translated into Castilian by the Author
Reviewed by: Gloria Guajardo
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Article published in the journal Cyrus astrological Discepolo “Ricerca ’90” number 43 from page 52
From time to time on the Internet also turns into fashion the fascinating (but sometimes boring) debate on the topic: Astrology and Science. Among the claims that can be read, one cannot but agree with this: the opponents of astrology often do not have the humility to try to understand what is, what it takes and how our discipline, and discuss with them is like talking to a wall. I think none of them have never opened a manual of astrology and / or have learned to write a natal chart to determine their practical utility. It is true that someone put some testing horoscopes defined as “scientific”, but usually did so in bad faith by using readily, as they say in boxing jargon, a resounding “hits below the waist.
I mean for example the classic case (with which years ago claimed to have “demolished” definitely astrology) of the five themes of so many native celebrities: the subjects were sent anonymously to five “known” for astrologers interpret them. The 25 resulting reports were then forwarded to the five characters for each of them to identify which were the five reports that talked about him. Similar experiments suggest again occasionally alleged “defenders of science” even in the virtual discussion forums on the Internet astrology: but the result can only be “scientifically” irrelevant, because what we proudly defined as a scientific experiment air has more of a mockery organized to “cheat” more willing to astrologers and naive, yet evidence that the two aspects well known astrologer and insurance expert can not ignore: that is,
1) the difficulty that has become known and recognized consultant in everything he is telling the astrologer (except when then change your mind and admits that indeed, things are exactly as we do from their natal chart !) and
2) the difficulty that the astrologer to paint a picture broadly logical, coherent and plausible from a myriad of loose details (phase beginners are particularly difficult and delicate is revealed also for experts).
Indeed, the lied “experiment” does not test any deeper gears, the most basic assumptions of our discipline.
With people who have already taken sides show and just want to get insidious traps, surely not worth discussing. But further reflection on these issues can serve those who, in dealing with astrology and know well its mechanisms and its limits, also raised the issue of how and why they work, and if our discipline can and can not consider “science” . But to do so, we must also understand what is holy and why this science today enjoys an undisputed authority.We should also ask whether or not such authority is justified by the facts. It should then be related both to science with astrology as a critical and epistemological aproche (which is what I wanted to suggest the title I gave my previous article on this subject: “For an epistemology applied to astrology).
Is astrology a science? This question is difficult to answer when we do not agree even on the definition of science.Many agree in speaking of two “types” of science: the “hard” or exact (mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy …) and “soft” or not accurate (medicine, psychology, sociology, meteorology …) : however, accurate or not, it was in both cases covered science, with the stamp, character or power of authority and effectiveness that this entails.The laws described sciences underlying point to play a particular phenomenon in the laboratory and provide constant effect in nature is not accurate to describe the complex events based on theoretical models that are more or less well adapted to reality (perhaps neglecting any component considered largely irrelevant) and allow to forecast complex operations through simulation (usually made through powerful computers or computer programs).Skeptics tend to stress the failed predictions of astrologers, however we want to underline that forecasts are not exact science, sometimes little more than failed predictions: as the approximation of the weather, which provides a sunny day in a particular area that is recorded after the most violent hailstorm in the last decade …
Astrology is based on assumptions and skills that, in my modest opinion, can be defined as “scientific”. I mean everything you need to calculate, write and draw a horoscope: the concepts of astronomical geography, trigonometric calculations of domificación and use of precise ephemeris, which differ from the astronomical ephemeris only by using other benchmarks. However, subsequent to the drafting phase, ie the interpretation of the chart, is usually neglected because it was not enough (or very little, if any) scientific.Why the skepticism? Among the reasons that one can find, highlight the arguments “naive” to try to explain that science is a method of knowledge than others, because it assumes the following:
- a) the existence of a real world outside and independent of the observer
- b) the operation of this world is constant over time and that the phenomena are reproducible, and
- c) that every event has a cause (the principle of cause and effect).
Some skeptics argue wanting to add that the mind three points pose “serious problems” for astrology. But they forget that these same principles also pose serious problems for science itself and opens the door to a sequel that are not easy problems to solve. Here are some.
