Does astrology mean anything?

Astrology is generally defined as the belief that astronomical phenomena, such as stars high up when you were born or the fact that Mercury is in retreat, have the power to influence the daily events of our lives and our personality traits. For centuries, astrology (search for signs based on the movement of celestial bodies) was considered basically the same as astronomy (the scientific study of those objects). On human affairs it had no impact on the general public's assessment of whether astrology is scientific or not in a 1992 Eurobarometer survey. When specific predictions of astrologers were tested in the experimental procedures in the Carlson test, Carlson initially concluded that the predictions had been falsified.

Scientific evidence has found no evidence to support the premises or alleged effects described in astrological traditions. More recently, the American Federation of Astrologers raised the number of Americans reading their horoscope every day to 70 million, about 23 percent of the population. Sandhya says she turns to astrology for help in times of desperation, “when I'm like, 'Someone tell me the future is going to be okay. Around the time of the eclipse, in the course of her advertising work, she called Susan Miller of Astrology Zone, to ask if she would put some ads on her site.

The fundamentals of astrology tend to be at odds with numerous basic facts of scientific disciplines. Astrology has been criticized for not providing a physical mechanism that links the movements of celestial bodies with their supposed effects on human behavior. The experimental protocol used in Carlson's study was agreed upon by a group of physicists and astrologers before the experiment. However, more critical interpretations, such as that of sociologist Theodor Adorno in the 1950s, claim that belief in astrology more easily leads to belief in authoritarian values and a more easily controlled population.

The scientific community has rejected astrology because it lacks explanatory power to describe the universe. In half of the surveys the word astrology was used, while the other used the word horoscope. That so many people find astrology meaningful is a reminder that something doesn't have to be real to feel true.

Damian Pestano
Damian Pestano

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