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Scientific research into astrology

 
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aquirata



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 157
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:35 am    Post subject: Scientific research into astrology Reply with quote

I'm looking for suggestions regarding the best forums for discussing scientific research into astrology.

Correlation, the once preeminent research publication of the AA, is being issued less and less frequently as the years go by. ISAR's International Astrologer is still being published three times a year (although I haven't received my Sagittarius issue yet), carrying good content in this regard. NCGR's Geocosmic Journal was out also three times in 2006, but forward-looking content was only in one of them. Haven't received any journals in 2007 apart from the Research Symposium Compendium. Their bimonthly member letter cannot go deeply enough into subjects requiring more contemplation.

Online resources include this forum, which is not really geared toward research. Then there are the ISAR and NCGR ezines, one being a kind of discussion group and the other an announcement list - neither conducive to research. Graham Douglas has also started the GeomagneticCorrelation group on Yahoo, currently not very active.

Anything else out there comparable for example to weekly scientific journals? Is there an online forum (discussion group) dedicated to getting to the bottom of truth on scientific terms?

Even more importantly, is any astrologer or researcher still interested in doing this at all?

Garry Phillipson would actually be in a good position to start a forum on astrology and science as his website already has a large section on the topic http://www.astrozero.co.uk/astroscience/astroscience.htm . How about it, Garry?
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GarryP
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Joined: 23 Oct 2003
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Location: UK

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Peter,

Well the only publication you didn't mention that springs to mind is the 'Journal of Scientific Exploration', though their remit is wide and astrology only crops up occasionally. An excellent journal though - but I think you'll know of it already.

It may be that 'Correlation' will start to appear more frequently now that the editor, Pat Harris, has completed her PhD.

I think the problem is that there just aren't that many astrologers around who are a) interested in scientific/statistical evaluations, and b) possessed of the relevant skills. And those who are, will be working on their own projects and so disinclined to devote hours to wading through stats relating to someone else's work. In an ideal world the AA would retain a tame statistician to check people's astrological theories, but then if it was an ideal world this wouldn't be necessary in the first place Smile

I encountered this problem with my friend Paul Westran's book. He puts forward statistical evidence of an astrological effect; and so far as I can see, it looks very credible. But I'm not a statistician, and when I tried to find someone who is, and who would be prepared to look at the figures and comment, I couldn't find anyone.

I guess we're in a Catch #22 - it would need a big pro-astrology finding to whip up the interest that would see people putting the hours in on astro-research, but the lack of same means that the chances of any major findings being, er, found are pretty low.

As for me as a genial host for a science/astrology forum - no thanks! I don't have the right training or mind for that kind of thing. And in any case, I've already got my day jobs and my thesis, which seem to fill up the long winter evenings quite adequately!
Garry
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aquirata



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 157
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Garry.

I am aware of the JSE and agree on both counts. Glad to hear about the possibility of Correlation getting back on track. An annual or semi-annual research publication is just not sufficient for reaching that critical mass. Even quarterly is borderline I think, but if we could get to that, it would be a good start.

Tend to agree with you on the limited number of people experienced both in astrology and statistics. Another bottleneck of course is the lack of resources available to researchers in terms of funding, equipment and time. My guess is that most astrological research is conducted by passionate individuals as a hobby.

Quote:
But I'm not a statistician, and when I tried to find someone who is, and who would be prepared to look at the figures and comment, I couldn't find anyone.

May I ask what avenues you pursued for searching out the people with the required interests/credentials/experience? This I think may be one of the biggest obstacles we have, namely, the lack of an online scientific forum, where like-minded people would gather and collaborate on research. Graham's group on Yahoo is a good start, but I'm not aware of anything else.

Quote:
I guess we're in a Catch #22 - it would need a big pro-astrology finding to whip up the interest that would see people putting the hours in on astro-research, but the lack of same means that the chances of any major findings being, er, found are pretty low.

Somewhat agree with Catch 22, but it doesn't follow for me that chances are slim for a breakthrough. If we had a large community of researchers conducting research full time for 300 years with no findings, I could accept your position. But a handful of people at any one time, mostly as a hobby in their spare time with virtually no resources and no coordination? Well, it may take thousands of years to come up with something major if we go on like this! I wouldn't discount the Gauquelin results as minor, by the way, and I also firmly believe that much more significant findings are on their way, to be published in the next few years.

Quote:
As for me as a genial host for a science/astrology forum - no thanks!

Understand that your time is adequately filled, but let me ask you this: How much time do you think Deb spends on maintaining this forum? Well, perhaps you don't know and I certainly don't have anything to offer in this regard. The point I'm making, however, is that you don't necessarily have to be involved personally as long as you can be the catalyst to making it happen. I really think you are perfectly positioned for doing this. It would be up to other individuals you are able to inspire to actually devote the time to running such a forum. You would only have to provide the online space and your personality to it.

I'm not trying to convince you to do it - merely pointing out that you have a golden opportunity in my view.
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GarryP
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Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Peter,

It seems important to say something re. the point you make about how much time Deb devotes to the forum. I'm pretty sure it's a lot. I know you're making a more general point here and using Deb as an example, but now that you've said it I feel it's only right to be clear - in case any young and impressionable forum members get the wrong idea - that the forum, and the website, require a huge amount of dedication and hard work from her. And for reasons known only to her, she does it all for free.

Garry
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aquirata



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 157
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Garry, and thank you for this clarification. I for one was oblivious to how much time Deb spent with the forum. Had no doubts about her time devoted to maintaining the site overall, but also thought that moderators such as you would alleviate most of the demands on her time here. But you're right, I was making a general point and was not trying to be disrespectful or ungrateful to her. I am absolutely astounded by Deb's dedication in fact and cannot begin to express the gratitude and respect I feel for her concerning this service, not just to the astrological community but to humanity overall. And, being the humble person Deb is, I'd better stop here lest she starts blushing while reading my clumsy words trying to do justice to her wonderful mission... Smile
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Peter
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unique_astrology



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 141

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Software for Research Reply with quote

This software may be of intrest to some researchers.

http://uwnews.washington.edu/ni/article.asp?articleID=38459

Download here.

http://www.sagemath.org/
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