|We don't own the Solar System, but we're part of it. |On 6th April 2010, I posted a note on the Equinox Facebook Page stating my objection to a well-respected scientist declaring that “astrology is complete rubbish” on a spectacular BBC TV series “Wonders of the Solar System”. I strongly feel that his comment was not based on any investigation into astrology, was unfounded and was not appropriate in an educational program about astronomy.|
Since then, I have answered a huge number of posts from sceptics who disagreed with me. As the same points and questions are now being repeated, I want to set out my position. This is not an attempt at an academic treatise. I can’t speak on behalf of all astrologers and I am not here to defend the work of every astrologer or the motives behind every follower of astrology.
Here's my case:
Though we don’t know how it works physically, astrology is not a faith. You can experience, observe and know how it applies first hand. There are sound reasons why it has proved so difficult to test the real practice of astrology under scientific conditions and why so many tests have been flawed. However, there are simple experiments that have shown that there is a scientific basis to astrology even though most of the practice is not strictly scientific.
What is astrology? Astrology is the study of the correlation between the positions and movements of celestial bodies and life and physical processes on Earth. Though some astrologers work with stars and constellations, western astrologers work with the Sun, the Moon and the planets (including Pluto) within the Solar System.
Astrology is goes far beyond the popularised Sun-Sign columns published in newspapers and magazines. Astrology should not be confused with fortune telling, palmistry, psychic or tarot reading. Nor is astrology a belief systems like a religion.
These are the main arguments put forward as to why astrology is rubbish.
I will address each point. If you disagree, please state your case. If I find it persuasive, I will modify, edit or even delete my points. [Click to discuss this on Facebook]
- It's just plain common sense!
- No one knows how astrology works!
- Scientific tests show astrology doesn't work.
- Where's the scientific evidence for astrology?
- Astrology is at odds with scientific knowledge & modern philosophy.
- Astrologers defend astrology to protect their vested interests.
- Astrology is not a science.
Proof by assertion: In response to my post, a great number of sceptics have asserted that astrology is rubbish (or words to that effect). Most were unable to back this up with sound arguments or empirical study or show an understanding of what astrology is. Some declare, why bother as it is common-sense? Maybe this prejudice by self-styled ‘rational sceptics’ is based on feelings or intuition or divine faith as it is not based on reason. Depending on the manner of presentation, these type of arguments without facts or correct facts fail on a number of basic logical fallacies: appeal to emotion, proof by assertion, argument from ignorance and straw man fallacy.
Flying spaghetti monster: Some critics argued that it would be non-sensical to do an empirical study to show that the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster or another imaginary creature or that a tea-pot orbits the Sun(Russell 1958) is false – so why the fuss about astrology? An argument based around this type of analogy is known as a straw-man fallacy. There are two points to consider here. Astrology is not a belief system - the claims can easily be tested in individual cases. Secondly, Astrology is not some arbitrary New Age theory. Astrology has existed for over five thousand years. Thousands of book titles, disserations and journal articles in major academic libraries, conferences, schools, post-graduate studies, practitioners and businesses are dedicated to astrology. Astrology is considered of value to millions of individuals around the world. Before anyone misunderstands this argument as an appeal to antiquity or popularity, these facts do not make astrology valid. However, this alone makes a compelling case that astrology deserves investigation before being written off.
A Black Swan was once considered a mythical creature and used as a metaphor for something that was ridiculous and impossible like a Unicorn. In 1797, black swans (Cygnus Atratus) were first discovered by Europeans in Western Australia.
Some fields that were once dismissed as being unworthy of study by the scientific community are now established within hard science. The belief that rocks could hit the Earth from space was widely ridiculed by eminent scientists of the Enlightenment. Now the study of meteorites is an important scientific field revealing insight into the nature and history of the Earth and Solar System.
