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Astrology Is Nonsense, Here's Why

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Same lines, different format. The video lacks most of the references, but has more comedy and other entertainment features.






Article Structure






Introduction


There is good science and there’s bad science.


There is good fantasy and there’s astrology.


Not only astrology is absurd according to science, logic and common sense, it is nonsense according to its own bleeding lore. It is as veracious as the cheapest Bollywood film.


Various research has been conducted to test Astrology, yet no results have proven it be working.

Well, one thing at a time.



The Lost Slices


Mesopotamian zodiac mentions related to stars are featured in early Babylonian star catalogues, such as the MUL.APIN catalogue (𒀯𒀳), which was compiled around 1000 BC. Around 2,420 years ago, about the beginning of the 5th century BC, Babylonians divided the ecliptic into 12 “slices”, each having a 30° of celestial longitude — the first known celestial coordinate system, which translated to the 12-month lunisolar calendar. Each slice corresponded to a certain zodiac sign.


Babylonians drew an imaginary line between Earth and Sun, which seemed to pass through various constellations. Babylonians only needed twelve constellations to fit into their calendar. Nevertheless, there was a thirteenth constellation, which turned outcast, because it did not fit into the 12-sliced model.


The constellation ignored was Ophiuchus.


Zodiac Wheel

Zodiac Wheel | Image credit : NASA / Space Place


“Ophiuchus (/ˌɒfiˈjuːkəs/) is a large constellation straddling the celestial equator. Its name comes from the Ancient Greek ὀφιοῦχος (ophioûkhos), meaning "serpent-bearer", and it is commonly represented as a man grasping a snake. The serpent is represented by the constellation Serpens. Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. An old alternative name for the constellation was Serpentarius (/ˌsɜːrpənˈtɛəriəs/).” Source : Wikipedia


But guess what. Ophiuchus is not the only constellation that has not being credited; there are more constellations sharing the ecliptic. Much more.


“In addition, because the Moon and planets are often positioned either just to the north or south of the ecliptic, it allows them to sometimes appear within the boundaries of a number of other non-zodiacal star patterns. In fact, as pointed out by the well-known astronomical calculator, Jean Meeus, along with Ophiuchus, there are nine other constellations that occasionally can be visited by the Moon and planets: Auriga, the Charioteer; Cetus, the Whale; Corvus, the Crow; Crater, the Cup; Hydra, the Water Snake; Orion, the Hunter; Pegasus, the Flying Horse; Scutum, the Shield; and Sextans, the Sextant.


So in truth, there really aren't twelve zodiacal constellations, but twenty-two!” Source : space.com


Moreover, constellations’ positioning and borders were also ignored, as they overlapped and blent into one another.


“In fact, the sun spends more time traversing through Ophiuchus than nearby Scorpius! It officially resides in Scorpius for less than a week: from Nov. 23 through 29. It then moves into Ophiuchus on November 30 and remains within its boundaries for more than two weeks — until Dec. 17. And yet the Serpent Holder is not considered a member of the Zodiac and so must defer to Scorpius !” Source : space.com



Different Sky


The other core reason modern astrology makes no sense is precession of the equinoxes.

Since the Babylonians created zodiac around 2,420 years ago, the tilt of the Earth has slightly shifted, further rebating the accuracy of modern zodiac.


Earth constantly rotates, and as a result of its rotation, it protrudes slightly at the equator. Sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the bulge, which causes the Earth to wabble, which causes Earth’s rotational axis to sway slowly in a circle over the course of about 25,772 years. This is called precession, and it causes the dates of the zodiac to shift from those established in ancient times. It changes the view of the night sky from Earth, making the constellations appear to slide to the east, roughly a degree per human lifetime. Hipparchus of Nicaea first discovered precession of the equinoxes with the naked eye around 150 B.C.


In ancient times, the vernal equinox – the first day of spring – was in Aries. Due to precession, it moved into Pisces around 100 B.C., where it could be seen now. It will remain there until A.D. 2700, when it will move into Aquarius, resuming its journey. Over the course of ~ 25,772 years, it will eventually return to Aries to restart this cycle.


Read more on the topic :




Zodiac Shift Hysteria


In 2015 there was an internet-circulating rumour claiming zodiac would be soon modified to relate to the aforementioned gravitational pull. This is often confused with zodiac shift, related to Ophiuchus — even by the science and media portals, designed to oppose misinformation.

Generally, all the media regardless of their nature appear to mix everything up.

