How Astrology Took Over The Internet

Because I’m a Gemini, I’m conflicted about astrology’s resurgence in popularity. My skeptical twin points out that astrology is a hoax. My open-minded twin, on the other hand, just downloaded a new horoscope software that asked for a few biographical facts, compared them to real-time NASA data, and then encouraged me to “go wasted and do something bad.” So who am I to disagree with the universe’s wisdom?

Why is it that everyone is suddenly interested in astrology?

Although horoscopes and birth charts are just the top of the iceberg, there’s no disputing that many people are fascinated by the stars and planets. So, why does it feel like everyone these days is interested in astrology? Experts believe astrology appeals to individuals for a variety of reasons, including its ability to help people cope with stress and uncertainty during difficult times or get a better understanding of themselves.

Has astrology been proven to be false?

Astrology is a collection of belief systems that assert that there is a connection between astrological phenomena and events or personality traits in the human world. The scientific community has dismissed astrology as having no explanatory power for describing the universe. Scientific testing has discovered no evidence to back up the astrological traditions’ premises or alleged effects.

What made astrology a thing in the first place?

) and extended to India, but it was in Greek society during the Hellenistic period that it took on its Western shape. Astrology was introduced to Islamic culture as part of the Greek legacy, and it was then reintroduced to European society through Arabic studies in the Middle Ages. According to Greek mythology, the sky is split into 12 zodiac constellations, and the bright stars that appear at regular intervals have a spiritual impact on human events. Astrology was also important in ancient China, and it became normal practice in imperial times to have a horoscope cast for each newborn child and for all significant life events. Despite the fact that the Copernican philosophy broke the geocentric worldview required by astrology, interest in the subject has persisted into contemporary times, and astrological signs are still generally considered to determine personality.

What was the initial purpose of astrology?

The original objective of astrology, on the other hand, was to predict the course of a person’s life based on the positions of the planets and zodiacal signs (the 12 astrological constellations) at the time of conception or birth.

Is it true that many believe in astrology?

Christine Smallwood’s fascinating piece, “Astrology in the Age of Uncertainty:

Astrology is currently experiencing widespread popular acceptability that has not been seen since the 1970s. The transition began with the introduction of the personal computer, was expedited by the Internet, and has now reached new levels of speed thanks to social media. According to a Pew Research Center poll from 2017, about a third of Americans believe in astrology.

Astrology, like psychoanalysis before it, has infiltrated our collective vernacular. At a party in the 1950s, you could have heard someone talk about the id, ego, or superego; now, it’s normal to hear someone explain herself using the sun, moon, and rising signs. It isn’t just that you are aware of it. It’s who’s saying it: folks who aren’t kooks or deniers of climate change, who don’t find a conflict between utilizing astrology and believing in science…

I ran a short Google search and discovered the following Pew report from October 2018:

The religion breakdown was the only thing that surprised me about this table.

I had the impression that mainline Protestants were the rational ones, but they believe in astrology at the same rate as the overall population.

But, hey, I guess they’re ordinary Americans, so they have average American ideas.

Only 3% of atheists believe in astrology, which is also unexpected.

This makes sense, yet it seemed reasonable to me that someone may not believe in God but believe in other supernatural things: in fact, I could see astrology as a type of replacement for a traditional religious system.

But it appears that is not the case.

Brian Wansink has been compared to an astrologer who can make astute observations about the world based on a combination of persuasiveness and qualitative understanding, and then attributes his success to tarot cards or tea leaves rather than a more practical ability to synthesize ideas and tell good stories.

Does Brian Wansink, on the other hand, believe in astrology?

What about Marc Hauser, Ed Wegman, Susan Fiske, and the rest of the bunch who call their detractors “second-string, replication police, methodological terrorists, Stasi, and so on?”

I doubt they believe in astrology because it symbolizes a rival belief system: it’s a business that, in some ways, competes with rah-rah Ted-talk science.

I wouldn’t be shocked if famous ESP researchers believe in astrology, but I get the impression that mainstream junk-science supporters in academia and the news media feel uncomfortable discussing ESP since its research methods are so similar to their own.

