Saturday, November 24, 2012

Random Thoughts - Astrology

I have this nagging thought that whether one should only oppose Astrology as a pseudo-science or should also consider it as a criminal offense if an astrologer makes negative predictions. I would guess sometimes they should even be arrested for culpable homicide. Two events have set me thinking in this direction.

Couple of years ago, I participated in a discussion in an atheist forum. One of the participants gave many examples where he had seen the predictions of an astrologer coming true. I found many of them dubious but the one prediction that interested me was about his father's death. According to him, his father died on the same day that was predicted by the astrologer.

I know a family who are hopeless believers. Unlike that rationalist with an ambiguous attitude towards astrology because of his experiences, I get plenty of hilarious examples from this family that only strengthens my conviction about its pseudo-science status. But I suppose I should be neutral and go by only the scientific studies. Couple of recent ones in the family are;

1. An old woman who is supposed to be dead by August 4th of this year is still alive
2. A young man is looking for a suitable match. He has 'Mars Fault' so can only marry a girl with that condition. But there is an additional clause that faults in both Horoscopes should lie in same house. Or so their astrologers had told.

From the prospective brides' side, it turns out that;
- The additional clause that faults should lie in the same house is wrong and in fact based on other positions, faults in different houses are auspicious and the same house is dangerous
- The guy's horoscope reading itself is wrong and he doesn't even have that 'Mars Fault'!

These prospective brides' astrologers are even more reputed than the guy's astrologers or so accepted by the guy's family. I'm sure they will overcome this momentary crisis of faith and get back to astrologers with even more vigour. Last checked they haven't gone to that astrologer and asked their money back(or chided him) since the old woman is not dead.

Anyway, I believe the reason this old woman didn't die like that old man was because he knew about the prediction and she didn't (keeping underlying medical conditions common in both cases). I would think any negative prediction would have psychological impact like 'white coat hypertension'. It would be better to study any such "successful" negative predictions with this angle. What if those persons would have had few more years to live but for those predictions?

No comments: