Over 2300 years ago, the Babylonians came up with the idea that the gods lived among the stars and other celestial objects, and were able to impose their will on humanity by controlling the destinies of individuals and nations alike.

zodiac, astrology, horoscope

The Babylonians divided the sky into 12 “slices”:  which we now know as the signs of the zodiac… Taurus, Pisces, etc.  There are many variations of astrology, but they are all founded upon the idea that celestial objects can influence a person’s personality and destiny.

Today, according to a Gallup poll, 25% of American believes in Astrology.  In this article, we’ll investigate why horoscopes and astrology sometimes appear to be correct by reviewing the concept of subjective validation, the Forer Effect, and Gauquelin’s famous horoscope experiment; we’ll take a look at what an astronomer has to say about astrology;  we’ll review some of the logical issues with astrology; and finally, we’ll take a look at how easy it is to debunk horoscopes yourself.

Subjective Validation and the Forer Effect

“Subjective validation” occurs when two unrelated or random events are perceived to be related because a belief, expectancy, or hypothesis demands a relationship. Thus, people find a connection between the perception of their personality and the contents of their horoscope.

The concept of subjective validation was put to the test in 1948 by psychologist Bertram R. Forer.  Forer gave a personality test to each of his students. Afterward, he told his students they were each receiving a unique personality analysis that was based on the test’s results, and to rate their analysis on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) on how well it applied to themselves.

The analysis presented to the students was as follows:

You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life.

The trick?  In reality, each student received the exact same analysis:  On average, the rating was 4.26/5 (that is, the students found their “personal” analysis to be 85% accurate).  It was only after the ratings were turned in was it revealed that each student had received identical copies assembled by Forer from various horoscopes.

As can be seen from the profile analysis, there are a number of statements that are vague and could apply equally to anyone. These statements later became known as Barnum statements, after P.T. Barnum, who used them in his performances, allegedly stating “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

Later studies have found that subjects give higher accuracy ratings if the following are true:

  • the subject believes that the analysis applies only to him or her (for example, a horoscope)
  • the subject believes in the authority of the evaluator (for example, a psychic)
  • the analysis lists mainly positive traits (for example, most daily horoscopes)

Guaquelin’s Horoscope Experiment

In another experiment, the famous French Astrologer, Michael Gauquelin, offered free horoscopes to any reader of Ici Paris, if they would give feedback on the accuracy of his supposedly “individual” analysis. He wanted to scientifically test the profession of astrology. As with Forer’s experiment, there was a trick:  he sent out thousands of copies of the same horoscope to people of various astrological signs – and 94% of the readers replied that his reading was very accurate and insightful.

What they didn’t know was that the horoscope was that of a local mass murderer, Dr. Petiot, who had admitted during his trial that he had killed 63 people.  This is clearly another case of subjective validation where subjects focus on the hits of some general analysis that’s supposed to be unique to them.

An Astronomer’s Opinion

So what does science have to say about astrology?  Phil Plait (a veritable astronomer, not astrologer) summarizes his scientific opinions as follows:

  • There is no force, known or unknown, that could possibly affect us here on Earth the way astrologers claim.  Known forces weaken too fast, letting one source utterly dominate (the Moon for gravity, the Sun for electromagnetism).  An unknown force would allow asteroids and extrasolar planets to totally overwhelm the nearby planets.
  • Like psychics, astrologers tend to rely on human’s ability to remember “hits” and forget ”misses” – a form of selective bias.  Even an accurate predictions may be due to simple chance.
  • Study after study has shown that claims and predictions made by astrologers have no merit. They are indistinguishable from chance, which means astrologers cannot claim to have some ability to predict anyone’s life’s path or destiny.
  • There is harm in astrology.  It weakens people’s ability to rationally look at the world, an ability we need now more than ever.

Without going into further detail, I highly recommend reading the full article on his website.

Logical problems with horoscopes and astrology:

·
1) Since the Earth spin drifts slightly, the constellations shift by at 1 degree every 72 years.  Over time, roughly 2000 years, the signs of the zodiac actually get shifted over by one.  So what’s your sign?  It should actually be shifted one over from what you think it is…  that is, you should be reading the horoscope from the star sign before yours!

2)   2) Horoscopes are cast from the time of birth, not from the time of conception.  What is considered the time of birth?  When the water breaks?  When the head appears?  When the feet are out?  What about a c-section?  You would think that the planets would begin their influence on the unborn fetus for the duration of its development.

3)   3) When you read your horoscope, you’re sharing it with roughly 1/12th of the world’s population. Doesn’t it seem strange that so many people from across the entire planet should share the same fate on any given day?

4)   4) Why are people born on the same day each year so different?  Surely, if the gods or planets or whatever had some sort of true influence, then anyone born on the same day each year should be very, very similar.

5)   5) The traditional planets of our solar system (i.e. none of the recently discovered planetary candidates), were named after Roman gods. This assignment was completely arbitrary. There might have been some logic behind it (Mars is red, war has blood, etc.), but overall there is no real reason to think that just because Venus was named after the goddess of love, that it should hold any sway over one’s relationships. If the “effects” of the planets on people, had any real relationship to the planets themselves, then Venus should be the ruler of bad gas, not love.

6)   6) Many astrological terms are holdovers from a time when the Earth was believed to be the center of the universe.  We are clearly not at the centre of the universe.

7)   7) What about Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, which were only discovered within the past 250 years?  In ancient times, these outer planets were unobservable with the naked eye. Astrologer’s based their system and equations upon the seven planets they believed revolved around the Earth.  If the position of the planets has an influence upon human behavior and events, then how could any of the beliefs have been correct, if these celestial objects were missing from the “equation”?

8)   8 ) Here’s a logical fallacy:  the appeal to tradition.  Just because lots of people practice a tradition, like astrology, says nothing of its viability.  Simply because many people may believe something says nothing about the fact of that something. For example, many people during the Black plague believed that demons caused disease. The number of believers said nothing at all about the actual cause of disease.

Most importantly, none of the detailed statistical studies that have looked at astrology have found any merit in it. For example, a psychologist from Michigan State University, Bernard Silverman, looked at 2,978 married couples and 478 couples who divorced. He found absolutely no correlation between which couples divorced, and which couples were born under alleged “incompatible” signs.

A Comprehensive Study Measuring the Performance of Astrology and Astrologers

Geoffrey Dean and Ivan W. Kelly’s report “Is Astrology Relevant to Consciousness and Psi?” looked at the efficacy of astrology noted and concluded the following:

  • A large-scale test of persons born less than five minutes apart found no hint of the similarities predicted by astrology.
  • Meta-analysis of more than forty controlled studies suggests that astrologers are unable to perform significantly better than chance even on the more basic tasks such as predicting extraversion.
  • More specifically, astrologers who claim to use psychic ability perform no better than those who do not.

“Our concern in this article has been to measure the performance of astrology and astrologers. A large-scale test of time twins involving more than one hundred cognitive, behavioural, physical and other variables found no hint of support for the claims of astrology. Consequently, if astrologers could perform better than chance, this might support their claim that reading specifics from birth charts depends on psychic ability and a transcendent reality related to consciousness. But tests incomparably more powerful than those available to the ancients have failed to find effect sizes beyond those due to non-astrological factors such as statistical artifacts and inferential biases.”

Debunking Horoscopes and Astrology Yourself

It should be easy enough for anyone to debunk horoscopes or astrology. All you need to do is take a sample horoscope for the same sign on the same day across various networks. If horoscopes are legit, then all five horoscopes should be in line with each other – giving the same type of advice to their followers. Below, you’ll find a small sample for my sign, Taurus, for December 20th, 2010:

Keep in mind, this horoscope applies to roughly 583 million people across the planet (taking a quick estimation of the number of people that are Taurus on Earth)

Horoscope #1: From www.horoscope.com
“You need bigger and longer hugs than usual today, Taurus. A powerful force is moving through your life and trying to shake things up. Don’t stoop to the level of petty argument and verbal sparring. The more you resist the opposition, the more stubborn and unwieldy the situation becomes. Make sure you have a good hold on your emotions before you leave the house.”

Horoscope #2: From www.theglobeandmail.com
“Be careful what you agree to over the next two or three days because the approaching lunar eclipse will blur the line between fact and fantasy. This is not a good time to be reckless with your money, or your reputation.“

Horoscope #3: From http://www.spiritnow.com/horoscopes (Sylvia Browne’s site)
“Although the fun element will be lacking almost from start to finish, this is certainly a useful day. Don’t be surprised if you notice some very tiny changes over an ongoing matter. These nudging or very slight improvements might not be much to celebrate, but they will indicate further improvements to come!”

Horoscope #4: From www.nationalpost.com
“Stay on top of your bank account and your bills today because something unexpected might be taking place. This could affect inheritances, shared property, insurance matters, or anything you hold jointly with others. Make sure you aren’t overdrawn. (Nobody likes surprises like that.)”

Horoscope #5: From www.astrology-online.com
“Focus on your domestic scene. Get together with friends or relatives. Calm down and take a step back. You can’t win and they won’t listen.”

In this very small sample set, it’s clear that they have nothing in common – except that the two Canadian newspapers (the Globe and Mail and the National Post) both reference “money”… but given that the holidays were right around the corner, “money” was on everyone’s mind already, so I will discount that statement as an appeal to the masses.




Follow Up:
I deliberately paid close attention to each of my 5 horoscopes for December 20th, and nothing came true. I focused on my domestic scene – no issues. I stayed on top of my bank accounts – no issues. There were no “slight improvements” to note. I didn’t need bigger or longer hugs.

Conclusion: There is no legitimate scientific evidence to support astrology and horoscopes.

Why do 25% of Americans, despite the lack of evidence, continue to believe in Astrology and horoscopes? “Many people quite simply just want to believe,” says Brian Cronk, a professor of psychology at Missouri Western State University. “The human brain is always trying to determine why things happen, and when the reason is not clear, we tend to make up some pretty bizarre explanations.”

Horoscopes and astrology are for fun, period. If you enjoy reading them and you’re a fan of subjective validation, and you want to spend your hard-earned disposable income on books, 1-900 numbers, and readings, then by all means, go ahead. But don’t claim astrology real, and don’t claim it’s science. And by all means, don’t let your horoscope affect important life decisions – there’s a reason why websites and 1-900 numbers have a disclaimer stating that their “advice” is “for entertainment purposes only”.

 References:

http://skepdic.com/astrology.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forer_effect
http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/astrology.html
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/12/16/1266452.htm?site=science/greatmomentsinscience
http://www.imprint.co.uk/pdf/Dean.pdf
^ Marks, David F (2000). The Psychology of the Psychic (2 ed.). Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. pp. 41. ISBN 1573927988. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Psychology-of-the-Psychic/David-F-Marks/e/9781573927987/?itm=1.
^ Forer, B.R. (1949). “The fallacy of personal validation: A classroom demonstration of gullibility”. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology (American Psychological Association) 44 (1): 118–123. doi:10.1037/h0059240.
^ Dickson, D.H.; Kelly, I.W. (1985). “The ‘Barnum Effect’ in Personality Assessment: A Review of the Literature”. Psychological Reports (Missoula) 57 (1): 367–382. ISSN 0033-2941. OCLC 1318827.
http://searchwarp.com/swa24826.htm
http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/your-astronomical-sign.html
http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/etc/horoscope-2011-astrology-sign.html
http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/etc/091210-americans-believe-god-astrology-and-ghosts.html

  • Anonymous

    After reading this article, im totally convinced, not that astrology and horoscopes are false..But ..that the writer of this article, is totally against this and also that this article is lacking of important information.
    First of all im going to give a solution/answer to all these Logical problems with horoscopes and astrology:

    1) Zodiac signs aren't celestial objects, so they do not spin and theres no reason of getting shifted over by one, they are s y m b o l i c and so they remain the same. Are months and days getting shifted as well just because of the earth? No. So No1 is totally pointless.

    2) Time of birth is considered when the baby is no longer physically connected with the mother, the moment just before they cut the umbilical cord.

    3) Reading a daily prediction doesn't mean you're reading your fate. What you are reading is a possibility and a tendency according the passages of the planets of that day.

    4) People born is the same day but different year, yes, are so different just because the year they were born the passages of the planets were different. A chart isn't just a zodiac sign and a horoscope, is a lot more than that.

