Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

The Wrong Way to the Correct Conclusion

Astrology. Classic woo. Not much to say about it other than the fact that for some very strange reason a lot of people still believe in it, at least a little. Maybe it’s because almost every newspaper in the country still has an astrology column. I don’t know. For the sake of my students, several years ago I wrote a little analysis on astrology and why it’s utter bullshit. You can find it here. To be blunt, no one should put any stock in astrology.

Today I stumbled across an explanation of why astrology is to be ignored, but from a completely different perspective, namely that of the fundamentalist Christian nut-job. This delicious bit of woo reaches essentially the same conclusion (ignore astrology) but does so in a most bizarre fashion. The basic argument is that the purpose of astrology is to gain knowledge of the future. According to the author, god and the bible declare that information to be off limits for humans. Consequently, “good Christians” should not make use of astrology. The argument has nothing to do with the efficacy of astrology or its supposed mechanism. In other words, even if it works, you shouldn’t do it because it will upset god’s plan. Interesting logic, eh?

See? Who says science and religion can’t agree on some things?

Comments

  1. #1 WTFWJD
    December 28, 2007

    The argument seems to be that we shouldn’t use astrology because it gives us foreknowledge, which God doesn’t want, which implies that astrology actually does work to some useful extent, and that the Universe is not entirely to God’s liking, and that God is powerless to do anything about it except ask his human friends to beg on his behalf that people not wreck his plans for us.

    Man up, God.

  2. #2 Blake Stacey
    January 1, 2008

    Ahem:

    And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years (Genesis 1:14)

    Also,

    Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matthew 2:1-2)

    See here.

  3. #3 Dave Briggs
    January 2, 2008

    I am a Christian and have been for 30 years come next June. I have also been studying and loving sciences for longer than that. I have read the bible completely 7 or 8 times and once cover to cover in 6 weeks.
    I believe I understand about Gods’ reasoning on not liking astrology, but it is too long a topic to go into here.
    No, it may not make scientific sense. As science type people we prefer things that can be explained and make sense. God doesn’t always operate that way. One famous scripture is, trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.
    I have come to the conclusion that mankind will probably never come to the point of proving God’s existence with a test tube or mathematical equation. The way us science types like best!
    I am sorry there seems to be so much controversy between science and God. I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that even though Christians are supposed to love and respect everyone, sometimes they don’t. People can get very passionate about their ideas sometimes and forget to be agree to disagree agreeably!
    On behalf of Christians everywhere, I am sorry if you ever had your scientific ideas slammed or dismissed. You have a nice blog here and I am thankful to be able to participate in it!
    Thanks,
    Dave Briggs :~)

  4. #4 daedalus2u
    January 2, 2008

    So God is against accurate computer climate models too? and weather forecasting? and actuaries? and insurance?

    So Bush really is doing God’s will because he is acting without any planning for the future?

  5. #5 Mr Ed
    January 3, 2008

    I can’t believe that I’m at odds with Jim, astrology works. Most people are only exposed to the tripe in the news paper but a well done reading can really work. Want scientific evidence? Send me $50 and I’ll prepare a 2008 chart for you.

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