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Fraser
2007-Jun-04, 08:12 PM
While Pamela's away at the American Astronomical Society meeting, we brought in a special guest to help debunk some of the pseudoscience that people mistake for astronomy. Dr Steven Novella from the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe gets to the bottom of astrology and UFOs, and why they're not real science.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.astronomycast.com/skepticism/episode-39-astrology-and-ufos/)

Sticks
2007-Jun-05, 08:21 AM
I once heard an astrologer whitter on about reasonance being a mechanism. It was all seductively deceptive and a load of rubbish :wall:

taranaki
2007-Jun-05, 01:53 PM
I like Skeptic's Guide and appreciate all that Steve Novella does - but Pam's voice is soooo much sexier. Great fundraising idea for the show - voiceover work!!!!

I posted on the General Science board about rumors that the Higgs boson has been found at the Tevatron at Fermilab (in Batavia, IL). I hope Pam has some good gossip on this (and other subjects) from the AAS meeting for next week's show.

ToSeek
2007-Jun-06, 12:35 AM
Bob Lazar posts moved to Conspiracy Theories. (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=59952)

EvilEye
2007-Jun-06, 02:12 PM
I liked this episode, even though I miss Pamela.

I kept waiting for Steve to cuss.

MoonMan86
2007-Jun-07, 12:11 AM
I'm not quite sure how logic is thrown into astrology because i can't see any science involved. Being a young and relatively new member to the astronomy community, my friends ask me about astrology because they think that i'm interested in it instead of astronomy and i tell them that astronomy and astrology are two completely different areas. It gets annoying having to explain the differences but this episode cleared up some of the "facts" about astrology. I greatly enjoyed Dr. Novella's strong opposition to astrology!

EvilEye
2007-Jun-07, 03:20 AM
If for nothing else... you should be glad that astrology existed.... or we wouldn't have astronomy today.


The mysteries of the cosmos created our wonder, and the basis for science.

ArgoNavis71
2007-Jun-08, 03:52 AM
I didn't bother to listening to this podcast. It felt off-topic to me from the start. I have LOVED every episode previous, but felt this had little to do with science or astronomy.

Identity 4
2007-Jun-08, 03:33 PM
;) off topic doesnt mean its not good. I though it was an interesting topic, and something that tends to get lumped in with "those astronomy nuts" all too often.

-=Identity 4=-

EvilEye
2007-Jun-10, 12:37 PM
The show was actually right ON-topic.

Carl Sagan delt with these two subjects also in his book and series "Cosmos".

Explaining scientifically why the ideas are not scientific. ...huh?

Frasier and Steven did a great job handling such touchy subjects.

cullain
2007-Jun-13, 09:13 PM
Am I the only person who really hated that show?
The speaker harped on about bad science and pseudo science and then continued to state almost categorically that absence of evidence was evidence of absence.
Allow me to state, categorically, I believe in astrology slightly less than I believe electricity is caused by enormous intangible invisible pink elephants. However, he relied almost exclusively on appeal to ignorance (you know the logical fallacy that says, well I can't see how it works so it doesn't).

clint
2007-Jun-15, 09:11 AM
Allow me to state, categorically, I believe in astrology slightly less than I believe electricity is caused by enormous intangible invisible pink elephants ...

The effects of Electricity you can see, hear, feel, taste, smell, measure and power your PC with.
You can observe it's underlying physical laws and proove them.
And you can replicate the results whereever you like.

Pure scientific evidence, no belief involved here.

marcarc
2007-Jun-22, 09:46 PM
You definitely weren't the only one who hated that episode. Notice the episode on white holes and time travel had the host emphasing that 'we aren't making fun of this', just because it vaguely has to do with science. Yet the idea that stars could have an individual effect on humans is considered ludicrous.

Studies have been done on full moons, and as anybody in law enforcement or in a hospital will tell you, when that happens, people get weird. We KNOW that, I just read yet another study on it. We can observe a full moon, then measure the effects. Perhaps its true that there are other factors, but these are things we just don't know. So why not study it, why ridicule it? Are you that ****ed off at having been a geeky nerd in school who was ostracized? If the moon CAN have an effect, then perhaps stars can have an effect. Science has made its largest leaps forward when people finally started asking the questions that the majority of scientists were taking for granted..or considering ludicrous. For a long time alchemists were ridiculed, imagine wanting to change one thing into another, now of course, its done as a matter of routine. Who's have thought the alchemists would be right.

