The other day I saw a post on the psychology tags talk about Astropsychology. No, it’s not like astrophysics or astrobiology which are real science indisciplines. At first I thought it had something to do with space, maybe the study of human emotions or behaviors when spending too much time on a space station, or maybe mental preparations to be an astronaut. But nope. Astropsychology is a combination of astrology and psychology, the former being pseudoscience and the latter real science.
The term astropsychology, although giving out about 17,300 hits on Google, does not yield any results on the APA (American Psychological Association) database. However, other similar terms like “psychological astrology” or “personality astrology” do give out results. I will talk about some of these studies in a later post; they will discuss the validity of astrology and why people believe in astrology. For now I’d like to use logic alone to expose the unlikeliness of astrology to be accurate.
I was born early May, therefore, I am a Taurus. Here is what six different sites say about Taurus for today, August 15, 2012.
Communication is a big issue today, and you should find that your energy is naturally attuned to connecting with others. It may be easier to reach out to people who are far away, actually.
Well, being the social creatures that we are, communication is a big issue most days. This is quite ambiguous and there is not much to work with.
You’ve been spending a lot of time concentrating on your home and family lately, and today’s New Moon is a super opportunity to make any changes or decisions that you think are necessary. For instance, if you’ve been wondering when to put your house on the market or redesign your garden, it would be a wise move to get the ball rolling within the next two weeks. Positive colors are blueberry and silver. Lucky numbers are 3 and 4.
Well, being a 20-year-old college student who lives with his parents, this clearly does not apply to me. I don’t own my own house, so “wondering” if I can put my house on the market is not something that would ever come to mind.
Stick to basics and refrain from putting pressure on others. Work diligently to find solutions to pending problems. An emotional issue will be fueled by an inability to compromise. Show how much you care and you’ll get a much better response.
This horoscope is like the first one. It is quite ambiguous and it reads more like an instruction or advice than a prediction, especially on the last line where it tells you what to do.
You’ll consider making some major lifestyle changes under today’s Leo Moon, which means it’s time to gather more information, facts and figures. It will be essential that you keep up with the disciplines and commitments you’ve taken on even though you’ll be tempted to indulge or skip a day. Dress in white to promote quick access to your intuition so you can see the true motives behind a request a loved one makes this evening.
Part of this is correct, I am getting information, facts, and figures, but not on lifestyle changes. Like the previous horoscope, the latter part of this one sounds like advice—poor advice, mind you, for I have no white clothes.
Problems with a partner or close friend that have been put on a shelf are beginning to make themselves known, dear Taurus. The time is soon for finally dealing with the real root of the issues instead of falling back on “quick fixes”. If you feel that you are suddenly dealing with more anger or aggressiveness in others, look within for answers. Oftentimes others are mirroring our own state of unrest or need for action. It’s not the time to push others, but rather a day for taking a deep breath and tackling things one step at a time.
Well, this one has some truth to it. But then again, who doesn’t have a problem with a partner or close friend at one point in their lives? This sounds like something that could happen to anyone, whether their sign is Taurus or not.
If you don’t know where you want to go or what you want to do, it can be very difficult to develop a plan. The first thing you need to focus on is deciding what it is your heart truly desires. Once you’ve figured that out, you’ve got a number of options and resources to sort through to help you determine the best path to take. Sometimes if you take the first few steps in any direction it becomes clear whether or not you are on the right path and you can adjust your route accordingly.
This one, too, sounds like advice.
So here is the first problem with astrology. First, if astrology is so reliable, then how come none of the six websites above say the same thing? They talked about different things: communication, change, conflict, adjustment, and even things that had nothing to do with me, like putting my house on the market.
A second thing to notice is that astrology isn’t always astrology. Astrology itself means that you can make predictions about a person’s personality through analyzing the movement of the planets and stars. But clearly, like I said above, some of these horoscopes sound like advice rather than predictions.
A third thing to look out for is the ambiguity in these horoscopes. Often times these horoscopes are so ambiguous that almost anyone can relate to them. Who doesn’t have financial problems, interpersonal problems, or decision problems? Most of us do. I like how the satirical news paper TheOnion gives Aries’ horoscope for last week: “Four will be killed, 12 injured, and nearly 50 molested this week after your unconscious escapes.” Now that is an unambitious prediction.
Another thing to consider is that the signs are off by one. In this YouTube video, Bill Nye (otherwise known as Bill Nye the Science Guy) talks about it in a clear-cut example.
Here is a wonderful nine minute clip from the great Carl Sagan’s Cosmos program where he discusses astrology: