Is There Proof For Astrology?
Is There Proof of Astrology?
“did all the men who died in the Battle of Cannae have the same horoscope?”
I’m taking a intellectual risk with this post. I try my best to straddle the line between rationalism and empiricism (at least in the Kantian sense) – sometimes this means that there are subjects that I shouldn’t touch…. But what’s the fun in that?! Anyways: I hope you enjoy or this gives some food for thought!
Cicero’s point is devastating. The argument goes: astrologers are charlatans because nothing determines our fate.
Of course, put this way – they would be wrong. Many things determine our fate: Genes (DNA), upbringing, traumatic experiences… however, at first glance, of course it is absurd that we can be affected by forces outside of us, regardless of those inside. Just remember how much adversity Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs received—Joseph Lister, the father of “sanitation,” even had to fight to get surgeons to wash their hands after surgery.
The cases are different, but my point is: humans in “intellectual circles” always seem quite weary to accept a conclusion of “metaphysical” forces in a naturalist setting. Before syphilis was recognized it was considered demonic possession… and while these two diagnoses may seem distinct, the difference is pronounced mostly in the treatments: drilling a hole in one’s head versus a dose of penicillin. The intuition in both cases is: something EXTERNAL is affecting something INTERNAL.
Astrology makes the same claim: we are affected by celestial bodies…
And yet, why is this so hard for someone to believe? Is there proof of this? YES: we star gaze and make wishes on shooting stars… the moon affects the tides… the tides affect the shores… the shores affect the animals… and my proof boils down to just two points:
[The lunar cycle: effects on human and animal behavior and physiology.
[Human responses to the geophysical daily, annual and lunar cycles.]
One’s stars are not their fate – no one makes that claim, consistent with the excellent jab by cicero. But to think this is just as ridiculous as thinking our genes are our fate… Consider for example how weather can affect our moods:
“ Keller and his colleagues (2005) examined 605 participants responses in three separate studies to examine the connection between mood states, a person’s thinking and the weather. They found that:
[…P]leasant weather (higher temperature or barometric pressure) was related to higher mood, better memory, and ‘‘broadened’’ cognitive style during the spring as time spent outside increased. The same relationships between mood and weather were not observed during other times of year, and indeed hotter weather was associated with lower mood in the summer
These results are consistent with findings on seasonal affectivedisorder, and suggest that pleasant weather improves mood and broadens cognition in the spring because people have been deprived of such weather during the winter.””
I know it’s hard to hear it – but we’re animals! And we’re SENSITIVE and DEPENDENT upon INITIAL conditions – outside forces significantly affect us! If the weather affects us, why is it such a stretch to imagine that the moon doesn’t? Of course it does: regardless of the causal chain—if the tides are changed, aren’t we changed? If the store is out of our favorite food aren’t we changed? The principle is the same.
Perhaps there is an intuitive science built around observations of subtle phenomena relating to the changes of celestial bodies… I would not be surprised if this were true – but, of course, we must remember that however this would affect us in a “natural” environment, we as industrialized human beings are WAY abstracted from the natural environment these affects would have been most noticeable in – which of course doesn’t mean THEY’RE NOT NOTICEABLE…. It just means that their affect on us may easily go unacknowledged (like, for example, the link between weather and the mood: it’s raining and you feel sad but you misattribute this to your job and quit.. not good!)
The choice of whether or not to believe is yours… but a vigilant and vehement skepticism may be as irresponsible as a crusade. There are irresponsible practitioners in every field—from medicine to sales… however, it is just as irresponsible to let the work of corrupt individuals ruin the beauty of a pure idea (think: Religion for example). There are corrupt judges, professors, and police officers… and, furthermore, there are corrupt professors and academics. Frankly, I’m not going to let the ouster of Mark Hauser destroy my faith in moral psychology and evolutionary psychology.
The irony reaches epic proportions when a critic of “spiritualism” (or occultism—or metaphysics) says in one breath: “Astrology ruins lives—pour me another drink!”
Of course, we could replace Astrology here with any intellectually ostracized art. The point remains….
I don’t think I’m going to convince anyone with this – that’s not the point. If you are adamant about believing that there’s no such thing as global warming… guess what: you’ll dismiss any corroboratory evidence. The same applies the other way around.
At the very least, this is what I think:
I hardly think astrology is worse for you than vodka… yet, what is that saying: live and let live? There is no one-size-fits all medicine… not even penicillin.
If you want the contact information of some amazing astrologers, let me know!