    5) When you're referring to the roman Gods, i believe you mean the 12 Gods of ancient Greece. 12 Gods were a myth ..or maybe not. Some people claimed they were individuals from another planet, some others that they were symbolism of human emotions and facts that took place that period of time..etc..Point is they were all pointing to that cosmic energy and so celestial objects are included as part of the universe. If you believe that reading books, and especially public school books that you will know all about world history, then you believe in an illusion. Government and the church are publishing whatever they think is appropriate so they can continue to control the mazes. So you cant judge a situation or a fact when you've never been there and you cant say theres no energy in something just because you cant see it.

    6) Name the astrological terms that still remain the same nowdays.

    7) Uranus, Neptune and Pluto have a total different effect on us, that those old times, those effects, were not included in a daily prediction or an astrological chart.

    8) You actually aren't naming the traditions which are apparently plenty and all connected, including astrology, with mathematics. If you lack of information please read about the ancient Greek Archimedes. Traditions like, astrology, numerology, divination with cards or/and runes and physiognomy are all based on mathematics…and mathematics is a science. Numerology lists traits of your personality according your full birth name and the date of your birth. Also it predicts future tendencies, talents and alot more than that. Divination with cards is also giving you a p o s s i b l e future. And last one, Physiognomy predicts also possible traits of your personality according the shape of your characteristics (eyes, lips etc) and your natural colors.
    So in this point, explain why twins are 95% alike as physical appearance and personalities when they have only a few minutes difference from their birth time? According to physiognomy their faces will have 1 or 2 differences on their characteristics, and so the prediction about their character will be 95% the same. According to astrology their time of birth will have a few minutes difference while horoscope might change sign of the zodiac in any minute, and so they wont have 100% same traits.

    [is being continued]

    • finari

      “Are months and days getting shifted as well just because of the earth?”. Yes they are and that is why we invented the leap year to compensate my dear mr morosoph.

  • Anonymous

    [..continue]

    About the opinions and the tests you published above, they are just some personal opinions from a few scientists that, who knows what are they going to discover in 10 years from now and how many of the things they said are going to recall. People change their mind easily. On the other side we dont know what were their motives to publish something like that. And about the tests they did, more specific about the analysis they gave to those students it was in my opinion unsuccessful. The analysis is very general and short without explaining how each student would react according their zodiac chart to an emergency or a serious (emotional or not) situation. What would they think, what would they do, where would they give priority. Saying to someone "Security is one of your major goals in life" Or " You have a great need for other people to like and admire you." does not have to do with who you are as a personality because its a very general and c o m m o n conclusion. Everyone needs security in life and everyone wants to be accepted by others. There would be noone denying this..BUT there would be some denying the fact when you tell them "You are looking for revenge when someone hurts you".
    So getting back to the main topic, astrology doesnt talk about your fate, but it only expresses tendencies without canceling humans free will. If for example a woman is on her fertile days, that doesnt mean shes going to have a baby..but it means that if she decides and wants to be pregnant THIS is the right period. The decision always remains yours in every aspect.
    The only thing i would agree with you is the way those advices are being expressed in a way that they submit you "it is going to be this way" instead of "it might be".

  • Anonymous

    Let me start by saying that it's true that the observer does change what is being observed, but there's still some objectivity to astrology.

    Obviously, from a pure scientific perspective, astrology has no proof, YET. Proofs might come later, who knows.

    I have met someone who was born on the same day as I was, yet he had a totally different personality. This did not break my faith in astrology because he was born in a totally different part of the world, during a totally different hour of the day. That makes his entire astrology birth chart completely different.

    Astrology birth charts are so immensely complicated that no two person's chart is exactly the same, even if they were born right next to each other within minutes of each other. Every minute makes a difference in astrology.

    All those tests that apparently "debunked" astrology were based on a person's Sun sign, but we know there is more to it than that. So, in essence, those tests do not really debunk astrology for those who really know astrology.

    The possibilities and combinations are endless in astrology, so to arrow it down and judge it is foolish and simplistic and it does not proof or debunk anything.

    Astrological signs merely represent energies, just as there are different energies present throughout the year (i.e. fall, winter, summer, etc). Anybody who gets caught in simplistic explanations of the zodiacs is mistaken. It doesn't make astrology any less reliable. It only show that people are capable of taking things on the surface level. That's a human fallacy, not a fallacy of astrology. Humans do that with everything.

    You picked Mars as an example of a planet that has no effect on humans? How about picking the Moon? Is there no proof that the Moon effects the oceans, increasing or decreasing the tides? Aren't humans about 80% water?

    I'll leave it at that. 😉

  • Luke Scientiae

    First of all, congratulations to the author on a great blog!

    Secondly, it's clear that the authors of the comments defending astrology are largely scientifically illiterate, which is very sad, and leaves no mystery as to why they believe what they do. I want to address just a small pportion of the nonsense the comment authors above have contributed.

    The first comment writes about a 95% similarity between twins. I think it's safe to assume that number is plucked from thin air and means exactly nothing. Additionally, the implication is that there is some mystery as to the similarity between twins – presumably the comment author means identical twins. Identical twins are monozygous, meaning that they come from one cell and have pretty much identical DNA (tiny differences are attributable to epigenetics – which of their genes are switched 'on' and 'off' during their lifetime). That's down to environmental factors, which also heavily influence character, since identical twins tend to grow up in pretty much the same environment, have the same parents and so on. No mystery.

  • Luke Scientiae

    The second comment author writes about the moon and water:

    "Is there no proof that the Moon effects the oceans, increasing or decreasing the tides? Aren't humans about 80% water?"

    If the implication is that the moon affects people's character, then the whole chain of reasoning leading up to it is a dreadful series of non-sequiturs. It would go something like: the moon affects the oceans, therefore the moon affects water, therefore it affects humans because they are made of water to a large extent, therefore it affects people's characters. But that's just terrible illogic.

    The moon affects the oceans because of its gravitational pull, which it exerts on all objects, not just those made of water. You just see the effects with the oceans because can flow from place to place (tides). You don't have to be made of water to feel the moon's gravitational pull. Secondly, absolutely none of that permits the notion that somehow "therefore" the moon can be expected to affect people's personality, which is an urban myth unsupported by the evidence from numerous studies.

  • Luke Scientiae

    To pick one last point of scientific illiteracy:

    "Astrological signs merely represent energies, just as there are different energies present throughout the year (i.e. fall, winter, summer, etc)."

    I really object to this use of "energy". Energy is a well-defined and incomparably useful scientific concept. Pseudoscience hijacks the word (as in "astrological signs represent energies" and "the healing power of crystal energy") to give the impression that its claims are somehow respectable or that there is at least a modicum of respectable theory and understanding behind the pseudoscientific claim, when in fact there is not and in the sense such pseudoscientists use the word "energy" there is no meaning whatsoever.

    I would really urge scientists and other scientically literate people to adopt an attitude of conversational intolerance to this kind of abuse of scientific terminology. Science is extremely hard work but it does work; it brings forward all kinds of successes. With that comes a certain credibility that we should not allow pseudoscientists to hijack for their purposes. They can gain respectability for their own phrases when they show good evidence that their descriptions of phenomena in the world are accurate and testable.
    If you hear someone say "energy" in a pseudoscientific context – or any other scientific term, for that matter – ask them if they know what it means. And if they don't know, politely explain. It's up to scientists and others interested in reliably evaluating the real world, to educate others, rather than allowing them to fall victim to fallacious reasoning and the fallacious use of words in meaningless claims.

    So I'll explain "energy" briefly here in the hope that the author of the comment above in which the word was abused will learn something:

    Energy is the capacity to do work. Work means exerting a force (e.g. pushing or pulling) something through a distance. For example, to drag an astrologer to a physics class, I'd need to push him/her there from wherever I am. For that I would need energy because I'd need to push him/her over a certain distance and against other forces acting against me (the astrologer pushing back, wind resistance, friction, etc.) It's not the pushing itself that is energy; the pushing is a force. But the ABILITY to push over a distance is energy. Another example might be lifting something from the ground onto a shelf. To do that I have to exert a force on it upwards until it gets to the level of the shelf. I have to apply the force to overcome the gravitational attraction for the distance between the object and the ground. Energy is what is put in, the cost if you like, of doing this. There are many other examples, and these are just introductory. Energy is a quantifiable thing and it's measured in Joules. So 10 Joules, or 10 J, is a quantity of energy. 10 kJ is 10,000 J. For reference, 4.2 J is the energy you need to raise the temperature of 1 mL of water by 1 oC. If you don't see how that's pushing something, then think about the atoms in water. They are all colliding and pushing against each other and you give them additional energy to do this faster when you heat the water up.

  • Relative Interest

    @Luke Scientiae: Thank you for the kind words and for the scientific rebuttal of the previous comments. The hijack of the word "energy" is one of my biggest pet peeves, as it is used so frequently… just like "quantum" is now a buzz word in pseudo-scientific circles. To define all scientific buzz words in each blog post would be an arduous task… but your post has made me consider setting up a page doing just so!

    BTW – You have a fantastic website as well. It's chock full of great material for science and skeptics alike. My only wish is that pseudoscientists… if I may use that term… read through sites like yours in their entirety so that they are offered a more complete understanding of the basic principles that make science our best tool for understanding nature.

  • Luke Scientiae

    I think an inventory of abused scientific terms is a great idea. If you like, we could work on it together, although first it would be worth checking if there's not such a thing already out there on some other site. A quick look at Rational Wiki shows that they already have some terms, like energy: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Energy#Pseudo-scientific_use_of_the_term
    Question is, what is the aim: to debunk pseudoscientific usage, teach people the scientific usage, both?

    On the problem of reaching the deniers, cranks and pseudoscientists: I completely agree. You can make a nice looking blog and they still won't read it. Mine has only been going briefly and even in that short time I moved it from a wordpress.com domain to my own, so there's quite a way to go in generating hits. I'm also on twitter (@lukescicom), trying to antagonize, inform and promote interesting science. I'm making slow progress, but it is slow. I'm told leaving comments on others' blogs, particularly where pseudoscientists and the credulous make their mark is a good thing to do, so I sometimes find the time for that, as here. Other suggestions welcome.

  • Teen Queen

    It would be nice if you did some research before you posted this article. For example, there IS indeed a horoscope that looks at a fetus from the time it was conceived, but as this is nearly as possible to figure out, it's nto very popular.

    Also, a personalized horoscope natal chart can only be put together accurately if you know your time of birth down to the last second. And even then, the information is so vast, and the possibilities so endless that a full analysis can never be made.

    I would suggest you look at charts of countries and compare them to their economies to see some patterns. Oh wait, you didn't know that horoscopes could be used to predict a country's economy state for decades to come?

    I have only read on the subject of astrology breifly but I know all this. You, on the other hand, know nothing, or you would not have posted these useless questions to 'boggle' our minds, which anyone who has a less than basic knowledge of astrology will be able to claim as pointless.

    Ignorance, be it that of the devout astrologer or hard core astronomer is never welcome. Explore the other side's views before you make a useless, unreliable arguement.

  • Relative Interest

    "It would be nice if you did some research before you posted this article. For example, there IS indeed a horoscope that looks at a fetus from the time it was conceived, but as this is nearly as possible to figure out, it's nto very popular."

    – Read the references to see the research.

    "I would suggest you look at charts of countries and compare them to their economies to see some patterns. Oh wait, you didn't know that horoscopes could be used to predict a country's economy state for decades to come?"

    – Please point me to a published, credited research paper that has been accepted by the scientific community, and I will gladly update the article.

    "Ignorance, be it that of the devout astrologer or hard core astronomer is never welcome. Explore the other side's views before you make a useless, unreliable arguement."

    – I don't think it's a useless argument: it's important to review the scientific data before making a decision. This article was a result of that research.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.astronlp.com/Carlson%20Astrology%20Experiments.html
    About Shawn Carlson "Experiment"
    An experiment in astrology published in Nature in 1985 is reviewed using the original materials given to the astrologers, interviewing four surviving astrologers that were found, and comparing the claims of the experimenter made before, during, and after the experiment. Numerous errors were found with experimental hypothesis, design, use of psychological tests by non-psychologists, data collection, data reporting, significant bias, misuse of statistical procedures, unsubstantiated claims, and presentation of a predetermined conclusion disconnected from results.

