Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Astrology and science

By the time of Francis Bacon and the scientific revolution, newly emerging scientific disciplines acquired a method of systematic empirical induction validated by experimental observations, which led to the scientific revolution. At this point, astrology and astronomy began to diverge; astronomy became one of the central sciences while astrology was increasingly viewed as an occult science or superstition by natural scientists. This separation accelerated through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Astrology has been criticized as being unscientific both by scientific bodies and by individual scientists, and has been labeled as a pseudoscience. In 1975, the American Humanist Association published one of the most widely known modern criticisms of astrology, characterizing those who continue to have faith in the subject as doing so "in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary". Astronomer Carl Sagan did not sign the statement, noting that, while he felt astrology lacked validity, he found the statement's tone authoritarian. He suggested that the lack of a causal mechanism for astrology was relevant but not in itself convincing.
Although astrology has had no accepted scientific standing for some time, it has been the subject of much research among astrologers since the beginning of the twentieth century. In his landmark study of twentieth-century research into natal astrology, vocal astrology critic Geoffrey Dean noted and documented the burgeoning research activity, primarily within the astrological community.

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