The Null Device

Astrology debunked

A recently published study, tracking the lives and personality traits of over 2,000 people born within minutes of each other, has proved that astrology is bunk. The looked at more than 100 different characteristics, including occupation, anxiety levels, marital status, aggressiveness, sociability, IQ levels and ability in art, sport, mathematics and reading, all of which astrologers have claimed can be gauged from someone's star chart, and failed fo find any evidence of similarities between the candidates. Not surprisingly, astrologers' groups are hopping mad, with some promising to complain to the editors of the journal which published this research:
Roy Gillett, the president of the Astrological Association of Great Britain, said the study's findings should be treated "with extreme caution" and accused Dr Dean of seeking to "discredit astrology".

It remains to be seen whether this research will put a dent in the booming astrology industry; surveys suggest that a majority of people in Britain believe in astrology, and this has led to things like "financial astrology" consultancies popping up to part high-flying businessmen from their excess money. Though, if astrology goes out of fashion, some new or newly-revived absurdity will undoubtedly crop up to replace it.

There are 8 comments on "Astrology debunked":

Posted by: mitch http:// Wed Aug 20 08:47:54 2003

The full details of the study are still forthcoming, but it's described in the middle of this paper (on p.188):

Also interesting is the list of previous studies, p.185-186. The Gauquelin study is the best-known positive result for astrology.

Posted by: mark Wed Aug 20 10:18:30 2003

"seeking to discredit astrology"? Wait... that's a *bad thing* now?

Posted by: ed Wed Aug 20 13:58:28 2003

my surprise is that it took such a comprehensive study. just think: six billion people / twelve signs = 500 million people with the same sign.

now come on: have 500 million people got a visit from a long-lost friend today, while 500 million others are constipated?

Posted by: Graham Wed Aug 20 13:59:00 2003

I had no idea astrology had any credibility to begin with.

Posted by: acb Wed Aug 20 14:04:43 2003

Yes, it's Soft Target Day again today.

Posted by: dj http:// Thu Aug 21 01:14:35 2003


Posted by: john http:// Tue Oct 7 11:33:44 2003

Psychologically, all humans have a strong desire to find meaning in their lives. In fact, our brains constantly problem-solve, always looking for the simplest explanation. Science just doesn't quite do it for most people, because science is complicated, and the brain does not like complicated answers,unfortunately. That is why religion and other belief systems, like astrology will never die out. People need something to cling to - to make their lives bearable. Of course astrology is nonsense - and people will believe just about anything i guess.

Posted by: Ben Tue Oct 7 13:47:04 2003

I have my doubts about tea-leaf readers myself. I'll stick to divining from the innards of fish and chickens thanks very much!

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