Do you believe in Horoscope? Do you read a weekly magazine to find out weekly horoscope zodiac? How is your romance, financial, and health predictions this week? Wait, before lo sink ever deeper into the sweet words of the zodiac, I want to challenge your belief in astrology. Through this article, I will bring you to discover astrology in terms of its history, popularity, and whether the horoscope forecast of personality traits is fact or hoax.
To explain briefly, more than 2300 years ago, the Babylonians believed that the gods live among the stars and celestial bodies and has the power to control the human destiny. The Babylonians divide the sky into 12 constellations which now know them as the zodiac (horoscope system).
According to the horoscope system, our future personality traits and events can be known based on the position of the sun, the moon, and other celestial things when we were born. It’s like there is a power that affects the entire life on Earth. Some say the power is in the form of gravitational, electromagnetic, etc. Do you believe such statement? Let’s we completely peel up everything about astrology.
Astrology vs. Astronomy
“I want to take astrology field of study.”
“How are your astronomical forecasts this week?”
Wait a minute! Is the position of astrology and astronomical above are correct? Are Astrology and Astronomy is different?
So, here it is! The ancient astronomers’ knowledge was very narrow about the celestial things, except the things that can be observed with the naked eyes. Therefore, once astrology was still intertwined with astronomy until finally, Galileo Galilei became the first one to use the scientific method to test astrology objectively.
Obviously, along with the rapid development of science, astrology and astronomy is not the same thing anymore. The modern astronomy is a scientific study of celestial bodies, which has nothing to do with your romance forecast at all.
The Review of Psychology towards Astrology
Well, why the astrology seems fact? Haven’t you ever heard about subjective validation?
Subjective Validation occurs when two unrelated or random events are to be linked because of the belief or expectation that requires a connection between the two events. In other words, people are voluntarily linking their personality perceptions with the contents of the horoscope.
The concept of subjective validation was first tested by a psychologist Bertram R. Forer. Forer gave personality tests to his students in a classroom. Eventually, the personality analysis results were shared with each student. He told her students that they got unique analysis (different from one to another) according to test results. Then, they were asked to score the personality analysis they received between the scales 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent), in the compliance with themselves.
But there was a trick: each student received exactly the same analysis. The average score of students from the class voted on the analysis they received was 4.26. According to the students, 85% of the analysis is accurate. Well, you know? How can the same analysis be considered as accurate by many people?
Try it pay attention to the following pieces of the analysis which were presented to the students:
- You have a need to be likable and adored by other people.
- You have a great potential that you have not been used it maximally.
- Some of your dreams tend to be unrealistic.
- You are an independent thinker and will not accept what people say without clear evidence.
Overall, those sentences are really general, vague, so could be applied to anyone. Such statement is also called as the Barnum statement.
This is also applicable to the zodiac horoscope which is vaguely worded or not specific at all. So, it can hit anyone. Pisces is identical to be lovingly personality. How come? My friend of mine is also lovingly but he is Capricorn. Aries is identical to be independent. Again, I am a Pisces, and also independent. Everyone can tell themselves to be independent.
In a different experiment, a famous French astrologer, Michael Gauquelin wanted to test the astrology profession scientifically. It offers free individual horoscope forecasts for each reader of a magazine and asks for their feedback regarding the accuracy of the individual analysis. The trick is equal to the experiment by Forer: he uses the exact same horoscope forecasts to thousands of readers. The result, 94% of readers said that the predictions are very accurate and insightful.
This is an example of subjective validation. People only focus on the right statement, which hits on common analyses. Astrologers rely on the ability of man to remember “hits” and forget the misses forecast (selective bias). In fact, if there is an accurate prediction, it could be a coincidence.
Maybe you can feel it too when reading zodiac forecasts. If you read a prediction that does not make sense for you, you ignore it. Occasionally, read some sentences which are coincidentally right to the situations you are confronting. “Why they are really true?”
Similarly, a future event forecast may be happening. But, if the forecast does not happen, you ignore it. Not to ignore because it’s nothing more than a zodiac forecast. But, once the forecast true, “Amazing, my horoscope is fact!”
Such effect continues to accumulate from time to time, making astrology still prevail and be trusted.
Astrology in Assessing Mate Suitability
“I see on the internet, a Cancer it is suitably mated to Scorpio. I used to have a relationship with a Scorpio, and then we broke up. Then I read another horoscope again, a Cancer is suitable to mate Pisces Cancer. Another one from a magazine, a Cancer is suitably mated to Taurus. So, to whom should I have to date?”
A survey of 2,978 married couples found that among them there are 478 couples who got divorced. This shows that there is no correlation between the divorce and compatibility zodiac.
When you read a horoscope and if the horoscope prediction is true, don’t you think that it means 1/12 of the world’s population also undergo the similar fate? It’s absolutely impossible. Isn’t it? If assume that the world’s population is currently about 7 billion people, and say it is assumed that all people were born in a spread in 12 months. It means 1/12 of the human population is 584 million people. Now, if an astrology forecast coincidental says you broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, does it mean 1/12 of the earth’s population is also broke up with their boyfriend or girlfriend? If this week you got a boil on your ass, are the other 584 million people also got a boil in the ass too?
