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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Positivising Astrology

 
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petosiris



Joined: 08 Oct 2017
Posts: 47

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:01 pm    Post subject: Positivising Astrology Reply with quote

1. Astrology's explanation and mechanism is rightly criticised for being poorly defined - ranging from mysterious and occult forces, synchronicity and religious beliefs.

2. Astrology does not need a known mechanism to be recognised by science. In the words of Carl Sagan: ''That we can not think of no mechanism for astrology is relevant but unconvincing. No mechanism was known, for example, for continental drift when it was proposed by Wegener. Nevertheless, we see that Wegener was right, and those who objected on the grounds of unavailable mechanism were wrong.''

3. Astrology is empirical and based on data. That means astrologers can use Mill's inductive methods as evidence.

4. However, problem arises with scientific tests of astrology, because astrologers inconclusively fail to differentiate charts of people based on given information and which is agreed upon by both scientists and astrologers.

5. Which means that:
a) Astrology is false
b) Astrology is true, but there is something wrong with the tests or the astrologers
c) Astrology is just poorly defined - In which case we need to define the subject of astrology and give a proper mechanism ----> change 1. and 2., then 3. and 4. can work better with a new astrological explanation and theories
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 2783
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi petosiris,

i like how you have framed all this.. thanks...

i don't know what mills inductive methods are, but it would seem to me 4 is where much of the problem lies with regard to proving the validity of astrology.. of course 5 b) and c) are also a challenge to overcome...

another one is that many astrologers don't really care.. i would put myself in this category... it would be like me wanting to prove the rules of harmony to someone who knows nothing about music... why bother? if a person isn't interested - or worse - they have there mind made up in the negative towards astrology - why bother trying to convince them otherwise?

i use a lot of parallels with astrology and music.. both of these activities have a lot of subjective elements to them...
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petosiris



Joined: 08 Oct 2017
Posts: 47

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sure most astrologers can't believe that astrology is not accepted as a valid phenomenon. That is why most astrologers happily agree with all tests, convinced they are going to get it right this time, I mean they work everyday with charts and clients.

I am trying to think of a way we can get recognized not as a science, but at least as a phenomenon that is positive or at least neutral. Even if cognitive biases have to be used as an explanation, then let's be mentalists. If cold reading is defined as ''used by charlatans, astrologers and scam artists'' there is a problem for astrologers.

Cognitive biases in no way conclusively give accurate assessment of the perception of people of divination. But if that is the only current explanation of scientists, then call us entertaining mentalists. We know we are astrologers.
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 2783
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i really don't know the way forward for the wider world to recognize astrology in a valuable and relevant manner, other then for those who see it as such, to continue to add to it's relevance in the everyday world.. while i don't practice professionally, i know there is great receptivity towards astrology among my family and friends.. maybe they are just tolerating me, lol! they figure - well james seems like a relatively bright guy - how could he invest all this time in astrology if there wasn't something of value in it? i really don't believe many people are that unfriendly towards astrology, but i do believe there are some cultural stigmas attached to astrology that are hard to shake off, even if many people don't concern themselves with the unspoken cultural stigma around astrology...

i think you would like to shake that off, but short of some change in our culture, i am not sure how it happens.. perhaps i am projecting my own view on all this...

many well known people have come out in favour of astrology.. that doesn't seem to matter though, as astrology has been caught in the middle of religious dogma on the one hand and scientific dogma on the other... it is hard to throw off other peoples dogma and perhaps closed minds will remain closed until such time as they are willing to concede ignorance!
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petosiris



Joined: 08 Oct 2017
Posts: 47

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly James - the cultural stigma with some people bothers me a bit. There is a great receptivity and popularity of astrology indeed, yet there is still stigma and close-mindedness with some people, every astrologer, amateur or professional, has experienced it at some point.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 906
Location: Canada

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Petosiris, over the past few years I've started several threads on essentially this topic, on this board. Notably, "why astrology is not a pseudo-science." http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8963

I continue to feel that science is the wrong comparable. If astrology is not altogether a system of divination, at the very least, its comparables would be some of the social sciences and humanities. Our comparables are not science: i. e., the physical, natural, and medical sciences.

Note that the discipline of history is not a science, but it is empirical. So we cannot use "science" to stand-in for evidence based upon observation.

At Astrodienst on the "other" board I started a thread on causality (explanation) in astrology that is now on p. 84. There is a similar much shorter thread here.

In India, of course, jyotish/Vedic astrology continues to be a respected field.

To your #5 possible interpretations, I would add that a lot of the variables that affect human lives are not astrological. Without supplementary information, your birth chart does not indicate your gender, mother tongue, nationality, religious heritage, or skin colour. Yet these have a lot to do with how people's lives turn out.
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 459
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
Petosiris, over the past few years I've started several threads on essentially this topic, on this board. Notably, "why astrology is not a pseudo-science." http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8963

I continue to feel that science is the wrong comparable. If astrology is not altogether a system of divination, at the very least, its comparables would be some of the social sciences and humanities. Our comparables are not science: i. e., the physical, natural, and medical sciences.

Note that the discipline of history is not a science, but it is empirical. So we cannot use "science" to stand-in for evidence based upon observation.

At Astrodienst on the "other" board I started a thread on causality (explanation) in astrology that is now on p. 84. There is a similar much shorter thread here.

In India, of course, jyotish/Vedic astrology continues to be a respected field.

To your #5 possible interpretations, I would add that a lot of the variables that affect human lives are not astrological. Without supplementary information, your birth chart does not indicate your gender, mother tongue, nationality, religious heritage, or skin colour. Yet these have a lot to do with how people's lives turn out.


Waybread,

If the highlighted statement were true, wouldn't we have to discount astronomy as a science too? Leery
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 906
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How so, Michael??

As you know, astronomy as a physical science is characterized by its methodology. Leery Leery

The word science in English is not co-equal with "knowledge." Some branches of knowledge are empirical without employing the scientific method. In addition to history, think of something like legal studies (law) or ethnology/ethnography.
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 459
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is, you stated:

waybread wrote:
So we cannot use "science" to stand-in for evidence based upon observation.


And since essentially all of astronomy's evidence is based on observation, according to your definition, it can not be regarded as a science.

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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 906
Location: Canada

Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, please don't be silly. This isn't what I wrote, and I think you know this.

Once more, with feeling.

1. Many disciplines are empirical. For example, history, chemistry, law, and neuroscience.

2. Science comprises the physical sciences like astronomy, the natural sciences like botany, and the medical sciences like hematology. These fields are characterized by the scientific method. Some research in the social sciences (economics, sociology, &c) uses the scientific method and some does not. The scientific method involves testing hypotheses, and rigorous (usually statistical) methods of analysizing the results of data collection.

3. Some empirical fields are not classified as sciences. They do not use the scientific method. One example would be the law (legal studies,) which requires fact-finding. These fields include history and large portions of cultural anthropology.

Some fields that are not inherently scientific in their methodologies are consumers of scientific information.

Astrology is not a science, except in some highly general way; such as talking about the "science of cake decorating."

You cannot blame Ph. D. physicists and astronomers for calling astrology a pseudo-science. As I've said previously, science is actually the wrong comparable. Very little astrology is conducted according to the scientific method.

I'm done with your little word game, Michael, unless you have something constructive to add.
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