Real Astrology is “Huge and Complex”

Denver was host to the United Astrology Conference this past week. Check out the tracks… they’re embarrassing to anyone with a shred of intelligence.

You can hear about it on NPR.

Check out this excerpt from the piece:

In the report, a “professional astrologer” acknowledges that the horoscopes that appear in daily newspapers are nothing more than “cute little paragraphs that we all write because editors insist upon it.”

But, she adds, “real astrology” is “a huge and complex system,” a valid method of predicting events.

Of course it is…

I listened to the report. Astrologer Shelly Ackerman had nothing significant to say (Shocking, I know). Just meaningless babble about the alignment of — oh, who cares.

At one point, though, she called her brethren “Humanists,” which I think slanders many of my friends who don’t believe in such nonsense.

What’s frustrating is that the host goes along with it instead of ripping her wacky theories apart.

Did I mention this was NPR?


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://bruisescolours.wordpress.com/ bc

    I always wonder, how would a conjunction of the three known planets of Gliese 581 affect me? Would it be a good time for me to buy a house, do you think?

  • http://cranialyperossification.com GDad

    Well, NPR does sometimes let on the kooks.

    I once attended a party where one really out-there guest tried to run an astrological chart for the hosts’ dog. I had no response to that.

  • Polly

    You’re not rejecting astrology, just the dumbed down, popular version of it. But, if you really study it you’ll see all the different patterns and relationships and all the great thinking that has led to the birth and development of this field of study.
    And then once you really understand the complex system involved and witness the sheer breadth of it, you’ll see that it has to be true. Because complexity inexorably denotes truth.

    Just because some astrologers are kooks or sheisters doesn’t mean that astrology is not real. Anyone can practice astrology and use it for purposes it was never meant. Rememer the existence of a counterfeit is proof positive that the genuine exists!

    Many great thinkers and writers, such as Shakespeare, have accepted astrology and used it in their literature. If it’s good enough for them, shouldn’t it be good enough for you?

  • mikespeir

    I’m starting to see the light, Polly. (Wonder what Mars is up to.)

  • Brooke

    Um, no, Polly – astrology is not good enough for me. My aunt spent the past year of her life looking for “the one” (the third one, actually) because when she was in her 20′s some astrologer told her that she wouldn’t meet the one she was destined to spend her life with until she was 60. She got involved with the first guy that paid her any attention and was taken for a lot of money. Don’t say that astrologer was some lone “scheister,” either – my aunt still has all the charts and “data”; they are all scheisters, including the ones that don’t know it.

    On a lighter note, I don’t see Miss Cleo on the list of presenters…

  • Glo

    NPR? I’m not surprised.

    Recall that NPR, PBS take huge buckets of money from the Templeton Foundation. Might as well be making advertizements for the Discovery Institute as Templeton.

    NPR and PBS have lost a lot of credibility over the years with their Depak Chopra and the like.

    Just write ‘em off and listen to Howard Stern on XM or Sirius or whatever. At least it’s entertaining.

  • http://thehappyhuman.wordpress.com jtradke

    Aha! You almost had me there, Polly.

  • Richard Wade

    Many great thinkers and writers, such as Shakespeare, have accepted astrology and used it in their literature. If it’s good enough for them, shouldn’t it be good enough for you?

    Yeah and that other guy, what’s his name used it. ‘Course he didn’t do so well in the end. (Godwin’s law alert!)

    Great satire, Polly. I hope.

    I give lectures on astronomy for the general public and there is a tremendous hunger for accurate science presented in easy to understand layman’s terms. The misconceptions are many but they are usually innocent, caused by a poorly funded public education system. People often ask me if there is any validity to astrology. My favorite responses are based on Carl Sagan’s arguments, including the one about two babies born in the same hospital at the same moment. Their horoscopes, no matter how complex or simply they are cast, are absolutely identical. One baby is black the other is white, one is male the other is female, one is healthy the other has spina bifida, the mother of one drank and used drugs during pregnancy, the other’s mother ingested only healthy things, one has poor parents and the other has rich parents.

    I ask the crowd, “According to astrology, these two babies are going to grow up having remarkably similar lives. Would you want to bet any money on that happening?” The murmur of understanding in the room is very satisfying to me.

  • mikespeir

    I ask the crowd, “According to astrology, these two babies are going to grow up having remarkably similar lives. Would you want to bet any money on that happening?” The murmur of understanding in the room is very satisfying to me.

    Clever. I like it.

  • http://blog.crispen.org/ Rev. Bob “Bob” Crispen

    Well, I would accept that astrology was a complex science, but I’m a Virgo and Virgos don’t believe in astrology.

    We don’t believe it either.

    Who was it who made that wonderful distinction between “believe” and “believe in” just recently? Was that you? Kudos to whoever.

  • The Unbrainwashed

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

    -Albert Einstein

    Whenever I’m confronted by such inanity, I repeat this to myself 10 times.

  • RobL

    Many great thinkers and writers, such as Shakespeare, have accepted astrology and used it in their literature. If it’s good enough for them, shouldn’t it be good enough for you?

    You mean like Adolph Hitler? He was a big fan. Had his own staff astrologist who helped him predict the Allied landing at Calais. Too bad it was really in Normandy.

  • mikespeir

    Now, RobL, that was obviously false astrology. If it had turned out correct, it would’ve been real astrology. See how simple?

  • bernarda

    An Asstrologist has invented something called “evolutionary asstrology”. I kid you not.

    “Astrology, like any art or science that has lasted thousands of years, creates its own history of evolution. Some fundamental assumptions and precepts remain constant—others change radically in order for the practice to remain viable. With the discoveries of planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, for example, astrology was challenged to integrate new symbolism into its seemingly closed system.”

    http://www.evolvingjourney.com/ArticleonEvolutionaryAstrology.html

    Then there are the superstitious in the business world who actually hire asstrologists to “help” them in hiring.

    http://www.amanita.at/e/reading/e-01-recruiting.htm

    Even they recognize some problems with their method.

    “# Reactance problems: resistance from applicants (and stakeholders), negative effects on the corporate image because of the negative reputation of astrology
    # Lack of scientific proof, wrong decisions:
    Almost no evidence from empirical research supporting astrology as a selection tool is available. Wrong decisions are costly and unfair to the falsely rejected applicants.”

    Why they say “almost no” is beyond me.

  • cipher

    I ask the crowd, “According to astrology, these two babies are going to grow up having remarkably similar lives. Would you want to bet any money on that happening?” The murmur of understanding in the room is very satisfying to me.

    But, Richard, you know the answer to that one. They’ll just say something vague, like “Astrology shows us possibilities, but can’t predict with absolute certainty … human free will, blah, blah… .” Plus, most of them are on board with the New Age belief system, which incorporates variations on ideas they’ve stolen appropriated from Asian religions, such as karma, rebirth, etc. – so people have different karmic potentials, etc. They just make it all up as they go along.

    NPR and PBS have lost a lot of credibility over the years with their Depak Chopra and the like.

    Don’t forget Wayne Dwyer.

  • http://tobycentral.blogspot.com Toby

    I heard this same nut on the POTUS ’08 channel on XM, which is supposed to be a channel dedicated to politics. They predicted Obama’s election… not really going out on a limb, are they?

    Same thing, though. The host wasn’t saying anything about how ridiculous it all was, but was asking about what the candidates’ birth dates said about their personalities. (Guess what?! Hillary doesn’t like to quit!)


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