The Art Of Astrology
Let us make clear, then, that we do not consider intelligent design to be a legitimate scientific endeavor. Intelligent design is not bad science like cold fusion or wrong science like the Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics, although it probably lies farther along the same continuum. Criticizing it gives it no more scientific legitimacy than criticizing astrology no more than the magazine Skeptical Inquirer gives to quack medicine when it exposes such practices as phony.
What patterns emerge from close study of the busy mess of the solar system We want to explain why planets are the way they are, based on first principles on simple rules and conditions of birth. At first glance, this deterministic goal is not unlike the goal of astrology to predict your personality from planetary positions at the time of your birth.
We scientists view the question as part of our turf, as the proper subject of astrobiology. In recent decades, however, another train of belief has been gathering steam on a parallel track. Although science has been on a roll of confidence and power since the Enlightenment, antiscientific voices are increasingly audible on the cultural airwaves. Creationism, faith healing, astrology, postmodern relativism, and New Age spirituality are among those beliefs that mainstream science regards as dangerous superstitions threatening the rational basis of our society. Many adherents of these beliefs view science as equally dangerous, threatening our very survival with an amoral, materialistic, antispiritual attitude and an out-of-control pursuit of new technology. Nowhere is the gulf between expert scientific opinion and popular folk beliefs greater than on the subject of aliens.
It is a strange historical paradox that it was the superstitious Kepler, with at least one foot in the mysticism of the Middle Ages, who proved the correctness of the Copernican system. The sober Galileo carried on the self-assured Tuscan tradition of sceptical, independent thought. A good century before, Leonardo da Vinci had announced that astrology was an untenable science whose main function was to get money out of fools. It might just as
Many thousands of years ago a pseudoscience called astrology was invented. The positions of the planets at the birth of a child were supposed to play a major role in determining his or her future. The planets, moving points of light, were thought, in some mysterious sense, to be gods. In his vanity, Man imagined the universe designed for his benefit and organized for his use. The search for a connection, a hooking-up between people and the universe, has not diminished since the dawn of astrology. The same human needs exist despite the advances of science. We now know that the planets are worlds more or less like our own. We know that their light and gravity have negligible influence on a newborn babe. We know that there are enormous numbers of other objects - asteroids, comets, pulsars, quasars, exploding galaxies, black holes, and the rest - objects not known to the ancient speculators who invented astrology. The universe is immensely grander than they could have imagined. Astrology...
One result of popular interest is that I receive a great deal of mail, all kinds of mail, some of it very pleasant, such as from the people who wrote poems and sonnets about the plaque on Pioneer 10 some of it from schoolchildren who wish me to write their weekly assignments for them some from strangers who want to borrow money some from individuals who wish me to check out their detailed plans for ray guns, time warps, spaceships, or perpetual motion machines and some from advocates of various arcane disciplines such as astrology, ESP, UFO-contact stories, the speculative fiction of von Danniken, witchcraft, palmistry, phrenology, tea-leaf reading, Tarot cards, the I-Ching, transcendental meditation, and the psychedelic drug experience. Occasionally, also, there are sadder stories, such as from a woman who was talked to from her shower head by inhabitants of the planet Venus, or from a man who tried to file suit against the Atomic Energy Commission for tracking his every movement...
Direct scientific interest in space exploration and the practical consequences that can be imagined flowing from them are not the principal or even the most general interests that space exploration holds for the layman. There is today - in a time when old beliefs are withering - a kind of philosophical hunger, a need to know who we are and how we got here. There is an ongoing search, often unconscious, for a cosmic perspective for humanity. This can be seen in innumerable ways, but most clearly on the college campus. There, an enormous interest is apparent in a range of pseudoscientific or borderline-scientific topics - astrology, Scientology, the study of unidentified flying objects, investigation of the works of Immanuel Velikovsky, and even science-fiction superheroes - all of which represent an attempt, overwhelmingly unsuccessful in my view, to provide a cosmic perspective for mankind. Professor George Wald, of Harvard, is thinking of this longing for a cosmic perspective when he...
When Brahe died in 1601, his priceless archive of observations passed to Johannes Kepler, who had, towards the end, served as his chief assistant. At that time, there was no clear distinction between astronomy and astrology, and to supplement his mathematical study of empirical laws of planetary motion Kepler earned his living by casting horoscopes. As an unfortunate sign of the times, Kepler's mother was tried as a witch
In contrast to the vast majority of his contemporaries, Professor Galilei certainly despised astrology. But he could read a portent in the sky when he saw one. He knew very well what these satellites - two evenings later he discovered there were actually four of them - heralded. They presaged not just a revolution in astronomy, but if he acted swiftly and surely, they might also bring about a dramatic change in his own fortunes.
I think we sometimes confuse interest with belief and overestimate the extent and danger of public gullibility on this issue. I like reading my daily astrology message but that doesn't mean that I think it works. Everyone who collects alien books and conspiracies is not necessarily a true believer.
The Art Of Astrology
Get All The Support And Guidance You Need To Be A Success With Astrology. This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Resources In The World When It Comes To A Look at Principles and Practices.