They don’t want to be associated with ESP researchers because it would devalue their own study, but they also don’t want to put them under the bus because they are fellow Ivy League academics, so the safest plan is to remain quiet about it.

The greater point, however, is not astrology believing in and of itself, but the mental state that allows individuals to believe in something so contrary to our scientific understanding of the world.

(OK, I apologize to the 29% of you who don’t agree with me on this.)

When I return to writing on statistical graphics, model verification, Bayesian computation, Jamaican beef patties, and other topics, you can rejoin the fold.)

It’s not that astrology couldn’t be correct a priori:

We can come up with credible hypotheses under which astrology is real and amazing, just as we can with embodied cognition, beauty and sex ratio, ovulation and voting, air rage, ages ending in 9, and all the other Psychological Science / PNAS classics.

It’s just that nothing has come up after years of rigorous research.

And the existing theories aren’t particularly convincing: they’re speculative world models that may be good if the purpose was to describe a real and enduring occurrence, but they’re less so without actual data.

Anyway, if 30% of Americans are willing to believe such nonsense, it’s no surprise that a significant number of influential American psychology professors will have the kind of attitude toward scientific theory and evidence that leads them to have strong beliefs in weak theories with no supporting evidence.

Indeed, not only support for specific weak theories, but support for the fundamental principle that pseudoscientific views should be treated with respect (although, oddly enough, maybe not for astrology itself).

P.S.In defense of the survey respondents (but not of the psychology professors who support ideas like the “critical positivity ratio,” which makes astrology appear positively sane in comparison), belief in astrology (or, for that matter, belief in heaven, gravity, or the square-cube law) is essentially free.

Why not believe these things, or not believe them?

Belief or denial in evolution, climate change, or unconscious bias, on the other hand, can have social or political consequences.

Some opinions are purely personal, while others have a direct impact on policy.

I have less patience for famous academic and media elites who aggressively support junk science by not just expressing their trust in speculative notions supported by no real data, but also attacking those who point out these emperors’ nudity. Furthermore, even a hypothetical tolerant, open-minded supporter of junk sciencethe type of person who might believe in critical positivity ratio but actively support the publication of criticisms of that workcan still cause some harm by contaminating scientific journals and the news media with bad science, and by promoting sloppy work that takes up space that could be used for more careful research.

You know how they say science corrects itself, but only because individuals are willing to correct themselves?

Gresham’s law is also true, but only when people are willing to distribute counterfeit notes or money they think is counterfeit while keeping their lips shut until they can get rid of their wads of worthless stock.

P.P.S.Just to be clear:I don’t think astrology is a waste of time, and it’s possible that Marc Hauser was onto something real, even while faking data (according to the US government, as mentioned on Wikipedia), and the critical positivity ratio, ovulation, voting, and all the rest…

Just because there isn’t enough evidence to support a theory doesn’t mean it’s untrue.

I’m not trying to disprove any of these assertions.

All of it should be published someplace, along with all of the criticism.

My issue with junk science proponents isn’t simply that they advocate science that I and others perceive to be rubbish; they can also be wrong!

However, they consistently avoid, deny, and oppose valid open criticism.

P.P.P.S.Remember that #notallpsychologists.

Of course, the problem of junk research isn’t limited to psychology in any way.

Professors of political science, economics, sociology, and history, to the extent that they believe in astrology, spoon bending, or whatever (that is, belief in “scientific paranormalism as describing some true thing about the natural world, not just a “anthropological recognition that paranormal beliefs can affect the world because people believe in it), this could also sabotage their research.

I suppose it’s not such a big problem if a physicist or chemist believes in these things.

I’m not attempting to shut down study into astrology, embodied cognition, ESP, beauty-and-sex-ratio, endless soup bowls, spoon bending, the Bible Code, air anger, ovulation and voting, subliminal smiley faces, or anything else.

Allow for the blooming of a thousand blooms!

Given that a sizable portion of the populace is willing to believe in scientific-sounding notions that aren’t backed by any good scientific theory or evidence, it should come as no surprise that many professional scientists hold this viewpoint.

