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Another curious aspect of astrology is its emphasis on planet configurations at birth. What about the forces that might influence us at conception? Isn’t our genetic makeup more important for determining our personality than the circumstances of our birth? Would we really be a different person if we had been born a few hours earlier or later, as astrology claims? (Back when astrology was first conceived, birth was thought of as a moment of magic significance, but today we understand a lot more about the long process that precedes it.)

Actually, very few well-educated people today buy the claim that our entire lives are predetermined by astrological influences at birth, but many people apparently believe that astrology has validity as an indicator of affinities and personality. A surprising number of Americans make judgments about people—whom they will hire, associate with, and even marry—on the basis of astrological information. To be sure, these are difficult decisions, and you might argue that we should use any relevant information that might help us to make the right choices. But does astrology actually provide any useful information on human personality? This is the kind of question that can be tested using the scientific method (see Testing Astrology ).

The results of hundreds of tests are all the same: there is no evidence that natal astrology has any predictive power, even in a statistical sense. Why, then, do people often seem to have anecdotes about how well their own astrologer advised them? Effective astrologers today use the language of the zodiac and the horoscope only as the outward trappings of their craft. Mostly they work as amateur therapists, offering simple truths that clients like or need to hear. (Recent studies have shown that just about any sort of short-term therapy makes people feel a little better because the very act of talking about our problems with someone who listens attentively is, in itself, beneficial.)

The scheme of astrology has no basis in scientific fact, however; at best, it can be described as a pseudoscience. It is an interesting historical system, left over from prescientific days and best remembered for the impetus it gave people to learn the cycles and patterns of the sky. From it grew the science of astronomy, which is our main subject for discussion.

Testing astrology

In response to modern public interest in astrology, scientists have carried out a wide range of statistical tests to assess its predictive power. The simplest of these examine sun sign astrology to determine whether—as astrologers assert—some signs are more likely than others to be associated with some objective measure of success, such as winning Olympic medals, earning high corporate salaries, or achieving elective office or high military rank. (You can devise such a test yourself by looking up the birth dates of all members of Congress, for example, or all members of the U.S. Olympic team.) Are our political leaders somehow selected at birth by their horoscopes and thus more likely to be Leos, say, than Scorpios?

You do not even need to be specific about your prediction in such tests. After all, many schools of astrology disagree about which signs go with which personality characteristics. To demonstrate the validity of the astrological hypothesis, it would be sufficient if the birthdays of all our leaders clustered in any one or two signs in some statistically significant way. Dozens of such tests have been performed, and all have come up completely negative: the birth dates of leaders in all fields tested have been found to be distributed randomly among all the signs. Sun sign astrology does not predict anything about a person’s future occupation or strong personality traits.

In a fine example of such a test, two statisticians examined the reenlistment records of the United States Marine Corps. We suspect you will agree that it takes a certain kind of personality not only to enlist, but also to reenlist in the Marines. If sun signs can predict strong personality traits—as astrologers claim—then those who reenlisted (with similar personalities) should have been distributed preferentially in those one or few signs that matched the personality of someone who loves being a Marine. However, the reenlisted were distributed randomly among all the signs.

More sophisticated studies have also been done, involving full horoscopes calculated for thousands of individuals. The results of all these studies are also negative: none of the systems of astrology has been shown to be at all effective in connecting astrological aspects to personality, success, or finding the right person to love.

Other tests show that it hardly seems to matter what a horoscope interpretation says, as long as it is vague enough, and as long as each subject feels it was prepared personally just for him or her. The French statistician Michel Gauquelin, for example, sent the horoscope interpretation for one of the worst mass murderers in history to 150 people, but told each recipient that it was a “reading” prepared exclusively for him or her. Ninety-four percent of the readers said they recognized themselves in the interpretation of the mass murderer’s horoscope.

Geoffrey Dean, an Australian researcher, reversed the astrological readings of 22 subjects, substituting phrases that were the opposite of what the horoscope actually said. Yet, his subjects said that the resulting readings applied to them just as often (95%) as the people to whom the original phrases were given.

The ancient religion of astrology, with its main contribution to civilization a heightened interest in the heavens, began in Babylonia. It reached its peak in the Greco-Roman world, especially as recorded in the Tetrabiblos of Ptolemy. Natal astrology is based on the assumption that the positions of the planets at the time of our birth, as described by a horoscope, determine our future. However, modern tests clearly show that there is no evidence for this, even in a broad statistical sense, and there is no verifiable theory to explain what might cause such an astrological influence.

