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Do zodiac signs influence anything? Show more Show less
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Astrology is the belief that the alignment of stars and planets at an individual's time of birth affect their mood, personality, and environment. In astrology, personalized horoscopes are printed by birth date and make vague predictions, generally about the love life, success, and health of everyone who has that sign. But how does this work? Can the movement of planets have this much impact?

No, zodiac signs don’t influence anything Show more Show less

Astrology is a superstition that has no scientific basis. Its roots can be traced at least as far back as the Mesopotamian civilisation of the third millennium B.C. Today, astrology remains a popular delusion. It has trickled down to everyone, found routinely in newspapers and magazines.
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Zodiac signs are pseudoscience

Pseudoscience is a broad category of activities and claims with similarities to scientific activities but lacking specific aspects of scientific work.
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The Argument

Western zodiac signs offer predictions about personality traits, compatibility, and even future wealth. But overall, zodiac signs are extremely general or contradictory, like fortune cookies. With these generalized statements, it’s easier for people to relate and feel connected to their signs. Astrology, as we know it today, does not test its core positions in accordance with scientific principles. In science, a theory is falsified if it fails to meet or violates even a single fundamental principle. As Marshall McCall, PhD, explains, astrology makes falsifiable predictions and these predictions aren’t any more accurate than random chance.[1] The descriptions are vague parables that will answer your life-long pressing questions and come true at the behest of a self-induced placebo—or a simple self-fulfilling prophecy. Often a person will have to look hard to find an answer, but if looked at hard enough, it’s always there. Similarly, we see this with fortune cookies, and your local psychic offering tarot cards and palm readings. People tend to get lost in the illusion that they have some sort of control over every aspect of their lives and absolutely every human affair that unfolds. Using astrology as a means of determining such things might give some a sense of relief. After all, we fear the unknown. But if that’s the case, astrology in and of itself would imply that there is no free will.

Counter arguments

Science of today is not science of the past. Science has changed and evolved over time. Prior to the Renaissance, western astrology fit in well with the sciences of the day. Generally speaking, astrology was indistinguishable from astronomy, and was closely allied with medicine. Astrology and science began to diverge with the Copernican Revolution, and continued with advances in medicine that were made without reference to medical astrology. Astrology could easily be considered a science in ancient times back when Aristotle was in vogue, but today science (as geophysics or molecular biology) is simply the wrong category of comparison.

Premises

[P1] There is not enough research to prove that zodiac signs are based on scientific theory.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Astrology does not claim to be a science as we know it today.

References

  1. https://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matnat/mn/MNSES9100/v16/pensumliste/environmental-ethics/thagard-astrology.pdf

This page was last edited on Wednesday, 22 Apr 2020 at 09:11 UTC

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