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View Poll Results: Do you believe in
Astrology 57 28.36%
Numerology 14 6.97%
Tarot 8 3.98%
None. 140 69.65%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 201. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 18th September 2018, 10:11   #91
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Default re: Do you believe in Astrology, Tarot, Numerology?

As far as believe in Astrology (and God itself) is concerned, I'm a fence-sitter. I have seen many instances where Astrologers have made remarkably accurate predictions, but i have seen exact opposite from same astrologers too. But I must say, hit rate was more than a normal probabilistic curve would dictate. We had an astrologer as our tenant when I was in school (a time when you don't give a damn about future, forget about predicting it), so I have seen many instances from close quarters (literally) which were astounding predictions.

However, no matter what, I refuse to believe that my future, my life is pre-destined. That I am bound to fail, no matter how hard I try, when the destiny eludes me, and I will succeed only when the stars are in favor. That's too deterministic a world that way.

But I believe in probabilities. That's what Astrology does, it calculates probabilities. In pure form, Astrology is not accurate. Even it's first practitioners might not have known how exactly that works, but it does seem to work, even if very very slightly skewed in outcomes from the normal probability distribution curve.

And, you never know. With recent studies in Quantum mechanics, there are possibilities of one outcome being favored by "nature" than the other probable ones, and inter-connectedness of this entire universe at Quantum level; Astrology may end up being a science discovered much before it could be understood.
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Old 18th September 2018, 11:37   #92
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And, you never know. With recent studies in Quantum mechanics, there are possibilities of one outcome being favored by "nature" than the other probable ones, and inter-connectedness of this entire universe at Quantum level; Astrology may end up being a science discovered much before it could be understood.
Before looking at the future, you should consider how science works now.

For a moment, let's forget about whether astrology is a science or not. Let's just worry about whether predictions are right or wrong. This can be easily figured out using hypothesis testing, which is a statistical method of determining whether something is true or not with say 99.7% accuracy or 3 standard deviation (sigma). Oh, you can go for higher accuracy with higher sigma. But 3 sigma is good for most purposes.

Guess what, such a test was done in 1985.
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The study in the end covered 116 subjects with about 28 participating astrologers. The astrologers were sent the horoscopes, together with the personality profiles. A notable feature of this carefully designed experiment was the use of double-blind procedures to make absolutely sure that no biases against astrology or for the scientific viewpoint intervened in the experiment. The method was decided upon before the data was collected and the experimenters had no access to the subjects' identities during the period of data collection, and they were referred to only by their assigned code numbers.

The interpretation of the data was also done in several ways to make the conclusions as unambiguous as possible. Not only were the astrologers asked to pick the right choice of personality profile that matched the horoscope, they were also asked to make a second choice and also a ranked choice( on a scale of 1-10) for each personality profile, indicating how well it matched the given horoscope. While the astrologers had no definite prediction for these other cases as to the number of correct results, the scientific viewpoint predicted that one-third of the results would be correct even for the second choice as well as the ranked choices.

The result was a spectacular vindication of the scientific viewpoint. In all the categories only one-third of the choices, upto statistical fluctuations, were in fact correct. It was clear that astrological predictions scored no better than random chance. In the concluding words of Dr. Shawn Carlson `` the predicted connection between the positions of the planets and other astronomical objects at the time of birth and the personalities of test subjects did not exist.''
So, there is no evidence that astrological predictions work, any more than random guesses. How is this going to became a science in some future?

As I mentioned once before, before you want to research how humans fly, don't you want to establish that humans can fly? Once you know something is happening, then science look at how and why.
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Old 18th September 2018, 12:16   #93
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Before looking at the future, you should consider how science works now.

For a moment, let's forget about whether astrology is a science or not. Let's just worry about whether predictions are right or wrong. This can be easily figured out using hypothesis testing, which is a statistical method of determining whether something is true or not with say 99.7% accuracy or 3 standard deviation (sigma). Oh, you can go for higher accuracy with higher sigma. But 3 sigma is good for most purposes.

Guess what, such a test was done in 1985.

So, there is no evidence that astrological predictions work, any more than random guesses. How is this going to became a science in some future?

As I mentioned once before, before you want to research how humans fly, don't you want to establish that humans can fly? Once you know something is happening, then science look at how and why.
Ahh Statistics! For many, this experiment can be interpreted as astrologers involved in the sample were just average! Just the way we can statistically say that Joe root is a better astrologer than Virat Kohli - As he accurately called out the toss 5 out of 5 times in the recent test series. Statistics are extensively used in behavioral sciences (is that a Science?), and we get some weird findings as a result (Like a correlation of 0.99! between US spending on science and space tech and no. of suicides by hanging)



Well, I am not saying Astrology is a science. I am just saying the term Astrology (the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world) could embody something that can be verified by science. It may never be quantifiable (like, how exactly a particular position of Saturn will influence my son's 10th grades: which is how current astrology is interpreted as, and which I completely agree is a farce, not a science), but it will dismiss a lot of current astrological fallacies (like Ketu, which is not even a planet in real), while corroborating that stars and planets do affect things.
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Old 18th September 2018, 12:27   #94
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Ahh Statistics! For many, this experiment can be interpreted as astrologers involved in the sample were just average!
So we are back to No true Scotsman fallacy.