Questions & Answers

what is the model about the earth being the center of the universe called?
Lordgy Reply
geocentric model
SCIENCE
I hope you got your answer.
SCIENCE
heliocentric universe
Jason
you are wrong Jason skerbinc
SCIENCE
in heliocentric model sun is at the center of the universe
Tanmay
what is black hole and stellar black hole
azeb Reply
does Millikan consider electron axial spin in his discovery of electrons mass using q/m ratio ? If No how it is possible that he found rest mass of electron (9×10^31 Kg) ?
Anurag Reply
how did light from up
Sourav Reply
Before there stars , there was matter and radiation . Before there were neutral atoms ,there was an ionized plasma ,and when that plasma froms neutral atoms , those allow the Universe to deliver the earliest light we see today .......
Apsara
how to know the distance of a star
Sourav Reply
What is time
Sourav
Technical Infinite Measurement of Evolution
Doc
not by the book but the simplicity of word play ....
Doc
to calculate the distance of a star we use parallax method (as far as my school has taught me).
Tanmay
in this method we see the star from one point and then after traveling some distance perpendicular to the distance of star we see it again. With this we can make a triangle and then it's median will give our distance
Tanmay
And time is just a way of defining when an event happened
Tanmay
oh and we will know the distance of all the 3 sides of triangle formed above if we multiply the time taken by light with speed of light and the third side will be known to us as it is dependent on our will
Tanmay
what are wormholes?
facty Reply
Holes made by worms
Neil
What is the difference between black hole and white hole ?
Apsara
black hole is the place where the massive body makes a large disturbance in space time fabric causing large gravity even light can't escape from it and all the bodies enter into on reaching a specific distance.
SCIENCE
A white hole is a hypothetical region of spacetime and singularity which cannot be entered from the outside, although energy-matter and light can escape from it. In this sense, it is the reverse of a black hole, which can be entered only from the outside and from which energy-matter and light can
SCIENCE
White holes appear in the theory of eternal black holes
SCIENCE
worm holes join 2 distant region of spacetime through which you can travel, covering large distance in short time
Tanmay
for example if you need to travel from A to B on a plane of paper then you can travel in a straight line joining those points but a worm hole will join those points using 3rd dimention which will make you travel that distance in short time
Tanmay
Hi,Do you known Kyaw Nyein Chan Hein!
zin Reply
No
Astrophysicist
Hello : I'm Kyaw Nyein Chan
zin
Hi I'm Kyaw Nyein Chan
zin Reply
Hello : good moring, I'm Kyaw Nyein Chan
zin Reply
hello good morning
Astrophysicist
good morning bro
Tanmay
how do you do?
Astrophysicist
I am fine what about you?
Tanmay
same as you
Astrophysicist
cool
Tanmay
How the Big Bang is made .
Apsara Reply
Kyaw Nyein Chan
zin
What is heliocentric
Apsara Reply
helio is from the greek god helios or ilios and means sun. Centric is from central. So heliocentric means with the sun in the middle
Robin
Usually in the context of astronomy its about the moment the world goes from the idea of 'earth in the middle of the solar system' to the idea that the sun is in the center of the solar system
Robin
so from a geocentric (geo meaning earth) to a heliocentric idea
Robin
yes correct this theory states that sun is in the middle of the solar system rather than earth
Tanmay
oh you have already said this
Tanmay
Hello: good afternoon
zin
hello
Tanmay
Thankyou to all to solve my doubt . I don't know more about the solar system beacause i am a small little girl my old is 9 and i love science but i am trying to learn more about science .
Apsara
that's great you should definitely check science in a nutshell YouTube channel it will provide you with good information
Tanmay
that's great you should definitely check science in a nutshell YouTube channel it will provide you with good information
Tanmay
that's great you should definitely check science in a nutshell YouTube channel it will provide you with good information
Tanmay
here is the link ***youtube.com/c/inanutshell
Tanmay
You not alone Apsara I'm 14 but know little about the universe
Swazi
what is solar system
Himanshi
what do you mean by astronomy
Himanshi
astronomy is a study of planetary science.
Enceladus
Astronomy is a branch of Physics that deals with the study of celestial bodies.
Satyam
An astronomy is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific questions or field outside the scope of Earth 🌍🌎🌏 . They observe astronomical objects such as star's , planets , moon , comets and galaxies - in either observational (by analyzing the data)
Apsara
what is the difference between astronomy and cosmology
Astrophysicist
The collection of eight planets and their moon's in orbit around the Sun , together with smaller bodies in the form of asteroids , meteoroids and comets . The planet of the solar system are ( in order of distance from the sun ) Mercury , Venues , Earth ,Mass , Jupiter , Sartune ,Uranus , Neptune .
Apsara
In Astronomy, we study about celestial objects but in cosmology we study the origin and the formation of universe.
Satyam
how much temperature were can find on neptune
Ayyan Reply
the temperature is between -200 to -218 degree Celsius
Tanmay
how can I apply online astronomy course ? if you have link send it.
Dawit Reply
what is astronomy
Khanyisa
Does any body know about Quantum Battery ?
Yabtsega Reply
yea I tell you briefly callme
Eyiba
How to get into the field of astronomy after completing B.tech in department of ECE?
Lakshmi Reply
Well my option is to do your job while getting a distant education from a reptued university for B.Sc and try for M.Sc in IIA and remaining astrophysics universities in india
Mahesh
Do I require GATE score for that?
Lakshmi
Yeah I meañ get a better score in gate.I think the university considers it and would help you to direct enroll into a masters progarmme
Mahesh
But the score should be good.
Mahesh
okay. I will do my best.
Lakshmi
Thank you
Lakshmi
hi guys I am from Ethiopia.I don't know detailedly about astronomy and I want to be astronaut .can you help me guys?
Dawit
I know that astronauts have to be physically fit
Tanmay
I don't know anything else though
Tanmay
If you want to be a astronaut you should complete medicine.
Mahesh
I had done by my b.tech ece long back and then I started doing job...but I still want to switch my field to astronomy, I m confused how shall I pursue it..
Shina
what should we pursue after 12th std B.Sc program and further or through engineering?
Ganesh
Maybe you should ask this question in quora.Professors will tell you answer to the question.
Mahesh
ok
Ganesh
Practice Key Terms 2

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Source:  OpenStax, Astronomy. OpenStax CNX. Apr 12, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11992/1.13
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