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Astrology officially debunked



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 20th 03, 02:05 AM
external usenet poster
 
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Default Astrology officially debunked

I don't like the part where they call astrologers
"star gazers" but the article is good.
-Rich


Internet Free America!
http://www.freeamerican.net

Astrologers fail to predict proof they are wrong
London Sunday Telegraph
(Filed: 17/08/2003)

Good news for rational, level-headed Virgoans everywhe just as you
might
have predicted, scientists have found astrology to be rubbish, writes
Science Correspondent Robert Matthews.

Good news for rational, level-headed Virgoans everywhe just as you
might
have predicted, scientists have found astrology to be rubbish.
Its central claim - that our human characteristics are moulded by the
influence of the Sun, Moon and planets at the time of our birth -
appears to
have been debunked once and for all and beyond doubt by the most
thorough
scientific study ever made into it.
For several decades, researchers tracked more than 2,000 people - most
of
them born within minutes of each other. According to astrology, the
subject
should have had very similar traits.


The babies were originally recruited as part of a medical study begun
in
London in 1958 into how the circumstances of birth can affect future
health.
More than 2,000 babies born in early March that year were registered
and
their development monitored at regular intervals.
Researchers looked at more than 100 different characteristics,
including
occupation, anxiety levels, marital status, aggressiveness,
sociability, IQ
levels and ability in art, sport, mathematics and reading - all of
which
astrologers claim can be gauged from birth charts.
The scientists failed to find any evidence of similarities between the
"time
twins", however. They reported in the current issue of the Journal of
Consciousness Studies: "The test conditions could hardly have been
more
conducive to success . . . but the results are uniformly negative."
Analysis of the research was carried out by Geoffrey Dean, a scientist
and
former astrologer based in Perth, Australia, and Ivan Kelly, a
psychologist
at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Dr Dean said the results undermined the claims of astrologers, who
typically
work with birth data far less precise than that used in the study.
"They
sometimes argue that times of birth just a minute apart can make all
the
difference by altering what they call the 'house cusps'," he said.
"But in
their work, they are happy to take whatever time they can get from a
client."
The findings caused alarm and anger in astrological circles yesterday.
Roy
Gillett, the president of the Astrological Association of Great
Britain,
said the study's findings should be treated "with extreme caution" and
accused Dr Dean of seeking to "discredit astrology".
Frank McGillion, a consultant to the Southampton-based Research Group
for
the Critical Study of Astrology, said of the newly published work: "It
is
simplistic and highly selective and does not cover all of the
research." He
added that he would lodge a complaint with the editors of the journal.
Astrologers have for centuries claimed to be able to extract deep
insights
into the personality and destiny of people using nothing more than the
details of the time and place of birth.
Astrology has been growing in popularity. Surveys suggest that a
majority of
people in Britain believe in it, compared with only 13 per cent 50
years
ago. The Association of Professional Astrologers claims that 80 per
cent of
Britons read star columns, and psychological studies have found that
60 per
cent regularly read their horoscopes.
Despite the scepticism of scientists, astrology has grown to be a huge
worldwide business, spawning thousands of telephone lines, internet
sites
and horoscope columns in newspapers and magazines.
It seems that no sector of society is immune to its attraction. A
recent
survey found that a third of science students subscribed to some
aspects of
astrology, while some supposedly hard-headed businessmen now support a
thriving market in "financial astrology" - paying for predictions of
trends
such as the rise and fall of the stock market. Astrology supplements
have
been known to increase newspaper circulation figures and papers are
prepared
to pay huge sums to the most popular stargazers.
Some of the most popular figures in the field, such as Russell Grant,
Mystic
Meg and Shelley von Strunckel, can earn 600,000 or more a year.
A single profitable astrology website can be worth as much as 50
million.
When the Daily Mail discovered that its expert on the zodiac, Jonathan
Cainer, was about to leave the newspaper in 1999, it reportedly
offered him
a 1 million salary and a 1 million bonus to stay. He still preferred
the
offer at the Daily Express: no salary but all the money from his
telephone
lines.
The time-twins study is only the start of the bad news for
astrologers,
however. Dr Dean and Prof Kelly also sought to determine whether
stargazers
could match a birth chart to the personality profile of a person among
a
random selection.
They reviewed the evidence from more than 40 studies involving over
700
astrologers, but found the results turned out no better than
guesswork.
The success rate did not improve even when astrologers were given all
the
information they asked for and were confident they had made the right
choice.
Dr Dean said the consistency of the findings weighed heavily against
astrology.
"It has no acceptable mechanism, its principles are invalid and it has
failed hundreds of tests," he said. "But no hint of these problems
will be
found in astrology books which, in effect, are exercises in
deception."
Dr Dean is ready for a torrent of criticism. He said: "I'm probably
the most
hated person in astrology because I'm regarded as a turncoat."
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  #2  
Old August 20th 03, 03:33 AM
Marty
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Astrology officially debunked

To believe in astrology in this day and age requires a NEED to believe,
despite all the evidence against it. No study, no matter how well
planned, will phase the true believers.
Marty

  #3  
Old August 20th 03, 03:33 AM
Marty
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Astrology officially debunked

To believe in astrology in this day and age requires a NEED to believe,
despite all the evidence against it. No study, no matter how well
planned, will phase the true believers.
Marty

 




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