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The Physics Of Astrology?

  1. May 20, 2003 #1
    This thread is a result of discussions in the other Astrology threads in this area of the Physics Forums.

    If anyone has any ideas or solid data that has to do with the physics of astrology... please feel free to share them here.

    I have my own inklings about the subject which will come later on.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2003 #2
    I have no solid data regarding this topic. However, I think it's very probably that the differing electromagnetic fields of the system, and changing gravitational forces due to planetary alignments and all that, have some effect on us. Lunacy is a well-studied phenomenon, for example. We humans can sense gravity (ie. we generally know which way is up). Solar flares may have some effects. Basically, we are not closed systems. We interact with the universe around us, probably in more ways than we have yet quanitified. Altitude, latitude, chemicals, and so forth at our location of gestation and birth affect us. I see no reason why other forces affecting the location of gestation and birth should not affect us.

    Does this mean the people who have been practicing astrology for millennia have it correct at all? Not necessarily. But there may be some similarities between reality and the beliefs of some astrological traditions. Note that before humans knew anything about electrons and valences and such, people had settled on gold, silver, and copper (the noble metals) as coinage, for the obvious reason of durability (and within their ranks, and order or rarity was used). Thousands of years ago nobody knew why those metals were groovy for coins, but they knew that they were, due to simple observations such as the lack of corrosion. So there is historical precedent for people developing ideas based on simple observations which are later confirmed or quantified through empirical study.

    Or it could all be crap. I don't know.
  4. May 21, 2003 #3
    Blood and everything inside of your body is pulled down by gravity, of course you feel which way is up. In space where nothing moves no matter which direction you are then you have no way of knowing which way is up, that's why every wall/floor is useable space in space stations, I believe?. You are also making a huge leap in saying that gravity has an effect on our personality, and such. The actual change in gravity would be so enormously small that it is inconcievable to think that it would effect us on such a large scale. If it in fact did effect us through gravity, we would all have the same personality, etc according to astrology.

    Another interesting point...the actual positions of the sun and moon in certain constellations has changed since astrology began. But the predictions have, so for example a Taurus, as predicted at the beginning of astrology, could be a Cancer today. Either they took into account the movement of the bodies and the changing personalities of people over time (which they did not have the means to measure to this degree), or you can conclude it isn't accurate.
  5. May 21, 2003 #4


  6. May 21, 2003 #5
    Five sentences, NONSENSE!!

    It only took one:smile:
  7. May 21, 2003 #6
    Wow. Capital letters. I'm convinced.
  8. May 21, 2003 #7
    Seriously people. I know this is a mystic and pseudoscience section, but these forums are physics forums. Must people bring up such horribly incorrect concepts?

    GREG - How is it you can allow this to happen with sleeping at night? Ugh!

    Well, yes it only takes that one statement. But what I mean is, specifically astrology can be ruined in a very simple observation that NOT A SINGLE PERSON who "believes" in astrology has ever made. The most obvious one. I think it's an indicatory of the level in intelligence in someone who superimposes astrology into reality.
  9. May 21, 2003 #8


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    the theory behind astrology is the same force that moves us moves the cycles that affect our tendencies...
  10. May 21, 2003 #9
    And is thus completely false. Astrology is a myth of ancient times, like all myths.

    One by one they will be removed from reality. One by one.

    But's that's incorrect anyways Kerrir. The "force that moves us" is:

    1. The earths magnetic field

    2. The suns gravitational field

    Neither of those move the contellations which, many thousands of years ago, were thought to affect anything at all.

    It's just a case of the mind liking patterns. That's all. Nothing but that. It's the same problems that that Iacchus guy has. He sees any similairities and thinks there must be some entire pattern to it all.
  11. May 21, 2003 #10
    As I pointed out earlier, some beliefs and practices from ancient times are confirmed by modern science.

    Are you saying that the Sun's magnetic field affects us but Jupiter's can't? Or that we don't get any effects from Alpha Centauri's gravity?

    Actually they do. But it's a TINY amount of force exerted at such distance.

    I believe it all started with simple observations of the heavens which DID tell people when to plant crops, when to stock up for Winter, and so on. Yes, it was linking patterns: patterns of celstial movements, and patterns of growth and temperature on the ground.
  12. May 21, 2003 #11
    Yeah yeah. You know what I meant. On any important level.

