Monday, June 29, 2009

Astrology is not a Science!

Stars twinkle in my mind when I read the name of Carl Sagan, as his contribution to space sciences has enabled the mankind to surpass the limits the earth. Cosmos, his popular and novel work, focusing on origin of life and mankind place in universe, is one of my favourite books. Yet, I don’t agree with Sagan at various points, especially on astrology. He was a denier of all spiritual aspects of life, perhaps an atheist. He refuted the astrology on the bases of polls-a-part deviation between astronomical realities and astrological planetary significations. In support of his thesis, he put many arguments, but unfortunately his reasoning is confined to apparent contradiction and limited samples of astrological readings. He committed the mistake of taking the karakas (significators) in verbatim and correlating them with physical and chemical characteristics of planets. Moreover, he highlighted the absence of scientific facts in favour of planetary influence on human affairs. And inferred that astrology, like ancient religious believes, is nothing but superstition. Similarly, he also presented the (sun sign based) daily horoscope of two leading American newspaper of same day and pin pointed the ambiguousness and marked difference between them. In short, he proved astrology is a pseudo science.



Unlike other astrologers, I don’t hold that “astrology is a science” as science has its own material paradigm. I don’t know why astrologers insist and argue that astrology is a science. Astrology is not a science and can not be a science. Science addresses the material aspects of things and has its own parameters to judge a reality. But the question is how many realities and practices around us fulfill scientific scrutiny? Can presence of God be proved in a laboratory? Can efficacy of prayer be tested? Can ethics and aesthetic be calculated scientifically? Should we deny all of them because science is unable to prove them? No. We must have to accept them whether science denies them or not, because they are philosophical and spiritual realities of life. It is fallacious to judge a non-material reality on the touchstone of matter, i.e. science.

The beauty of astrology is its depth and breadth in material, philosophical and spiritual paradigms. The mathematical and astronomical aspect of astrology fall in the material (scientific) category. Analytical part has philosophical grounding while predictive and remedial measures are spiritual facet. That's why I believe that astrology is not "merely" a science, it is more than a science.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Imran: This is a very interesting blog. I had a question: I am very much interested in financial astrology and wanted your advice on what is the best way to start learning it -- assuming one has no knowledge of astrology.

    Thanks.

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  2. Even Science says that the position of a particle at any given moment is not predictable, so we have Heisenberg's uncertainity 'principle' and people expect that through astrology one should be able to predict evnets in human life with 100% accuracy?
    ..hmm..meteorology is a science? how good is it at predicting the monsoon :-)

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  3. Dear Rajive Vyas,

    So nice of you for appreciating.

    Come to your question of financial astrology (Vyapaara Jyotisha). It is quite an ancient branch of astrology, but in recent years, it has experienced many innovative techniques and advancements. You may find various astrological software dealing with Stock Exchange's ups and down. Similarly, there are quite a good titles on financial astrology as well. Recently, I've received a positive review of R.G.Krishnan's book "Vedic Astrology - Stock Market Analysis". However, it is bit costly. Vasudev's "Vedic Astrology in Money Matters (Sagar Publications) may also prove helpful. Among ancient treatises, Varahmihira's Brihat Samhita has many chapters on business and financial astrology. But for understanding Brihat Samhita, you have to be well-versed in fundamentals of astrology. It provides the effect of planetary transits in nakshtaras. Apart from it, Sarvatrobhadra Chakra (SBC) is a nice tool to predict stock exchange, business activities and money market.

    Good luck,
    M. Imran

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  4. Dear Soul Sadhak,

    Interesting observation. Well, it is another debate how perfect and predictable 'Science' is. Bertrand Russell and Karl Popper have worked on this question.

    You rightly said that meteorology is consdiered a science, despite weather forecasts do not always come true. Similarly many other argue that all the medicines prescribed by doctors and all the structures constructed by engineers are not flawless and right.

    I think, this is not a good analogy to correlate astrology with applied sciences. Note that elements of medical sciences, engineering and even meteorology are tangible, testable and have scientific groundings. But space scientists and astronomers could not yet confirmed the impact of planetary rays on human affairs and destiny. On the other hand, (taking your example of met) we all see, feel and experience weather, viz.; summer, winter, shower, thunder etc.

