of society.

Scientists and others believe that the media-and in particular, the
entertainment industry-may be at least partially responsible for the large
numbers of people who believe in astrology, ESP, alien abductions, and other
forms of pseudoscience. Because not everyone who watches shows with paranormal
themes perceives such fare as merely entertaining fiction, there is concern
that the unchallenged manner in which some mainstream media portray paranormal
activities is exacerbating the problem and contributing to the public's
scientific illiteracy.

In recent years, studies have been undertaken to determine whether televised
depictions of paranormal events and beliefs influence television viewers'
conceptions of reality (Sparks 1998). All of these studies suggest that the way
television presents paranormal subjects does have an effect on what viewers
believe.

Newspapers and magazines sell stories, and are motivated to sell the maximum
number of copies of their story. The public's belief in pseudoscience is good
for their business, because a good story always sells, regardless of its truth
or accuracy. In a similar manner, television shows require high viewing figures
to enable television companies to sell television advertising to their clients
at the highest rates. It is not surprising that producers are tempted to foster
belief in the paranormal and pseudoscience, as the public find such shows
highly entertaining, and want to believe in such things.

What Is Being Done To Present the Other Side?
The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
(CSICOP) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization started in 1976
by scientists (including several Nobel laureates), members of the academic
community, and science writers. Members of CSICOP advocate the scientific
investigation of paranormal claims and the dissemination of factual information
to counter those claims. CSICOP's mission includes taking advantage of
opportunities to promote critical thinking, science education, and the use of
reason to determine the merits of important issues.

The Council for Media Integrity, an educational outreach and advocacy program
of CSICOP, was established in 1996. Its objective is to promote the accurate
depiction of science by the media. The Council, which includes distinguished
international scientists, academics, and members of the media, believes it is
necessary to counteract the entertainment industry's portrayal of paranormal
phenomena because: Television has such a pervasive impact on what people
believe; A number of shows use a documentary style to promote belief in
pseudoscience; Opposing views are seldom heard in shows that advocate belief in
the paranormal; and Some shows contribute to scientific illiteracy by promoting
unproven ideas and beliefs as real, instilling a distrust of scientists and
fostering misunderstanding of the methods of scientific inquiry.

Overwhelming evidence shows that people are capable of believing in anything.
In the past Egyptians believed that their human Faeroes were gods. Likewise,
the Chinese believed their Emperors were gods. Human imagination is fully
capable of causing people to attribute supernatural powers to other humans, and
to rocks, mountains, valleys, the sun, the moon and the stars, but believing in
fictions created by human imagination doesn't make it true. In the past,
countless millions of people have held beliefs which we now know to be complete
fantasy, and died for those beliefs. Many people are still prepared to die for
beliefs which came into existence through ignorance, imagination, fantasy and
tradition, rather than through thorough examination of evidence leading to
predictive theory, which can be tested for accuracy, or in other words,
science.

What people believe is either an accurate perception of reality, or an
inaccurate perception of reality. People have a natural tendency to believe
what they want to believe, and often end up fooling themselves into believing
things which are not true. The fact that millions of people believe in
astrology doesn't make it true. Most people choose to follow a belief system
purely on the basis that many other people already follow that belief system,
but following the herd isn't the road to truth.

Many things seem to be true, but on thorough scientific examination are proven
not to be true. Science is the only tool we have which is proven beyond doubt
to be able to separate fact from fantasy, and is the only reliable tool we have
for avoiding belief in things which are not true, because scientific method
forces us to be honest with ourselves, and compels us never to believe without
considering all the evidence both for and against, and not to believe unless
there is overwhelming scientific evidence pointing in the same direction. It is
this method of thinking which prevents us from fooling ourselves, and believing
things we may want to believe, but which are not true. It is this method of
thinking which has enabled us to identify and harness the forces of nature to
our advantage, providing us with mobile phones, microwave ovens, aircraft,
spacecraft, x-rays, ultrasound, brain-scans, medicine, vaccinations, surgical
procedures, artificial lungs and hearts, dialysis machines, hydroelectric
power, nuclear power etc. etc. etc. No other method of thinking has ever
enabled us to identify, understand or harness any force of nature. Around 40
Million patents detailing all the major inventions and discoveries of the world
are registered with patent offices around the world.