That's one of the reasons why scientists have such a hard time getting people involved. Not only is there a reliance on jargon, there's also this condescending attitude that 'we are sooooo much smarter than you rubes". Even though some PHD's I know are about the dumbest people I've ever met.

Meanwhile of course, we find out that nobody KNOWS anything. The woman even admits that a mathematician can come up with anything, in the show about, I forget, the beginning of the universe maybe it was. Yet is there a show talking about how mathematics is pseudo science?

We all know that a scientific theory is 'valid' if it 'works'. In other words, so long as it reasonably explains things then it becomes 'fact'. Meanwhile of course, all the things that aren't explained are said to be 'in the works'.

When all those 'very smart people' are making hypotheses about what happened before the big bang are they called charlatans? No, they are just 'really smart people', who , by the way, are making up utter nonsense. We might also add all the topics through the shows that the narrators say are "fun to think about", even though there is no evidence one way or another. Are those considered pseudo scientific? Not at all.

I just got an ipod and have been going through all kinds of pods while I work and this is one of my favourites. However, what is next? How about taking books from the Talmud and Bible and holy books and talking about why they are utter rubbish. Actually, thats not bad, the history of astronomy is just filled with good stuff. If you look for shows, there is a big fountain. But the part about belittling was just a joke.

The only other beef I have is that the show often IS NOT "how we know what we know". I can't count the number of times that Pamela has said "well, this happens and then this and this" without any reference to how we know those things.


So yeah, keep to science. When you want viewers its always a good idea to not go out of your way to insult people. If the full moon makes people a little nuts, then there's something to astrology. As for the details, well, maybe you just haven't looked at the details. How do you know there aren't 'metaphysical laws' within the astrology movement. After all, physical laws are pretty arbitrary, and lots of physical laws have fallen by the wayside. The effects, again, are very measurable at the hospital.

ChromeStar
2007-Jun-23, 01:05 PM
Once again a great show! :clap:

I've been meaning to ask whether you guys (Fraser, Pamela and Steve Novella) would go into more depth with regard to cattle mutilation.

I, myselft, suspect that its explainable by modern day human activities, but I would be interested to hear how steve explains how it can't be caused by UFO's, in another show, seeing as there was only so much time to discuss the various topics in this episode.

EvilEye
2007-Jun-23, 08:59 PM
Yet the idea that stars could have an individual effect on humans is considered ludicrous.


By whom?

Carl Sagan - "We are made of star stuff."

Whether it has a daily effect on our lives is yet to be proven, but to say that stars have had no impact on our lives is the thing that is ludicrous. We wouldn't be here at all without them.

R.A.F.
2007-Jun-24, 12:39 AM
Whether it has a daily effect on our lives is yet to be proven, but to say that stars have had no impact on our lives is the thing that is ludicrous. We wouldn't be here at all without them.

I "hope" you realize that astrology proponents are not talking about the fact that we all are made up of atoms which were formed in distant supernova explosions (as Sagan spoke of).

No...they are talking about positions of stars and planets actually effecting people in a most personal way, ie. Jupiter is in "such and such" quadrant of the sky, so it's a good time to invest money.

There is absolutely no mechanism to these ideas, so your idea that astrology is "yet to be proven" is putting the "cart before the horse".

Astrology does nothing but make vague "predictions" which can apply to almost anyone. It is worse than useless, it is a waste of time.

Van Rijn
2007-Jun-24, 06:37 AM
Studies have been done on full moons, and as anybody in law enforcement or in a hospital will tell you, when that happens, people get weird. We KNOW that, I just read yet another study on it.


What study? There might be slightly more activity because there is more light, but the correlation is slim at best. Of course, anecdotes aren't evidence.

From here:

http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/070613_bad_moon.html

Our expectations influence our perceptions, and we look for evidence that confirms our beliefs.
[snip]
researchers Ivan Kelly, James Rotton, and Roger Culver, in their study "The Moon was Full and Nothing Happened" (published in the book "The Hundredth Monkey and Other Paradigms of the Paranormal," 1991) examined more than 100 studies of alleged lunar effects and found no significant correlation between phases of the moon and disasters, homicide rates, etc.