    Specialy very, very interesting:
    9. Background of the experimenter
    At the time of the experiments in 1980-81, the experimenter was an undergraduate in physics. At the time of submission to Nature in 1983, he was finishing his M.A. in physics. He had neither expertise in psychology nor astrology, the two subjects of this study. He had training in the scientific method in the physical sciences, but not with experimental design used in the social/behavioral sciences nor the use of human subjects. He had neither the training nor the qualifications to use the CPI.
    This was the first and last time Carlson did any kind of experiment in astrology. He showed no other interest in the subject. Afterwards, he spent three to five years (reports vary) in the study of satanic rituals and devil worship and collaborated with Randi the Magician. Throughout the years, he has been active in skeptic organizations and his ideas about what is scientific and what is not are strong. In 1988, he wrote, “no one could be scientifically competent, knowledgeable of the evidence and still think that astrologers can perform the service”.
    Carlson (personal correspondence April 9, 2008) writes that “At the time of my study I was a young man with a deep interest in the occult”. He also reports in newspaper interviews that he worked his way through college as a professional magician. It is not until 2005 that he divulges the information in an interview with Johnson of the Boston Globe (2005), that at the age of 16, “he supported himself as a street psychic and player of Three-card Monte”.

    There are some similarities between the steps of Three-card Monte and the experimental design of this study. The three advising astrologers were shown the design and agreed that the test was fair. The astrologers were invited to participate in a ‘scientific study’ at prestigious U.C. Berkeley to help prove that astrology was right. There were three CPI profiles and three astrological interpretations and three cards among which to choose. When the data envelopes arrived, they found the concept they had agreed to had been switched to an impossible task. The reporting of this experiment in the Nature article was confusing because of mixing both results from experiment 1 and experiment 2 in the same paragraph. Results were reported on what he intended to do (“top card”), but not on what actually happened (“bottom card”). Partial results were reported on one page and another supplemental part of results were reported two pages later with a lot of extraneous information about confidence judgments or clerical procedures in-between (the characteristic “sideways sweep”). Misdirection is the primary trick of Three-card Monte. It was used when the experimenter would say one thing and do another. Misdirection was also involved when attention was put on hypothetical numbers, but crucial values were not reported. The astrologers felt they had been tricked, particularly after being sent a letter that preliminary results were favoring astrology and astrology would be proven.

  • Anonymous

    That Carlson’s Conclusion(s) does not follow from the Results was stated by Eysenck in 1986. This experiment was unfair and invalid. All the mistakes were skewed in favor of the ‘skeptic hypothesis’ toward which the experimenter had a strong belief. CSICOP influence was pervasive from encouragement to funding to publication. The experimenter had previous professional experience in deception and con games. It appears that he continued a con game of Three-card Monte type disguised with appearances of scientific methodology to cloak the real intention of media disinformation.
    Student subjects could not choose correct astrological interpretation, they could not choose correct CPI profile, and astrologer subjects could not choose correct CPI. Two of four surviving astrologers said ‘it was impossible” and both submitted zero response. The data about rating sections of each interpretation was rejected. The hypotheses, the design, the apparatus were flawed with over 60+ mistakes and errors on the way to Results. The author claims that the astrologers failed. This reviewer thinks the experiment failed.
    The paradox is that if the numbers given to the reader are correct, then using statistical analysis with the correct methods, the astrologers chose the correct CPI at significance of at least .05. If the control/test group results were mixed up, the combined value is p=.01.
    Before persons with a pro-astrology orientation begin celebrating, however, that this experiment is any kind of proof for astrology, it depends upon the validity of the experimental design and the veracity of the numbers. The evidence is that the experiment is not valid and that the numbers of less-than-28 astrologers and ‘typically 4’ matchings are highly suspect and unreliable.
    The dilemma is this: (1) This is a case of scientific misconduct, the experiment is invalid, and the astrologers did not win or lose; or (2) Despite the experimenter’s misconduct, the experiment is valid, and the astrologers won at an acceptable significance level. The choice is between (1) misconduct, or (2) the astrologers won, or (3) both.
    The Carlson study is not the first case of scientific misconduct in history, but it is unique in that, contrary to prevailing scientific belief, it involved more than just a single individual. It involved an organization with a powerful influence that purports to speak for the body politic of science. It involved, for the first time known, the science journal in which it was published. Nature is just as responsible as the author. The publicity impact of this article was based upon the prestige and power of the journal in which it was printed, not upon the merits of the experiment.

  • Bart
  • Anonymous

    It's funny there's ads for readings at the beginning of the video. No shame. Anyway, most of the pro astrology arguments above are laughable, and of course, anonymous. I'm no scientist, but it doesn't take one to realize astrology is fluke, subjective, and dangerous. "For entertainment purposes only"…!?!? I'll leave it at THAT!

    ~Andre M

  • Anonymous

    (Im not english/american native so my english its not so well.. but hope u understand me…)

    Remember this words… 2012 is the year where we all will be concious of the real truth. We dont know what we r made of, and the cience doesnt answer the questions of our integrity.
    2012 is the year of the humanity, and the understanding.
    I know that u, "cience people", are waiting this momento too but u think that people that dont think like u, r crazy people, or just ignorant… And then… You are wrong.
    Anybody need a cience career to know that.. what happen with cience people?.. You have never felt? Dont you cry? Why the human is the only one who cries? Because we use our concience.
    If 1/4 of americans (and i think 1/4 of the Word) believes in Astrology, there's a reason.
    And if there's a 3/4 of the world that thinks that something bigger than us exist, there's a reason.
    Take this year to read the bible… It may help you for the CHANGE.

    • TJones

      Still waiting…..nope, didn’t happen.

  • Anonymous

    If you dont believe what i said (i know 0/4 people will believe), just take SIT AND WAIT 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Millions of people around the world read the Bible, and believe every word in it to be true, and even live their lives by it. With no actual evidence that any of it is true.
    Just like horoscopes.

    • There are lots of people all over who believe James Randi even though Bill Perron proved Randi is a liar and his million dollar challenge nothing more than a cheap empty publicity stunt. Perron has made Randi an offer of ten thousand dollars if he can’t prove Randi lied when Randi weaseled out of the Perron astrology challenge, Perron has had this offer for over five years yet Randi runs, ask yourself why, better yet ask Randi why.

  • Hello

    I have looked into this subject with a little more depth and found an interesting fact about you “debunking” this. Some people who attempt to make an astrological prediction don’t use just the sign you where born under, they use 80 different factors. 40 are determined when you where born(like your sign) and the other 40 are where the planets and stars are now. So predicting a person future based on just their sign is like predicting what a person will do knowing just that they like hot dogs. If you want to truly debunk it you might wanna try the more complex version of this practice, instead of the idiot version that an 8 year old can take down.

    • But for debunkers to actually do a really good debunking they would have to learn what real astrology is and just how complex it can be and then they would have to confront the reality that astrology done properly has definite value and that would go against their agenda.

  • LudisV

    I still need to find an astrologer that could give me a valid horoscope. There are two types of astrologers: 1. That know the astrology is a scam, but still use it to make loads of money. 2. The ones that believe astrology is a science and mislead others unwittingly. No astrologer has been able to predict what will happen to me a day from now, a week or a month. I feel sorry for them, but even more so, for the people who believe it is a science or even art.

    • Who are these astrologers that make loads of money? Bet you actually can not name one.

      • Guy

        If you or anyone you’ve ever known has paid a single dollar to someone that uses astrology or anything of the like, your point is moot. Whether or not it is “loads of money” doesn’t really matter, they still make money through a scam that requires no real work.

        • Guy

          I say whether it is loads of money doesn’t matter, because that is an ambiguous phrase that could mean any amount depending on a person’s perspective.

          • Carlos Caliente

            And how long did you actually study astrology to come to your conclusions. By study I mean actual study yourself, not the rantings of professional pseudo skeptics, but real cast a horoscope yourself study?

    • Michael

      Actually people who believe in a ”pseudoscience” are a lot less toxic than arrogant and intolerant people who think ”If you don’t believe or think same things as I do, you are deluded (for fundie atheists) / satanic (for fundie christians)” Hey, let people do whatever they want, your thought is not the ultimate truth, you way is not the only way, your beliefs are not infallible. While magic/astrology/fortune telling/etc. never caused a war, arrogance and intolerance did many times.

      • TJones

        Piles of wars in the ancient world were started by egotistical rulers on the advice of their supposed mystical star readers.

  • Quackers

    I always find it funny when people defend their debunked belief systems. Even though they have no unbiased concrete evidence, they will defend it whole-heartedly. Simply because realising they were wrong this whole time will make them feel like idiots. No one likes feeling like an idiot, so I can understand why they defend it. However, defending it makes them look like idiots to those who understand what science is.

    • Quakers::: Did you find it funny when Bill Perron debunked the Randi million dollar challenge by offering Randi ten thousand dollars if Randi can show any proof what so ever that Randi was not lying when he lied to weasel out of the Bill Perron challenge for the disingenuous publicity stunt million dollars? Perron has had this honesty challenge offer to Randi and any other professional pseudo skeptic for over five years now, so far not one taker, ask yourself why, or better yet ask Randi, or maybe one of his lackeys like Shermer or Novello.

      • dickless-wonder

        Maybe your astrology (or whatever psychobabble you are spouting) made you seem like an arsehole when you wrote this. Or maybe your natal chart got mixed up at Hospital with that of a donkey?

  • I just saw on the internet a Vedic astrologer do an astrological interpretation that Michael Shermer gave a 73% accuracy rating. Seems to me that is validation that is worthy of consideration.

    • Jenz

      Hey – where’s that documented Carlos, I’d love to see it. If an astronomer has a 73% success rate (under proper scientific scrutiny and testing), then sure, that would be remarkable. Has Vedic been able to consistently reproduce? And shouldn’t it not matter who the PERSON is… since all astrologers should be following the same set of rules to determine their predictions?

      • Vedic astrology is over 3 thousand years old, it has an incredible history of accuracy. As for the video it is on youtube, I suggest you do a youtube search on: Shermer Vedic astrology.. ..

        • Terrence Brann

          “Incredible” is the operative word here.

  • Jenz

    Just because something is old, it doesn’t mean it’s factually valid. That’s a logical fallacy called the Argument From Antiquity. http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/the-argument-from-antiquity/

    • Jenz, you asked where you could get info on the Shermer and Vedic astrology test and I provided it. I also provided information on Vedic astrology and it’s history of accuracy, I never asked you to provide information you glean from some internet blog, have no idea why you would provide unrequested information, but I suspect it is because you have some sick immature agenda that fulfills some juvenile need you have as a substitute for the love you didn’t receive from those you cried out to in anguish for the understanding and love they will never provide. Personally I am not interested in your opinions, and further more I really have no respect for someone who uses a question as a pretext to just have an excuse to post their opinions that are much like armpits, everyone has them and most of them stink.

      • Jenz

        I watched the YouTube video you suggested we all look up – it’s nothing special.

        But, Carlos, why are you so angry? Why do you attack people who disagree with you? Why do you resort to these kind of tactics when all people are trying to do is have an open discussion? Why shouldn’t people be allowed to present new information when discussing something like astrology, or logical fallacies? Why would you say that I didn’t receive the love I cried out for in anguish? Why would you make random guesses about a person – are you trying to hurt my feelings? Do you think it makes you look smart? Do you think it even helps your cause, or help you win the argument? It’s not even an argument – it’s just a discussion about astrology.

        I did a little research, and you show up on a lot of science based/skeptical blogs, usually defending some form of pseudoscience or other myth. Here’s an example: http://www.skepticblog.org/2009/03/07/chupacabra-tacos/ And it’s the same stuff – tireless defending Bill Perron and anti-Randi rhetoric. People argue with you on those sites as well.

        I’m not interested in your opinions either, believe me, and I’m not trying to convert you or change your mind, as you clearly don’t want to be presented with other information — you even say “you have no respect for someone who uses a question” as a response to a question.

        Carlos, I’d love to continue the discussion with you if you’re willing to be reasonable and not hurtful, and if you’re willing to bring some new ideas to the table, rather than regurgitating the same ones over and over again. The ball is your court.

