Humans have a chronic issue of obsessively trying to explain the world and everything around them. About 70 million Americans read their horoscopes every day, and it is becoming increasingly more popular, especially among young people. In Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Janina is obsessed with calculating horoscopes and goes on page long tangents that almost leave readers believing they are true, almost. As a teenager in the age of social media and unrestricted access to the internet, I too have fell victim and seen my peers fall victim to the trap of astrology. But let’s disprove it once and for all, delete those apps and stop telling people the reason their boyfriend was toxic to them was because “he’s a Scorpio”. So here is some REAL science.
The earth is made up of nickel, iron, silicon, oxygen and other minerals that orbit the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. From our perspective, it seems the backdropped provided by the sky moves over head, the sun rises and sets. But of course it is the Earth that is actually moving and rotating about its axis. It moves through our solar system and makes a full lap around the sun every 365 days, we know this. As the earth moves we see different stars overhead, unless you’re at one of the poles. The 12 signs given in the horoscope map out the zodiac, the 12 constellations we pass by in the course of a year. If your a Libra, that means you were born late September to early October and the sun was towards the constellation, Libra. Except thats not quite right. The Earth has an additional form of motion called precession, “as Earth rotates, it wobbles slightly upon its axis, like a slightly off-center spinning toy top”. Since the time astronomers and astrologers started mapping out the constellations and zodiacs in the sky (some thousand years ago), our position relative to those constellations has drifted about 30 degrees, or one whole month. This means you may think your a libra but if horoscopes were connected to their present day constellations you’d actually be more like a Leo. So is astrology scientific? In 1985 Sean Carlson conducted a test, he asked 30 American and European astrologers to review the charts for 116 people without meeting them in person. He then provided 3 personality descriptions for each of the 116 people, one which was actually true for the subject, and the other two that described other people. He asked the astrologers to match the personality with the results from their chart, ultimately they were only able to make the correct match 1/3 of the time, in other words, given that there were only 3 personality options, they already had a 1/3 chance of getting it right, so basically they accomplished nothing significant. Carlson concluded astrologers likely work off the body language and reactions of their clients during meetings to improve their odds if guessing relative details about their lives, this is called cold reading. Cold reading is the key to fake science, used by astrologers, psychics, fortune-tellers, and mediums. All of which are absolutely unscientific and fake professions.
So, while Janina may have you pausing and debating whether or not to visit MyHoroscope.com, I hope this was able to shed light on how incredibly unreasonable and false it all is. I wonder what Janina would say if someone confronted her with these facts.
3 thoughts on “Disproving Astrology, Once and For All”
Very interesting Isabelle! I never knew that cold reading had an official name but that makes lots of sense
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I definitely agree Isabelle. I think it is fascinating how powerful something like astrology can become when it provides people with a purpose.
I’d definitely agree with this, and you make a very good point about how people use things like astrology as an excuse for legitimately harmful action.