Astrology and Skeptics: When An Opinion Is Not A Fact

2921288464_fec22107eb_z (Astrology Explored) It started innocently enough with a person asking an astrologer to read his palm. I declined to do this, but a skeptic weighed in with this response:

My advice is that you do not attach any significance whatsoever to anybody who claim to be able to tell the future by reading palms, the stars, etc. Palmistry and astrology is pseudoscientific nonsense and it has been thoroughly debunked scientifically.

To which I replied:

Please cite the scientific papers that support your claims.

And this is the response I received:

Comment: “The scientific community rejects astrology as having no explanatory power for describing the universe, and consider it a pseudoscience. Scientific testing of astrology has been conducted, and no evidence has been found to support any of the premises or purported effects outlined in astrological traditions. There is no proposed mechanism of action by which the positions and motions of stars and planets could affect people and events on Earth that does not contradict well understood, basic aspects of biology and physics. Those who continue to have faith in astrology have been characterized as doing so “…in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary.”

Kindly see citations at the bottom:

en-wikipedia-org/wiki/Astrology

So, of course, I had to respond.

1.) Comment:”The scientific community rejects astrology as having no explanatory power for describing the universe, and consider it a pseudoscience.”

It is not the entire scientific community that rejects astrology, but a specific group that promotes the rejection of anything they consider supernatural. This group us the Humanists who promote atheism. Anything other than a rejection of God or any “supernatural” force is unacceptable to the Humanists. I wrote about here:

Astrology and the Skeptics: Debunkers Tool of a Religious Agenda?

And here:

Atheists, Humanists and Astrology: What You Should Know

2.) Scientific testing of astrology has been conducted, and no evidence has been found to support any of the premises or purported effects outlined in astrological traditions

Again, this assertion that is patently untrue. I wrote about that here:

Astrology and the Skeptics: An Open Letter to Dr. Rebekah Higgitt

3.) There is no proposed mechanism of action by which the positions and motions of stars and planets could affect people and events on Earth that does not contradict well understood, basic aspects of biology and physics.

Then you are behind in your understanding of quantum physics. You can read my article here:

Astrology and Science: Scientific Determinism’s Dangerous Ground

4.) Those who continue to have faith in astrology have been characterized as doing so “…in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary.”

I refer you again to point 2.

5.) Kindly see citations at the bottom:

en-wikipedia-org/wiki/Astrology”

Lest you think that Wikipedia Editor has presented a true account of astrology, you can read my recounting of the edit war against the people who are best qualified to present astrology—astrologers.

Wikipedia’s War Against Astrology: Jimmy Wales–Are You Listening?

Again, I invite you to provide direct scientific proof that astrology is false, from qualified, unbiased scientists. I’m sincerely interested in that. I’ve been unable to find same, but perhaps you have access to sources that I do not. In the meantime, I submit that you’ve only provided an opinion, which is your right. But opinion is not scientific evidence. Otherwise, we’d still believe the earth is flat.

Sincerely,

Beth Turnage

Photo published under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user Marcin Chady

Astrology and the Skeptics: Debunkers Tool of a Religious Agenda?

Wearing the guise of science one organization mounts attacks on paranormal subjects from Big Foot to psychic John Edwards. Included in their attacks is a quite well orchestrated war on astrology conducted with questionable tactics. These tactics include funding “studies” on astrology and declaring that astrology is disproved, setting up websites with disinformation on astrology, and influencing organizations like Wikipedia and the British Broadcasting system and using the argument that astrology is a pseudoscience pushing a point of view (POV) that treats astrology with derision.

One wonders why all this energy is expended to plant an image of fakery and disreputability to one profession. Real scientists know that there are more “things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies” and don’t dismiss outright what they don’t understand.

As it turns out these individuals are not motivated by science after all. Continue reading