If you want to debunk astrology, it’s easy. Astrology forecasts do not always consistent. Collect astrology forecasts from different sources. Compare one to others. The following is the example, which I will grab my zodiac forecasts, Pisces.
- Horoskop # 1 (id.she.yahoo.com): Physical: Sinusitis recurrence.
- Horoskop # 2 (vemale.com): Digestion problems will attack you this week. If this continues for a few days, then it’s time to see a doctor and health care. This is a result of diet, eating habit, and carelessly eating foods. This week, detox your body with healthy foods and snacks. Do not force yourself to eat a heavy meal.
- Horoskop # 3 (edsur.info): Health: Eliminate all uproar things in the chest. If you keep them, they will make you breathless.
- Horoskop # 4 (gen22.net): Health: Do not sleep too late.
Don’t you see? Still 5 horoscope forecasts from different sources, but they are inconsistent if comparing one to the others. In fact, my health condition is good today, and I don’t have a sinusitis.
The Overview of Physics and Astronomy towards Astrology
Now, let’s we overview the term of the technical view. The common rumor said that astrology is closely connected to gravitational and electromagnetic. So, if there is a power from the celestial bodies that have real effects in human affairs on Earth, it should be able to be measured. Isn’t it? Let’s we examine the strength of the gravitational and electromagnetic which are often touted.
Firstly, take a look at the list horoscope picture which shows us the connections between each of the zodiac to the celestial body. The list of the horoscope consists of the sun, the moon, and several other planets in our solar system. In physics study, we learn that the gravity is affected by two things, namely the mass and distance. Gravity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance. If an object is getting away from us, then, the less its strength against us. Now, think about how far are the earth to the sun, the moon, and other planets? It’s about millions of kilometers. So, how can their gravity affect us directly and individually?
The nearest celestial body to the earth is the moon. So, by the nature of gravity that is inversely proportional to the distance, it should be the influence of Cancer zodiac horoscope to be the most influential than the others. But the astrologers had always told that the influential power all zodiac horoscopes are just the same. It means there is no link between the nature of gravity and horoscope.
How about the link of horoscope to electromagnetic?
Well, we know that in the physics study, electromagnetically depends on the distance and electric load. Commonly, a planet has a neutral load. It’s rarely a planet has an electric load, such as Jupiter, but Jupiter is far away from the earth. Among celestial bodies in our solar system, the one that has the largest electromagnetic is the sun. If so, Leo (the zodiac Sign for the Sun) should the most influential than the other horoscopes. It means there is no synchronous between horoscope forecasts and the electromagnetic nature.
How about if the same power of horoscope cannot be reached by science?
Just the same, as we know, energy is inversely proportional to the distance. The strength of a further object is smaller than the strength of a closer object towards us. But astrologers said that the strengths of all planets are the same. They mean, Venus, which is closer to the Earth has the same strength with Pluto towards the Earth, which Pluto is the fastest planet from the Earth.
So, what factor of strength factor, then the horoscope has? It’s not the factor of distance, nor isn’t mass. Then, how about the asteroids which are also parts of our solar system and hundreds of other planets which were discovered by the modern astronomies? Why are they not taken into account in astrology?
Astrology was found in an era where the celestial bodies were observed with the naked eyes. In which, people still believe that the Earth is the center of the universe (geocentric). In fact, it is clear now we know that the Sun is the center of the universe (heliocentric).
According to the astrology thought, each morning of our birthday, the sun will rise and pass the corresponding star constellation (the astrological sign). Let’s say I was born on March 3. Meaning, each dated March 3, (supposedly) the sun will rise and pass through the constellation of Pisces. Is it true? Yeah, but it was 2000 years ago when the Babylonians first create astrology.
In the last 2000 years, the Earth’s rotation made the Earth shifted on its axis so that the constellations shifted 1 degree in every 72 years. As a result, we shift our zodiac after certain long of years. So, if I am waiting for the sunrise on March 3, then the sun will rise by passing the Aquarius constellation and not Pisces anymore. Now, you got confused which astrological zodiac you are.
From this overview, we can say that Astrology is a primitive system. Is it still relevant to use in the modern era?
The Danger of Astrology
You may say; “Probably astrology forecast may not entirely true. But, take it easy. Have fun with the astrology forecasts. It’s not danger, right?”
WRONG! Today, according to a Gallup poll, 25% of Americans believe in astrology. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on astrology every year in the US. It’s a huge amount of money for something that is not obvious the truth.
In the 1980’s, Nancy Reagan, the wife of US President, Ronald Reagan, consult to an astrologer to determine the fortunes of meeting and plan drawn up at that day. Her husband, the President of the United States, was OK to her wife’s “behavior”.
Still thinking it is not dangerous? People as powerful as Ronald Reagan, scheduling meetings based on random claims and nonsense of the non-scientific system. Imagine if a president uses the astrology forecasts to make a decision. It’s such an apprehensive to the most of the people of the country.
The most worried one from its dangerous things is astrology promotes an uncritical way of thinking. The more we teach people to easily accept anecdotal stories, cherry-picking selected information (select the supportive ones, but ignore the bad forecasts), and nonsense, the more difficult we teach people to think clearly and critically. If you cannot think clearly, your capability as an independent human being will be eroded. You will be so easily be bribed by various things by other people, which the truth is still not obvious. You will be easily driven by another person.
So, don’t use astrology forecast for your personal development means.