Astrology vs Science on Pluto

It was with some amusement that I read last weeks news about downgrading Pluto from planet status. Besides the old acronyms becoming obsolete, one of the first things that popped into my head was “wow, astrologists are screwed” 😉

Looks like I’m not the only one. There are a plethora of articles around covering reactions from astrologists, most call the decision stupid and/or say they’ll ignore astronomy and include it anyway.

Is it just me, or is this proof that astrology is simply a fantasy cooked up to make people feel better? The planet wasn’t even discovered until 1930, by astronomers. Including it in a new system of prediction is fine, but when astronomers decide Pluto isn’t a planet for reasons such as the existence of larger chunks of rock orbiting the sun you need to change your system because it’s broken.

Take Pluto out or add the new dwarf planets in, but don’t just ignore the people who gave you the system you base your predictions on because that’s hypocrytical.

I’m probably a little off target with the finger pointing, and certainly not all astrologists are ignoring the decision – but I’m biased, I’ve never believed in astrology. Everything time I hear someone talking about their astrological predictions, they’re taking the very general prediction they’ve been given and either either twisting something that has happened to fit or altering their life to suit (which sounds dangerously stupid to me).

18 thoughts on “Astrology vs Science on Pluto

  1. nice posts. but you do have to remember that astronomists have always thought that planets was ambiguous. They needed to define the term somehow. And if pluto wasn’t demoted, then there would be promotions.

    another take

  2. I fully realise that, and I’m glad we demoted pluto rather than promote the other dwarf planets.

    This post was about silly astrologists who don’t like hearing that the system their predictions are based upon is flawed 🙂

  3. Frankly, we all wondered what the astrologists would do now! I would love to say astrology is rubbish, because it makes no sense. Yet I cannot explain why my husband (Dec 6) is a perfect Sagittarius and I (21 Sept) am a perfect Virgo! Just about everyone I know well enough to judge fits more or less into their astrological sign plus their rising sign … But I’m not too concerned that my personality will change along with Pluto’s demoted status …

    http:/www.zaranda.wordpress.com

  4. Hello everyone,
    If you don’t care, why are you concern? I mean that if astrology is not scientific (as it isn’t ), it has not to follow any scientific method… We can’t demand it to follow. We can’t blame astrologists for not be scientists since we don’t give this scientific status to astrology( sorry for my English, I hope it’s understandable)
    Cristina

  5. I know astrology isn’t a science, although I’m sure some claim it is.

    But the system is based primarily on 9 celestial bodies, one for each planet the world has known since 1930:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology

    As I explained in my post, with the introduction of “dwarf planets” and removal of Pluto as a primary planet, in my opinion that makes their system flawed.

    Actually if you follow the links on wikipedia some astrologists are trying to incoporate the new dwarf planets into their system. Just not the ones in the article I linked to.

  6. Sorry I can’t understand your point: in your opinion a given system has to be still in order to don’t flaw. If this is your point( or that is implied by your point) I disagree. This is not true even in science.

  7. no, I’m not saying that a system must remain constant.

    I’m saying when a system is based on facts and those facts are proven incorrect, the system is flawed.

  8. yes, this is true. But I don’t know if astrology is based on the fact that Pluto is a planet (actually I don’t know anything about astrology).Plus, the proper fact is that Pluto exists, not that Pluto is a planet or something else.(ot: Sorry I’m afraid to seem rude, but I’m not. I like your post, I like when people have some opinions to share)

  9. hehe it’s ok, I’m enjoying this as well 🙂

    Astrology, as far as I can tell, is based on “celestial bodies”, what we call planets. Pluto is the ruling planet for both Aries and Scorpio according to modern astrology.

    On top of the link I posted in comment #7, this one talks in depth about planets in astrology.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planets_in_astrology

    It includes some notes about the incorporation of dwarf planets into astrology, which means not all astrologists are as bad as the ones I talked about in my post.

  10. But I just don’t get the bottom line between Astrology and Science. I don’t see the connection of Astrology to Pluto either. I thought Astrology is more on preditions of the future and ect. And Science has nothing to do with it. A bit confusing in there!

  11. I thought the connection to pluto and the other 8 planets was pretty obvious from the wikipedia articles.

    And that means the connection to Science is there too, unless I missed the article about astrologists discovering the planets.