It is a fact that there is more scientific evidence against astrology than
there is evidence to support the fact that the Earth is spherical. Astrology is
simply a shared fantasy which was invented by humans for humans, but
unfortunately, astrology is not only a fantasy, it is also a deception and a
fraud. Belief in astrology survives today because it makes hundreds of millions
of dollars for those who sell astrological charts and services to naive
individuals who want to believe in it and are willing to be fooled, and it also
makes easy money for the media. The media presently have no incentive to attack
a belief system which generates easy profits, they are quite happy to continue
selling pseudoscience, as long as there are people who are willing to buy it.

Belief in astrology would not be a problem if it was just harmless fun, but it
is not just harmless fun. Many people take it seriously and make major life
decisions based on their astrological readings, such as the rejection of a
potential romantic partner, on the basis that their star signs are not
compatible, or planning the birth of a child. The view of the scientific
community is that belief in astrology is therefore not only irrational, but is
also potentially dangerous, particularly when applied by influential and
powerful people in the making of important decisions which affect the lives of
others, as has been the case on many occasions.

The most important subject for discovering truth is the subject of
self-deception. Self-deception is a trap which even highly educated people
frequently fall into. People tend to believe what they want to believe, but
believing what you want to believe isn't the road to truth, it is the road to
self-deception and denial of evidence. It takes understanding of this subject
and real self-discipline to prevent yourself from believing in what you want to
believe in. It is impossible for any educated person to find the road to truth
without mastering this subject, yet most educated people are completely unaware
of this subject, or of it's great importance.

In the past, many highly educated people continued to believe that the Earth
was flat, after they were presented with overwhelming scientific evidence that
it was spherical, because they felt comfortable with the belief that it was
flat and so were determined to maintain this belief. They used their
intelligence to create unscientific evidence which supported their belief.
Intelligent minds often find very intelligent ways to fool themselves.
Believing what you want to believe does not change reality. If the truth is
that the world is round, then you cannot change that fact no matter how hard
you believe that it is flat. It is better just to accept what the evidence
tells you is true, whether you like it or not, than to fool yourself and
believe something which isn't true.

There is only ONE road to truth:

1. Understand that every belief you have is just a Perception of Reality.
Your perception is either accurate or inaccurate. Reality is what reality is.
You cannot make reality be the way you want it to be. No matter how strongly
you believe in something, you cannot make it true if it is not true in reality.

2. Question Everything. Don't accept anything as true without overwhelming
scientific evidence. The fact that millions of people believe something does
not represent any kind of evidence. Never believe something just because other
people believe it.

3. Keep an open mind. Don't form any opinions or beliefs until you have
studied the subject in depth and weighed up all the evidence both for and
against. Don't make any firm judgements or form any strong beliefs unless the
evidence is overwhelming on one side of the argument.

4. Study hard to acquire depth of knowledge. Study the subject in depth.
Do your own research. Study other people's research. Study the background to
the subject and study related subjects. Study all sides of the argument.

5. Think for yourself. Don't just follow the herd. The herd has often been
wrong in the past. Millions of people have died in the past for beliefs which
we know today were not true. The herd tends to believe what it wants to
believe, rather than what is true in reality.

6. Don't believe what you want to believe, without overwhelming evidence.
Be honest with yourself. Be aware that human beings are prone to
self-deception. People tend to believe what they want to believe. Many highly
intelligent people find highly intelligent ways to fool themselves. Refuse to
fool yourself. It takes real mental strength and self-discipline to remain
objective and believe only what the evidence tells you is true, rather than
believing what you want to believe. Avoiding self-deception is the road to
truth.

7. Put your trust in evidence. Courts can only get to the truth through
evidence. If courts operated without evidence, there would be no justice. Truth
is all about evidence, and quality of evidence. The definition of faith is "to
accept as true without evidence, and without questioning." When you put your
trust in faith you become unable to separate fact from fantasy, and you allow
yourself to be controlled and manipulated by others. Faith is about control, it
is not about truth. Truth is about evidence.

8. Accept reality for what it is. Reality is what reality is. No one can
change it. The world is round. You cannot make it flat no matter how hard you
believe that it is flat. You may not always like what the evidence reveals
about reality, but accept the evidence and accept reality for what it is,
whether you like it or not. Don't fool yourself just so that you can believe
what you want to believe. It is better to believe in what is real than to
believe in a fantasy which exists only in the imagination.