        • The youtube video was what was requested, Shermer validates the Vedic astrologer and you say it is nothing special, by that you mean you will ignore the results because it doesn’t align with your agenda. As for my honest internet exposures of the transparent shallowness of pseudo skeptics that exposes them as liars such as Randi and CSICOP I am quite delighted with them. Just because people argue with me and defend liars does not make them right, it reveals them as liars as well as agenda motivated myopic fools. As for bringing hew ideas to the table, I did with the Shermer Vedic video that does not align with your myopic agendas, to bad, because truth is a wonderful thing, seek it, it will set you free. As for making myself look smart because I post thoughts that don’t agree with yours, obviously it doesn’t make me look dumb, they got you all stirred up.

  • Tina

    Astrology derives from an ancient study of the sky from the perspective of the earth dweller. Many early myths were constructed around the stellar shapes seen in the sky, planets in our solar system were given the names of gods (Greek or Roman, Hindu etc) and the gods attributes were assigned to the planets.
    Other major stars usually fixed also have attributions assigned to them, some were said to bring about dire conditions to earthlings, some benign and some positive. The sun, giver of all life travels through the zodiac through the course of a year, one’s birthday occurs when the sun arrives at the place in the zodiac which it occupied on the day you were born.
    Star lore at its best could be seen as a harmless hobby, a cultural astronomy tool that can and does inspire the human imagination in the realms of art music and literature. Who is not awe inspired when gazing upward at the mysterious and endless magnificence of the night sky.
    The beliefs surrounding astrology vary across the globe, are influenced by tribal religions. Western astrology contains much of the harsh guilt inducing judgements embedded in Christian theology and as such both movements are seen to be just as ridiculous and unfounded in the light of modern biological scientific knowledge.
    Further, Christian theologians and western Astrological practitioners partake in fanciful apocalyptic prophecies which never hit the mark. Both movements have always been viewed by rationalist thinkers as utterly false and wide open to corruption. They cunningly present as authoritative personages or bodies with access to hidden spiritual knowledge and a wide variety of interpretation usually emanates from the study of each movement’s preferred foundational scripture.
    It is apparently remarkably easy for these snake oil salesmen to exploit the very vulnerable and gullible members of society. It is also just as remarkably easy though, for the vulnerable and gullible to learn the simple wily mechanisms employed in the rules of both these antiquated con games.

    • William Perron

      No mention here of any of the correct predictions of astrologers. Please read Cosmos and Psyche by Tarnas.
      30 years of research went into the book which goes all the way back to the beginning of recorded history and the major events of the times. The astrological positions of the planets during events has well documented the accuracy of astrology, not opinions, just the facts. Astrology works, why, who knows, but it does work. 6000 years of computerized research has proven it.

      • Not-a-sheep

        “Astrology works, why, who knows, but it does work..”

        -There is no known physical mechanism that explains it, but, yeah, you must be right.

        ” 6000 years of computerized research has proven it.”
        -There is so much wrong that statement.

  • Tina

    More inquiries into the claims of ‘Christian” Astrology:
    In the Northern Hemisphere where astrology first emerged, the winter solstice occurs from approximately 23 December to 25 December, the dead of winter, thereafter the sun slowly begins to shift its position and the days begin to get longer.
    The exact opposite occurs in June on the 23rd to 25th in the Southern Hemisphere.
    The Roman’s sun god was Apollo, the Romans among many other ancient northern tribes were sun worshippers for sensible and obvious reasons which you can easily figure out for yourself.

    When Constantine put his seal of approval on the Christian movement, he quite sensibly shoe horned the Galilean myth into the old pagan ways and practices for the sake of peace and control, and so we have landed up with Christ Mass and Easter, both pagan festivals in origin. (you can look this up).
    My point about all this is the question of whether Southern Hemisphere earth dwellers, pagan or Christian, should celebrate Christ mass in June and Easter in October?
    When should these festivals take place in the North or South poles or even in the equatorial band. It all seems like so much head swirling nonsense.

    I have another qualm about the natal western astrological outpourings, (they always seem to be tainted with more than a little narcissism, not dis-similar to the triumphal exclusivism of Christian belief).
    If I had my birthdate reading I should like to compare it with as many other humans all over the world who were, on the same day, either born, still born, or aborted. This would involve a lot of research I know but at least it could serve to confirm whether the astrological claims could in any way be taken seriously.

  • Denis

    Given that my housemate used to write horoscopes for a major newspaper, and sometimes I would sometimes help her make up, and mix and match the “predictions” (that people considered “accurate” !) – I am pretty sure that it is all BS !

    • Using the line of reason Denis presents since I perform as an actor in t.v. and film and have played the roles of an artist, chef, cop, and a whole bunch of others, because I can mix and match roles I’m pretty sure those professions are all BS.

      • Guy

        The difference being that no one ever believed your roles as an actor were real. When something that is specifically created to be fake holds as much validity as what was created to be real…that is a good time to question the authenticity of the thing in its entirety.

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  • Laney Robertson

    How do I make a complaint against an astrologer who let her own personal feelings for her birth country and its people feed into her astrology.It was really nasty. Obviously people reading her blog and trusting in her astrological predictions will believe her on her hatred for Scots and Scotland. This is misconduct I’d say, abusing people’s trust and belief in what she says at the cost of the people of Scotland being talked down wrongly. This was her opinion which to me has nothing to do with astrology,her name is Marjorie Orr
    K Rowling – attacked for giving an opinion From: Marjorie. (12 Jun 2014 14:05):
    J K Rowling has been deluged with foul-mouthed abuse for speaking out against Scottish Independence in what has become a bizarrely toxic and unpleasant debate running onto the referendum on September 18. She has lived in Scotland for the past 20 years. Business leaders and creative artists have been reluctant to speak out in similar vein for fear of incurring the wrath of what have become known as the cybernats.

    Born 31 July 1965 (2pm?) Bristol, she’s a Sun Leo square Neptune with Mercury Venus Uranus Pluto Moon spread out through Virgo with the latter three opposition Saturn in Pisces square Jupiter in Gemini. At the moment her Solar Arc Mercury is conjunct her Mars so it was always going to be a heated time.
    She was never going to see eye to eye with SNP leader Alex Salmond with his competitive Mars Moon MC in Pisces hitting her Saturn. He has been accused by a wide variety of political opponents and commentators of having a dictatorial style, being compared to Milosevic, Mugabe, Hitler, Il Duce (Mussolini), Ceausescu of Romania, Kim Jong-Il and Nero.
    His Moon Mars is trine Saturn Venus in determined Scorpio trine Uranus Jupiter in Cancer – so he’s certainly assertive (Mars MC), volatile (Mars Uranus), chippy (Mars Saturn) and autocratic (Saturn Uranus). 31 Dec 1954 4.30pm Glasgow Scotland. His Saturn Venus squares Pluto giving him endurance, and obsessive determination. His Jupiter Uranus is lucky; squaring Neptune can be fanatical.

    Both the SNP (14 Dec 1933) and the Scotland 842 AD charts have afflicted Mars. The SNP has a Mars in Capricorn opposition Pluto square Uranus opposition Jupiter; while the country chart has Mars in Cancer opposition Saturn Neptune in Capricorn square Uranus; with a Sun conjunct Pluto. So in both – Mars Saturn Uranus with strongly Plutonic overtones. Very aggressive.
    One thought struck me – if they did manage to win and get independence from the hated English what is going to happen to all that raw anger? They’ll end up squabbling like ferrets in a sack amongst themselves, which has indeed been the experience of the history of the SNP since its start.

    As an ex-pat Scot who left because I wanted to see the wider world and found Scotland, despite its beauty and some sterling qualities, too narrow minded and parochial, I just find the whole barney utterly astonishing.

    Comedian Billy Connolly recently described the debate as a “morass that I care not to dip my toe into”. Though he added “I’m deeply suspicious of patriotism. People following the band, you know? I don’t want to be part of it. It’s paved with fools. I’ve never been a nationalist and I’ve never been a patriot.” Hear hear.

  • James Michener

    Similarly, 74% of Americans still believe in a supreme being.

    Simply because many people may believe something says nothing about the fact of that something.

    The tests have been done, the science is sound, there is no god, demons, astrological influences, loch ness monster, bigfoot or pokemon, other than in people’s imagination.

    • Carlos Caliente

      There is no James Michener. I don’t believe in any James Michener so ha can’t exist.

    • Guy

      …except God has never been disproved. Nice try pushing your beliefs, though.

  • Bill Perron

    James Randi is a liar and his followers are cowards. I have now had for 7 years a ten thousand dollar offer to Randi to produce evidence to support the lies he used to weasel out of my challenge for his publicity stunt million dollars. No one has had the guts to ask the smelly old stinker if he did lie. Not one of you will do it I suspect it is because you fear the truth that he is a liar. You so called skeptics like to say you are all for truth but not one of you will seek it. I have challenged the keeper of this blog to contact Randi and ask him if he lied to weasel out. If Randi can produce anything to support his claim that he was rejecting the Perron challenge because “Perron wants no photos taken.” Truth is I insisted we video tape the testing since video takes 30 pics a second I actually wanted thousands of photos taken. The blogger says he will contact Randi, lets see if he does.

  • Bill Perron

    The keeper of this blog said he will contact Randi about my claim that Randi lied to weasel out of my challenge after he had already accepted my challenge. Let’s see if he actually does, or will he wimp out like all the other fearful of the truth followers of Randi.

  • Bill Perron

    The keeper of this blog says he will contact Randi about my claim Randi lied to weasel out of my challenge, lets see if he does.

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  • Bill Perron

    It has been 2 months since the keeper of this blog “promised” to contact Randi about my allegations that Randi is a liar and then report back to this site. I could have walked from California to Florida in that time, certainly the keeper has had plenty of time, so why hasn’t he posted his findings??? I can speculate, but speculation and rationalization is the realm of all Randibots, I prefer to hear from the “keeper”. So keeper either speak up and speak the truth, or forever be branded by your silence as a head in the sand Randibot.

  • Mina Porter

    This article reveals an extremely basic understanding of the tenets of astrology. Therefore, the author has no authority on the subject.

  • TheWorldsMostFascinatingMan

    Keeper of this blog has now proved himself to be just another toady for Randi, says one thing and then weasels out. More proof the Randibots of the world are liars. Astrology is real and those who say it isn’t are fools who have never ever learned a thing about astrology. They won’t admit it but their very lack of ability to do a horoscope speaks volumes about their ignorance. At least know what you are talking about before you brand yourself a fool. Read Cosmos And Psyche by Tarnas then tell me what you learned, speak from knowledge not from ignorance, I dare you!

    • anti-soros

      You are idiot.

      • williamperron

        Really? Please explain the reasoning behind your cheap shot cowardly ignorant insult. Or brand yourself a cheap shot cowardly ignorant creature for ever more.

  • Michael

    It’s just extremely unbelievable. I just cannot understand why some people act so intolerant towards some subjects. OK, just let me show you. You don’t like medieval times right? Let me guess why:

    a) People were incredible intolerant toward other beliefs or thoughts. If you thought different than them, you were satanic.
    b) Even though your belief or thought did not hurt any one, you would be excluded from the society.
    c) People thought what they think or believe was the only truth
    d) People believed church was infallible.

    Now, if you would like to see ”new atheist community”, firstly change past tense to present tense, and change words ”satanic, excluded from the society and church” to ”deluded, ridiculed, science”, I think you got my point. This, and this kind of post filled with intolerance and arrogance are created by medieval priests, they just changed their names. People believe in astrology? OK, Do they hurt someone? No? Then it’s not your problem. Let people be in their own ways and do what ever they want, your way is not the only one, your thought is not the only truth, your belief is not infallible. So if you DO care about humanity, stop poisoning it with that toxic mentality.

    • TJones

      If a believer in this silly astrology spew spends money on it, then they are being victimized, robbed and lied to.

      • Bill Perron

        If someone actually takes the time to learn about real astrology they wouldn’t post ignorance like TJones does.

  • TJones

    Does any believer have an explanation of #7? How do you guys reconcile the FACT that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are not used in Horrorscopes?

    • TheWorldsMostFascinatingMan

      Of course Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are used in horoscopes, what an ignorant thing to say.

      • TJones

        Pluto was discovered in 1930. Uranus was discovered in 1781. Neptune in 1846. Wouldn’t all the horoscopes before those dates be wrong? The stars aren’t even in the same places they were when astrology was invented. Why doesn’t astrology account for the existence of black holes, nebulae and other objects that are way more massive and energetic than stars? Because the old folks back in the day couldn’t see them, period. How about dark matter, which may be what the majority of matter in the universe consists of?