Point a): direct observation of the outside world and its interpretation by the human being is enormous limitations and is not always possible.The assertion that through science “we know what happens inside the Sun, about 150 million km from here,” seems unaware that if we know (or think we know) is certainly not by observation or direct measurement.What thermometer can measure temperatures of our star? None: the infer, based on a complex set of scientific assumptions, which of course considered valid and undisputed.How do we know what the world was in the Devonian period? We do not know: we can only intuit, based on fossil digging collect rocks, which, based on our present knowledge of geology, we believe belong to that particular time. And how do we see that the universe is slowing? We do not see: we deduce from the fact that most of the galaxies observed through the prism lens, shows a strong “red shift”, which is interpreted as Doppler effect and explain it as the light source distance from the observer .Some of these theoretical premises are probably based on direct observations (which might be false, but that we would prefer to develop a discourse that again) but many are from their theoretical assumptions rather than on a logic that hardly would get skein unravel in a nutshell.
As for astrology and observation, have already expressed my skepticism about the prevailing theory according to which astrology is born of the spirit of observation of goat herders Chaldeans or Babylonians, who first noticed a certain correspondence between the time of year in which one is born and character. At the time when the basic astrological opinions were presumably encoded nobody is certainly going to look at reality with an eye “Galilean” in this sense that astrology was born exclude a number of observations and practical tests, then organized in theory. In fact the origin of astrology itself is shrouded in mystery surrounding the origin of many other activities and typically human knowledge (language, cooking, parenting, art, religion), of which we can only guess, evolutionary theory as now prevailing we explain them thoroughly.I imagine that the Italian astrologer Lisa Morpurgo (of which I am not a follower) has realized this fact and develop hypotheses about the extraterrestrial origin of the concept of zodiac.
Point b): not all phenomena are reproducible, but not science avoids dealing with them.Storms, tornadoes and earthquakes are impossible to replicate to our liking either in nature or in laboratory: maybe we can do simulations and theoretical models of them, and yet the disciplines that deal with them we defined as science.Also the Galilean study of biological evolution of the species is impossible because it would take place in times too long for humans. But we tried to reproduce in the laboratory, X rays bombarded with countless generations of Drosophila (fruit flies) to induce those genetic mutations that, in nature, within a few generations should carry, as evolutionists say, the birth of new species.The flies are so impressive that reproductive rhythms in a few years can generate many progeny equivalent to procreated in millions of years by species that reproduce less frequently. But even with such “induced development” managed to create a new species of flies, but entire generations of Drosophila deformed and sterile, or whose offspring become “magically” normal successive generation. Also the fact bring forth life on earth is an event not to repeat that many times tried to reproduce in the laboratory, the fusion only getting some chains of amino acids and proteins. But creating life from inanimate matter in a lab, nobody has yet … not by this fact to scientists working on the denigrate it.
Do astrological phenomena are repeatable? Some do, some do not. When it comes to find astrological advice relating to the planets fast, no problem: we have thousands of examples on which to make broad statistical studies. But if we find out the meaning of the slow planets, things are different. In his article entitled “Alle sorgenti dell’evoluzione” (At the roots of evolutionism), Fabrizio Cecchetti writes: “Every passage of Uranus in Aquarius tends to bring out evidence or indication that everything evolves and transforms.This is a statement which, by their intrinsic characteristics (the presence of the word “tender” and the lack of concrete examples as support) is hardly falsifiable and therefore called “unscientific”. To verify this claim, the author would have had to show at least two or three specific examples of passages of Uranus in Aquarius in different historical periods.
Moreover, we have emphasized that many scientific hypotheses are also expressed in a way that can not be refuted.To be distorted (ie refuted) the hypothesis must be stated in clear and unequivocal terms, and certainly not in terms of probability.The scientist said: “We have 96% chance that at any moment appear in the area positron accelerator X Y” does not make a prognosis “scientific” because the positron is found or does not appear, the claim validity. In addition, to rule the falsity of scientific theories, they should not be modified only to preserve or protect them from all kinds of rebuttals. This is an important point, because the evolution has been moving away gradually from the original Darwinian theory through such adjustments to which epistemologists defined as ad hoc modifications.
Item c): the principle of cause and effect is certainly the most prevalent today, but was stranded at the forward-philosophical epistemological paradox of the “uncaused cause”.To say that everything has its cause, sooner or later I indicate an initial cause, the principle of all, a factor that is not caused by anything. The evolution is based on the same logic: mammals have evolved from reptiles, amphibians, reptiles, amphibians, fish, fish and invertebrates, and invertebrates of the single-cell, the single-cell chains of amino acids, amino acids simple protein … But to what extent can bring back the evolutionary chain? A cosmic level assumptions are made about a solar system that has evolved from a cosmic cloud, which has evolved … but what the hell? If everything evolved from something prior and (who knows why?) more primitive, then there will be absolutely vital, poor, essential to have evolved … of nowhere!
