Astrology is false, dated and unedifying.
Posted on May 23rd, 2013

R Chandrasoma

 A hypothesis (or belief) is false if it does not square with the facts. It is also false if its deductive entailments do not match the facts as empirically revealed. Suppose some learned person declares with a great sense of infallibility that those born when stormy weather conditions prevail will die prematurely. This is not very different – in epistemic worth – from the astrologers who declare with great conviction that ‘the position of the wandering stars (planets) in the zodiacal constellations at the nativity of an advanced relation of the Apes (and Monkeys) determines its secular destiny’.

Were the hairy ancestors of man influenced by the stars? This question seems hilarious to us but let us recall that a few hundred years ago the celestial world was our backyard with gods (devas) moving freely from the celestial vault to the sublunar world below. That this ‘display’ above bore portents for the wretched of our Planetary Abode seemed obvious – and astrology flourished. Today the ‘heavens above’ have expanded into a mighty Muliverse of mind-boggling size and complexity that makes our minuscule existence a cosmic fluke that has no significance beyond our planetary habitat.

Many ‘revolutions’ have taken place since the heady days of horoscopes and forecasting – first, the realization that we are small and insignificant in a vast universe that wheels along with no ‘feedback’ of signs and portents that may help us along. The Universe as we know it today is a violent and complex place (Black holes, neutron stars, gamma-ray bursts, colliding galaxies etc) but this stupendous show has no meaning for us – collectively, a minuscule bleb of of organic complexity on a forgotten rocky outpost of the Universe.

This “ƒ”¹…”forlornness’ in a vast and indifferent Universe is bitter medicine for “ƒ”¹…”mysterians’ of all kinds “”…” be they saints or fore-tellers. That the wheeling stars have something for us is an expression of that longing of our ignorant predecessors to wrest significance where none exists. Man appeared about half a million years ago “”…” in the hundreds of millions of years before this seminal event, did the stars “”…” their astrological portents “”…” influence the evolution of life? Did astrology count in the glory days of the Dinosaurs?

There is an ancient saw that says that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Suppose we set aside the cosmic considerations outlined above and seek a direct demonstration of the ‘Fundamental Theorem of Astrology’ – that planetary positions directly affect human fortune and misfortune at the individual level. Has any man of learning or science provided verifiable evidence of the truth of this assertion through a minute examination of the data and unambiguous prediction? If such proof exists, then we can turn to astrologers to guide humanity in this turbulent phase of human history. Apart from some foolish Asiatic leaders, no man with intelligence or sense will call in Astrologers to settle matters of public importance that call for a rational survey of the facts and their ramifications in secular history. The current vast audience (on Radio and other Media) for “ƒ”¹…”forecasts’ is a sign that our basic irrationality in the assessment of our innermost personal concerns exists despite the great advances in human knowledge.

A concluding note on the stand taken by Dr. Nalin de Silva that Western “ƒ”¹…”stories’ that parade as the scientific truths are no better than the religio-mystical stories of Ancient India “”…” including stories about Man and the stars. While conceding that all attempts to understand nature necessarily involves metaphor and story-telling “”…” as the real is fundamentally beyond cognitive reach – some stories are far better than others in being more securely grounded in observations that use a technology that the ancients did not even dream of. Thus, Einstein’s General Relativity is closer to the actuality of occurrence than Newton’s Clock-Work Universe. Both are immeasurably superior to the Animistic View of Man and Nature that is presupposed in Astrology. There is a natural selection of “ƒ”¹…”stories’ that makes the astrological story a defeated myth. While admiring the great learning in Mathematics and Physics that Dr N de S undoubtedly has, the tenacity of his hold on the oriental mis-beliefs and the airy-fairy suppositions of the ancients must be accounted for in terms that go beyond science as conventionally understood.

 

 

 

6 Responses to “Astrology is false, dated and unedifying.”

  1. mjaya Says:

    Mr. Chandrasoma you are 100% correct.

    Astrology is a curse, I have seen a lot of people ruin their lives after following the false predictions of Astrology.

  2. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    the only person who takes chandrasoma seriously is non other than chandrasoma himself. but in this context i am inclined to agree with him reluctantly, since i cannot disagree on what he has written. thathaagata and Christ will too, if they were alive, elevating chandrasoma to a level he himself wouldn’t have imagined.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    South Endian criminals have fooled some SLs to beleive their NADI VAKYAM BS.

    If they are such good astrologers, why they steal money from SLs? They can earn billions using their prediction skills to win lotteries, pick stocks, etc.

  4. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    tell this to our mr.president

  5. aloy Says:

    It is a crime to maintain the science dept. of an entire university as a ‘devale’ (temple) at the expense of taxpayers money on account of some +points from powers that be.

  6. Wickrama Says:

    Astrology is ABSOLUTE RUBBISH !! So many holes can be picked up in Astrology, that it looks like a Mosquito Net !!

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