    Furthermore - your statement that "many ancient __ have been confirmed by modern science". Sure, some strange things will have a basis in reality. But not myths, because its the nature of a myth.

    Like I said - I have prerecorded in my head the simple explanation which ruins astrology so easily. So in this case, it's nothing but a myth. Actually, more like a pseudo-science I guess.
  13. May 21, 2003 #12
    You may want to take it down a notch or three. We are admittedly dealing with pseudoscience, so you don't have to be quite so aggressive. I don't buy into the reasoning that Kerrie gives for the 'workings' of astrology, but, if you accept the idea that astrology works somehow, it leads into some interesting stretching of the mind. For instance, we've previously discussed how the day/night cycle is different during different times of the year, and how that may physically affect the development of personality. That sort of speculation is grounded in scientific fact, and is the sort of thing you should learn to think about as a skeptic.
  14. May 21, 2003 #13
    ZERO - Take it down a notch, sure.

    However, astrology is based upon a simple claim which has long sinced been ruined. Astrology doesn't work "somehow". It just doesn't happen. One doesn't even need to use science OR logic to ruin astrology.

    The mere fact that the creators of astrology didn't know certain properties of the stars, that we now know, disproves it right off the bat.

    You're right this in pseudoscience, but the author (who is now on ignore) chose to involve science in pseudoscience when this particular pseudoscience has long sinced so easily been proven false. I think Astrology is probably the most easily disproven pseudoscience ever.
  15. May 21, 2003 #14
    I still think you are missing my point. Just because an aspect of a hypothesis is wrong (stars control human destiny), it doesn't mean that other aspects cannot possibly be true (approximate date of birth can potentially influence personality).
  16. May 21, 2003 #15
    Care to provide the proofs?

    Magnetic field isn't the same as gravitational field. Indeed he is saying that Jupiter's is tiny compared to the sun. [alpha] Centauri's gravity has an effect, very near zero though, if you believe you can feel that and it affects you then you should try finding aliens by their brain waves[:P]

    The movement of our planet's, sun, and moon are constantly revolving, this doesn't mean that they affect us. I'm not sure, but I observe more than twelve 'patterns' of behavior.

    Howdy Zero, I was just wondering if

    is true, then wouldn't this theory/hypothesis/idea be disproved if it can't make predictions accurately at least a large percent of the time?
  17. May 21, 2003 #16
    quantum effect

    Actually, to all the sceptics... this thread has a question mark associated with it... if you haven't noticed.

    I am asking if anyone sees a physical component to the practise of astrology... as in a quantum effect or other effect on individual human traits.

    The quantum effect I am talking about is the effect that a HUGE planet like Jupiter or the Andromeda galaxy would have on a tiny speck of endoskeletal blood and guts like me. In Quantum theory can't we dis-regard the relativity of distance for a moment and look at the forces and dynamics between various entities in a system? I can't believe people are calling Alpha Centari a "speck"... when we all know its monsterous. Get real!

    I also think that anyone coming along to bash astrology might have at least read up on it so they know what their bashing!

    Right now, sceptical comments from Kyle and (not so)Logical Atheist are more like redneck baseball bats whacking at an unknown in a sleeping bag.

    "Give up your vows."
    Jim Morrison
  18. May 21, 2003 #17
    Well, I think ANY sort of personality profiling is pseudoscience at best, because there are too many other factors involved in the development of a human being. Even if the time of year you were born could affect your personality, too many environmental factors exist to skew it beyond testability.
  19. May 21, 2003 #18
    Yes, environmental influence... that's what astrology is all about. I'm not sure if you've heard this little saying... but... it goes... "as above, so below".

    This speaks of the influence of the outer cosmos on the earth bound "cosmos". The attributes of the parents of a child are influencial on the development of that child. The attributes of that child's parents are determined by those parents environmental influences.... or those environmental influences impacting on the parents......... right on down the line to when we were sharks or planeria worms......... these environmental influences include the push created by forces throughout the immediate sphere of influence.... or.... "event horizon".

    Why is it that enormous influences suchas Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and other celestial bodies should not be included in the list of environmental influences on a developing personality?