But, yes, light from the moon may have an effect on behavior, but so does artificial light. This isn't terribly astonishing.


If the moon CAN have an effect, then perhaps stars can have an effect.


Aside from the sun, there is no obvious mechanism. And, no effect has been demonstrated in controlled studies. If you think it deserves more research, by all means, do it.



For a long time alchemists were ridiculed, imagine wanting to change one thing into another, now of course, its done as a matter of routine. Who's have thought the alchemists would be right.


They were? Nuclear reactors and particle accelerators have as little to do with alchemy as modern flight has to do with ancient dreams of magical flight.

EvilEye
2007-Jun-24, 12:22 PM
I understand that there is no science behind astrology, and that it is useless today.

What I was trying to point out is that without astrology, there would be no astronomy today. Astrology begat Astronomy. Therefore it was NOT useless.

EvilEye
2007-Jun-24, 12:27 PM
Oh...and one more thing...

If astrology was so useless... then how do you explain every star map?

What constellation? What star? Where?

All your astronomy books use astrological names for places in the sky.

R.A.F.
2007-Jun-24, 12:39 PM
EvilEye...yes, astrology was the precursor of modern astronomy, and some very famous astronomers were also astrologers basically because the pay was better for casting horoscopes.

However...

It has been a LONG TIME since astrology was considered an actual science.

...and I didn't say "was" useless, I said is useless. There is a difference.

marcarc
2007-Jun-24, 01:52 PM
The point is that it is useless to YOU. Guess what, you aren't everybody. Listen to the show, how much research, study, money and thought goes into finding out which millenium the sun will die in? Wow, talk about 'useful information'. I'll just file that important piece of information right under whether I should get this ulcer checked out. Astrology is POPULAR and astronomy not so much, simply because the former is more useful, or at least more useful for certain people.

I can't find the study (convenient eh?) but essentially it said what every cop and ER doctor knows, that things get weird during a full moon. And this isn't 'there is more light in the sky' kind ofweird, the british study looked at the number and severity of injuries at hospitals during the full moon. The result was that there was a correlation. It was in Sciencenews, so by all means find it for me. Another study found no correlation but admitted "It is a popularly held belief that psychiatric behavior worsens during a full moon. Research in this area has yielded mixed results." That's "mixed results". Of course if a person has a preconceived idea, then they will dismiss the results they don't like. Something that happens A LOT in science.


More people getting stabbed seems unlikely to be caused by the minimal increase in light. However, that's a cool point, because you've just admitted that the light has an impact on 'some' individuals, well, what about gravitational forces? What about 'small' changes in light, such as, say, when Jupiter is brighter?

The bias here is a very christian one, which modern science grew out of. Its this idea that 'science' is 'objective', and that the human element is just messy nonsense. It's that 'trying to climb out of the body into the mind as a separate being'. Forget that, and lets use the above example:

"Jupiter is at position X in the sky, THEREFORE it is a good time to invest"

What would be really cool is if 'by coincidence', Jupiter was located in the sky at....surprise surprise....PAYDAY! Wow! That's weird. Or is it? Of course the whole calendar is aligned based on astronomy... or was it astrology?

However, perhaps the problem is that astrology is 'prescriptive', not just descriptive. Of course so is science, so we can't dismiss it on those grounds. Well, like any 'hypothesis' it needs testing. Now, you may only read horoscopes, which of course are made up as newspaper filler, a 'true' astrologer may say that is not 'true astrology'. Every person is unique. Star signs have a lot of people, which is why they are so general.

I should mention very quickly that this stuff IS being studied 'scientifically', for some reason I can't get the links to work so I'll post the URL:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Show
DetailView&TermToSearch=17333517&ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.
PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum


In that study they found no correlation in the QUALITY of radical cystemectomy surgeries, however, quality is a little tougher to do because of the parameters. In that study it was found zodiac signs had no correlation. THAT is doing science, and its not dismissing stuff as being useless. But what about if it had found a correlation? A lot of people don't like that question because it assumes the fact that its trying to prove. True enough, but of course scientists do the same when they try to replicate the first incidence of life on the planet. We haven't done it, but we 'assume' it can be done so we try to prove it. People 'assume' that astrology won't incorporate science, which probably isn't true. So if person or people X act differently because Jupiter is brighter, or its gravitational force a minute bit stronger, then IF its shown like the above, that the 'light' level, even at a minute level, will have an affect on person X, then to the astrologer that's just fine, thanks for the help.

