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Statistical studies in astrology are a waste of time...

 
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PBrown



Joined: 20 Aug 2005
Posts: 30

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject: Statistical studies in astrology are a waste of time... Reply with quote

Hi all,

This is mostly a response to the topic underneath it that Garry P. just responded to, but I created a new topic because I thought the heading would draw more attention to itself.
In terms of scientific testing of astrology, I think John Frawley really explained best why this is impossible in his appendix to "The Real Astrology," on page 186.
He wrote: "Astrology, as a true science, is not open to testing by the crieteria of modern 'science': the tools with which such testing might validly be done simply do not exist. Modern science deals with quantity: true science deals with quality. No amount of quantity can comprehend distinctions of quality: we might as well judge the value of the Bible by the number of pages it contains. For this reason, we lament not only the mockery that is the scientific testing of astrologers, but the more pernicious growth of 'scientific astrology', in which even astrologers who claim to work within the tradition justify their conclusions by producing statistics. As Rene Guenon explains, 'Statistics really consist only in the counting up of a greater or lesser number of facts which are all supposed to be exactly alike, for if they were not so their addition would be meaningless.' In astrology more than anywhere the meaninglessness of stistical study is plainly apparent: if the basis of astrology is that whatever happens in any given moment has the particular qualities of that particular moment, where do we find the identical facts to which we may add our results in order to produce our statistics?"

That was probably the best explanation I have personally found with regards to scientific testing of astrology, so I thought it was worth quoting in full. Most forum members on this sight are probably aware of the problems of modern "scientific" testing of astrology, but there are still people, including astrologers, who think astrology will be validated through statistical studies. Forum members may also want to check out the chapter "The illusion of statistics" in Rene Guenon's masterpiece "The reign of quantity and the signs of the times," the book from which Frawley was quoting.
Anyhow, every once and a while I see people debate how astrology must be "statistically validated", and I have been meaning to post John Frawley's argument against this possibility for a while now, which I think puts some closure to the argument. After reading a bit of the post below this one, I thought it was a good opportunity.
So with that, I leave you.

Peter
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aquirata



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 157
Location: Canada

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Statistical studies in astrology are a waste of time... Reply with quote

Quote:
Anyhow, every once and a while I see people debate how astrology must be "statistically validated", and I have been meaning to post John Frawley's argument against this possibility for a while now, which I think puts some closure to the argument.

Peter,

Thanks for posting this, it certainly makes for an interesting discussion. While I have the highest respect for Frawley's and Guenon's work, I wholeheartedly disagree with their statements on this particular issue. There is a difference between the materialistically unobservable and unmeasurable spiritual world and its very real effects in matter. If we believe in a quality of time that connects everything we can experience in this world, then some of these effects will surely become measurable simply because they have been reduced to objective facts (viewed through our subjective lenses as everything are, of course).

In Guenon's words quoted by you and Frawley, "statistics... consist... in the counting up of... facts which are all supposed to be exactly alike." Correct, except for the minor qualifier that these "facts are supposed to be exactly alike" only with respect to the object of inquiry. That is, if we examine eminent sports champions as an example, they have one thing in common: they all excelled to the highest degree in their chosen sport. This is a measurable quality as Suitbert Ertel has shown. This quality correlates with the diurnal position of Mars as Michel Gauquelin has pointed out. And despite the decades of work that has gone into demonstrating the Mars effect, this is still a primitive example of astrology at work. You can be sure that there is a lot more to come when more complex research is carried out.

Now, in light of this white crow (and there are more), we can safely say that not all crows are black, i.e. some of astrology is measurable by statistics, and positive correlation can be found even with the help of today's limited tool set. This tool set is constantly growing, so there is not less but more hope for finding more white crows.

I should also mention that I have recently embarked on some statistical studies of astrology, the results of which are due in a few weeks. So you can almost hold your breath in order to see even stronger evidence in favour of astrology that has been presented so far. Smile
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1634
Location: California, USA

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with statistics are numerous. The simple thing that strikes me is that you need to have enough information to draw a conclusion, that does not mean a hundred cases, that means several hundred or thousands to determine whether or not there is a verifiable pattern to the data gathered. There are so many variables in astrology that doing any kind of statistical analysis is a job that would make a super computer whimper in fear.

for instance let us say you are an astrologer who takes into acount only the sun, moon, mercury venus, mars, jupiter and saturn,

so first you have 7 planets, each planet has 6! that is (1X2X3X4X5X6) associations with the other planets times 360 degrees if you choose NOT to use a sphere for calculations, so again you limit your associations ot each planet to ONLY include the possiblity of conj, sextile, square, trine, opposition, that is 5! possiblities that a planet can have with another planet, But wait, there are limitations on how many associations some of the planets can have with some of the other planets, so you need ot include those stipulations...

and we haven't even gotten to the alleged associations to behavior from angle, or placement, or multiple associations as yet. so mathematically speaking you are talking about a huge undertaking that would theoretically require a heck of a lot of actuaries spend a lifetime colating data within a consentrated and well funded project aimed at accumulating and dissecting such data. there is NOTHING simple about the statistics involved in attempting to prove the theory that astrology can or cannot be proven statistically. Statistics can also be skewed and often are. I dont think it would be a very beneficial study or effort to anyone on either side at this point. perhaps in 15 20 years, if technology keeps going at the pace it is, it would not be such a horendous undertaking to try to match the transits to occurances, I think databases such as astrodatabank, certainly lend the possibility more credence... something to ponder...

Granny

Granny
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aquirata



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 157
Location: Canada

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Granny,

You're right in pointing out the obstacles to proper statistical inquiry into astrology. However, as I have also alluded to, these are only practical difficulties and not limitations in principle. AstroDatabank is one tool that is revolutionising this area. There will be more help along the way, and so progress is inevitable.
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1634
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Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, Yes Peter, but not eminent!

Granny
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skippy



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 88
Location: england

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it is a science and never have. For the reasons other have said far too many variables. It is more the philosophy of semiotics. Sceptics are quite right to deem those who try to postulate it as science as psueds.

The nearest scienitic thing you could do is longitudinal studies. I don't think the ancients did this I believe they channelled the energy.
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aquirata



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 157
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not claiming astrology is a science but simply saying that certain parts of it can be validated using statistical methods. This has nothing to do with how the ancients practiced it.
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