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Why is astronomy a science but astrology is not?

Why is astronomy a science but astrology is not?

Are you sure that astrology is not a science?

Both astrology and astronomy make predictions. Astrological theories claim that the positions of planets and stars influence who you are and what happens to you: your job, your personality, and your romantic partner. Astrologers make these predictions based on the positions of the planets at the time of your birth.

By contrast, astronomy makes predictions about phenomena such as the motion of planets and the expansion of galaxies. Astronomers explain their predictions with properties such as masses, distances, and gravitational forces.

As philosophers and anthropologists who study what science means to society, we believe it is important to separate the question of whether something is science from the question of whether something is right or wrong.

Astrology makes scientific claims

Science, at its core, involves making and testing factual claims about the world. Factual statements are true or false descriptions of the world (1 metre’s length of atmosphere) as opposed to descriptions of how we define things (1 meter equals 1000 millimeters). In this sense, astrologers, like astronomers, make factual claims about the world. To us, this makes astrology more like a set of scientific beliefs.

For a long time, until the seventeenth or eighteenth century, it was astronomy and astrology practice alongside🇧🇷 After all, knowing where the planets are in relation to the stars was essential to making accurate predictions about how their positions might affect human affairs. This is why astronomers and astrologers populate medical schools and governments, advising people on what the heavens indicate will come to Earth.

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Even famous astronomers Galileo And the Kepler Do astrology. Any rule that says they are scientists only if they make one set of factual claims, but not when they make another set of factual claims, splits these thinkers into two halves that are not meant to be contradictory. Either way, they wanted to know how things worked so they could predict how things might turn out in the future.

For centuries, astrology has been revered as a science along with astronomy.

Being fake vs. being unscientific

But here’s the catch: When researchers test the predictions astrology makes about people’s lives, those predictions are nothing more than assumptions🇧🇷

There is currently no widely accepted evidence that galactic forces are able to influence the choices people make. A truck parked on the street exerts more gravity on you than Mars does, and the radio waves from your local station far outweigh the waves from, say, Jupiter.

There is an important difference between being wrong and being unscientific. Today, astronomical theories are wrong precisely because they make scientific claims about the world, and those claims turn out to be wrong. Although the predictions given by astrology are wrong, it is nonetheless a matter of science. After all, that’s how we know they’re wrong.

Some people believe that they find support for astrological predictions in their personal experience. They read their horoscope and felt it was right: they had “met someone interesting” or “benefited from listening to advice from a close friend.” But the predictions are vague enough that they are often correct, even if the astrology is completely wrong. This is why it can be difficult to know how to accurately evaluate an astrologer’s predictions.

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On the other hand, astronomy theories have evolved over the years with the advancement of technology. They are routinely corrected in response to increasingly accurate measurements. For example, Einstein’s theory of general relativity gained more momentum than Newton’s because it predicted the exact migration of Mercury’s closest point to the Sun year after year. If astrology had the same ability to make correct predictions with such accuracy, it could still be a major focus of scientific interest.

Why is astrology still popular?

But why do so many people find astrology so useful if its predictions are not well founded? Why are astrological signs and horoscopes so popular?

Looking up at the sky to understand what is happening now and what will happen in the future seems to have attracted many different people at different times in history around the world.

When it comes to what is commonly known as Western astrology, many people find that their astrological sign is a source of meaning in their lives. In fact, nearly 30% of Americans believe in astrology. It is one of the many tools we have to tell stories about ourselves to understand who we are, why we are the way we are, and why experiences that may seem meaningless and confusing happen to us all the time. In this sense, astrology’s success may be less about prediction and more about what it offers in terms of meaning and interpretation.

Among other things, astrology can be a useful motivator for self-reflection. It asks us whether we have characteristics typical of our astrological sign and if our loved ones have the characteristics the theory suggests they do. Reflecting on our characteristics and our relationships with the people around us is often a good tool for understanding who we are, what we want to be, and the meaning of our lives. Perhaps astrology is useful in this regard, regardless of whether these characteristics are fixed by the stars.

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Talia Dan Cohen is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology and the Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis (USA); Carl Kraver is Professor of Philosophy, Neuroscience, Psychology, and the Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

🇧🇷 And theThis article Reposted from the site Conversation Under Creative Commons Licence🇧🇷 Read the original article over here🇧🇷

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