Take this study for example:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=
ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=16814488&ordinalpos=12&itool=
EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.
Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

If we were wolves, the astrology wolf may say "the moon is full so don't go hunting". The scientist wolf may say "that's useless, listen, during a full moon prey species are less active, which means you waste energy looking for them". The common wolf would then reply "isn't that what he just said?"

The 'why' of course doesn't matter to the common wolf. However, it does in the 'rift' between astrology wolf and scientist wolf. You may be right in the view that 'perhaps' the astrology wolf was just fleecing customers before and doesn't know squat, however, it could also be 'old wives tales' and like Tolkien says, sometimes old wives have a lot of knowledge that others have forgotten.

So a 'good time' to invest may turn out to be simply that thats when payday is, however it COULD be more than that. These are interesting questions, and interesting questions should never be judged on their 'usefulness'. After all, Newton spent a lot of time looking for the 'philosophers stone', which many think is useless.

Ancient dreams of magical flight had a LOT to do with current aviation, and that is the big issue. The 'assumption' that astrology is simply vague predictions isn't necessarily true, any more than a scientist making 'vague predictions' on their hypothesis. The dream led to work, just like alchemy led to the work to break down particles, to essentially 'make one thing into another'. Alchemists couldn't turn base metals to gold because of the basic structure of elements, but what happens as we continue to work on a smaller and smaller scale. Creating gold may very well be a possibility with atomic manipulation.

All of these things add to knowledge, and some try to pass on the information to others in a useful way. Its interesting that the 'panacea' in medical experiments show that people believing such and such is shown to have an effect, even if its not true. That is humanity. I've heard lots of dismissals of all kinds of science. That is starting to change, in northern quebec scientists are getting off their high horse and learning about the environment from native elders. Who's to say that some astrologer hasn't made the next big step in that field, but it isn't discussed because people have prejudice.

In fact, like any scientific experiment, its useful to try to create what is now considered to be impossible. Babbage did it, Da Vinci did it, meaning they came up with the ideas that technology and understanding couldn't yet produce. That was far from 'useless', in fact that's probably what led to the discoveries later on.

And hey, if you can formalize it and know a programmer, you can probably make a lot of money:) That guy that came up with teh "Bible Code" is pretty wealthy thanks to that.

marcarc
2007-Jun-24, 01:57 PM
Sorry, thats 'placebo', not panacea. Or is it?:)

R.A.F.
2007-Jun-24, 03:37 PM
Astrology is POPULAR and astronomy not so much, simply because the former is more useful, or at least more useful for certain people.

Yes...I'm sure it is useful to certain gullible people.


...you've just admitted that the light has an impact on 'some' individuals, well, what about gravitational forces?

Gravitational forces of Jupiter? I hate to break this to you, but the gravitational force of Jupiter has less of an effect on you than the gravitational force of a person standing next to you.


Now, you may only read horoscopes, which of course are made up as newspaper filler, a 'true' astrologer may say that is not 'true astrology'. Every person is unique. Star signs have a lot of people, which is why they are so general.

Define a "true astrologer".

..and kindly make up your mind...either people are unique or they are not. You can't have it both ways.


I should mention very quickly that this stuff IS being studied 'scientifically'...

Then you go on to post a study that states....


it was found zodiac signs had no correlation.

?????


But what about if it had found a correlation?

Well, why don't you go and find a study that DOES show a correlation and get back to us....


People 'assume' that astrology won't incorporate science, which probably isn't true.

Are we suppose to take your "probably" as if it were somehow evidence...

Please forgive me while I laugh. :lol:


So if person or people X act differently because Jupiter is brighter, or its gravitational force a minute bit stronger, then IF its shown like the above, that the 'light' level, even at a minute level, will have an affect on person X, then to the astrologer that's just fine, thanks for the help.

You seem to be trying to combine the "Moon effect" with astrology and failing miserably with both.