    Even though my thesis is not true for forthcoming time. In future, science may become sufficient enough to test and confirm the philosophical and spiritual aspects of life and give them status these subjects as branch of science. This is the beauty of science that it has dare to deny itself.

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  5. hi imran,

    this is not to pull your leg..
    but just to prove that astrology is indeed a useful tool..
    can you tell if this person is alive now or not:
    1973 may 10th, 22:12 pm, kochi, kerala.

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  6. On the issue of meteorology being a science and its predictions being not always correct has to be looked at properly.

    When a meteorologist makes a prediction about short or medium term predictions, the foremost underlying assumption is that meteorological conditions remain constant.

    We all know that meteorological conditions do not always remain constant indefinitely.

    So, when meteorological conditions change, such parameters should be incorporated and predictions modified to account for changed conditions.

    One can connect these ideas with astrology, conditioned free will, spirituality etc. But I will refrain from such issues for the moment.

    Dr Arunachalam

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  7. Brilliant piece, Imran. You nailed it in a way few can.

    I wanted to tell you about Socionics. This is a study about human behaviour and personality. It is an offshoot of Carl Jung's theories and was, later, developed by a Lithuanian.
    At the moment, it is in a nascent stage in the English-speaking world.

    However, let me tell you, the Socionics world has always been scared of "astrologising" Socionics. They want to keep it “scientific”, by which, I guess, they mean “empirical”.

    By the by, I think you may be an ENTj.

    Anyhow, I, on my part, see all these as interconnected and as various manifestations of our own selves ... such as, at the gross, mental or emotional levels ... depending on what we need to learn.

    Also, as I see it, astrology, Socionics and similar materials are all windows into the eternal human questions of who am I and WHY am I here on this earth?

    At least, these were my questions in trying to explore these subjects. I found that understanding reincarnation, past-life regression and a cause-effect analysis with a focus on my behaviour have been my greatest redeemers.

    I suppose, after everything is said and done, we are ultimately answerable to our own selves.

    Thanks once again for this nice write-up!

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  8. In short i will say,
    Vedic astrology has two parts : Mathematical (Ganit) which is pure science and predictive (Hora) which is pure Art.

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  9. Hi Imran,
    Luckily came through your blog.
    I just wonder how you got interest in astrology. Pls can you tell me. Sir, you have strong command in astrology. Good articles indeed, I learnt many things from ur blog.
    Thanks for sharing. I am just a learner, a student and facing grave problems myself in career.
    I like to put forth from my little knowledge here... which is my opinion, knowledge I gained after sufferings.
    Astrology is not completely science at the same time it is definitely very much above science, its the divine science.
    It works like a charm but its limitations are in our ability & intuition.
    All other sciences deal with matter and mind. Astrology deals with matter, mind and the soul (Atma).
    And aims more on the soul. As such lot of blessings and intuition is needed to excel this subject.

    Subject which involve use of reasoning, logics, rules, exceptions etc and work by the cause and effect principles can be termed science.
    Unfortuntely in astrology we cannot verify all of these thoroughly, nevertheless still it strictly follows all of these.
    Eg: Karma is most complex cause & effect principle.
    Astrology is God gifted tool of determining life path and how our karma influences future life or journey of the soul.

    Heavenly planets in space, in their material forms are just material manifestation of the deities & demigods.
    They under the command of Supreme God cast influence on us, good or bad based on our karma and uplift us on path of enlightenment.
    So that we achieve the ultimate destination- HIS ABODE.

    Calculation part as told by Vijay Goel Ji is science. Then comes prediction... which is analyzing/decision making over a situation (yogs formed by planets in horoscope) is entirely dependent on human memory, intellect (involves complex logic) & how well we use our intellect, is an art and skill.

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  10. I very much appreciate this highly informative and useful article. Thanks for sharing. I think there are many people who believe in things like Astrology or Numerology. Although they are not recognized by science yet there are many people who believe in them and have been using them in their real life. Therefore I would request to all the non believers to try it out at once.

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