Opinion without knowledge: Many who dismiss astrology know nothing of the subject. This is immediately evident when they use terminology such as the word astrologists or argue irrelevant points such as how the constellations have moved or the limits of planetary gravity. Ignorance is no basis for opinion.
Faith in the Heavens?: Many people have claimed that astrology is a belief. That is largely true for many readers of newspaper horoscopes. It’s also true for those who believe astrology to be false without any knowledge. However, for those who have studied it, astrology is a knowledge and one that can be tested and verified - unlike a belief in a divine creator that cannot be tested.
Experience: Many people feel that they have a right to dismiss astrology as rubbish without any experience or observation of how it works in practice. This evasion of empirical study is reminiscent of Cremonini and Libri’s refusal to look through Galileo’s telescope.
Unnecessary for impossible or harmful practices: Some have rightly argued that you don’t have to smoke tobacco or experience slavery or even commit suicide to be able to make strong comments about the practice. True! However, studying an analysis of your character (like reviewing the results of a psychological test) is not a risk to health or life. Would you rank the opinion of a travel writer who has never left home over someone who has? A doctor should where possible examine his or her patient to help reach a diagnosis (even if it’s Dr House in the TV series).
How can you experience astrology? Since some of the free horoscopes on the web are not ideal examples, you would need to select a professional service which would range from £20/$30 for a computer generated report to £150/$125 for a live reading of your birth chart from a top astrologer. [Please do not use my services as I don't want you to think this is a sales pitch.] Yes, it is a cost, but this is a small price to add to your experience. You can also study astrology through library books.
Why should I pay to have an opinion? Unfortunately, to enjoy the luxury of dismissing an entire field of study, you have to invest in personal research. Experiencing astrology first hand, will be good value and you might even learn something. Astrologers have to pay to download data or subscribe to Journals or purchase books so they can review flawed research papers that claim to debunk astrology.
Objective Data: Your personal horoscope is totally subjective. But why rely on the evidence of personal experience when you can also obtain objective data? It is possible to analyze the charts of other people and compare it to your knowledge of their lives. Though this is best done professionally, it is possible to do some basic interpretations by referring to astrology books.
Mechanism: One of the core objections to astrology is that there is no known scientific mechanism to account for how it all works. [Mechanism]
Is the lack of a mechanism justification for dismissing a phenomenon?
Several examples make the point that a lack of known mechanism is never a reason to dismiss evidence [see point 4.]
- The lodestone (compass) was used successfully for two millennia. Yet, no one understood the Earth’s magnetic field until the 20th century.
- Semmelweis (1818-1865) introduced hygienic practices like hand washing in obstetric clinics. He was ridiculed by other scientists as he could not provide a mechanism, even though he reduced the mortality rate. Yet, it became accepted practice years after he died when Pasteur confirmed germ theory.
"That we can now 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.”
So to use a lack of known mechanism to reject a demonstrable effect [see point 4.] is to abuse science in an obstructive rather than use science in a constructive way.
Carl Sagan, astronomer, astrophysicist, author, cosmologist, broadcaster and sceptical of astrology.
Possible Mechanisms: Astrology may work by several mechanisms. Here are some hypotheses:
Gravitational Resonance: Many critics of astrology have repeated the story that the gravity of the midwife has more effect on the newborn baby than the planets. However, astrologers don’t claim that gravity is the basis for natal astrology.
However, it is universally accepted that gravity and orbital resonance of the Sun and the Moon affects the Earth’s oceanic tides and the Earth tide (body tide). Studies have proposed that the tidal forces also affect the Earth's plate tectonics (Continental drift). (Moore 1973) (Scoppola 2006) The tidal force is part of what some astrologers call natural astrology which also includes the study of the coincidence of seismic activity with celestial positions, harvests and weather.
I believe it is premature to set limits on the effect of gravity and orbital resonance on Earth as there is much we don’t understand. For example, gravity is the one known force that does not yet fit into a Unified Field Theory.