If we were wolves, the astrology wolf may say "the moon is full so don't go hunting". The scientist wolf may say "that's useless, listen, during a full moon prey species are less active, which means you waste energy looking for them". The common wolf would then reply "isn't that what he just said?"

The 'why' of course doesn't matter to the common wolf. However, it does in the 'rift' between astrology wolf and scientist wolf. You may be right in the view that 'perhaps' the astrology wolf was just fleecing customers before and doesn't know squat, however, it could also be 'old wives tales' and like Tolkien says, sometimes old wives have a lot of knowledge that others have forgotten.

Astrology wolf...scientist wolf??? This is jibberish.


So a 'good time' to invest may turn out to be simply that thats when payday is, however it COULD be more than that.

Yes...how would you explain when an astrologer says it's a good time to invest and it ISN'T payday??


These are interesting questions, and interesting questions should never be judged on their 'usefulness'. After all, Newton spent a lot of time looking for the 'philosophers stone', which many think is useless.

Yes...why base scientific investigation on if it's useful or not. Why not base scientific investigation on it's entertainment value...sheesh...


The 'assumption' that astrology is simply vague predictions isn't necessarily true...

Well, if it isn't, then you should have no problem linking to astrological predictions that are NOT vague.


...just like alchemy led to the work to break down particles, to essentially 'make one thing into another'.

Alchemy is not a science and did not in any way lead to the work of particle physicists. Where did you come up with all of these weird, UN-scientific ideas???


I've heard lots of dismissals of all kinds of science.

I don't find that difficult to believe at all given your misunderstanding of what science is and how science works.


That is starting to change, in northern quebec scientists are getting off their high horse and learning about the environment from native elders.

Yeah...those crazy scientists on their "high horse". If they would only listen to those native elders...oh BTW, care to cite where you got this information from???


Who's to say that some astrologer hasn't made the next big step in that field, but it isn't discussed because people have prejudice.

There is nothing to discuss as there is no mechanism to astrology. Saying that it "just works" is not good enough...there must be some measurable forces inolved or it is simply nonsence.


In fact, like any scientific experiment, its useful to try to create what is now considered to be impossible. Babbage did it, Da Vinci did it, meaning they came up with the ideas that technology and understanding couldn't yet produce.

What in the heck are you talking about???

FYI...since you are new here, you should take the time to read the rules of this board. You have made many claims, and you will be asked to substantiate those claims.

marcarc
2007-Jun-24, 08:21 PM
Substanciation is not a problem, but of course 'this is jibberish' isn't exactly a criticism is it? There's a saying, if you don't have anything nice to say.... If you can't comprehend an analogy, then simply don't comment on it. Nobody is sitting at home thinking "but what will X think?" And I'm certainly not sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for rude snobs to talk down to me. My comments aren't directed at YOU, because you have an opinion and its clear where you stand, so don't bother, just move on to another blog. Like I said, if you listen to many of the podcasts Pamela says the same thing "here's what happens..." but then doesn't explain HOW we know that happens. Am I being a gullible fool for believing her? Do scientists retest and look at all the experiments and math they've built on? Of course not,some things are taken on faith, like that peer review can weed out the false claims (though it sometimes doesn't), and that the experiments read about in a paper don't have results that are just made up (though sometimes they are).

I don't think I need to repeat the parts you don't understand, because they are pretty much explained, just reread it, or else (by all means) move on.

For the actual interesting parts, the 'mechanism' is astronomy. In order to say that Jupiter or some star or another has an effect, then obviously you have to have an understanding of, first, where those stars are. The 'science' part of course is that 'if it has an effect on you it has an effect on anybody'. That is true, but then of course we know that the same symptoms can have a different effect on different people. You are saying that we CAN"T measure the validity, but of course we can, the study I cited shows how it can be measured. Take a surgery, take a 'sign' and measure the results. Pick another sign, pick another effect, then measure that. That group is already doing it, go call them up and call them quacks.

And of course in the 'messy' business of psychology there is that self fulfilling prophecy where if a person has a certain belief in something, it affects the outcome, just like a placebo. Of course we don't exactly know how or why a placebo works either. We know lots about stars, but not much about people.

