Rotating Question Curious About Astronomy? Ask an Astronomer

Do astronomers believe in astrology?

I have a simple question to ask you and I'm not even sure if it relates to your field of study, or actually I know it doesn't. The thing is that I am doing a research paper for an English course at my university about astrologers or people who believe in reading the stars to tell your future or your personality. My question to you is do any of the astronomers believe in this subject? If so or not, please explain. Please answer my question. It would help me a lot. Thank you.

No, astronomers do not believe in astrology. It is considered to be a ludicrous scam. There is no evidence that it works, and plenty of evidence to the contrary. There is also no mechanism by which distant planets could possibly influence personalities.

You may be interested in reading James Randi's book, Flim Flam!, which I believe has a chapter on this. He's done several experiments disproving astrology. One of the more humorous ones involves asking astrologers to cast the horoscope of a serial killer (without telling them who the person is, of course). Without fail, the astrologers never predict the psychopathic behavior. If astrology can't tell a serial killer from a green grocer, it can't be good for much.

Astrologers are not scientists; they do not subject their work to the intense scrutiny required of a scientific discipline. Also, because astrologers are making the positive claim that astrology works, the burden of proof is on them to prove that it does. This they have not done.

In science, one does not need a reason not to believe in something; that is the default position. Instead, one requires proof if one is to be convinced of something's existence.

March 1999, Dave Kornreich (more by Dave Kornreich) (Like this Answer)

Still Curious?

Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:

Related questions:

More questions about Careers in Astronomy: Previous | Next

How to ask a question:

If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.

Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist

This page has been accessed 30174 times since September 29, 2002.
Last modified: October 1, 2003 4:58:34 PM

Legal questions? See our copyright, disclaimer and privacy policy.
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.

Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)