  12. In 1918 the British astrologer Sepharial wrote a book entitled “The Science of Foreknowledge” in which he wrote:

    “The unfolding of the higher gamut of planetary existence being so far satisfied by the discovery of Uranus the octave of Mercury and Neptune the octave of Venus … we may now look ahead in anticipation of the discovery of an octave of Mars. This, when discovered, will prove to be an extra-Neptunian planet of great dimensions but small density. It may be called Pluto, Lord of the Pit, Lord of Destruction, etc., according to the fancy of astrologers; but its functions will be those of Mars on the grand scale, and its place at the date of 1914 will link it directly with the indications of a Great War.”

    Twelve years after the publication of this book, Pluto indeed was discovered.

    A French astrologer named Dom Neroman wrote an article in 1899 predicting that a planet would be found in 1931 called Pluto. He was one year off in his prediction.

    Incidentally, practioners of Medieval and Renaissance astrology have *never* used any of the so-called outer planets in their practices: in fact they often argue against their use by the practitioners of “modern astrology.”

    There is a lot of ignorance around the topic of astrology. I do not believe in astrology per se but I find the history of ideas fascinating and I know enough about the subject not to caricacure it as “a fantasy cooked up to make people feel better.” In fact there are many astrologers who are Ph.D. psychologists (Liz Greene) and physicists (Alois Treindl) for example. If you really want to know what some of the more well-informed practitioners of astrology believe, check out these websites (chosen at random):

    http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~sueward/index.htm

    http://www.bendykes.com/

    http://gryphonastrology.wordpress.com/

    http://www.windandsky.com/

    http://www.api-uk.org/

    http://www.cpalondon.com/

    It is easy to caricature a subject you think you know something about without ever having seriously investigated it or considered the views of its most well-informed practitioners. Very easy, but not exactly in the spirit of science, which is, after all, the spirit of inquiry.

  13. Actually before I posted I found the info about older branches of astrology completely ignoring the outer planets and arguing against their use. It’s one of the reasons I added “certainly not all astrologists are ignoring the decision”.

    In regards to your other points, I don’t care who believes astrology or what qualifications they have. My post was directed at the comments in the article I linked to, and at astrology predictions such as the ones you read in the newspaper which are unbelievably general.

    Perhaps I put a few too many barbs in my post, but for all we know the name pluto, as suggested by an 11-year old girl, came from the prediction rather than Sepharial correctly predicting the future.

    Yes, I don’t know astrology in depth. Nor do I want to. I took what I’ve been presented with by the public face of astrology, and commented on it.

  14. There was, and probably continues to be debate among astronomers on whether Pluto is a ‘planet’, ‘dwarf planet’, or ‘centaur’, and the argument is primarily about the label to be attached to Pluto… where along the continuum it should be ‘classified’.
    Astrology has long been the ugly step-sister of conventional astronomers, and largely because of the number of astrologers who get sloppy with its scientific aspects, or ignore them. Meanwhile, insecure astronomers have seemed to get an adolescent rush of adrenaline (decreasingly so in recent years) from attacking astrology as a favorite scapegoat without understanding much at all about its true nature.

  15. (Semi OT – Nothing to do with pluto)

    Nice post spyder.

    I belong to a place where astrology is still an everyday affair for a lot of people and you just cannot escape it even if you want to. It gets really frustrating sometimes. I have put down my experiences here:

    http://tinyurl.com/29kjs8

  16. zaranda actually your husband (Dec 6) is a “perfect” Ophiuchus and not a Sagittarius and you are a “perfect” Virgo (21 Sept).
    The zodiac are the constellations shouldn’t be 12 but 13.
    The following shows the real dates the Sun is actually in the constellations of the zodiac:

    Capricornus – January 19th to February 15th.
    Aquarius – February 16th to March 11th.
    Pisces – March 12th to April 18th.
    Aries – April 19th to May 13th.
    Taurus – May 14th to June 19th.
    Gemini – June 20th to July 20th.
    Cancer – July 21th to August 9th.
    Leo – August 10th to September 15th.
    Virgo – September 16th to October 30th.
    Libra – October 31st to November 22nd
    Scorpius – November 23rd to November 29th.
    Ophiuchus – November 30th to December 17th.
    Sagittarius – December 18th to January 18th.

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