    When you put one's parent directly beside Jupiter.... who do you think has the most environmental influence here??? And which influence has been around the longest???

    (In other words, Jupiter has been around long enough to influence all the genetic traits of the parents complete anscestoral line of DNA... right back to its start as a single celled organism.)
  20. May 21, 2003 #19
    Like I said, astrology is a falsity. ZERO, you're failing to see that astrology is a bundled system. If the primary claim of astrology is (and it is) ruined, the entire system fails. The other claims exist. But as I said before, think of the infinite amount of possible true and false claims that could be proposed. Without their primary claim, they're nothing.

    As I said, the claim that position of celestial bodies affects personality is so easily disproven.

    Thus, the idea that birthdate affects personality is ruined. Nothing is similiar at all between oct 21 2002 and oct 21 2003.

    Those days are as different as any two at all. The only thing that is similiar is what we call them.

    Now, I will bet someone is about to make the primary astrology claim. The claim which is so easily ruined. So, now that someone will do it, I'll explain why it's false.

    I am saddened by how a particular group of people here wish not to accept new knowledge. I've already learned quite a bit here!

    Go ahead, say it, then I'll explain how easily it's ruined.
  21. May 21, 2003 #20
    Quantum - You're missing the point of our comments. You're daring to relate the hardest science with the most worthless pseudo-science. Your question is invalid, and is trumped by the very idea that a pseudo-science which has already been disproven could then not possibly have anything to do with a science.
  22. May 21, 2003 #21
    quantumcarl, how can you argue when this is the truth (what Zero said)^^, there is no scientific basis for astrology because, as Zero said, it is beyond testability. It's not that we must progress enough to test it, it just isn't testable at any time, in any place, with any level of intelligence.
  23. May 21, 2003 #22
    ZERO has made an error. It is testable, and is indeed disproven so easily.
  24. May 21, 2003 #23
    I would argue the same thing for religion, but knowing how religion cannot be proven wrong because it is simply a belief system, I was simply appealing to quantumcarl on his own terms (much like you would approach a religious argument). If he is convinced it hasn't been proven false through experiment, then perhaps he would be convinced by other means.
  25. May 21, 2003 #24
    Quantum carl appears to be one who won't allow his emotionally attaches assumptions to be challenged by scientific fact.

    Also, religion is completely testably false. So is astrology. But astrology is a system which was developed in reality, and meant to truly be a realistic claim. But it's now easily falsitifed.

    Religion was never meant to be any claim. It was merely a given mytholgical story. The error occured when a given population of people committed the superimposition error.

    Thus, once it becomes obvious the superimposition occurs, (which it is to logical people) we see it's just a myth.

    Take out a piece of paper. and write down "______ exists". in the blank put a name, or a name with defining properties.

    The phrase doesn't need to be proven right. It's obviously wrong because it was indeed a mtyholgical system. There is no claim it exists outside of the phrase it exists in.

    That superimposition is just an error ones makes. It's so common.

    You know how when people see their favorite actors in real life, they almost assume it's the character and not the actor? That's the superimposition error. It's something humans do.

    Humans generally assume anything they percieve is reality. When it is not. A story for example, people always mix it with reality.

    It doesn't need proof because it's not in our reality. In our reality we use science and logic to investigate claims.

    However religious mythology isn't in our reality. It's in a completely defined and limited system of it's respective mythological story.

  26. May 21, 2003 #25
    hmmm things seem to be getting a little heated here :wink:.

    The problem with ideas like astrology lies in the weatherman effect I think. Namely that people only remember the time when it works (or doesn't in the case of weather). The predictions are also quite vague so that they usually have some application to practically anyone. It can be very easy to convince yourself that there is something to this when in fact there isn't. As far as trying to tie physics into it - your not going to manage it. The effect of stars (such as Alpha Centurai) on us is probably so small that if you could translate it into some form of force then it would be smaller than the planck length. I think Richard Dawkins made a brilliant analogy that the surgeon who delivers you at birth has more gravitational effect on you than Jupiter does. BTW out of curiosity how would you calculate your astrological chart if you (as a human) were sitting on a colonised world on the other side of the galaxy?
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