        • TheWorldsMostFascinatingMan

          Ancient mariners traveled for centuries guided by the stars, they knew nothing about black holes and still arrived at their destinations. People did not know how to fly then so does that invalidate navigating by the stars? With additional information most things can be improved upon, your questions seem so juvenile, are you an elementary school student sincerely seeking enlightenment? If so I can recommend a few good books to read.

  • TJones

    The genuine astrologers really ought to police their own kind. If they could establish some sort of code of authenticity it might help their cause by exposing the charlatans. That is what the scientific community does. If someone makes a claim it has to repeatable by others, peer reviewed and freely scrutinized by scientists across the world. Claims take irrefutable evidence.

    • TheWorldsMostFascinatingMan

      Do you want politicians to scientifically back up their claims, how about artists to back up claims about what is good or bad art, or good or bad television, or how about travel reporters about good or bad places to visit, etc. you can go on and on. If an astrologer produces an accurate horoscope they will most likely be able to produce another. Same for a charlatan who produces a bad one, or a phony investigator like James Randi who admits he knows nothing about astrology, same for his lackey Shermer.

      • TJones

        I do want politicians (or anyone else) who make scientific claims to back their claims. Science is fact based, that is objective. Art, TV “good and bad” travel destinations are subjective. If astrologers make objective claims; claims they say are facts, they should be required to back up those results. And those results should be repeatable by other astrologers. If I give my birth info to 15 astrologers they should all come up with the same results. Right? This is how science works. Astrology can’t seem to make that same claim.

        • TheWorldsMostFascinatingMan.

          What you want is something that has already happened, there are organizations of astrologers who already do what you say they are not doing. You only betray your own ignorance about astrologers with your silly demands. Why do you assume such ignorant thoughts? Have you ever read any astrology publications? Ever been to an astrologers convention, if you had you wouldn’t be posting such nonsense.

    • TheWorldsMostFascinatingMan

      You keep making the same silly demands, re-read what I posted previously or stop posting, you are beginning to sound like a broken record saying the same tune over and over and over.

  • Mar Komus

    Astrology, of course, does have the ring of truth when you get a whole mass of people acting out their “signs.” In that case, it’s a brainwashing game of self-fulfilling prophecy and confirmation bias.

    • Bill Perron

      Thats ridiculous, if you think you can get a whole bunch of people to act out a sign just because they are brainwashed u really are reaching a new low in the debunkers world.

      • Mar Komus

        First, I understand fear can lead people to lash out irrationally and be close minded to other possible ways of interpreting data. But do try to think through things like the Barnum Effect/Forer Effect, self-fulfilling prophecy, confirmation bias, subjective validation, and the like. These have far better explanatory power with regards to why astrology appears to “work” than explanations that rely on astronomical phenomena.

        Second, please try to respect me as a person by not automatically lumping me into this imaginary “debunkers world” you’ve created in your own mind. It might be a convenient label for you to use as a psychological defense mechanism against logic and because a cherished belief of yours is being attacked, but remember the allegory of the cave.

        Third, of course you can get a whole bunch of people to act out…well…pretty much anything…if you have them brainwashed (Brainwashed is probably a strong term for it. Deceived would probably be better, since brainwashing is defined by more aggressive approaches than astrology would permit). What do you think happens at sporting events? Or mass hypnosis? Or a mass delusion? In all of those cases, the people have an adopted set of beliefs that make them open to the power of suggestion by whomever is conducting the event.

        Think outside the box. Be open minded. Question everything.

        • Bill Perron

          While you list the usual debunkers tests you ignore validation research that supports astrology, and there is plenty, very dishonest of you.
          Second# To be respected one needs to be respectable, you label yourself by your ridiculous biased and bigoted posts, I just point the bitter truth to you, and you haven’t the maturity to handle it.
          Only massed hypnosis I ever find is from pseudo skeptiks who delude themselves into thinking they know something because they have read books by professional pseudo skeptics Randi and Shermer rather than real researchers like Gauquelin and Tarnas. Proof of this is how identical your empty shallow pronouncements are.

          • Mar Komus

            I didn’t list any debunker tests. I listed several logical fallacies that account for the supposed success of astrology. What are you even talking about?
            The respect you need to show me has to do with not automatically dismissing me based on the fact I disagree with you. You seem to assume I’m part of the “debunkers world” when I would say I’m just simply a free thinker, man. Pensador libre. A free spirit. Nothing more. I’m not bound and shackled by false religion or pseudoscience. And even if I have some things wrong, at least I take the time to think through it. I don’t consult the stars or planets.
            I’ve never read Randi, Shermer, Guaquelin, or Tarnas, and I don’t need to to think freely on these matters. Maybe I’ll look them up; maybe I won’t. Or I guess I’ll do it if my horoscope says I should?

            • Bill Perron

              Chill dude, take a hit off some medicinal and chill. Since you admit you know nothing about astrology why do you keep posting and making statements that only yourself look stupid?

              • Mar Komus

                I’m totally chill, man. No blood boiling here. I’m cool. I’m at peace. In fact, I wish peace on you. Because you’re projecting and I hope you make peace with yourself so you can interact with me in a more logical manner.

                I didn’t say I don’t know anything about it. I only said I’ve never read any of those authors. One can’t presume that another person knows nothing about a subject just because they haven’t read cherry picked authors who “best” represent a teaching. Or figures who are the best targets for showing that the opposition is wrong. My posts only look stupid to you and (perhaps) your cronies.

                Once again, you’re trying to turn me out to be some kind of villain or stupid or whatever because your arguments can’t stand up against even elementary logic.

                • Bill Perron

                  How do u know who your posts look stupid to? Paranoid is actually more your style, you say I am trying to turn you into something you’re not, sorry pal but I just point out the foolishness of your paranoid posts and as I’ve said before, you can’t handle the truth, and u keep proving you can’t handle the truth. You have become very boring, please stop posting you are a waste of time.

                  • Mar Komus

                    You ask how do I know to whom my posts look stupid. Well, for one thing, I have to presume they look stupid to you. I’m guessing they also look stupid to your like-minded cronies. Just logical deductions.

                    Paranoid? Of what? There’s not a thing you’ve said that represents any real threat to me. I only respond to address your logical fallacies. Again, I think you’re only projecting your iron-clad image of me as some kind of monster out to destroy your zodiac based identity. I’m just a truth seeker, man. I’m a free thinker. That offends lots of people.

                    I’m not here to be exciting. I’m here to be truthful. If you find the truth boring, so be it. The truth never promised to be glamorous or exciting. Truth is truth no matter how it comes packaged.

                    “Please stop posting.” LOL 😀 Yeah…OK… Then don’t waste your time by replying to this.

                    • Bill Perron

                      More boring drivel, nothing new. Iron clad imaging is all you have been posting, “my cronies” you’ve mentioned a few times. That is imaging since I have no cronies, just further proof of your hypocrisy and denial of your paranoia.

                    • Mar Komus

                      More non-sensical, illogical projecting. You do have cronies. They would be the people who agree with you. Unless you’re the only one on earth who believes this stuff anymore and you’ve created an army of sock puppets?

                      I do deny paranoia. Yes. That is true. I totally deny that I’m paranoid. That must mean I’m paranoid. And if I say I’m paranoid, then that means I’m paranoid. Truly remarkable.

                      Not sure where you’re coming from with the charge of hypocrisy. I’m not pretending to be something I’m not. I don’t think you are, either.

                      You seem to favor this term “boring.” I’m sorry I’m so boring. Have you tried solitaire? Or Mahjong tiles? Personally, I like dice. Or tarot cards.

                    • Bill Perron

                      There you go again, just because someone agrees on one subject doesn’t make them a cronie, that’s ridiculous. Most folks can find a lot of things to disagree on, but that doesn’t make them enemies, just agreeing on a few things doesn’t make cronies. And the fact you even mention paranoia is indicative of your condition. And you’re not sorry you’re boring, u didn’t even know you are boring until I pointed it out to u.

                    • Mar Komus

                      Ah, OK…you can have the day on cronies. I guess you have none. Or maybe none who agree with you. But if you have any cronies who agree with you, then I’m right in saying, “I’m guessing they also look stupid to your like-minded cronies.”

                      Paranoid was…YOUR…word. Not mine. YOU brought it up, not me. Learn how to scroll back through the threads and read your own crap. And own it.

                      Your opinion on my excitement level is hardly relevant to the discussion. Kind of one of those “I’m 100% sure you think I’m boring, but I’m also 100% sure I don’t really care” deals.

                      Truthfully, I think you use a lot of words for which you’d do well to consult a dictionary or encyclopedia before using them. Calling me paranoid is nothing less than a psychological warfare tactic. It’s not really doing anything for your position (that astrology is fo reals), because at this point this is more of an ad hominem foray than an exchange of ideas. And so I’m not really even sure why you picked that psychological warfare tactic in particular–other than you could be projecting, but I don’t know. I don’t need to know, either. I just call it what it is, man.

                    • Bill Perron

                      Boring.

                    • Mar Komus

                      Yeah, yeah. w/e…

                  • dickpeppers

                    ad hominem seems to be your bread and butter. Maybe your natal chart says your are going to be an arsehole your whole life. (That was an ad hominem, since you like those so much.)

        • Bill Perron

          Carlos Caliente thank you Mar for proving my original post that posting on these sites is a waste of an intelligent persons time because nothing but closed minded people who love to wallow in their own ignorance give them any credence.

    • Matt Laidlaw

      That test with the class all rating how well the description matched them could be a match with just about anyone so hardly scientific. Horoscopes do have specific personality traits for each sign and I am skeptical as well but then I have had ppl say im a sag just by getting to know me. Have also seen many ppl fall into their “Fated” categories but its not real right? The horoscopes in the paper that tell u what your day will be like are complete hogwash.

      • Mar Komus

        Yeah…I’d still say it’s confirmation bias and self-fulfilling prophecy

        • Matt Laidlaw

          Not when the test is using such a large and generalized paragraph as an example. Short description with specific traits would be a true test

          • Mar Komus

            Example, please?

            • Matt Laidlaw

              google it bud

            • Carlos Caliente

              Read “Cosmos and Psyche” by Tarnas 30 years of astrological research filled with all kinds of well researched examples validating the verasity of astrology over a 4000 year period.

              • Mar Komus

                More selective evidence. I read a lengthy review of the book that explains that Tarnas’s examples aren’t representative, that he has a very fluid definition of archetypes, and doesn’t take into account the fact that the Mars effect is bogus

                • Carlos Caliente

                  You read a lengthy review by someone else and that is the basis of your obviously lazy and poor methods of research. You give more credence to that opinion because it suits your bias, not very scientific or mature. And you actually post how poor of a researcher you are. In a word: Pathetic !!!

                  • Mar Komus

                    I read several of the other reviews that favored it. I’m not unbiased. The reviews that favored it had nothing to offer by way of substance. The lengthy review did. It’s not laziness, but making a conscientious choice to not fork my money over just to be lied to again. It’s a VERY mature step. Who buys a car without looking at reviews? Who buys it without test driving it? Do I have to stick my head into every toilet just to see if it’s full of crap? You criticize me for reading a review that gives the book a deserved poor ranking and assume that I only read it because it and agreed with it because it agrees with a supposed bias?! WOW OH WOW!!! How dare you impugn me! I think yours is the more reckless and immature method. You throw money away to an undeserving author and laud and magnify his book because it agrees with your bias. Not very scientific or mature. And that actually reflects how poor a researcher AND money manager you are! Nope…you wackos aren’t getting one thin time out of me! In a word: pathetic!

                    • Carlos Caliente

                      Mar, I have been a student of astrology since 1971, have done countless horoscopes and it keeps validating itself over and over again. Mar, how many horoscopes have you yourself actually done?

          • Mar Komus

            LONG description with specific traits AND examples of people verified to fit the pattern exactly. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of self-fulfilling taurus manure

      • yaoi queen

        You could be a Sagittarius…

        with:

        – Scorpio Mercury
        – Capricorn Venus
        – Capricorn Mars
        – and maybe Taurus Moon
        – assuming you were born around the same year as me, that would give you a Capricorn Jupiter and Neptune.

        That would make you a Sagittarius with dominant Capricorn energy. That makes a big difference.

