October 3, 2019 0

The Science of Astrology

The Science of Astrology

Today, I’m looking to the sky, but before
I do don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you want to learn more about that thing
in your head, not that juicy rumor you heard about your best friend’s third-cousin’s-aunt’s-brother-in-law’s-best-friend’s-sister
(you can tell me about that later), but the brain. With that said, today, on Brief Brain Facts,
I’m examining Astrology. Sometimes considered to be the “mother of
all sciences”, astrology is a pseudoscience (yeah, I said it). It attempts to predict personalities, personal
compatibilities, and even the future using metaphysical data based on the movement of
planets, and how these movements influence time, specifically the time of one’s birth. According to astrologers, there exists a celestial
clock where everyone’s moment of birth is recorded, and this record indicates meaning. Life can often appear to be meaningless, and
even unpredictable, but astrology may help infuse meaning in an endlessly meaningless
world. What? I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist. Birth charts are instrumental in Astrology,
and these charts consist of three parts: planets, signs, and houses. First, the chart consists of 12 houses, with
numbers increasing, from the top of the lower left quadrant, as you move in a counter-clockwise
direction. The second aspect of these birth charts are
the 12 zodiac signs, which begins at Aeries, next moving counter clockwise is Tauris, Gemini,
Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and finally Pices. The final portion of the chart deals with
planetary alignments. As you become more acquainted with the chart,
there is supposed to be a blending of the elements for people to better understand themselves
and their relationship with others. Thus, an understanding of one’s personality
based on birth day, year, and time is an essential aspect of Astrology. Interestingly, some astrologists have gone
as far as to create a connection between astrology and the brain, but have done so based on things
that are incorrect about the brain, such as hemisphericity (left brained or right brained)
and even phrenology. To some, Astrology seems to be an effective
tool for understanding themselves, others, and the world around them, despite the lack
of scientific credibility. In fact, Astrology has seen a substantial
rise in popularity over the years, and there may be a few key things at play for those
who truly subscribe to this particular pseudoscience. The first being the tendency of uncritical
acceptance. According to researchers, the results of astrological
charts detailing one’s personality include mostly positive descriptors. Thus, this is a tendency to believe mostly
positive traits about oneself. Consider the following birth sign details
about Capricorns: Determined and thoughtful, Capricorns are
always eyeing the prize, and will crush anyone who stands in their way. People dislike Capricorns due to their cold
and distant personalities. They also tend to intentionally insult the
people they care about the most, and are more likely to cause disharmony at their places
of employment, or in any other social situation. How likely do you believe Capricorns, or anyone,
would relate to these supposed personality traits about themselves? And yes, I completely fabricated these details. This highlights a similar problem regarding
the acceptance of Astrology as factual, that being the fallacy of positive instances in
where we are more likely to remember things that confirm our expectations, such as purported
positive traits about ourselves, and disregard any other information. Essentially, if any one individual believed
a certain trait about themselves, either good (determined and thoughtful) or bad (cold and
distant), they’ll accept the veracity of the entire thing, due to those “hits”,
while ignoring the “misses” (disliked by others and cause of social disharmony). The final effect at play that researchers
point to regarding the belief in astrology as a pseudoscience is what’s known as the
Barnum Effect. This effect is one in where people tend to
believe descriptions about themselves when those descriptions lack specifics. For instance, regarding the following horoscope
for Aeries it states, “Emphasis is on refreshing oneself. Out with the old, in with the new. Take a chance on adding something new to a
part of your life, no matter how small. Pick up a new hobby. Go see that new play. It will do you a world of good”. This horoscope is so general, it’s comical,
and yes it’s completely made up. The point is, is that this “horoscopes”
is not unlike the ones you’d encounter anywhere, and they do take advantage of the Barnum Effect. While pseudosciences may be harmless for the
vast majority of us, those struggling with serious medical issues may turn to them as
opposed to turning to medical professionals, making an existing situation worse. While the rise and increased fascination in
astrology may by those who find horoscopes both lacking validity and entertaining, it
still needs to be emphasized that astrology has no scientific validity and in numerous
studies, has been unable to predict the futures and even personalities of individuals beyond
what would be expected by chance. So the next time you’re reading your daily
sign, just be careful, because, remember it’s all fun and games until someone loses a Gemeni
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