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How Do You Explain Away Astrology to People ?

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#201 scott_larry_d

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 11:57 AM

If it's a genuine matter of confusion between astronomy and astrology I will explain the difference. If they are an adherent my preference is not to argue with or belittle people about their belief systems. As these occasions do present themselves at outreach events and elsewhere I can only speak my truth to them: "I'm not familiar with that but if you'd like to look in this eyepiece I can show you a group of stars that are gravitationally bound and travel through space together." Translates as "moving on, look over here, something shiny."

 

(My exception is for flat earthers: ""It has been proven beyond all doubt that the earth is not flat as cats would have knocked everything off the edge by now.")

 

Cheers and good luck!


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#202 BoldAxis1967

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 05:47 PM

Someday, somebodies... will be amused at our pompous ~scientific~ reality constructs. That may be a hundred, thousand, million, or billion years from now. But they will be screening through the ashes of our telescopes, domes, microscopes, and bones... and grinning at what we naively believed to be ~Reality~. That we thought time was one-dimensional sequential linear, that space was 3D, that events began and ended, and that an eruptive singularity started the clock... And that we were blessed with superior intelligence. Quaint, even charming... and so parochial.    Tom

Tom, I disagree.

 

We do not look back at ancient civilizations with such condensation condescension  The Greek, Roman, Babylonian, Egyptian and other civilizations were very observant, inventive and industrious.  They were limited by not yet having developed technologies to further understand and clarify the natural world.  I suspect that future civilizations more advanced than ours are more likely to come to the conclusion that in spite of having some fairly sophisticated technologies and an abundance of wealth we managed to destroy our natural environment in order to gain more monetary wealth, political power and exploitation of our fellow citizens instead of trying to create a better world for all.

 

I know nothing or next to nothing about astrology.  People are not going to change their beliefs with one conversation. To believe that the alignment of a set stars or the position of a planet will affect their future means that a fundamental set of influences and circumstances has driven them into such a state reasoning. I would just say science is about testing hypotheses and astrology is of entertainment value and leave it at that.  If they say anything else then I would just say "ok", nothing more need be said.

 

L.


Edited by BoldAxis1967, 05 January 2021 - 09:05 PM.

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#203 TOMDEY

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 06:51 PM

Tom, I disagree.

We do not look back at ancient civilizations with such condensation.  The Greek, Roman, Babylonian, Egyptian and other civilizations were very observant, inventive and industrious.  They were limited by not yet having developed technologies to further understand and clarify the natural world.  I suspect that future civilizations more advanced than ours are more likely to come to the conclusion that in spite of having some fairly sophisticated technologies and an abundance of wealth we managed to destroy our natural environment in order to gain more monetary wealth, political power and exploitation of our fellow citizens instead of trying to create a better world for all.

I know nothing or next to nothing about astrology.  People are not going to change their beliefs with one conversation. To believe that the alignment of a set stars or the position of a planet will affect their future means that a fundamental set of influences and circumstances has driven them into such a state reasoning. I would just say science is about testing hypotheses and astrology is of entertainment value and leave it at that.  If they say anything else then I would just say ok and leave it at that.

L.

Hi. L! I think our two perspectives are not mutually-exclusive. A Good Book on the subject is Nick Herbert's classic Quantum Reality.    Tom

 

PS: Your spell-checker somehow replaced the intended condescension with condensation up there.

 

con·de·scen·sion
/ˌkändəˈsen(t)SH(ə)n/
noun
an attitude of patronizing superiority; disdain.
"a tone of condescension"

 

con·den·sa·tion

noun
/ˌkänˌdenˈsāSH(ə)n/

1.water which collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air is in contact with it.
"the inside of the cab steamed up with condensation"

2.the conversion of a vapor or gas to a liquid.
"the cloud is caused by condensation in the air"


Edited by TOMDEY, 05 January 2021 - 06:53 PM.

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#204 BoldAxis1967

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 08:49 PM

Condensation.  Good catch!  Who knows, I may have spelled it that way originally.  It was a tough day at work. I am a horrible speller and it is getting worse with age.  Kind of scary really.

 

Had not heard of Nick Herbert.  Another book to put on the list.  Still have about 10 books on my shelf that I have not read.  My problem is that 80% of my reading is with my morning coffee before going to work.  Thus, it takes me some time to get through a book.  So much to read, so little time.

 

L.