Correlation precedes possible Causation:
Dr Percy Seymour, former principal lecturer in astronomy and astrophysics at Plymouth University and previously a researcher at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, has developed a model to describe the mechanism behind astrology. It is outlined in his title “Astrology: The evidence of Science”. This interview from 1989 may not include his more recent research. In outline, his model is based on the tidal tugs of all the planets in addition to the Sun and Moon which disrupt the Earth’s magnetosphere (magnetic field) which affects the human neural network. It works through the gravitational effects of the planets which are magnified by what Seymour calls ‘magneto tidal resonance’ to affect the sunspot cycle. [more]
Planetary alignments correlate with Sunspot cycles which impact the Earth: In separate studies, there are peaks within the Sun spot cycle coinciding with the Jupiter/Saturn [helio] conjunction 11.86 years, Jupiter’s perihelion 9.93 years and what astrologer’s call a Sun/Venus conjunction 11.08 years. Solar output (including heat, light, radio, x-rays, neutrinos, solar wind and possibly more) is extremely important as regards all life on Earth (not just climate). Some of these outputs directly affect human behaviour through interactions with the Earth’s electromagnetic field. For example, there are studies showing significant correlations between events such as wars on Earth and the 11 and 22 year sunspot cycle.
Causal or acausal relationship: Many astrologers believe that the observed (terrestrial/extra-terrestrial) correlation reflects an acausal connecting principle or ‘synchronicity’ as proposed by Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, Dr Carl Gustav Jung. Jung refined his concept with the help of one of the pioneers of quantum physics, inventor of the neutrino and Nobel prize-winner, Wolfgang Pauli Synchronicity is a belief, but not an article of faith.
Frontiers of Science. As I wrote above, I believe it is unwise and premature to use the current model of the four fundamental interactions (fundamental forces) as a basis to rule out possibilities for several reasons. First, within this model, quantum mechanics and gravity are not yet reconciled. Scientists are still struggling to develop a theory of Quantum Gravity and as a result a Grand Unified Field Theory. In addition, several discoveries within quantum physics suggests that this could in the future become a fertile area for research into a possible mechanism. [more]
In the field of astrology, there are many more fatally flawed tests than real evidence. There are many reasons for this. There is no budget for testing astrology and most astrologers are more motivated by the study and application of astrology than in addressing the challenge of providing and defending scientific proof. So most tests are run by sceptics with budgets in fields like psychology who design quantitative tests when the data requires qualitative analysis that would be better addressed by those who understand astrology. There are also real procedural hurdles to jump.
Problems testing astrological practice under strict scientific methods:
Profesor Hans Eysenck states that ‘testing astrology is a complex and difficult field, as indeed all fields relating to psychological variables’.
- It is extremely difficult to obtain sufficient fresh accurate objective data
- Isolating the huge number of variables involving human behaviour and astrology is an immense challenge.
- Replicating the unique conditions is almost impossible. For example, each human being is unique and identical planetary positions are never repeated within recorded human history.
- The Experimenter Effect is potentially stronger than in a chemistry experiment as the human experimenter is part of an experiment involving human behaviour. So the criteria used, the data selected, the format and the results are particularly open to reflecting the conscious and unconscious bias of the experimenter rather than providing objective data.
- Statistics perform well in physics, chemistry or molecular biology. However, when you work with more varied and complex data, results can be skewed, misrepresented and manipulated. You’d think with all the objective climate data and vast resources, we would have less controversy about the projections for climate change.
How a test might be improved. [more ...]
Myth of Flawed Experiments being passed off as Failed Experiments. Yet, many sceptics claim that astrology has consistently failed over many years in ‘thousands of scientific tests’. This is a very popular myth that has been duplicated in many websites. I have asked numerous critics of astrology to cite their best single test. This is the list of the 'best'. I invite anyone reading this to produce or even devise a test of astrological practice that is not fundamentally flawed. [I don’t have the time and resources to evaluate more than one test at a time].