Indeed, science has made assumptions about the Big Bang theory exciting but it has a large limit.The anti-astrology skeptic says, in effect, that science should not be limited to describe, but we also have to explain to the world, the why of things, to assist in the development and welfare of mankind.However, this view does not reflect the sad reality. The Big Bang theory does not explain why matter has been paramount “need” to explode, instead of staying in the state of equilibrium in which, presumably, would have to be found.Evolutionism does not explain why some species have “had” to evolve to survive, while so many (insects, sharks, reptiles, jellyfish) have remained unchanged to this day.
There are also quite highly descriptive sciences, such as comparative anatomy and classification Linnaean type, because they know for example what are the differences between the Strigidae and the falcons, but nothing we say (because it clearly does not fit their aims) on the why there is such a variety of organs and agencies.It’s why the scientific community is laughing at the classification of living things by calling it useless.
“Astrology is limited to describe a certain reality and also helps us to explain it? Depends. There is certainly a practical astrology, applied, demonstrating the function. Who takes care of it can be safely avoid the problem of how and why it works. Ciro Discepolo long ago, in a message to Italian Astrology Forum Internet, has defined a “radio-” who knows how to adjust the radio but can not argue with the experts when more hidden features of the airwaves. The example is good, but I think it Discepolo, who is one of the largest Italian astrologers, show rather modest. I imagine that everyone who deals with astrology is eventually asked why it works, and has also found his personal response.
“Astrology is based or not on the principle of cause and effect? I think not, as it seems pointless trying to explain how and why the planets or constellations “influence” the nature and / or destination of one, perhaps there is no influence of any kind.Although the astrologer uses statements like: “Nicolas is actually so because the moon is in Pisces,” in reality we know things that put them there as well.Nicholas was not made because the moon is in Pisces, but surely the moon in Pisces teaches us that Nicholas was done.It’s a bit like the road sign warns of a crossroads: the intersection exists, but not because we are the sign indicates.We know that if our clock needles are about the number 12 is noon (or midnight) but certainly not noon because the needles are positioned in such manner.As the signs or the position of the needles, and combinations of planets, luminaries, signs and houses give us useful insights into the life and character of people, but why are not the cause of it.
We again talk of falsification: an epistemological aproche whereby one can not prove the absolute validity of a thesis, but simply untrue.Although it is an attempt to overcome the limits of inductivism “naive,” counterfeiting is also aproche some extent based on the same assumptions. For example, the repetition of the phenomenon and its direct observation. The proponent of falsification, Popper argued that no single test is sufficient to counter a particular hypothesis is refuted (denied).Although it is Popper, in this case the reality is slightly different. Proponents of a theory can be seen (rightly) a single proof to the contrary as a mistake, a mistake, a misunderstanding that falsifies the theory “only in appearance.” The truth of a theory, they say, also depends on the level of technology achieved, and what seems absurd today, tomorrow could be acceptable. Suppose I squeeze in my hand two heavy objects and drop them, suddenly turning his hands. Suppose now, however absurd it may seem, the two objects do not fall down, as everyone expected, but remain suspended in the air. With that I have shown that gravity does not exist? Of course not, tell the person of his mind: maybe I’ve proved a good magician. And I challenge skeptics to return to repeat the act in a laboratory under controlled conditions “scientific” and his command, or as often as they deem necessary. A single event “otherwise” shall not in any way accepted as “proof falsificante” a theory that, in a thousand other occasions, has proven to work optimally. And, of course, is just that way.
Every time on the Internet (or on television, radio, newspapers or at the bar …) emerge controversy between skeptics and astrologers, repeat the concepts of which we have sought to demonstrate here the limits: that science is a method of knowledge better than others, we put the horoscopes to check that astrology is not an exact science …
I personally never claimed that astrology is a science. I say it’s just that we can get a aproche epistemological type. I think the right thing we can do, or rather just the one thing we must do if we really want to place astrology in the cultural dimension that belongs to him without reservations or inferiority or superiority with respect to anyone.
In addition I have shown that even the skeptics aproche lying to Galileo (and are inductivists “naive”) and Popper (and are counterfeiting) is notable limits: and indeed, both aproches have been overtaken by other epistemologists, among whom I mention Thomas Kuhn first with their “paradigms”. Of which, God willing, we will discuss another time.