#205 Starman47

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 12:31 PM

If it's a genuine matter of confusion between astronomy and astrology I will explain the difference. If they are an adherent my preference is not to argue with or belittle people about their belief systems. As these occasions do present themselves at outreach events and elsewhere I can only speak my truth to them: "I'm not familiar with that but if you'd like to look in this eyepiece I can show you a group of stars that are gravitationally bound and travel through space together." Translates as "moving on, look over here, something shiny."

 

(My exception is for flat earthers: ""It has been proven beyond all doubt that the earth is not flat as cats would have knocked everything off the edge by now.")

 

Cheers and good luck!

I think this may just be a good approach. thinking1.gif 
 



#206 StarBurger

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 01:06 PM

My main objection to astrology is its lack of predictive abilities. If it was worth anything it should have forecast the outcome of the birth of an individual born Apr. 20 1889 who rose to become the most powerful and influential person of the 20th C. Astrologers of course will want to know the exact time and place of the birth and then explain why (of the probable handful of individuals born in that place within minutes of each other, if indeed the time is known exactly) this individual came to be what they became.

My "source" tells me the individual was an Aries but on the cusp of Taurus so I suppose that makes all the difference.....

Accurate astrological prediction could have saved us from one of the most horrendous periods of modern history.

Did it?

Nah!



#207 Don W

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 03:41 PM

You can't fix stupid! I don't even try.


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#208 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 05:23 PM

You can't fix stupid! I don't even try.

That's exactly how I feel about it, and one of the main reasons I quit doing public outreach many years ago.



#209 jschner

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 08:00 PM

In a way, astronomy and astrology may have been rooted in the same ideals of star constellations, but over time science became more refined to the scientific method and discovery, while astrology became more mythological based upon the beliefs of cultures like that of Egyptians, Greeks, and modern goofiness of horoscopes and fortune cookies. 

 

I thought this article was interesting about the "empty circle" tracked back to 2900B.C.  https://www.johnprat...ellations.html 

 

Interesting site as there is also a basic UVU astronomy course available with quizzes and aides to help a person do their own basic science measurements and memorize things. https://www.johnprat...otes/index.html



#210 barbarosa

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 01:53 PM

In a way, astronomy and astrology may have been rooted in the same ideals of star constellations, but over time science became more refined to the scientific method and discovery, while astrology became more mythological based upon the beliefs of cultures like that of Egyptians, Greeks, and modern goofiness of horoscopes and fortune cookies. 

 

I thought this article was interesting about the "empty circle" tracked back to 2900B.C.  https://www.johnprat...ellations.html 

 

I couldn't find the linked article, but just the first paragraph of another link on johnpratt.com or for that matter the home page itself, leads my to ask if you intended it to be a choice between lol.gif orbawling.gif?

 

"Adam breathed Sat 17 Oct 4070 BC pm"

 

Whatever may have happened in the Neolithic there was observational astronomy. We should stick to that around here and not wander off into prehistory or even the Bronze Age and certainly not into discussing how to rebut what we might now call superstition. 

 

I said very early in this thread that it is not the job of the outreach astronomer to deprecate or rebut anyone's personal belief. We can offer our take on what we understand are scientific facts and theories. If someone says there are six planets in our solar system we can teach. If someone says that the earth was created about 4000 years ago, we can politely acknowledge that view and move on.

 

It does no good to treat anyone as stupid. It is offensive to suggest or imply to a stranger that he is stupid, uninformed or mistaken in what might be a deeply held belief. It is not an effective pedagogical method, for children or adults. If the person you propose to educate is a parent with children present it is doubly ineffective.  

 

That quotation near the top of this post is a fact, thought to be established through rigorous scholarship by educated people. It was taught in some schools well into the second half of the 20th century and may still be taught in some places. You or I might laugh but what would we say to  strangers who believe it to be a fact? That they are wrong? That the Bible is wrong? That Archbishop Ussher was mistaken in his calculation?  

 

If you wouldn't get into that issue why would you want to take on any such issue with a stranger? The answer to that and to the original question is in the words, politeness, manners, and respect. We should stick to astronomy around here and maybe some history and archeology, even methodology and epistemology and stay away from modern astrology. 

 

"It is bad enough that so many people believe things without any evidence. What is worse is that some people have no conception of evidence and regard facts as just someone else's opinion." Thomas Sowell


Edited by barbarosa, 14 January 2021 - 05:37 PM.

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#211 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 05:45 PM

The above post tells exactly why I quit doing public outreach long ago.


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#212 BRCoz

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 09:57 PM

I say I am here just to look at stuff.


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