If jupiter were NOT in the quadrant, then it would not be payday. So would be a bad time to invest. As for the moon, if its bright at one point and we agree with the poster above that light levels can have an effect then there we go. You call it the 'moon effect', and for some reason think that although astrologers talk about the stars they somehow didn't notice the biggest thing in the night sky. So the study mentioned above showed that there was no correlation between certain zodiac signs and a certain surgery. So obviously not everybody in the scientific field feels the same as some people here. So next they may try a different zodiac sign and a different surgery, they may look at different phases of the moon and different human behaviours. Perhaps no claims will match, but perhaps one will.

Just because you don't like the ideas, don't rag on everybody else who are actually interested in the world and the people in it. I'll go back to grade school for you, science is a method of hypothesis, testing and observation. When somebody starts telling you the types of things you are allowed to hypothesize about, test on and observe, they are no longer talking about science but religion...or politics.

R.A.F.
2007-Jun-24, 08:46 PM
Marcarc, I have asked you a number of questions, and you have not answered even one.

You really need to read the rules of this board before you continue posting here.

EvilEye
2007-Jun-24, 09:37 PM
Astrology is a "was" important part of astronomy. That's all I was saying.

A horoscope is junk.

However... saying that other heavenly bodies have no effect is also junk.

Take away Mars, or Pluto and see what happens to our planet.

clint
2007-Jun-25, 12:00 AM
...
Just because you don't like the ideas, don't rag on everybody else who are actually interested in the world and the people in it. I'll go back to grade school for you, science is a method of hypothesis, testing and observation. When somebody starts telling you the types of things you are allowed to hypothesize about, test on and observe, they are no longer talking about science but religion...or politics.

Sorry, but to be taken seriously, you need something better than
'hey, the moon has some effect on us (surprise, surprise) so I guess astrology is right after all'

COME ON!
:doh:

marcarc
2007-Jun-25, 03:13 AM
I really don't care if I'm taken 'seriously' by some anonymous posters at a blog website or not. If you go back and read my original post what I said was quite simply that IF you assume that astrology is NOT science, then why do a show on it? Doing a show on it either simply insults those who may believe it, or gives credence that actually you DO think its science, but you just don't like it. I assume that you don't think auto mechanics is 'astronomy', so are you going to do a show on auto mechanics saying how crazy it is to be called a 'science' (when in fact most people couldn't care less what you called it). Like I said, in a podcast you don't know who may be listening, and insulting people for 40 minutes is hardly a good way to build an audience. So again, stick to what you DO understand and don't ridicule what you don't understand. Like I said, perhaps you could have a show insulting all the religious people about their crazy notions of god, etc. But again, plenty of scientists have been 'gullible' enough to fall for some doozies as well.

Like Pamela said, in a mathematical system you can make a theorem say anything. Is mathematics next to be ridiculed? And again, on the show about 'white holes' and 'time travel', those topics, equally ridiculous as scientific theories, certainly weren't called that. Pamela even said that 'some of the brightest minds' are talking about what came before the big bang. And of course the show on the boundaries of the universe was basically a roundabout way of saying "we know jack squat". But again, those weren't called ridiculous.

However, there weren't many questions in the post that is mentioned, it was simply the authors opinion that a lot of it was jibberish or they couldn't understand it. Perhaps you were looking for a rebuttal of some insults, but why would anyone bother. Clearly you don't seem to understand what I said, so that's pretty much it. You've essentially proven exactly WHY you shouldn't have shows like this, which was my main point in the first place.

I don't see why I 'need more' than what I said. As the other fellow posted above, take away mars and pluto and see what happens. You just said that the moon has an effect on us, so YOU have just proven that astrology works. Thanks for that. Yes, it really is THAT easy. Astrology states that the heavenly bodies affect human events. The moon is a heavenly body (oops, is that not 'scientificy' enough for you?) and as you just said, it affects human events. Science really doesnt' get any easier than that. You form a hypothesis : in this experiment we are going to determine whether the moon has an effect on human events. Experiment: on a full moon we can see that in SOME cases it makes people act differently, more violently, more people go into labour. Observation: we can observe all of these events. You call them 'moon effects'. In SOME cases it has been shown to effect, however, the record is mixed. Of course you only need ONE (in fact it makes astrology that much more integral if it IS only one-then not only have you proven astrology practical but that it works on an individual level). It's like that anecdote about how a swan by definition was a large white aquatic bird, until they found a black one. Thanks for clearing that up:)

