7.15.2004

Perceptions Askew

Astrology has never really been satisfactorily proven or disproven. Most of those who attempt to disprove it don't know enough about it to understand what it is they are dealing with.

It is kind of like saying nuclear energy doesn't exist because I can't create it in my bathroom using a hammer to smash atoms. Pre- and misconceptions about how astrology works only add to the clumsiness of refuting the study, leaving most serious astrologers who view such attempts thinking "But that's not being done right..." while opponents chortle with glee and consider themselves victorious.

Likewise, it is nearly impossible for astrology to prove itself using the scientific method, the Number One Standard of intellectual advancement in any field of study. The most immediate problem is that you cannot duplicate an exact point in space and time: the source of astrological data. A person may never repeat the same test exactly as before because no two things can occupy the same space at the same time.

Another trouble spot is astrology's reliance on metaphors to get the point across. The mathematics of latitude and longitude and time (defined by planetary locations, with each planet acting as the hand of a vast clock) are easy enough to come by. This information gives an astrologer numerical info: degrees and angles and the like. But "X degree relating to Y degree at an angle of Z" is not a personality trait or event. Those numbers must be translated into recognizable human concepts, so a metaphor is created to do that.

One of the major powers of the human mind is the ability to think metaphorically. But the mind is bound by it's own perceptions and therefore subject to error, especially when translating metaphors. Even good astrologers must constantly guard against being subjective rather than objective. Astrology's basic susceptibility to this leaves its credibility consantly open to attack. And it is not unwarranted criticism.

I was driving in my car yesterday and saw on the back of a Toyota what looked like a stylized Capricorn symbol (if you want to know what it looks like, check out the lower-case "g" in Wingdings font). My first thought was that it was pretty cool, another subtle sign of astrology. Like the Ford Taurus, for example. Then I realized what I was looking at was a capital "V" flowing into a smaller number six.

The car had a V6 engine.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home