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Just the way we can statistically say that Joe root is a better astrologer than Virat Kohli - As he accurately called out the toss 5 out of 5 times in the recent test series. Statistics are extensively used in behavioral sciences (is that a Science?), and we get some weird findings as a result (Like a correlation of 0.99! between US spending on science and space tech and no. of suicides by hanging)
Statisticians/Scientists don't confuse correlation with causation, unlike the layman. So I am not sure why you are bringing that up.

The 1985 experiment I cited didn't even show correlation. So there is no question of causation.

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Well, I am not saying Astrology is a science. I am just saying the term Astrology (the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world) could embody something that can be verified by science.
It has failed every verification test until now. So I wouldn't hold my breath.
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Old 18th September 2018, 12:31   #95
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Default re: Do you believe in Astrology, Tarot, Numerology?

At best astrology is an innocent pastime that allows people to bond over random stuff ("Oooooh can't make up your mind? Typical Libran!!!" or "I'm a Scorpio so don't ever get on my bad side- I can be very vindictive"). At its worst it is an exploitative, cynical practice that preys on people's ignorance and promotes superstition and blind faith.

No different from organised religion in that sense- in fact tarot, numerology, vaastu, feng shui, gemology, aura reading/cleansing, reiki, palmistry, face reading...etc.ETC. are pretty much all manifestations of the same thing.

Before I was married, my parents asked me, in all seriousness, whether I believed in horoscope matching. My reply was: No, but of you MUST do it, do it before I meet the woman, because if I like someone, am not gonna allow something like a less-than-perfect celestial prophecy to come in the way of my happiness! I pretty much harbour the same attitude now.

E.g. when buying a house, if the better half or some family elders want to ensure that it is "vaastu-compliant", I say go for it at the outset. Otherwise every single accident, illness, death, marital spat or job trouble will be blamed on the poor house. For my part, I will make sure it's well-ventilated, is quiet, dry, well laid-out and in a nice neighbourhood!

Personally am a non-believer. But I must confess I like Shirley Bose's horoscopes in Mirror. Some habits die hard!
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Old 18th September 2018, 12:58   #96
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Before looking at the future, you should consider how science works now.
Before we look at how science works now, we have to accept the fact that science worked in the past as well.

While the rationalist thought sounds sensible, there is a fundamental flaw in the "Western" thought, which is that evolution is linear. That we are as good as we ever were. Science as we know today is the final word, and what does not fit the criteria is not science.

Arrogance of that nature would be tolerable if they have been able to explain all the mysteries of the past. Heck, they can't even get the blueprint for the pyramid right.

Through evolution, different environmental circumstances have changed Man and other animals and the possibility that things from the past, which are beyond our comprehension now, should not be dismissed just because our knowledge base cannot recognize it. If anything, it only shows our ignorance.

Cheers
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Old 18th September 2018, 13:16   #97
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Arrogance of that nature would be tolerable if they have been able to explain all the mysteries of the past.
Hypothesis testing is just mathematics. You find that arrogant?

If stating 2+2 = 4 is arrogance, then I guess I am arrogant.

Astrology doesn't pass the mathematical test namely hypothesis testing. That is why it doesn't even begin to qualify to be called a science.

If you need to rely on emotions to make your case, it is not science. Then you are talking faith or belief.

This is a thread about a faith or belief system. I don't understand why the followers of this belief system have the need to call it science, while rejecting the rules that define science.
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Old 18th September 2018, 13:29   #98
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Default re: Do you believe in Astrology, Tarot, Numerology?

It may be mathematics and it may be correct, lets say, 99.xx% of the times predicted.

But I would like to mention the following, in Hindi (if mods permit)
"Umeed pe duniya kayam hai"
Now if the astrologer will inform me my future already, what do I look forward to everyday? Where's the fun (or that Umeed).

All I would say is, it may be correct and magically true, but I do not want to know my future already. I would rather wake up every day and see what it brings for me in opportunities and failures and fun and all other things that life is made of.
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Old 18th September 2018, 13:40   #99
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So we are back to No true Scotsman fallacy.

Statisticians/Scientists don't confuse correlation with causation, unlike the layman. So I am not sure why you are bringing that up.

The 1985 experiment I cited didn't even show correlation. So there is no question of causation.

It has failed every verification test until now. So I wouldn't hold my breath.
There is an entire branch of physics called theoretical physics, considered to be the most complex of all science streams. It comprises of "observable" phenomena, explained through "theories/hypotheses" which are not "proven yet" because of the limitations of our current scientific knowledge.

Like, only 4% of our universe's mass is comprised of visible matter, rest attributed to Dark energy and dark matter- none of which is proven to exist. The whole concept is an exercise to explain observed phenomena. Many a theories are explained as a result of field equations (which itself might or might not be correct or complete). We take that as science still, as it might be possible to prove in future.