        Also look at your time of birth. Your ascendant could be in Taurus which would make your hypothetical chart have a Taurus ascendant with moon conjunct the ascendant. That means you would have a practical view of the world with a bit of nurturing.

        You see how time could make a big difference?

        • Mar Komus

          Keep piling it on. More and more taurus manure.

          • yaoi queen

            I would say just research it. Give it a fair chance before you say it’s wrong.

            How can you say something is wrong when you haven’t even fully researched it? Get your time of birth and plug it into Astrotheme or Cafe Astrology and then research. After you get the basics down, look at transits of planets and houses.

            Though another thing to take in mind is environment as well. Signs act differently in different environments. A Scorpio growing up around a lot of violence is going to be a low vibration of Scorpio that hurts people, is obsessive, controlling, and wants power. A Scorpio in a nice environment is going to either be a healer or an accountant/banker. Take that in mind as well. Then you have astrology!

            • Mar Komus

              I’ve been around the block a few times, so this isn’t unfamiliar territory. Nevertheless, I don’t have to stick my head all the way into every toilet I come across just to see if it really is full of waste. I can tell.

              Injecting astrology into every nuance of existence multiplies entities beyond necessity. Let me see if I can illustrate with a humorous story…

              I can’t remember exactly who the characters were in this story or the exact wording, so I’ll be making stuff up with the grain of the story intact.

              There once was a sheik who asked his favorite visir how many blackbirds there were in his kingdom. Without missing a beat, the visir replied, “Six-thousand, five-hundred, and twenty-four, your highness.”

              The sheik was astounded. “6,524! How do you know this?”

              “Because we counted, your highness,” he replied.

              “What if we count again and there are only 6,475,” inquired the sheik.

              Again, without missing a beat, the visir replied, “It means some of them have gone to visit their families in another kingdom.”

              “HA,” exclaimed the sheik, “and what if there are more?”

              Finally, once again, the visir quipped, “It means some of their families have come to visit them.”

              The story if funny, of course, but it illustrates how astrology has to run to and fro to come up with more Taurus manure to justify the shortcomings that are more adequately accounted for by one simple truth: the undergirding philosophy that guides astrology is fundamentally flawed. It’s not the planets and sun and moon and time of year or anything of the sort that MAKES us act certain ways EXCEPT insofar as it’s in accordance with simple self-fulfilling prophecy and confirmation bias

              • yaoi queen

                Except that is apple and oranges.

                Astrology is all about energy. That’s why each aspect of your chart is important. Your ascendant tells how you see the world and how the world sees you. Your sun sign is what you value. Your moon sign is your emotions and family values. Your mercury is your skill set and communication style. Your Venus is what you like to do and how you show love. Your Mars is your “boom” style, fighting style, and how you take action. Then you have your houses and how the planet’s energy is used in each house. Your houses and ascendant can change by mere minutes.

                Example:

                Taurus energy (since you like using Taurus so much and I’m a Taurus), at different income levels value the same thing; your Sun sign is what you value and want. They both want stability, material things, wealth, etc. Though a wealthy Taurus is probably going to be satisfied and more relaxed since they already have that. A Taurus in poverty is more likely to be more cutthroat because they want stability, wealth and material things and will do a lot to get it. They’re going to be more desperate.

                The thing is, you can’t count it out. Also…. It’s in poor taste to debunk something you don’t know much about. You’re aren’t well versed in astrology and don’t even know the basics. How can I trust your credibility if you’re trying to debunk something you don’t know. You haven’t studied it past the surface level, but we’re supposed to just take your word for it? Many people have told you that you have to look at other aspects, but you refuse to listen because you don’t care to study something that can challenge you. How are you credible again?

                • Mar Komus

                  It’s not apples and oranges; that’s an exact analogy! The number of birds in the sheik’s kingdom has zero to do with the birds visiting their families. The visir was making up stories to fit the framework he concocted. Of course it’s all nonsense and both the visir and the sheik know it, but it’s humorous for that reason. In the same way, astrologers have come up with some preconceived framework that MUST be right. When it’s wrong, they’ve come up with all kinds of excuses that have the appearance of wisdom, but it’s pretty easy to debunk if you’ve taken logic and know a few things about logical fallacies

                  Once again, when you start framing everything with astrology, it all looks like astrology. Kind of like when the only tool in your box is a hammer every problem looks like a nail. To boot, astrology is even a poor tool for understanding people–except insofar as it works with confirmation bias and self-fulfilling prophecy

                  As for your example with Taurus: I’d bet 100:1 that if we were to do an exhaustive survey of significant numbers of people from around the world, finding control groups who have no knowledge of astrology, we would find that a “Taurus” is no more or less significantly likely to be satisfied or dissatisfied with wealth or poverty than any other person. Bottom line: you can’t prove ANY of this drivel and nonsense. I even went to your little sites and put in dates, times, and places of people I know VERY well. The results: none of the descriptions were specific enough to differentiate them from what’s true of human beings in general regardless of their natal chart

                  Taurus manure. Time to start putting on your critical thinking cap and realising that maybe there’s a bigger world out there that’s not so predictable–at least not according to a false system as the zodiac

                  • yaoi queen

                    This isn’t making anything up to meet the frame, this is actual basic astrology. The energy of the signs and house have to be taken in mind. This is exactly why a Taurus may not act like a stereotypical Taurus. They could have their Sun in the 11th house, with a Gemini Venus, moon, and Mercury in the 11th house as well. They can have a Libra Mars in the 3rd house. This will give them a lot of air energy despite them being an Earth sign. This is why you have to look at someone whole chart instead of their sun sign. It’s not making up a frame just because you didn’t care to actually study astrology.

                    There is no framing, this is basic astrology that has always been around. You just decided to “debunk” astrology instead of actually studying it, and now you’re surprised and saying we’re making stuff because you didn’t bother to learn it.

                    Earth signs are more likely to value in general than any other sign. Though you do have signs that love luxury things like Leo and Libra. You can also take people with Earth, Leo, and Libra personal planets and see that they value money a lot.

                    You didn’t put on your thinking cap either because you didn’t study anything. How can you talk down on me and imply that I don’t think critically when you didn’t even do basic research?

                    • Mar Komus

                      I’ve done basic research. I also took logic. That’s why I don’t believe this garbage. And everything you’ve said just shows more and more that you’re thoroughly steeped in it. I’m not sure you can put a thinking cap on at all. I’m not sure you’re capable of thinking outside your little framework of astrology. All this “sun in the 11th house with a Gemini Venus, moon, and Mercury in the 11th house” stuff sounds just like an elaborate tale a child would make up about stealing cookies from the cookie jar: “How did you get chocolate chips all over your mouth?” “Da ghost put them there!” It might be cute for a child, but when we’re grown ups we have to put little fairy tales behind us and take responsibility for our actions–not chalk things up to the zodiac. “The stars and planets made me do it” won’t fly.

                      How did they come up with all this manure anyway? Was this a careful, planet-wide research project? Who invented all this crap? What controls did they introduce to be sure that their data isn’t skewed by bias? What double blind experiments did they conduct? See…this is what I’m saying. There’s nothing there to support all these wild claims. But debunking it is pretty simple: it only takes one pin to burst the balloon. But rather than admit the system is flawed, astrologists just simply pick up where they left off and make up more stories. Protect the narrative at all costs! They’ll even admit some level of environmental influence in an attempt to appease the force of logic they can’t deny. Astrology is an entity that isn’t necessary to explain the complexities of human behavior. At worst, it’s a system of slavery and blame shifting. Slavery because people become what their natal chart says they should be. Blame shifting because, “Hey, man, it wasn’t my fault; I was born under a bad sign, OK? I’m not greedy; I’m just a Leo. Leos love luxury. You can’t change that, man! I’m not a materialist by choice. I was just born this way, man!” Yeah, right. People can change. Astrology prevents that. Oh…wait…I forgot…No it doesn’t, it frees you to be the very best version of yourself you can be, right? I’ve heard it all. Move along.

                    • yaoi queen

                      ” All this “sun in the 11th house with a Gemini Venus, moon, and Mercury in the 11th house” stuff sounds just like an elaborate tale a child would make up about stealing cookies from the cookie jar:”

                      That is actually true astrology. This is even MORE proof that you didn’t do research. lol.

                      I don’t really know who made it. Try researching Vedic astrology, maybe the answers are there.

                      You didn’t debunk it though because you didn’t study it. You didn’t even know about the planets and houses. You went with sun sign astrology and decided that was it. Like I said, how can you debunk something you haven’t studied?

                      Your environment does play a role in how you turn out. That’s basic psychology…

                      Astrology chart of slavery in North America has Virgo sun with Scorpio Mars and Rahu conjunct ascendant. Virgo is the sign of service, so you can take that as you will. Scorpio is the planet of control, obsession, and possessiveness. Also… The North Node conjunct ascendant. The north node is a planet that shows the darker and insatiable desires. It rules unusual things, addictions, poisons, and obsessions.

                      That’s why you have your sun sign and North Node to ascribe to and learn lessons of this life. It’s not an excuse to do bad things, it something to help improve yourself and get on the right path. Your Leo sun CAN make you a bit arrogant and self-centered, but maybe use it for positive things. Inspire people, use the attention to bring awareness to issues, etc.

                    • Mar Komus

                      You’re condemning me for not researching it (patently false, btw. I’m in my forties and this is actually old hat; I just parody it because it’s not worthy of serious consideration), yet you don’t know the origins of all this.

                      I think I’ll stick to the generally accepted theory that it originates with the Babylonians, who used it more like astronomy. It was only as astronomical phenomena were linked to more and more correlative data that cause-effect relationships were established and embellished so that the extreme of linking certain signs in the sky to seasons of the year (valid) slid down the slippery slope to heavenly bodies influencing strongly a person’s entire life (invalid, except by way of self-fulfilling prophecy and confirmation bias)

                      Let me give you an example of something that came up in the natal reading (from your cherished Cafe Astrology) of a friend of mine that’s true for EVERYONE–not just Leos: “You have an internal struggle between your needs and your wants. You can lack focus and be indecisive as a result. Your ability to be objective is both an asset and a liability, simply because when you decide on one route, you are pulled in another direction at the same time. Something tugs at you, and you begin to question your stance. ‘But what if…’ and ‘on the other hand…’ are statements you can’t help but make, and that might plague you. You are always aware of the opposing point of view and the other side of the coin.”

                      And I could cite example after example of these kinds of generalizations that ring true for everyone. Doesn’t that describe you? The only reason you might say, “Not as much as a Leo,” is because you already are biased against admitting it because you’re biased in favor of the astrology narrative. Protect the narrative at all costs!

                    • yaoi queen

                      You used cafe astrology though. I personally LIKE them because they are great for beginners (they give you information about your aspects), but they don’t really go too deep into it. That’s why I always recommend it for beginners and say, “remember to also do research on it as well.”

                      Also… Not everyone struggles with their needs and wants. I have very little Leo in my chart so that may play a role in it, but I never really struggle with my needs and wants. I can spend quite a few dollars, but I still know the difference.

                      This is what I got for Leo sun on Cafe Astrology:

                      “There’s an unmistakably regal air to Solar Leos. These are dignified—?even noble—?folk. Leos have a reputation for being conceited, but think again. Leos do feel important, but this generally takes the form of wanting to change the world in some way?—to make the world a better place. They are generally motivated by affection for people, and often have big dreams and plans to make people happy.

                      Generally, Leos are hard-working. After all, they are attracted to the good things in life, and they know they have to work to get them. It is sometimes difficult to imagine Leos as go-getters if you happen to catch them in one of their languid moods. These people can sleep in, laze around, and luxuriate for long periods of time. However, when they do get to work, they do it with intensity and determination. In this way, they are not unlike their symbol, the lion.

                      The worst thing you can do to a Leo is accuse them of bad intentions. Displaying behavior that makes them think you don’t appreciate them runs a close second. These happy, jovial people become mighty hurt when others don’t see them for their noble intentions.

                      Loyal, and sometimes rather traditional, Leos are, after all, a fixed sign. They’ll hold on to situations and people for a very long time before they give up. There is an unmistakable idealism to Leo’s view of the world and the people in it. Often, Leos have a very noble inner code that they answer to. Although on the surface, Leos appear rather confident, they can actually be some of the most humble souls around. They are the first to blame themselves when something goes wrong. Once again, it’s the Leonine self-importance at work, and this characteristic works in unexpected ways. Instead of being the conceited, self-absorbed show-offs of reputation, they are usually very self-aware, self-conscious, and, yes, even humble.”