The Carlson Double Blind Astrology test has been cited many times by sceptics. The study, published in Nature in 1985 claimed to show that qualified astrologers could not match test subjects charts with the results of the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) any better than chance. It received much Press attention and is still published extensively on the web as the strongest evidence that natal astrology is no better than chance. However, at the time, Carlson's conclusions received criticism from a number of authoritative sources including Professor Hans Eysenck of London University. Recent analysis of the data have revealed that this test actually shows support for astrology (see scientific evidence). [more...]
Geoffrey DeanMany sceptical websites cite the work of Dr Dean, a one-time astrologer, now astrology's most ardent sceptic who yet claims there may be something in astrology. However, his sceptical evidence doesn't bear close scrutiny: [More]
Dean's Phantom Time-Twin Study: Dean's study involving 2,101 people born in London between 3-9 May 1958 sounds promising. Though he refers to it in his paper on PSI (2003) [www.imprint.co.uk/pdf/Dean.pdf page 188] (Dean, forthcoming), Dean is yet to publish his results and will not share this government data. As I write, Dean has sat on this data for seven years prompting some to wonder if there has been a cover-up of unreported significant patterns int the time twin data. (The test is still uncritically cited on many websites including Wikipedia).
Dean's GIGO Meta Analysis: While I favour multiple comparisons of experiments to overcome minor imperfections or the limited conclusions that come from small sample sizes, my contention is that Dean's Meta-Analysis suffers from being based a collection of historical experiments that are fatally flawed or irrelevant (like Sun Sign tests) or incorrectly analysed (e.g Carlson). With Dean's analysis no one can check the evidence. Since 2007, while the Meta-Analysis results are proudly displayed, the references listed at the bottom state "A list of the studies meta-analysed above is in preparation." In correspondence, Dean was unable to cite a test that I considered could justify inclusion. Dean also now believes that the Carlson test (1985) is outdated, how does this square up with his inclusion of tests before 1980? So in this instance the Meta-Analysis suffers from GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) or the fallacy that Many Wrongs do not make a Right. http://rudolfhsmit.nl/d-meta2.htm
Magic TricksWhen a sceptic has to cite a magic trick to support his or her argument, they are getting desperate. The are good reasons why these 'performances' cannot be replicated under scientific conditions.
Test of Astrology by illusionist Derren Brown: One sceptic was disillusioned with astrology largely as a result of a ‘test’ by magician Derren Brown. The illusionist presented a group of individuals the same horoscope and they all claimed it was accurate and personal. Though this appeared to be very damning for astrology, it was a trick designed to create this result. I hope that I am not breaking any magician’s secrets by revealing the techniques. [more ...]
Why I distrust magician, James Randi. Another sceptic suggested that I attempt to claim the million dollar prize offered by James Randi ‘Educational’ Foundation for showing evidence of powers that cannot be explained by known scientific laws. Though I had had an encounter with James Randi that left me with the impression that he could not be trusted to be impartial, I did look into his challenge. However, it's not an option for astrologers as according to Randi the statistical evidence which would be required creates 'procedural problems' with his performance-oriented testing. Even so, what mystifies me is that if the paranormal is such obvious bunkum as Randi claims, why has he gone to such extraordinary lengths to make so difficult to present evidence that supposedly does not exist? [more...]
Dawkins Sun-Sign Test: One sceptic cited Richard Dawkins’s test on Sun Sign astrology in his TV series “Enemies of Reason”. As stated earlier, I am not here to defend this popular media-friendly adaptation of astrology. What interests me is why Dawkins chose to criticise astrology as a field and then only present and caricature newspaper astrology in his TV series? Does he misunderstand that the difference between the four thousand year old practice of real astrology and a recent adaptation by a few astrologers for the media? Or is Dawkin's pushing a straw man fallacy - by misrepresenting his opponent's argument to make it easier to attack.