The repercussions are especially evident in psychology, which is a vital field of study where theories can be hazy and where there is a long legacy of belief and action based on flimsy data.

That isn’t to say that psychologists are awful people; they’re merely working on difficult challenges in a field with a long history of failures.

This isn’t a critique; it’s just the way things are. Of course, there is a lot of excellent work being done in the field of psychology. You’ll have to work with what you’ve got.

Do famous people believe in astrology?

The majority of Bollywood actors are astrologers. To gain a strong foothold in the Bollywood firmament, the actors believe that luck and star alignment are essential. Astrology is seen by the celebrities of B’Town as a means of obtaining luck and success. Actors frequently assume that numerals and alphabets have a significant impact on their screen lifetime.

Ekta Kapoor, the CEO of Alt Balaji and Telefilms Balaji, is an astrologer who believes in numerology and astrology. And Manoj Bajpayee, the OTT platform’s No. 1 hero, is the latest to openly declare his belief in astrology.

Is it permissible to use astrology in Islam?

Astrology is the study of celestial bodies’ movements and relative placements, which are thought to have an impact on human affairs and the natural world. According to historian Emilie Savage-Smith, astrology (ilm al-nujm, “the study of the stars”) was “by far” the most popular of the “many activities aiming to predict future occurrences or perceive hidden phenomena” in early Islamic history.

Despite Islamic prohibitions, some medieval Muslims were interested in studying the apparent motion of the stars. This was partially due to their belief in the importance of the celestial bodies, and partly due to the fact that desert inhabitants frequently traveled at night and relied on knowledge of the constellations for navigation. Muslims needed to determine the time of prayers, the direction the kaaba would face, and the correct orientation of the mosque after the arrival of Islam, all of which helped give a religious impetus to the study of astronomy and contributed to the belief that the celestial bodies had an impact on terrestrial affairs as well as the human condition.

The criteria for Islam’s attitude on astrology are laid out in Islamic jurisprudence, the Quran, the Hadith, Ijma (scholarly consensus), and Qiyas (analogy). The idea is further differentiated into that which is either halal (authorized) or haram (forbidden) (forbidden). The view that astrology is forbidden by the authorities, as enshrined in the Quran and Hadith, is shared by all Islamic sects and academics.

Who is the inventor of astrology?

Jones stated, “This is possibly older than any other known case.” “It’s also older than any of the written-down horoscopes from the Greco-Roman period,” he said, adding, “we have a number of horoscopes written down as a kind of document on papyrus or on a wall, but none of them as old as this.”

The discovery was presented in the most recent edition of the Journal for the History of Astronomy by Jones and StaoForenbaher, a researcher at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Zagreb.

Forenbaher told LiveScience that the crew was working near the entrance of a Croatian cave in 1999, a site well known to archaeologists and residents of the surrounding hamlet of Nakovana who simply named it “Spila,” which means “the cave.”

Nobody realized at the time, however, that the cave featured a part that had been locked for over 2,000 years. Forenbaher’s girlfriend (now his wife) dug under the rubble and discovered a broad, low passageway that ran for over 33 feet in the dark (10 meters). “The unique King Tut experience, arriving to a spot where nobody has been for a couple of thousand years,” Forenbaher said of passing down the corridor.

When Forenbaher entered the cavern, “there was a very thin limestone crust on the surface that was splitting under your boots,” indicating that “nobody had gone there in a very, very, long time,” he added.

The researchers eventually discovered that it had been blocked off in the first century B.C., presumably as a result of a Roman military effort against the locals.

The archaeologists discovered a phallic-shaped stalagmite, as well as countless drinking containers deposited over hundreds of years and something more. “These very small bits and pieces of ivory came out in the course of that dig,” Forenbaher explained, “and we didn’t even recognize what we had at the time.”

The group got to work. “It took years to piece them together, find more bits and pieces, and figure out what they were,” Forenbaher explained. They ended there staring at the ruins of the world’s oldest known astrologer’s board.

