Monday, 28 December 2015

Star Gods And Astrology

Poul Anderson, The Infinite Voyage: Man's Future In Space (London, 1969).

Anderson writes on p. 1 that:

a Sumerian legend relates that the demigod Oannes did not look human and taught men civilizing arts;

one of Ezekiel's visions reads like a description of a spaceship with its alien crew.

Some people read such accounts and simply accept that these were extraterrestrial contacts. We have to list such contacts as one possible explanation of some ancient narratives. If the Sumerians met a deity and Ezekiel saw angels, then modern writers can adapt these stories as fantasies whereas, if aliens were involved, then the stories can become sf.

On p. 2, Anderson describes astrology as a superstition and as "...the belief that the stars and planets control our lives." Another understanding of astrology is that the stars somehow indicate what will happen in our lives. It is an empirical question whether they do or do not. The astronomer Patrick Moore was quoted as saying that a constellation is merely an accidental pattern as seen from Earth. The stars in the constellation may be at different distances and in any case have no direct connection with each other. This is the case. He then argued that it is impossible that they either control or indicate what will happen on Earth. But do they or don't they?

The psychologist Eysenck found a higher than statistical correlation between the horoscopes and personalities of several celebrities. See here and here. In my case, an astrologer friend has made predictions that turned out to be surprisingly accurate. But she was able to say that I would have a major personal problem, not what the problem would be. We had to wait to find out.

I do not understand how astrology might work but I do not understand astrophysics either. But I do know that astrophysicists understand astrophysics! Further research is needed on astrology.

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