Scientific Evidence: There are a series of experiments with large samples that show evidence of astrology at work at a very simple, but fundamental level. It has proved more challenging to create water-tight scientific tests of astrological practice and a full horoscope (as outlined in point 3.i). However, evidence of statistically significant data has surprisingly come from an experiment backed by sceptics.
French psychologist and statistician, Michel GauquelinSupported by his wife Francois, Michel Gauquelin conducted the most famous research into astrology. Though he was interested in astrology, he did not consider himself an astrologer and dismissed much of it including zodiac signs. His tests focussed on the correlation between the positions of the planets at an individual’s birth, his or her psychological nature and how this manifested in measurable ways such as choice of profession or independent biographical descriptions.
Gauquelin collected data from over 20,000 professional celebrities from various European countries and the United States. Gauquelin’s research detected statistically abnormal diurnal positions of the planet Mars at birth in athletes, Jupiter in actors, Saturn in scientists and the Moon in writers. His tests confirmed an ancient claim of astrologers that planets posited around the four angles are stronger and the characteristics associated with the planet manifests prominently in the individual.
Naturally Gauquelin’s tests attracted much controversy. He allowed independent sceptical researchers to scrutinize his original data. Three committees of rationalist scientists Belgian (LERRCP), American (CSICOP), and French (CFEPP), reviewed and independently replicated Gauquelin's results. CSICOP published their results in The Humanist. The Belgian group refused to publish their study for eight years, in the vain hope of finding a logical explanation for their positive result. The French took a full 14 years. In the end the group dissolved and the work was completed by Jan Willem Nienhuys from the Netherlands. All groups made their data available, but the CFEPP was the only one to publish the full data. The book outlining the study (The "Mars Effect", A French Test of Over 1,000 Sports Champions) [Review].
‘The Tenacious Mars Effect’ by Suitbert Ertel and Kenneth Irving (Urania Trust 1996) "describes the Gauquelin’s pioneering work and analyses in detail the attempts by sceptic committees in Belgium, the USA and France to disprove their results. The book highlights the often dubious methods by which hostile sceptics have sought to discredit the Gauquelin’s uncomfortable findings and shows that, in fact, much of the evidence is even stronger than previously claimed."
Gauquelin & Eysenck
By the Gauquelins and Eysencks (only Sybil Eysenck, wife of Hans put her name on the paper).
- Gauquelin, M., Gauquelin, F. and Eysenck, S. B. G. (1979), Personality and position of the planets at birth: An empirical study. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 18: 71–75. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8260.1979.tb00306.x
- S. Carlson. Nature, December 1985 Vol.318, pp.418-425. While Professor Eysenck and other reviewers found that Carlson's original sceptical conclusion was not supported by the evidence. Recent re-analysis of the data compiled shows that astrologers were able to rate authentic psychological profiles higher than unauthentic profiles in a blind test to a statistically significant level (p=0.037).
Professor Müller's Studies
A study by Arno Müller, Profesor of Psychology at the University of Saarland, Germany of the lives of 1,145 German nobility over five centuries where records were kept meticulously, showed a significantly higher frequency in infant mortality within the first 15 months (p=0.0004) of birth when Saturn was rising or culminating (Gauquelin sectors) at birth. (Muller & Menzer 1986) [This fits with a traditional interpretation of Saturn rising as difficulties early on in life.] This study might be applied to help understand the mysteries of present day cot-death syndrome.
A re-analysis of a study by Hans Bender (1952-5) on 178 German Astrologers showed that astrologers were able to match descriptions of 3 people to 3 natal charts to a significant level. (p=0.026). (Timm & Köberl 1986) However, researchers could not rule out the results being attributed to ESP.
Didier Castille : La Population Française au Rythme du zodiaque (1999)
Why is astrology not part of mainstream thinking & education? Over 500 years astrology moved from being central to the academic system to being outcast from mainstream thinking. The answer lies in the history of astrology and how slow astrologers have been to adapt to the crises caused by advances in our knowledge and philosophy. [For a fuller explanation ...]
