Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to be able to predict future events based on positions of celestial bodies. Natal astrology, the most widely known type of astrology, asserts that many personal characteristics and life events can be determined from a person’s date of birth. Astrologers create birth charts that reflect the position of the planets at the moment of birth and use these charts as their main tool of divination.
Most people pronounce their belief in the validity of astrology based on the fact that their horoscopes seem to match their personalities. Horoscopes are written in very general and positive terms and thus it is not surprising that many individuals agree with them.
There have been a multitude of scientific studies which used various methods to disprove astrology. In 2008 the rationalist association Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti collected birth information for 100 children deemed “intellectually gifted” and 100 developmentally disabled children. They got an astrologer to prepare the charts for the children and then recruited 27 professional astrologers to analyze them. The astrologers were given 40 charts and were asked to judge whether each chart belonged to a child from the first or the second group.
The astrologers’ results were no better than chance.
An astrologer’s reliance on planets is fundamentally flawed. For example, practitioners of astrology associate various meanings with the planets based on their names, such as Mars with “strength” or Venus with “love”. Yet the naming of these planets after Roman Gods is completely arbitrary and thus the associations are meaningless. It was humans who named the planets, and just because history dictates that the red planet was named Mars doesn’t mean that the planet has anything to do with “strength”.
Furthermore, astrology was created when Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were still undiscovered, yet now these planets are taken into consideration by astrologers. Does this mean that all of the predictions done before the discovery of the planets were wrong?
Continuous failures to demonstrate any conclusive evidence for astrology have firmly placed it in the category of “pseudoscience”. Astrology, while being an amusing past-time, simply does not work.