The moon effects are quite obvious, take even the psychic reader who has a woman customer come in. She finds out the woman has epilepsy, well, say that astrologer/psychic reader/whatever, happens to read wikipedia which states "80 percent of women with epilepsy have more seizures than usual in the phase of their cycle when progesterone declines and estrogen increases."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_cycle

And of course coincidentally ( or is it?) the menstrual cyle and the lunar cycle are the same (on average). Of course the 'scientist' or doctor, may tell her the statistics, but the astrologer may just tell her that there's a good chance that she'll have more seizures.

To the woman it makes no difference (hence my wolf example you can feel free to reread), while the 'scientist' and 'astrologer' both know the same fact, the information just comes out in a different medium. If the woman is unaware, then who cares whether you call it 'entertainment'. The main question, of course, is what is the effect of the moon, something we don't know and can't test for obvious reasons, so we have to rely on statistical evidence. Again, we KNOW the effect, at least statistically, however, if you can't remove the moon to test the theory then as you say it can't be called 'science'. That's not really true, again, Charles Babbage tried to build a calculating machine and Da Vinci tried to build a helicopter, but didn't have the required technology. Yet the ideas were still valid and it turns out, hugely influential (hence my final comment in that thread). Science is a process of inquiry. I know plenty of guys with PHD's who have long stopped doing science, they teach classes or fill out grant applications or keep watch on their students. They still get last author on a paper, because its their lab, but apart from providing money thats about all they contribute. So science isn't something that comes with a university degree or tenure.

clint
2007-Jun-25, 02:47 PM
Many astrologers and ufologists DO CLAIM to have scientific evidence
(and in most occasions the so-called 'evidence' is quite anecdotal and subjective, or even just plain wrong and made up - you have to give me that one ;)

So it was interesting to hear that refuted from a science point of view.
I don't see why this is insulting.

To be told that some far-away constellations at the moment of my birth determine my whole life,
or that a blurred photo of someone's coffee saucer is 'proof' for alien visits to our planet
- THAT is kind of offensive, intellectually speaking
(who's mocking who in these cases, by the way?)

And this is NOT about the effects of the Moon on our planet
(or, to a lesser extent, other bodies of our solar system)

I'm a Sagitarius and no solar system object forms part of that constellation, as far as I know ;)
Still, astrology claims it hugely influences my life.

Don't be offended Marcarc, you're free to believe and speculate whatever you like.

But if you want to discuss the obvious effects of the Moon, that's a completely different debate - one that CAN be based on scientific evidence.
Nothing to do with astrology or 'ufology'.

marcarc
2007-Jun-25, 04:50 PM
The problem is that YOU are defining the parameters, not science. Just go look up astrology at wikipedia and give it a quick read. The idea that ALL astrologers are doing X isn't the case. In order to prove what you don't like, you are assuming that all astrology by definition is about far away planets and has nothing to do with the closest celestial body. THAT is insulting, who would say that distant objects have an influence and ones right nearby wouldn't? Even though the ones close by have immediate and observable impacts. In fact, I'd posit thats where astrology came from. People knew at least two lights in the sky had in impact, so logically why not others?

So your argument is self defeating. We have the 'moon effect', so suddenly the 'proof' of astrology is taken from it simply because its no longer supernatural. What WAS supernatural has now been studied, at least some, and so is accepted. So you are defining astrology as ONLY being allowed to take supernatural causes into account, which isn't the case. The sun of course has HUGE impacts on people, it is also a celestial body but because we account for that 'scientifically', then it is taken from astrology and becomes science. I don't know how to explain that any further. By creating a clear distinction between the two and taking away every astrological claim that can be verified and saying that "it's not astrology anymore because we can explain it scientifically" then OF COURSE astrology is only concerned with the 'super natural', because thats how YOU define it. If you don't see the problem with that then I really can't explain any more than that.

