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4 Mar 2007

Passing Clouds

Posted by Oblivion in General | 3:01pm

This would infuriate a few friends further, but here it goes...

1.Astrology is geocentric and anthropocentric. Everything is interpreted according as our interests and considers Earth as the static frame of reference. It's a fallout of the primitive belief systems that considered Earth as the centre of the universe and associated divine or evil attributes (again, according as our conventions) to celestial objects and phenomena.

2.Lot of theories refer to the magnetic and gravitational fields of objects. The strengths of these fields - as regards their effect - are inversely proportional to the square of the distance. So, although Jupiter is many times bigger than Earth, yet its magnetic field is about a trillion times weaker than the Earth�s. One would experience a far stronger field from the lights and washing machine in his room. Mars has no intrinsic magentic field at all.  

3.A planet can have only two effects - simple gravity and tidal pull. Gravity drops with the square of the distance. Tidal force is even weaker; it drops with the cube of the distance. The total pull of all the planets combined is 0.017, which is not even 2% of the Moon's pull. The force of the Moon itself on us is only about 0.000003 times the Earth's. The effect, by a most generous estimate, is negligible. So, there!

4.Talking of stars, the nearest to us is the Sun. Earth's magnetic field acts as a shield and deflects the solar wind, for if Earth was exposed to Sun's radiation, it will become a dead planet, unable to support life. Hardly anything is known about other stars; besides, they are much much farther away. So, what kind of effect can they have?

5.With such negligible effects that stars and planets can possibly have, how can their configuration and chance alignments have any effect? So, all that talk about the effects when Jupiter is in Virgo, Mars in Taurus, Moon in Gemini, etc is nonsense. And why is there no information on their effects on animals? Why are there no forecasts for dogs, whales, rats and pandas? Are the celestial objects selective about their targets? Are we some superior species to be the chosen ones? Is the effect on animals implicit, instead?  

6.Genetics, sociology, psychology and evolutionary psychology explain almost everything about our psyches and behaviour. A small injury to a certain part of the brain of an introverted chap can change him to an extrovert. So, where does astrology figure? And what exactly does it explain that these cannot? And what is the "effect" that it talks about? Is astrology talking about some magical force that mysteriously penetrates all the obstacles, defies all laws of matter and energy, and finally reaches Earth to influence our personalities and events?

7.Does astrology mistake our change of moods for the result of a decisive influence from stellar objects? A hot, sunny day makes one feel restless and uneasy, a full-moon night makes one expansive and exuberant, a pleasant day with an easy breeze flowing inflicts delight. Nevertheless, it's nothing mysterious. Indigestion can upset your day. A beclouded evening with thunder and lightning makes even animals gloomy and scared. To attribute these to cosmic influence is ridiculous.

8.Theories proposed by astrology are based on primitive assumptions and are inconsistent with those that have been validated by science. So, it has no validity except in the form of a belief. To say, "It is true because I believe in it, and so do millions" is a dead-end. Belief itself is a dead-end. If my neighbour tells me he has seen God, I cannot refute him in any way. Does the fact that millions believe in heaven and hell imply that they are indeed real? Does the fact that astrology has a billion takers imply that it is a sound discipline, after all? It is a discipline fueled by superstition and driven by emotion. As regards evidence, it offers nothing.

9.Geniuses like Russell and Freud dismissed astrology. Stephen Hawking opined it is rubbish. JK would not even talk about it. And these chaps obviously know more about it all than we do. Saying, "Those guys are wrong, and I'll get a million people who agree" is very easy, but proving them wrong is another point altogether. And it is the latter that matters.

We have too much of ourselves in our brains and we comprehend everything with us as the centre. Else, there's no reason to hold such beliefs in earnest.  

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5 Comments | "Passing Clouds" »

  1. By R

    6 Mar 2007, 9:32pm [ Reply ]

    yaar MV, stop mentioning jung jung jung yaar! jung borrowed, and you know this too, thought and ideas from palmer hall, at times whole papers as they are. yes, hall often referred to pythagorean philosophy, but his interpretations are off the mark from what pyhthagoras himself suggested. you know it better!

  2. By MV

    6 Mar 2007, 8:49pm [ Reply ]

    Disc forum is behaving odd, so let me put a few points here. Vj, Chandu, Vijay, R: all the best! :-)

    1.Astrology is rather a language of symbols. Science fails to understand astrology for it does not meet the current standards of scientific scrutiny.

    2.Up to the middle of the 1600's the astrological world view was commonplace. Astrology fell because it became identified with radical politics.

    3.Let's consider Derrida whom both of us admire - he claims that what is seen to be separate from the main story often says more about the subject than anything else. Correlate this to the bigger picture of the universe. So, when you accept Derrida, why don't you accept astrology???????? :-)))

    4.Yes, you cannot go far with Kant because it becomes void once you eliminate the subject. But what about Leibniz's references (courtesy Vijay) to "one single source", "interconnection"? And Matisse's references to our "link" to the entire universe? What about Sankara's advaita that you so much rever? What about the "theory of everything" that science is moving toward to? You don't have any problems with metaphysics. So why do you have problems with astrology? :-))

    5.Let's consider Freud the great, our favorite (R, are you still enemies with Freud?) - that we enjoy something as an adult because we enjoyed it during infancy is as good as an assumption, right? So why are you partial to accepting assumptions in case of Freud? :-))

    6.Chandu, your "mentor" Nietzsche is a load of bullshit (right, Vj?) :-))) So, when you readily discount his mistakes about "creating illusions of causality to feel better and derive power, and blah blah", why don't you be as generous about those of astrologers? Why this bias, dude??

    7.Buddha or JK would not, as Vj said, even talk about these things because they are beyond all this bunk. All this circus is for us lesser mortals.

    Your turn now. Answer my points :-))

  3. By Vj

    6 Mar 2007, 3:16pm [ Reply ]

    @Naren: That someone is an expert doesn't mean he is also a rational thinker. We have experts in thousands, from scientific community and otherwise, who believe in religion, reincarnation, caste system, etc. Does that imply they are all talking sense? If we go into the realm of belief and irrationality, then anything can be held valid. If your neighbor tells you he is an elightened chap, can you prove him wrong?

    The point is simple - If a statement cannot be verified, there's no reason why it should be taken as a fact. A fact should be able to work for everyone. If they say it is a credible discipline, then they should do better than come up with just assumptions and claims.

    What do you say?

  4. By Naren

    6 Mar 2007, 2:39pm [ Reply ]

    viju, what abt the so many experts who endorse astrology is correct??

  5. By Chandu

    5 Mar 2007, 1:37pm [ Reply ]

    MV says, "if we don't know anything about 96% of the universe, is it not possible that astrology works through that 96%, in which case it is wrong to debunk it as a crackpot idea?"

    I say, "Is it not just a speculation? And when we don't know anything, what's the rationale in preferring one speculation to another?"

    That apart, such assumption also suggests that astrologers "know" (by some magical powers!!?) about the 96% that astronomers and scientists don't know anything about!

    Astrologers know more about the universe than Stephen Hawking does :))))

    Let's see what MV comes back with

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