9. Read the science journals. The science journals give you instant access
to a vast library of knowledge, including the results and discoveries of
hundreds of billions of dollars of scientific research into all areas of life,
including music, poetry, art, emotions and all natural phenomena, written by
the greatest brains on the planet. Most articles originate from the major
academic institutions and universities of the world, which are motivated only
by the pursuit of knowledge and truth. They are non-profit organisations, run
by academics, not politicians or businessmen. If you want to learn about why we
are all here, and want answers to the big questions, then read the scientific
journals, because that is where you will find the truth. You will not find the
truth in the newspapers or in the glossy magazines or on the television or in
an astrologer's chart or through a psychic's hotline, because these sources are
motivated by profit.

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  #2  
Old December 8th 03, 03:14 PM
Volker Hetzer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Let's Destroy The Myth Of Astrology!!


"GFHWalker" schrieb im Newsbeitrag ...
I would welcome any comments or input from astronomers regarding the following
article. The idea is to build an overwhelming case against astrology, then to
post the finished article in all astrology newsgroups, and send it to the
editors of newspapers and glossy magazines:

You are young, are you? Who do you think will print a boring scientific text?
But ok, let's assume you still try.
Here's how this generally works:
Someone tries to put together some convincing argument against any of that
esoteric stuff. Let's assume that, per divine inspiration or natural genius he gets it
exactly right and no one who reads it can argue otherwise. This article gets
distributed, the whole phenomenon, be it astrology, magnetic de-chalking of water,
dowsing rods or anything else will lie low for a couple of years and then, when your
paper is forgotten, everyone all of a sudden will rediscover the "ancient wisdom"
of few years ago and esoterics will be alive and well and rich again.

I can tell you how one ought to fight this: Put it in the schools. Have the curriculi
contain tests of those things, lessons about background, tests, performances of
dowsers, tests, courses in hand reading, tests, tea leaves lessons, tests and also a
few tests. That way your educational system will release generation after generation
of people who will not just "believe" in science instead of esoterics but will actually
be able to tell right from wrong *and show that something is wrong*.

Where's the problem: You will grow a lot of little atheists. ("Has the influence of god
been scientifically tested?") and since the vast majority of people in the world believe
in some god or other you will never be able to overcome the resistance of the various
religious organisations.

Lots of Greetings!
Volker
  #3  
Old December 9th 03, 12:48 AM
GFHWalker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Let's Destroy The Myth Of Astrology!!

Volker

You're right to think that the problem can only be solved by teaching children
how to tell the difference between fake science and genuine science. Probably I
am too optimistic to consider that it may be possible to spread the word of
scientific knowledge, reason, rational thought and evidence in a world of
supernatural belief systems such as astrology and religion. It would be good to
see a church of common sense and rationality emerge, to lobby for changes to
the curriculum, and to counter all the supernatural nonsense which goes largely
unchallenged at present.
  #5  
Old December 9th 03, 01:29 AM
OG
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Posts: n/a
Default Let's Destroy The Myth Of Astrology!!


"GFHWalker" wrote in message
...
Volker


You're right to think that the problem can only be solved by teaching

children
how to tell the difference between fake science and genuine science.

Probably I
am too optimistic to consider that it may be possible to spread the word

of
scientific knowledge, reason, rational thought and evidence in a world of
supernatural belief systems such as astrology and religion. It would be

good to
see a church of common sense and rationality emerge, to lobby for changes

to
the curriculum, and to counter all the supernatural nonsense which goes

largely
unchallenged at present.


I am a scientist AND a religious believer, and I fear you clearly don't
understand that both scientific and non-scientific thought have value.

In no way am I justifying belief in astrology, which implies a causal link
between astronomical events and individual human destiny.

However, there are scientific fields of enquiry and there are non scientific
fields of enquiry and each requires the appropriate set of mental tools. It
is a fallacy to believe that applying scientific knowledge, reason, rational
thought and evidence in ALL areas of human life will provide answers to all
the human problems and situations that we encounter.

Don't knock religion, just because you don't understand it.


  #6  
Old December 9th 03, 12:09 PM
GFHWalker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Let's Destroy The Myth Of Astrology!!

Don't knock religion, just because you don't understand it.

You make a big assumption here; that I don't understand religion. I will post
an article within the next few days which will challenge that assumption.
Remember, the definition of faith is "to accept as true without evidence and
without questioning." Astrology is also faith.