But you weren't being rude so I'll attend to your criticisms seriously (even though I gots science to get done meself). I wasn't personally offended, I'm enough of a narcissist that I couldn't care less. However, I do have empathy and can get 'offended' (for lack of a better word) when its clear that others are being offended. If I were listening to an astrology podcast that was simply informative and looking at 'what we know' based on the experiences of those practising, and suddenly they had a show talking about the narrow minded idiots in astronomy who are pompous enough to believe that human beings are somehow spared the effects of the universe, then I'd email that show as well.

Like I said, in science, logical consistent is pretty important. So at the very least, don't talk about these charlatans talking about pre big bang as if they are 'so smart', because they are 'just idiots who have no idea what they are talking about'. Or, more preferably, just stick to science and save the 'bashing' for other shows. I tuned in and listened to this show because it was one of the better ones, it didn't insult my intelligence, and it wasn't filled with rhetoric and opinion-until this show.

The post above makes several outrightly false claims about astrology, and in fact many astrologers DON"T claim that they 'hugely impact' your life. That's the insulting part, assuming an entire field is this one thing that you think it is.

However, to be logically consistent, let's look at an opposing view. I'm not going to hunt it down, but you can go to 'Point of Inquiry' and download the podcast they did with a scientific naturalist. Imagine the alternate claim, that your genetics, the little tiny tiny strands of DNA in your body 'affect' your life. Imagine saying that a hundred years ago. Or two hundred years. Now we know that they not only impact our life, they ARE our life (depending on your view). This guy was saying to take religion out of the picture and put EVERY human thought, behaviour, whatever, down to the minute processes occuring at the cellular level. Well, what about lower than that, what about at the molecular level? What about the atomic level, the subatomic level? Of course we know little about these things, but 'somehow' they work together to fashion our human impulses. So adding stars into the mix doesn't seem so far fetched. The big difference, of course, is that NOBODY knows the one kind, whereas specific people claim to know the other.

So astrology CAN use science, that's my point. I'll leave this alone now, I think my point has been made. It does unfortunately, make me think a little less of the host, who I enjoyed much more before that show. Personally I have no astrological beliefs, but then I really don't have any 'beliefs'. Finally, my main point to those who dismiss entire areas of human activity out of hand, all I can say is there are wild crazy ideas out there, and nature is wildest of them all. Don't dismiss an idea, especially one you think is crazy, thats exactly how you change your way of thinking to adapt to new results. I"ve seen many scientists who can't come to grips with the fact that what they thought was the case isn't true at all, contrary to the show where they claim that all scientists are more than happy to find out they are wrong (obviously you've never been privately funded). You never know where an idea may come from, and a good scientist gets them from anywhere they can.

R.A.F.
2007-Jun-25, 05:23 PM
I"ve seen many scientists who can't come to grips with the fact that what they thought was the case isn't true at all...

You have made many of these "I've seen this and that" type comments in your half a dozen posts here, yet when asked to substantiate your opinions, you "play" at being insulted and hurt, and end up by not presenting any evidence for those claims.

One of the major rules of this board is simply to be "polite", and I find your behavior is anything but.

I'm putting you on "ignore" so I don't have to read any more of your junk.

damian1727
2007-Jun-25, 10:03 PM
:lol:

he must be a virgo .....

oldapastron
2007-Jun-29, 05:09 PM
junk@!!?

yeah!

chill dude.

Quarkus
2007-Dec-03, 03:19 PM
Hi,

To begin clearly: I don't think Earth is visited by alien life. It's too impractical to be mysterious when you got here. However, as a kid, I remember reading RAF pilot accounts of strange balls of light that followed planes, were picked up on radars at base, and were labelled as unidentifed flying objects (I think they were called 'foo fighters'). Were these accounts just bunk I was being fed by UFO book sellers? Or is there a good explanation for these phenomena I've failed to pick up on? Put simply, does anyone know more about these?

cheers,

Halcyon Dayz
2007-Dec-03, 10:20 PM
Plenty of explanations.
Foo fighter: Explanations & theories (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foo_fighter#Explanations_and_theories).
But nothing conclusive.

It is very hard to do scientific experiments on a transient phenomenon.

Quarkus
2007-Dec-04, 09:46 AM
Thanks Halycon. Still unsure but facinated by ball lightning now. The picture on wikipedia of ball lightning apparently following a car is quite literally extraordinary.