Astrology has not only survived these crises, but with the discovery of additional planets and the growth in knowledge including psychology, the field has transformed into a much more powerful system. Yet, conventional wisdom dismisses it as a product of the dark ages.
The Causes of the Decline:
- Three major astronomical discoveries challenged the basis of astrology:
- Precession of the Equinox
- The Copernican (Heliocentric) System
- Discovery of the Outer Planets
- The Church had long seen Astrology as subversive.
- Prediction is at odds with a world liberated by free-will during the Age of Enlightenment.
- 18th century astrology did not fit into a new academic curriculum increasingly divided into humanities and sciences.
The Legacy of this Decline:
- Being out of the academic loop for over two centuries, astrology is increasingly judged and taught from a position of ignorance. Astrologers have had to become the new heretics.
- Media distortion and regulation currently favours sensation and hoaxes over considered content.
- Historic bias now masquerades as scepticism and can infect top scientists. Otherwise respectable scientific journals, now instinctively prefer to publish a flawed test debunking astrology to replicated tests verifying astrology. [More ...]
Astrologers only defend astrology to protect their vested interests. To try to undermine an argument by claiming that the proponent has financial, psychological or other motives rather than address the merits of the argument is a psychogenic fallacy. Many sceptics believe that astrologers make a lot of money. This may be true of a few Sun-Sign columnists who are more like media celebrities than typical astrologers. Most astrologers devote much of their life to studying their subject and still struggle to make a living but are motivated more by the pursuit of knowledge than money. This same argument could be turned to Paul Kurtz and senior members of CSICOP (CSI) who have a vested interest in promoting sceptical beliefs or anyone who has a test to defend.
Is astrology a science? The short answer is no. However, much depends on your definition of science. If you are looking for laws, objectivity and predictability, then science is really confined to physics, chemistry and molecular biology. The scientific part of astrology: tidal, seismic and meteorlogical correlations are an ancient and important part of astrology, but not enough to classify astrology as a hard science.
The same argument applies to many other so-called sciences: Climatology, meteorology and especially those involving human behaviour psychology, sociology, history and nutrition cannot claim to be hard sciences. It is arguable that evolution is not scientific under this strict definition. The nearest equivalents to astrology are cooking or horticulture which are both a mix of art, science and craft.
Some argue that using certain dictionary definitions of science, there’s a case that astrology is a science as there is a body of knowledge that can be taught. However, the practice of astrology by most astrologers is better defined as an art or a craft than a science and it would be wrong for these type of astrologers to claim to be scientists. As such it would also be equally wrong for a scientist to consider him or herself qualified to judge such practices since they are outside the realm of science.
If you have read this far, you will now know there are no grounds to dismiss astrology as complete rubbish from a scientific point of view. If you still believe astrology to be rubbish, ask yourself if it is based on astrological knowledge and actual experience.
Or is it blind faith inspired by feelings?
Or were you won-over by an illusionist's trick?
Or were you informed by a second-hand opinion that appears authoritative, but is based on an outdated or prejudiced view of astrology? Astrologers are the best authorities on their special subject.
Criticism of Astrology and Astrologers
I admit that I am guilty of most of these criticisms.
Astrologers must learn from history that their practice must respond to changing scientific knowledge and changing consciousness to survive.
Astrologers should support more research, of the scale and quality of Gauquelin. There are only a few practicing astrologers and even fewer would dare to dedicate their life to the thankless task of research without funding in the face of hostile peers.
The quality of practice of astrology is variable. Though we are limited with the tools at our disposal, many astrologers could take a more empirical approach to their work.
Astrologers, like healers, are largely unregulated. There are professional bodies and astrological schools who require that members adhere to a code of rules and standards. However, not all astrologers comply with that system.
Astrologers disagree with each other in fundamental ways even though there is for example, a consensus about the energy connected with the planet Mars. But then psychologists, cosmologists and climatologists are deeply divided. Does that make their fields less valid?