If you were on trial, would you trust any court to reach the correct judgement
on the basis of faith, or would you prefer that judgement was made only on
proper examination and evaluation of all available evidence, both for and
against?

There is more evidence against religion than there is against astrology, as I
will be happy to reveal to you. Overwhelming evidence. Scientific evidence.

We all want to believe in god, but believing what you want to believe isn't the
road to truth. It is the road to self-deception and denial of evidence. Surely
it is better to believe in what is real than to believe in a fantasy?

Put your faith in evidence, not in dogma!
  #7  
Old December 9th 03, 12:22 PM
GFHWalker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Let's Destroy The Myth Of Astrology!!

It
is a fallacy to believe that applying scientific knowledge, reason, rational
thought and evidence in ALL areas of human life will provide answers to all
the human problems and situations that we encounter.


If something is not reasonable or rational then by definition it must be
unreasonable and irrational. Astrology springs to mind, and also religion.

To prove your statement true, please provide one example of unreasonable or
irrational thinking which has ever provided an answer to a human problem or
situation which someone has encountered, and which didn't involve
self-deception or denial of evidence.

People turn to unreasonable and irrational thinking in order to believe what
they want to believe, but this is never the road to truth. Truth is always
about evidence.

Would you trust any court to reach the correct verdict, on any matter, without
evidence??
  #8  
Old December 9th 03, 04:04 PM
oh_brother
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Default Let's Destroy The Myth Of Astrology!!

(GFHWalker) wrote in message ...
Don't knock religion, just because you don't understand it.


You make a big assumption here; that I don't understand religion. I will post
an article within the next few days which will challenge that assumption.
Remember, the definition of faith is "to accept as true without evidence and
without questioning." Astrology is also faith.

If you were on trial, would you trust any court to reach the correct judgement
on the basis of faith, or would you prefer that judgement was made only on
proper examination and evaluation of all available evidence, both for and
against?

There is more evidence against religion than there is against astrology, as I
will be happy to reveal to you. Overwhelming evidence. Scientific evidence.

We all want to believe in god, but believing what you want to believe isn't the
road to truth. It is the road to self-deception and denial of evidence. Surely
it is better to believe in what is real than to believe in a fantasy?

Put your faith in evidence, not in dogma!


Isn't there an element of 'faith' in what holds our society together?
Totally disallowing things because there is not immediate, hard
evidence is somewhat short sighted. I'd say that 'belief in the
unseen' is a continuum, at one end are wild, unsupported imaginings,
and at the other are those things which time and experience show to be
true but which do not have 'immediate' evidence.

You invest in stocks on 'faith' that there is an underlying principal
which their valuations obey.

You loan money to people on 'faith' that they will follow through.

You invest your life in a career in 'faith' that you've made the right
choice.

You patiently await wished for changes in your environment based upon
'faith' that you understand the 'way of the world'.

You trust others on 'faith' in the better part of human nature.

You entrust your security based on 'faith' in government and it's
machinery.

You work to obtain money based upon 'faith' so when you go to a 7/11
to buy a slurpy, your $1.29 will pay the cost.

All of these things are 'faith' based, unseen, unproven and yet each
has a consequent.

Religion, dogma, philosophy, insight, trust - Are they all the same
thing? If you think so then I suggest you reconsider your position
and expand your horizons a bit more.

O'
  #9  
Old December 9th 03, 05:12 PM
anonymous
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default let's think about the foundations a bit better

Science is the only tool we have which is proven beyond doubt
to be able to separate fact from fantasy


If we assume science is the only tool to find true knowledge, how can science
prove that 1+1 = 2? Clearly this is not scientific, since mathematical
knowledge is not physical, but science is dead without mathematics. Since
science cannot prove mathematical axioms, then your assertion that science is
the only tool to true knowledge is flawed.

I'd suggest some more critical thinking as you've remanded.


  #10  
Old December 9th 03, 05:54 PM
Eric Taylor
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Let's Destroy The Myth Of Astrology!!

In article ,
GFHWalker wrote:
supernatural belief systems such as astrology and religion. It would be good to
see a church of common sense and rationality emerge, to lobby for changes to
the curriculum, and to counter all the supernatural nonsense which goes largely
unchallenged at present.


a church by definition does not have rationality but belief instead.
So a church of rationality is not necessarily good.

btw there is the "Skeptical Inquirer" which is probably the closest to
a church of rationality.

--- edt

 




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