                      What you described sounds like a Libra to be honest. I personally would know because my Libra sister takes forever to make a decision. “I want X, but we might have it later on. I haven’t had Y in a while, but I really crave Z. Then again we generally get Z a lot. Y is tempting, but so is X” Contrast with my brother, an Aries Mars like myself, who just shouts out the first thing that pops into his head.

                    • Mar Komus

                      Again, that’s all adequately accounted for by confirmation bias and self-fulfilling prophecy.

                      So who are these mysterious experts, then? Who’s the authority on astrology, if not Cafe Astrology? They seem to get pretty deep! The natal charts I read were very long. How long-winded do these things get?

                    • yaoi queen

                      They do get pretty deep if you look at other sites. Cafe Astrology basically gives a summary of each sign, and maybe a small summary of aspects.

                      I would personally just Google. I like to Google the actual sign and then the nature of it. Fixed, Cardinal, and Mutable.

                      An example of Leo is Fire, Fixed, ruled by Sun, and rules the 5th house.

                      Fire signs are outgoing, grand, dramatic, passionate, etc. They love doing things and having fun. They need to spread their energy and go about things in a big way. They have grand ideas and visions, and love expressing them. They are intuitive in that they go by gut feelings. They make snap decisions and tend to be instinctual because it feels right. Bad things are their tendency to rush into things without really thinking. They are also pretty selfish signs. Fire energy is very emotional, so if you hurt their feelings, then they get angry and want to fight.

                      Fixed energy is stable. Leo is the Sun that’s fire and light goes on forever. You can count on it to fuel it’s own light and burn bright for others. This makes Leo a unique Fire sign because the other fire signs aren’t really what you can rely on. Aries tend to start up something, but then burn out. Sagittarius have to catch an idea and hope that it lasts. Instead, the Leo will get an idea and won’t stop until he expresses it to his liking. It’s also the sign of authority and he wants to keep it. The bad thing is that his fixed nature can make him stubborn.

                      Ruled by the Sun. The sun: Ego, purpose in life, self, way of being in the world, personality, creativity, expression, and it rules authority and fathers. The reason Leos have the reputation of being arrogant is that they are at home in the planet of ego and self. They love themselves and have pride in themselves. A bad thing is that they can have too much pride. Another thing is that they express themselves through their creativity which they rule.

                      5th house. This house rules: creativity, romance, true love, hobbies, children, fun things, self expression, entertainment, etc. Leos love to partake in those things. They like to take up different hobbies and express themselves through the arts. They are very romantic and believe in true love. A Leo will buy their loved ones expensive gifts and shower them with them. They are very family oriented because they believe their family and friends to be an extension of themselves, and they kind of love themselves. They love having fun and doing many activities as a fire sign. This is the house of entertainment, so theater is something they would take up. Many actors/actresses have prominent Leo in their chart.

                    • Mar Komus

                      Yeah, see? That’s a sign I can identify with! HUGELY! When I was a kid, I LOVED the flashy cars, wanted to be RICH, and I would have bought the woman of my dreams (she’d be a knockout, of course) the biggest, most expensive–rare, even–rock I could find for the engagement

                      Living the life I’ve chosen, though, has taught me about the futility of all that, though. All that glitters is not gold and the heart of a Leo is the heart of a king. And kings–true kings–seek to have hearts of wisdom to go beyond such surface things as worldly goods. Kings and queens value knowledge, discretion, self-control. It’s not that they can’t let their hair down a bit sometimes and have some fun, but the true kings and queens of the jungle understand all too well the diminishing return on investment of “BIGness.”

                      Consider this, though: if we were to take that description, strip it of its Leo labels and astrological jargon, would we find a significant statistical “bump” in the data of all people surveyed who thought that this description fairly well described them who were also determined to be Leos by virtue of their birthdate?

                      Also, the engine that Cafe Astrology uses for the natal chart seems like it’s pretty complex software. Doesn’t seem to be just outline material. It’s rather detailed.

                    • yaoi queen

                      That description would also apply to Capricorns as well because Capricorns want status, money, and all that comes with it. The only difference is a Capricorn wouldn’t be as flashy or dramatic as a Leo. Capricorns are more like the get all that stuff and stunt while being quiet. They tend to let their stuff and status speak for itself while fire signs (including Leos) are more boastful.

                      Seeking Wisdom beyond surface level is a Pisces quality, or even Sagittarius. Especially Pisces because it’s a spiritual sign that goes beyond the realms of our world.

                    • Mar Komus

                      Therein lies the problem of astrology: people can and do change. Circumstances only have led me to be less flashy. There’s a part of me that loves the flash and bang, the shock and awe. But time and experience have taught me that, like I said, not all that glitters is gold. That flashy stuff is fine for kids and people who are stuck in their little world of “I’m a Leo.” Self-identity has a STRONG influence on how you act.

                      Let me give you an example: when I was younger, I dreamed of making BIG money. I wanted the Lambo, Bugatti, etc. I would have proposed with a big rock. Las Vegas would be a cute little get away because I’d be living it up in Dubayy or some of the other places that say, “I got da dough.” My Instagram would be filled with pictures of me dressed to the nines and posing in front of my LOUD symbols of success. At heart, I’m a Leo.

                      But life happened. I met some people who were different and they taught me how futile and fleeting that lifestyle is. They showed me what true riches are all about. They showed me that life in the limelight is foolish and dumb.

                      But I was very much born with a flashy streak.

                      The zodiac and related astrological schemas seek to organize otherwise common personality traits around people born on certain dates. Get enough people to believe the lie and it becomes true, in a sense, but not because the underlying philosophy is correct. The underlying philosophy is that you are a certain way because you were born that way because of the planets, etc. As my mentor would say, “pura fantasia.”

                      As for my sign: you already know it isn’t Leo, by nature. You can guess if you like, but I’ll never tell. You have a one in eleven chance, anyway, and that’s actually pretty good.

                    • yaoi queen

                      Changing coincides with transits. A great site to look up transits is Astrotheme. Currently, I have the planet Neptune on my midheaven. Not that it changed much since I have a Pisces, the planet Neptune rules, midheaven.

                      Another thing is depending on age. A person can have a South Node in the 5th house. That shows that you are comfortable with, which is being flashy, the center of attention, etc. That would put your north node in the 11th house which is all about caring for society and humanity as a whole. I actually have the opposite. 🙂

                      You can’t really guess the sun sign because there are many planets, then you have to take in mind ascendant (how people see you) and the midheaven (your persona). People generally have me pegged as a Pisces or a Cancer (I have moon in my first house). They say that I’m super nice and nurturing when they first see me. Unfortunately, my moon in my first house, being a Pisces midheaven, and Neptune conjunct the ascendant has attracted a lot of bullies in my life.

                    • williamperron

                      Here’s the skinny on this Mar Komus character, he has been at this for over a year saying the exact same nonsense repeatedly. He has no other life, women don’t like him because he is boring, he doesn’t even like himself, he knows he’s boring, if he wasn’t boring he would have found something better to do with his life, but he doesn’t. because he is just naturally boring. He’s not a bad person, just boring, keep responding to him if you choose but it won’t go anyplace because to admit he was wrong he fears no one will pay any attention to him, and he is so lonely and desperate. Sadly for him he is doomed to stay that way because he is boring, so way boring.

                    • yaoi queen

                      OMG! LOL!

                      I personally think he may have a lot of fixed energy in his chart, particularly Leo or Aquarius since he relates to them.

                      I personally have mostly fixed energy in my chart, so I sort of understand him. I used to be a huge skeptic of astrology, until my sister showed me love compatibility. Obviously a Taurus, sign ruled by Venus, will only have an interest when love is being talked about.

                    • Mar Komus

                      But see, if this is what the astrologers tell you about yourself and confirmation bias backs it up, then that’s how you’ll live your life. Then it becomes a matter of self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s the same as some of those personality tests out there that tell you you’re sanguine, melancholy, etc. Get tested and told what you are based on a weighted testing system, then believe that system, then start acting that way. Pretty soon you’ve formed yourself according to someone else’s false system

                    • yaoi queen

                      It’s not because they tell you because everyone does it. Besides, the Neptune example I gave changed nothing since it was in the sign it rules, which makes it redundant. I digress though…

                      Not really self-fulfilling prophecy. Astrology is basically energy and potential. That’s why great astrologers are psychiatrists that know environment also plays a role. Each sign has a lower and higher vibration. Which you fall under is all about potential.

                      Example of Leo, since you like them. A lower vibration Leo: arrogant, self-centered, overreacts, and stubborn. A higher vibration Leo: friendly, confident, reliable, and entertaining. They still have the same energy of being dramatic, caring about self, having pride, and fixed.. The thing is, he can use that energy to do something good. Pride isn’t only about self, it can be about having pride in your creations, family, friends, etc. Dramatic can translate to being funny and entertaining. Self can translate to being confident without it going into arrogance territory. Fixed energy can be stubborn and set in their ways, but you can translate that to being reliable and stable. Like I said, sure Leo isn’t giving up his spot as the king, but he can be the blazing Sun that shines light for eternity.

                    • Mar Komus

                      “Energy and potential” are part of the narrative, which reinforces the delusion. And there is way WAY more to a person than their natal chart. LOTS of factors influence who a person is and those factors have better explanatory power than the zodiac, which relies on unscientific claims.

                      And see, everything you said about a Leo can be said about anyone else who isn’t a Leo, but who acts that way nevertheless.

                    • williamperron

                      Mar is just a closed minded person and no matter what he is going to deny, deny, deny, that is what his kind of troll does. He can’t open his mind that somehow, someway, something as impossible as astrology can actually have validity. Most astrologers before they were astrologers had his unbelief but did not have his closed mind, and there lies the crucial difference, no sense wasting time communicating with a stone.

                    • Mar Komus

                      There’s another way to interpret the evidence: I’ve already investigated astrology and found it to be lacking. What is more, I could say the same about you. So that makes us even

                    • William Perron

                      No troll we will never be even, I have an open educated mind. you have a belligerent childish closed mind. Not in ten thousand years could we ever come close to being even.

                    • Mar Komus

                      And yet here we are: even Steven. You sit there behind your keyboard smugly calling me a troll and trying, trying, trying to make something true by repeating it, repeating it, repeating it. Yet, like a thorn in your mind, you know deep down the real truth. None of this horoscopus pockus is real. But you live in the cave and refuse to free your mind from the myopic astrological framework. It’s a pity, really

                      You define a closed mind as someone who doesn’t believe in astrology. How do “we” know that so-and-so is closed minded? Because so-and-so rejects astrology. Therefore “they” couldn’t have possibly researched it a) enough and/or b) with an open mind. The only people with open minds (in William’s world) are people who accept astrology. Everyone else is a troll. Yes, a troll. “We” will label that person a troll until everyone in “our” social group agrees that that person is a troll. Because it’s easier to use groupthink and social dynamics to tar and feather someone than it is to actually use any real, logical, true and valid arguments based on facts and freethinking/REAL open mindedness

                      Do you see the problem here? Astrology can’t lose! I have a better solution. How about “we” define open mindedness for what it REALLY is? Isn’t open mindedness just simply willingness to look at facts and weigh them? Do I have to agree with the conclusions other people come to about the facts to be considered “open minded?” What if I am open minded, but I’m not so open minded I just let my brains fall out? What if I approach it with a freethinking, critical mind? What if I test everything to see if it’s really up to par? And what if I have tested astrology and found it to be severely lacking in explanatory power? What if there are other frameworks out there that more powerfully account for the nuances of human behavior and personality? What if there is too much psychological phenomena going on that skews the results of any statistical analysis?

                      You see, while it’s fun to speculate and develop all kinds of cute little theories in a vacuum of likeminded individuals who use confirmation bias as a way of “proving” what they already want to believe, it lacks explanatory power in the long run and only causes people to believe in all kinds of myths and ignorance. No, the planets and stars don’t rule us–except as we give into what the astrologers say we should believe in. Then it’s back to confirmation bias and self-fulfilling prophecies

                    • Mar Komus

                      Geez! I should have been born a Leo! That matches me WAY better than my actual sign

                    • yaoi queen

                      You could have a personal planet in Leo, or have planets in the 5th house.