Archaeologists aren’t sure how the board got inside the cave or where it came from. The Babylonians developed their own version of horoscopes around 2,400 years ago, which is where astrology began in antiquity.

Then, around 2,100 years ago, astrology went to the eastern Mediterranean, where it became popular in Egypt, which was ruled by a dynasty of Greek monarchs at the time.

Jones explained, “It gets transformed very much into what we think of as the Greek style of astrology, which is really the present type of astrology.” “The Greek style of astrology is the foundation of astrology that spans the Middle Ages, modern Europe, modern India, and beyond.”

The ivory used to produce the zodiac images dates back to 2,200 years, just before the advent of this new kind of astrology, according to radiocarbon dating.

The location of the board’s manufacture is unknown, though Egypt is a possibility. They believe the ivory came from an elephant that was slain or died in the area around that period. Because ivory is such a valuable commodity, it would have been preserved for decades, if not a century, before being utilized to make the zodiac. These signs would have been adhered to a flat (probably wooden) surface to form the board, which could have featured other features that did not survive.

It could have been loaded onto a ship sailing through the Adriatic Sea, a vital trade route that the cave overlooks. Illyrians were the people who resided in Croatia at the time. Despite the fact that ancient writers had a negative view of them, archaeological evidence reveals that they interacted with surrounding Greek colonies and were a vital part of the Mediterranean civilization.

An astrologer from one of the Greek colonies may have visited the cave to make a prediction. A consultation in the cavern’s flickering light would have been a powerful experience, if not particularly convenient for the astrologer.

Jones commented, “It doesn’t sound like a very practical site for performing horoscope homework like calculating planetary placements.”

Another hypothesis is that the Illyrians acquired or stole the astrological board without fully comprehending its use. The board, along with the drinking containers, would have been presented as an offering to an unknown deity worshipped in the cave.

“This astrologer’s board could have shown up as an offering along with other exceptional items that were either bought or robbed from a passing ship,” Forenbaher speculated. He noted that the drinking cups discovered in the cave had been chosen with care. They were made in another country, and only a few cruder amphora storage vessels were discovered with them.

“It nearly appears that someone was bringing out wine there, pouring it, and then discarding the amphora away because they weren’t good enough for the gods, or to be deposited in the shrine,” Forenbaher said.

The phallic-shaped stalagmite, which may have formed naturally on the site, appears to have served as a focal point for these offerings and rituals held in the cavern. Forenbaher cautioned that all stalagmites appear phallic in some way, and it’s difficult to know what significance it had to the cave’s inhabitants. “It had to mean something significant,” he said.

“This is a spot where goods of local importance were deposited with some type of supernatural power, transcendental being, or whatever.”

What does the Bible have to say about the zodiac signs?

I believe that God created astrology as a tool for us to better understand ourselves and to use as a spiritual tool. Numerous bible texts, in my opinion, support astrology. As a Christian, I try to remember what Jesus said. “There shall be signs in the sun, moon, and stars,” Christ predicted in Luke 21:25, referring to the importance of astrology. He explains the value of astrology with his pupils, as well as how it might be used as a sign of his return. Why would Jesus provide us this critical knowledge if we are not intended to understand the energies of the planets and signs, and if he was actually against it? Just as the three wise men knew Jesus would be born under the star in the sky that led them to him lying in the manger, Jesus warned us that when he returns, there will be signals in the sky.

Which country considers astrology to be true?

The majority of human civilizations, including India, China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Maya, and the Inca, built their cultures on elaborate astrological systems that offered a link between the cosmos and the conditions and happenings on Earth. For these people, astrology was more than just divination; it also served as the foundation for their spiritual culture and knowledge systems, such as the calendar (see Mesoamerican calendrical shamans) and medicine (e.g. I Ching). The study of the heavens provided essential insights into celestial bodies, hence astrological tradition aided the development of astronomy. For example, several of the planets in the Solar System and their movements have previously been listed in the Ptolemaic astrological tradition.

The following is a partial list of astrology’s various traditions, kinds, systems, methods, applications, and branches.