Astrologers angered by stars


You do of course appreciate that Astrology is complete bullshit … at least I hope you do. Yes, OK a few folks read what has been word-crafted for their sign in the papers, but nobody actually truly believes there is anything real going on. Ah well strictly speaking, thats not quite true, there are indeed folks out there who do take Astrology seriously … really seriously.

If challenged, they will confirm that what you read in the papers is a bit of fun, and so for a real reading you need to come to them to get it done properly … and if you cross their palm with silver, the secrets of the future will be yours … (yea right).

OK, so what’s up? Well, a week or two ago in the UK, the BBC hosted “Stargazing Live” (and yes, I turned in, it was cool and very watchable). As described by Astrologer Angela Cornish (yes seriously … I’m quoting an Astrologer … but only to illustrate some stupidity, so don’t panic) …

“If you didn’t happen to see it, there were two presenters, Professor Brian Cox and Dara O’Briain. All was going well until they got to a part where they had models of the planets in our solar system on a table and Dara was explaining that all of the planets orbit at different speeds and distances away from the Sun. He said only the earth orbits the Sun in 365 days and returns to its own place, showing that horoscopes are nonsense. He then went on to add “Let’s get this straight once and for all, Astrology is rubbish” The other presenter, Brian Cox, then agreed and said “in the interests of balance on the BBC, yes astrology is nonsense.”

Yep, thats accurate, I remember that part. So what has happened is that the wrath of the the Astrological Association of Great Britain now descends … (and yes its a real organization … so it appears we do indeed have an association for moronically stupid people). They have launched a petition that they intend to send to the BBC. It reads …

The Association will be requesting that the BBC make a public apology and a statement that they do not support the personal views of Professor Brian Cox or Dara O’Briains on the subject of astrology. We also request that the BBC will commit to making a fair and balanced representation of astrology when aired in the future.

Now actually thats a petition I fully support, (as suggested by Martin Robbins) I love the idea of the BBC doing a truly fair and balanced representation of astrology. In other words, its complete bullshit … thats a scientific fact, so in the interests of making a fair and balanced … lets see now … on one end of the scale we have …

  • The scientific viewpoint … where studies have repeatedly failed to demonstrate statistically significant relationships between astrological predictions and operationally defined outcomes (click here, and also check out Shawn Carlson A Double-blind Test of Astrology Nature, 318, 419 1985)

And on the other side we have …

  • The Astrology viewpoint, where we have … absolutely no evidence at all, not one jot, zilch, zero, nothing … nada …

Yep … lets do it … lets have a completely fair representation of the reality of all this, so that the folks out there who have deluded themselves into believing this gibberish, cease to con other folks with such nonsense.

Martin Robbins in the Guardian writes …

I’d love to see the BBC give a fair and balanced representation of astrology. In fact sod it, let’s extend that to all newspapers as well.

Such a representation would depict astrology as a pseudoscience with no real basis in evidence that was already being ridiculed in the Dark Ages, and note that after thousands of years astrologers still can’t produce statistically meaningful results.

It would observe that any apparent successes of astrology probably owe more to the use of cold-reading techniques, convenient vagueness, and the exploitation of psychological quirks like confirmation bias or the Forer effect, and express amazement at the continued ability of the astrological industry to lift hundreds of millions of euros, pounds and dollars out of the pockets of customers each year.

He has written this all up in his Blog on the Guardian today, click here to read it.

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