Astrologers use idioms that can appear unscientific or ignorant.
- We use the word planets to includes Pluto, the Sun and the Moon.
- If we say a planet is in Sagittarius, it does not mean it is actually within the constellation.
- If an astrologer writes about the influence of Mercury, it does not necessarily mean that the astrologer assumes a causal relationship.
^ In 1958 Bertrand Russell wrote "Nobody can prove that there is not between the Earth and Mars a china teapot revolving in an elliptical orbit, but nobody thinks this sufficiently likely to be taken into account in practice." Letter to Mr Major. In Dear Bertrand Russell: A Selection of his
Correspondence with the General Public, 1950 – 1968 (London: Allen & Unwin, 1969). Bertrand Russell makes the valid point that the burden of proof for any belief is on the proponent. However, the nonsense of the China Teapot believed by no-one and unsupported by evidence does not equate to a widespread claim of correlation supported by evidence. Russell never intended this analogy to be used an excuse to ignore evidence to make prejudicial assertions.
^ A straw man argument (also known as an Aunt Sally in the UK) is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. By replacing the opposing argument with a superficially similar but not equivalent one, it easy to ridicule this much weaker argument and thus create the illusion of refuting the original position. A famous example comes from the Oxford Debate on Evolution in 1860 when the Bishop of Oxford asked Thomas Huxley whether it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey? Sidgwick, Isabella (1898) `A Grandmother's tales' Macmillan's Magazine, LXXVIII, # 468, Oct. 1898, pp.433-4
^There are 4067 physical astrology books registered at the libraries of Oxford University, 4622 astrology books registered at the libraries of Cambridge University and 2260 astrology books, dissertations and journal titles in the libraries of the University of London, which includes the prestigious Warburg Institute. These are not all history books. For example, a search on Astrology & Science shows 351 titles at the Oxford Library Collections. Source: personal correspondence, Philip Graves, April 2013
Astrology books are not confined to University Libraries, Dr David Juste, eminent researcher and scholar says that the Vatican Library contains a substantial collection of astrological works, some of which are only extant there.
^ John Stuart Mill, classical economist and philosopher, rephrased David Hume: “No amount of observations of white swans can allow the inference that all swans are white, but the observation of a single black swan is sufficient to refute that conclusion.”
^ History of Meteoritics (retrieved 2012) Meteorite.fr - All about Meteorites "Until the early 19th century, most scientists shared Isaac Newton's view that no small objects could exist in the interplanetary space - an assumption leaving no room for stones falling from the sky."
 ^Moore, George W. (1973). "Westward Tidal Lag as the Driving Force of Plate Tectonics". Geology 1 (3): 99–100. ISSN 0091-7613
^ No Reference List in Dean's Meta-Analysis: References and a list of citations were not included in 6 Nov. 2007. [Source WayBackMachine] It would be great to assume that the list is being updated for Carlson etc. Whatever the reason the results should not be published without the supporting evidence as the results are being recycled uncritically by sceptics who like the form of the results, but don't care to check the content.
^ Oxford Compact English Dictionary (1996) O.U.P. Science n. 2 a. "Systematic and formulated knowledge esp. of a specified type or on a specified subject e.g. political science."
||Philosophers who refused to look through Galileo's Telescope|
||Problems with testing astrological practice under strict scientific conditions |
||Illusionists are for entertainment, not to feign or undermine science.|
||U-Turn in Carlson's Double-Blind Astrology Experiment|
||How and why Astrology became an outcast from the mainstream|
||Scepticism can be used to justify institutional bias even among respected scientists and journals.|
||Sunday Times article on Percy Seymour's new Book Scientific Proof of Astrology|
||Is there a known mechanism for astrology and if not can it be dismissed?|
||Was astronomer and mathematician, Johannes Kepler a sceptic or an astrologer or both? |
||Secrets behind a Test of Astrology by illusionist Derren Brown|