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Define pseudoscience astrology

Pseudoscience Related to the Earth

Scepticism is perhaps not as prevalent as we thought, despite living in the age of the internet — why is Astrology so popular and why are women more likely to believe? Kylie is a columnist for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels world-wide delivering entertaining presentations on education, feminism, belief and skepticism. Is the description above accurate, or do you think this is an over-simplified account of a more complex science than that?

Is your opinion affected by how deep your knowledge of Astrology is? Lastly, how large is your interest in Astrology?

Science and Pseudo-Science

Do you love it? Hate it? Do you read your horoscopes in the paper or magazines? Do you think mainstream attempts at horoscopes are ridiculous? Are you more inclined to delve deeper and analyse your own chart and so on? Or do you think the whole lot is a pile of hogwash? Rhiannon Michell. A science has to be measurable and always produce the same outcome when the same things are tested.

Drawing the line between science and pseudo-science.

So Astrology is not a science. At the time the star signs were first established the sky looked quite different to what it is today and all the signs and planets were in very different positions on the sky. So if they had an influence, then it would all be wrong for the different starsigns by todays positions. Scientific studies involving astrology have stopped after attempting and failing to establish the validity of astrological ideas. So far, there are no documented cases of astrology contributing to a new scientific discovery. Researchers behave scientifically?

The History of Astrology

Scientists don't wait for others to do the research to support or contradict the ideas they propose. Instead, they strive to test their ideas, try to come up with counterarguments and alternative hypotheses , and ultimately, give up ideas when warranted by the evidence. Astrologers, on the other hand, do not seem to rigorously examine the astrological ideas they accept.


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As reflected by the minimal level of research in the field, they rarely try to test their arguments in fair ways. In addition, the astrological community largely ignores evidence that contradicts its ideas. Science cannot be absolutely defined; however, scientific endeavors have a set of key characteristics, summarized in the Science Checklist.

Some traditions and beliefs that seem scientific actually fail to meet most of the characteristics of science. Of course, Popper wouldn't be going to the trouble of trying to spell out what separates science from non-science if he didn't think there was something special on the science side of the line. He seems committed to the idea that scientific methodology is well-suited -- perhaps uniquely so -- for building reliable knowledge and for avoiding false beliefs.

Indeed, under the assumption that science has this kind of power, one of the problems with pseudo-science is that it gets an unfair credibility boost by so cleverly mimicking the surface appearance of science.

(PDF) Is Astrology Necessarily a Pseudoscience? | Éva Bekő - prevticsiotrathen.gq

The big difference Popper identifies between science and pseudo-science is a difference in attitude. While a pseudo-science is set up to look for evidence that supports its claims, Popper says, a science is set up to challenge its claims and look for evidence that might prove it false. In other words, pseudo-science seeks confirmations and science seeks falsifications. There is a corresponding difference that Popper sees in the form of the claims made by sciences and pseudo-sciences: Scientific claims are falsifiable -- that is, they are claims where you could set out what observable outcomes would be impossible if the claim were true -- while pseudo-scientific claims fit with any imaginable set of observable outcomes.

What this means is that you could do a test that shows a scientific claim to be false, but no conceivable test could show a pseudo-scientific claim to be false. Sciences are testable, pseudo-sciences are not.


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  • So, Popper has this picture of the scientific attitude that involves taking risks: making bold claims, then gathering all the evidence you can think of that might knock them down. If they stand up to your attempts to falsify them, the claims are still in play. But, you keep that hard-headed attitude and keep you eyes open for further evidence that could falsify the claims.

    If you decide not to watch for such evidence -- deciding, in effect, that because the claim hasn't been falsified in however many attempts you've made to falsify it, it must be true -- you've crossed the line to pseudo-science. This sets up the central asymmetry in Popper's picture of what we can know. We can find evidence to establish with certainty that a claim is false. However, we can never owing to the problem of induction find evidence to establish with certainty that a claim is true.

    So the scientist realizes that her best hypotheses and theories are always tentative -- some piece of future evidence could conceivably show them false -- while the pseudo-scientist is sure as sure as can be that her theories have been proven true.

    Of course, they haven't been -- problem of induction again. So, why does this difference between science and pseudo-science matter? As Popper notes, the difference is not a matter of scientific theories always being true and pseudo-scientific theories always being false. The important difference seems to be in which approach gives better logical justification for knowledge claims.

    Astrology Debunked - Richard Dawkins in Enemies of Reason

    A pseudo-science may make you feel like you've got a good picture of how the world works, but you could well be wrong about it. If a scientific picture of the world is wrong, that hard-headed scientific attitude means the chances are good that we'll find out we're wrong -- one of those tests of our hypotheses will turn up the data that falsifies them -- and switch to a different picture.

    A few details are important to watch here. The first is the distinction between a claim that is falsifiable and a claim that has been falsified. Popper says that scientific claims are falsifiable and pseudo-scientific claims are not. A claim that has been falsified demonstrated to be false is obviously a falsifiable claim because, by golly, it's been falsified. Once a claim has been falsified, Popper says the right thing to do is let it go and move on to a different falsifiable claim. However, it's not that the claim shouldn't have been a part of science in the first place.

    How science differs from astrology and other pseudosciences