                      My brother is a Capricorn, but he has a 9th house (Sagittarius) stellium and he’s very fun and outgoing. Then again, he’s also a hard worker and will work through the Holidays.

                    • Mar Komus

                      See? They had to come up with some explanation as to why this Capricorn wasn’t doing what Capricorns do–because he has a 9th house stellium! Oh! That explains it! But when a Capricorn does what a Capricorn will do, it’s, “Well he IS a Capricorn, after all!” Come on.

                    • yaoi queen

                      Not exactly. He still had a lot of Capricorn personal planets (Sun, Mercury, Venus), with an Earth (Taurus) moon. His stellium of personal planets just fell in the house of Sagittarius. He’s very fun and outgoing in his “wild” days. People described him as the life of the party and he did some pretty freaky stuff; though I would equate the freaky stuff with his Capricorn stellium (lustful planet), and his Aries Mars.

                      He also wanted the same things as other Capricorns and is a bit of a workaholic. He even quoted Greed from FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood about wanting money, women, power, s*x, status, glory, and the finer things of life. He actually said he really liked and related to Greed, who I personally believe is a Capricorn.

      • Mar Komus

        It’s just confirmation bias. Confirmation bias and self-fulfilling prophecy are much stronger than people give credit. But what do I know, right? I’m one of those horoscope signs crossed with a moonbeam and an astral projection in the 5th tear of the star of lalalalala. So it makes sense I would say such things :p

        • Matt Laidlaw

          Yes and a made up sign is poor taste. But, like you said, what do you know?

          • Mar Komus

            Hello, Matt Laidlaw. Welcome to our planet. Here we use sarcasm and parody sometimes to communicate. I also know about astrology. I can tell you a little bit about it. Would you like to learn? Here’s all you really need to know: it’s Taurus manure. Maybe someday, when you grow up big and strong, you’ll learn about big words like confirmation bias and self-fulfilling prophecy. Till then, keep counting on your fingers and toes.

            • Matt Laidlaw

              Wow, condescending much?I know exactly what you are talking about buddy. And your sarcasm was not lost on me. It was poor taste and you seem to think you know more on this subject than others. Need to get off that high horse and stop thinking your opinions are how the world works. Now, be a big boy and listen.

              There are people that match there horoscope without even knowing what it says. Whether this is a coincidence or not is not the point. It does happen and that mean it is not always confirmation bias and self-fulfilling prophecy. (Which are words you probably just learned)

              I personally enjoy the little snips in the paper on my horoscope and it gives life a little magic. There is nothing wrong with this and some traits do hold true to the times of year. At least we as humans can find reasons for why they fit. You can deny they have any meaning but that does not change the fact that they do and that they have “influenced” so many people that they might as well be

              Keep counting those finger and toes, my friend

              • Mar Komus

                Let me pull you up a little chair, camper. That’s it; sit right there and let uncle Mar explain something to you.

                You see, little Matty, I don’t have any problem with people reading their horoscopes in the paper because you could mix them all up and print them in the paper and people would still find ways the horoscope fit them that day. If it didn’t, they’d probably be a bit like a gambler: one misfire doesn’t kill the whole system. But let’s face the truth: horoscopes in the paper are just advice cloaked in hocus pockus booga booga. People eat that kind of manure for breakfast because common sense is too boring (to them). So enjoy! I can’t say I don’t enjoy reading the fortunes in my fortune cookies when I go out for Chinese food. Most of the time they’re pretty timely! But that doesn’t mean I buy into fortune cookies as guides for my life. They’re full of fairly good advice and since I’ve had a lot of crap happen in my life it’s a nice pick me up. But I’m not into cosmic energies on the order astrology wishes to read itself into in some attempt to validate itself. I know better. I’ve lived life.

                No, Matty, ~ha, ha, ha~ I didn’t just learn those words. ~clap~ That’s so cute! They’ve been a part of my vocabulary for a good while now.

                But really…enjoy the advice they give; it’s good stuff. I just don’t buy into the idea that it’s determinative–or even significantly influential.

                You know, Matty. There are lots of people who DON’T match their sign–or their entire natal chart–except, again, insofar as we can see that it’s indistinguishable from confirmation bias and self-fulfilling prophecy.

                Here’s another question: what if someone unknowingly lived their life against their natal chart? I’m far more like the Leos than I am the Tauruses. But what if I’m actually an Aries? Maybe we could play, “Guess Mar’s astrological sign?” Of course you have a one in twelve chance, which isn’t too bad. Then again, I’m not much for games. Oops…which sign is not much for games?

                • Matt Laidlaw

                  LMAO! Who are you talking to kid? This is too funny! I am glad you took the time to type out this long and wasteful ‘essay’ But you really do not need to explain your self. I can read and you are so full of it that you talk to people on here like you are there Uncle. Kind of disturbing IMHO.

                  I Would need to get to know you to make a good guess on your sign. You know, IRL! Not just you trolling like an artist.

                  If you had any maturity at all you would not talk to me like I am younger and have a learning problem. You really need to grow up cuz if anything, you are giving off the trolly 14 year old vibe with nothing better to do.

                  • Mar Komus

                    Well if you’re distracted by a “vibe” or my condescending “uncle” persona, then you’re probably not ready for analyzing content.

                    My point was made long ago, but you rejected it. Scroll. Up.

                    “Cuz?” And I need to grow up?

                    ~pff~ wuttevs

                    • Matt Laidlaw

                      You have not even studied astrology and continue to ‘spout’ your narrative. Really need to get off that high horse troll

                    • Mar Komus

                      Oh…OK…I haven’t studied astrology. And your evidence is?

                    • Matt Laidlaw

                      Read the comments

                    • Mar Komus

                      Already did. Nothing you’ve written is at all convincing in any way, shape, or form

                    • Matt Laidlaw

                      lol that’s nice.

                  • Mar Komus

                    For the record: the basic assumptions of astrology are Taurus manure. That’s my point. That’s it. That simple. I thought that was clear

                    • Matt Laidlaw

                      Sure that is your opinion but you are not educated enough in the topic to try and convince others. If it is that simple than move on with your life.

                    • Mar Komus

                      You haven’t done anything to make me feel like I’m not educated enough. Why don’t you point me to some solid resources if you think you’ve got this nailed?

                    • Matt Laidlaw

                      Got this nailed? Okay then. The point is that you are ‘forgetting’ important things about astrology and after reading your ‘arguments’ with other people, I can see that you are just trying to push your narrative. You do not have to feel uneducated but that does not change the fact that you are.
                      ‘Mommy!, I think Uncle is drunk. Oh don’t worry, he’s just like that”

                    • Mar Komus

                      What kind of idiotic logic is that?! You just skirted the entire issue. You’re making a claim, namely that this astrology bit is true. What evidence do you have to support your claim?

                      You know what? You don’t have ANYTHING. Put up or shut up! It’s go time, kid. You show me the real evidence or show yourself a FRAUD!

                      I’m not pushing a narrative, here; THAT’S YOU! You’re projecting! You want SO BADLY for your little false system to be true, but it’s really false. You can’t support your system with logic and evidence. You can’t cite your sources. You don’t know how all this astrology business even came about. You’ve told me NOTHING to support your claim! I could Google this all day long and still find the arguments online as fallacious as they’ve always been

                      WHERE’S YOUR EVIDENCE? PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

                    • Matt Laidlaw

                      LOL!!! I have made no claim. I have only spoken of experience. I really do not need to show you evidence when other people have already shown you plenty. To the point where you had nothing to say that added to the conversation.
                      Nothing will satisfy you as convincing, I can already see that.
                      This reaction is quite typical of a FRAUD projecting their insecurities onto others.

                      Evidence would be the people in this world. Sure, if you read something about yourself then you may be inclined to fulfill that prophecy. But there are people that have never read their horoscope, yet they still have some of those attributes. It has already bin explained to you how the time and day affects astrology. Do you really need me to repeat what has already bin said or can you pay attention the first time?

                      Are you claiming to be some sort of expert? I know you believe what you believe and will not change. It is just funny that you spend so much effort calling people down and trying to convince them otherwise. Good Luck with that. =p

                    • Mar Komus

                      Look, kid…you didn’t even THINK to say the words fraud or projecting insecurities until Uncle Mar uttered the words. You’re PARROTING me, which is the highest form of compliment, so thank you.

                      There have been people who have NOT read their horoscopes who are NOTHING LIKE what is described. What now? We’ve been over this.

                      I’m not claiming to be an expert. I’m claiming to be a skeptic. I have an open, inquiring mind. I’m a freethinker who uses logic and critical thinking skills to avoid rubbish ideas. I don’t let other people control my thinking with their groupthink and inability to think outside their circle (get it? Circle? Like the zodiac?)

                    • Matt Laidlaw

                      LOL okay buddy, you can tell yourself anything you want.

                      Yes, their are cases for both sides. Wow you figured that out. That is what I said. Thank you for understanding, kid. Indeed, what now? Is that the extent of your argument? It is not convincing. Maybe you should troll somewhere else before you get too burned.

                    • Mar Komus

                      Sure, I can tell myself anything I want. I could tell myself astrology is true. But that doesn’t make it true, now, does it? No. It doesn’t. But since you only parroted what I said, that means that you didn’t exactly have an original thought there, did you. Of course, projecting isn’t an original word. And neither is parroting. But you didn’t think to use them till I said something

                      Yes. I figured that out. I knew that going in. That’s why I don’t find astrology credible. Perhaps you could tell me how the fact that people act certain ways regardless of their astrological signs lends credence to astrology? No? Yeah…didn’t think so

                      I’m not burned. But you’re a looney

    • yaoi queen

      You have to look at the entire chart.

      • Mar Komus

        What if I already have and I didn’t find it truthful? Or maybe you could indicate which one is the “right” and perfect one I should be looking at?

        • yaoi queen

          Do you have your time of birth and place of birth? If so, plug it into Cafe Astrology or Astrotheme, and then research.

          Also… Take note of transits. They are VERY important. My natal chart, stationary, has my Neptune in the 8th house, though right now, the actual planet Neptune is transitioning in my 10th house. It says that I tend to draw people in need of help to me, which has been true for the most part. Homeless people always come to me to ask for a dollar, or people come to me for help. That’s just one planet though.

          Actually… Fun fact! Donald Trump won presidency due to astrology. The night the vote was happening, it was void of moon, which indicates something sneaky happening behind the scenes. Ronald Reagan won due to astrology. His wife, Nancy, looked at transits and decided which time is the best for him to run.

  • TheWorldsMostFascinatingMan

    Interesting how folks who haven’t a clue as to how you cast a horoscope know so much about a subject they have never studied.

    • beth

      Yes, I’m finding several of the debunkings have their own scientific errors. One of which is that they aren’t using astrology correctly, so they are debunking some general, mush mash, that has nothing to do with astrology.

      That doesnt’ make astrology legit, but doeesn’t make it debunked either.

      For instance, one’s sunsign doesn’t determine ones personality. There’s a whole complex of things to read to determine a personality. So that entire line of debunking is just showing that the orignator didn’t take time to learn what he was debunking. Also who would take newspaper horoscopes as meaning anything? They are written for entertainment and one doesn’t know the skill level of the writers. So comparing them as not consistent is like comparing a bunch of science experiements from a bunch of random people who may or may not be good scientists then claiming the inconsistencies debunk science.

      • TheWorldsMostFascinatingMan

        By your post there is no doubt that you have a brain and can think and question independently for yourself, that can leave you a target for some of the zombified thought nazis that troll sites like this.

        • beth

          Lol. Yes, that is a problem. I got to this link from a posting that seemed thoughtful, so I was looking forward to a studied site with thought out data.

          Then I got here… What’s useful, i’d seen before. The rest is lacking. Oh well.

      • yaoi queen

        So much this. How is this guy even credible? He isn’t even studying the subject he wants to debunk. Debunking something is studying it rigorously and then doing many tests. He doesn’t even want to look past the sun sign and into the other planets or house, and that’s basic astrology!

  • williamperron

    Mar how many horoscopes have you actually done?? Please don’t say none and seal your ignorance forever, how many Mar????

  • williamperron

    If you have never cast a horoscope then you really have no business commenting, u will b demonstrating your ignorance of the subject publicly, unless you’re into that sort of thing.