Two elementary particles when separated infinitely away from each other, and when some change is imparted to one of them, it "instantaneously" impact in the same way to the other one too (which even Einstein did not believed in at that time). We all are made up of elementary particles, everything started from the big band so in some way or other, everything is connected to everything in this universe (this doesn't read like a scientific argument, is it?). Change in one thing can influence other things, not necessarily in the near vicinity. That's what Astrology says too.

One thing where I completely agree with you is - "Current form of" Astrology does not explain WHY? or HOW? Nor does it stand against the statistical testing. It basically does not account for any scientific reasoning and hence can't be called a science. But Astrology started off as Astronomy (or both started off as one) - predicting events like time of sunrise, eclipse etc and making a calendar out of it. It failed to evolve overtime, as it got mixed with superstitions and beliefs by it's practitioners.

Consider this: A birth chart fairly accurately maps the position of stars and planets at that time - That's science. It maps it into a grid for easy interpretation - we can call it data modelling. Then, it gives a set of general predictions on how the person would be, their basic character, their personality traits etc based on the chart of planetary positions. Now, the no. of permutations through which 12 "planets/zodiacs" can be arranged in the grid (or in the sky) is set. So what it does is, arrange the basic characteristics of people and their observed personality traits into these permutations. "People born under Sagittarius are GENERALLY" outgoing and bubbly, while people born to Taurus are, again, GENERALLY introverted". Till now, it is still not fallen into Pseudo-science category. At most it can be termed as Data analysis and modeling.

Whatever else the modern astrologers do, or claim to know is cheating and doing business by making fool (to put it mildly)
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Old 18th September 2018, 13:48   #100
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A couple of questions for the believers in future predictions through planets and stars -

Now, if everything is determined by the stars, over which we do not have any control, what is the point of knowing my future? Say, if I know that a "x" bad thing is going to happen to me on "y" day, and if that is really already fixed due to some star and some planet being relative to each other on "y" day, how can I change it?


If I can't change it, what's the point of knowing about it? And if I can really change it by something I do here on Earth (say by not venturing outside on that day, by not eating a particular food, by having 3 baths with cold water, by doing some religious ritual, etc.), does it not prove that it had nothing to do with the planets or stars in the first place (since it is not possible that I can influence the relative position of something as massive as a planet or a star by doing something small on Earth)?

Last edited by aah78 : 18th September 2018 at 21:54. Reason: Post fixed - grammar, spacing, for better readability.
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Old 18th September 2018, 14:05   #101
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Hypothesis testing is just mathematics. You find that arrogant?

.
Not the test, but the dismissal of what fails the test, and the adamancy that this is the only test.

If twenty years ago I had told you that "Aum" is the universal vibration, you would have dismissed me. Dunno if you or I will live long enough for them to listen to the universe and figure it out. They just started listening, right?

Dismissal of all, Astrology, Spirituality, and Religion into one basket as "Faith" might help you get away with inability to explain certain phenomena, but ironically goes against the core principle of a scientist to keep an open mind.

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Old 18th September 2018, 14:14   #102
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A couple of questions for the believers in future predictions through planets and stars
It doesn't tell you what's going to happen, no one can do that. It just tells us the possibility. Like the road sign which say "accident prone area, drive cautiously". Doesn't mean that you are going to have an accident every time you drive through that part of the road. But yes, even that prediction is fairly possible to fail.

Last edited by aah78 : 18th September 2018 at 21:55. Reason: Quoted post edited.
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Old 18th September 2018, 14:19   #103
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If you are calling me part of the anti-astrology camp, who is trying heap derision on the post-astrology camp, I have to say you are thoroughly mistaken. I don't believe in that kind of debates. In fact, it is my duty to stop such debates. I am capable of rational argument without derision, others can do it too.
Samurai San would I ever dare to. I don't recall pointing to any post or writer in my message.
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Interesting example. I better remind everybody here that in this case, Galileo was the science guy who was attacked/tortured by the faith camp.
In my eyes he was attacked by people who were not willing to listen to another point of view.

Personally I completely stay away from all these subjects. To each his own
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Old 18th September 2018, 15:03   #104
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Default re: Do you believe in Astrology, Tarot, Numerology?

For me astrology is a belief/faith, and nothing wrong if that belief/faith act as a guidance for those chose to follow.
Mixing belief with science is something I personally don’t agree, but if someone does it, I leave it as their choice. What I don't like is the way astrology is used as a tool to scare; my mom does it very often – don’t do this on so-and-so date, or be extra careful on so-and-so period etc. And her resident astrologers do their part to make sure that they have work
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Old 18th September 2018, 16:04   #105
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There is nothing to predict any outcome 100% every time before hand. Be it science or astrology. So are both not right ? To each his own.

I have seen people coming out of unimaginable circumstances without any harm without any explanation scientifically. There have been cases seen where faith, belief & astrological guidance will do what science cannot. Were these mere co-incidence, so say the science world.

These tools were/are there to give out guidelines for an individual's life. How anyone takes/judges it depends on each's mind.

BUT, i feel the utlimate superseeding factor to every outcome is the strength of self-belief present in each individual. I respect this power in each, call it god or higher power.
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