The viral spread was often accompanied by a screenshot of Time magazine :


Time magazine screenshot

The famous screenshot originated from a Time magazine article “Horoscope Hang-Up: Earth Rotation Changes Zodiac Signs,” published back in 2011.


Of course, neither the gravitational pull nor Ophiuchus constellation did not suddenly appear out of nowhere in 2015; all this existed along, known by astronomers. Only various concerns started surfacing increasingly since 2002.


“NASA explains, the signs of the zodiac don’t really fit with what we use today. Someone born into Leo, for example, would actually be Cancer nowadays. This has actually come up before, as Snopes explains.

Of course, this is all just a scientific explanation for the zodiac, not a validation of horoscopes. “NASA studies astronomy not astrology,” said NASA spokesperson Dwayne Brown. “We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math.” Quote source : IFLScience


“If you’re the type of person who relies on mysterious-sounding locations of stars to determine your personality and outcome in life, get ready to be shocked.


The field of astrology, which is concerned with horoscopes and the like, felt a major disruption from astronomers, who are concerned with actual stars and planets. The astronomers from the Minnesota Planetarium Society found that because of the moon’s gravitational pull on Earth, the alignment of the stars was pushed by about a month.


“When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it’s really not in Pisces,” noted Parke Kunkle, a member of the group’s board. Your astrological sign is determined by the position of the sun on the day you were born, so that means everything you thought you knew about your horoscope is wrong…

…Get ready for your world to change forever,” as written in the article.


The article includes a hyperlink titled “see the counterpoint from American astrologers,” which opens up somewhat of a mini-article aimed to restore faith to all those suddenly strayed star-relying people of the West world — which, of course, also sounds like another ridiculous excuse, at least to me [the counterpoint from American astrologers, I mean].


“What, you thought they’d be silent when their life’s work was reinterpreted ?” — reads the first line of the article.


Yeah, well, good luck relying your craft & fate in hands of a poor-lored fantasy. Even Jediism seems like a safer (and more fun !) choice.


After all, it’s smarter listening to advices of Yoda (or some other son of a Cheburashka), then to ‘authentic astrologers’, which roughly translates to ‘authentic shcizo-scammers’.


South Park reference

Ophiuchus-related rumours also partially stem from some journalists, who looked up NASA’s Space Place page for kids explaining constellations, and suddenly realised there were 13 constellations instead of 12 in the ecliptic.




Further Uncertainties



According to astrology, there are twelve 30° slices of the sky (adding up to 360°), representing zodiac signs. In reality, constellation shapes and sizes vary drastically : for instance, as mentioned, Sun passes through the Scorpio constellation in only five days, but takes 38 days to pass through Taurus.


Concluding all above, it is obvious that there is no accuracy in astrology whatsoever; the deviation of the matter is large enough to prove astrology nonsense once again.


Thousands of years have passed, and astrologists are still ignoring all those things. The difference, however is, those calculations were somewhat best ancient people could afford to make with their primitive tools, but nowadays, having all the technology in the world to educate themselves, people prefer to go thousands of years back in time to fetch all the primitive beliefs, ideas and stories to utilise them as their guidelines.



Different View Point


Mesopotamian zodiac is only one example of celestial mapping produced by various cultures worldwide, all of which had their own notions of world structure. Incas, for instance, made constellations from the dark patches in the Milky Way, rather than stars.



Scientific Studies of Non-Scientific Studies


Many scientific tests of astrology have been carried out, yet zero evidence was produced in its favour. In one famous case of 2007 study, Senior Researcher Dr. David Voas from the University of Manchester's Centre for Census and Survey Research, decided to undertake a statistical analysis of star sign compatibility — the largest test of astrology ever carried out so far.


He utilised census data of people from England and Wales, looking at all 20 million birthdays of married couples at the time.


"If there is even the smallest tendency for Virgos to fancy Capricorns, or for Libras to like Leos, then we should see it in the marriage statistics," said Dr. Voas in a statement. "When you have a population of ten million couples, then even if only one pair in a thousand is influenced by the stars, you'd have ten thousand more couples than expected with certain combinations of signs."

As expected, someone’s birth month does not appear to have any effect on the spouse choice. "There's no such evidence, though : the numbers are just what we'd predict on the basis of chance," Voas said.


Voas noted that there was no correlation between the absense of scientific evidence about astrology and its popularity either : "The enthusiasm for zodiac-based personality profiling seems undiminished by hundreds of previous studies debunking astrology."


Astrology nowadays is as popular as ever, but the bottom-line of this and countless other studies is same.


"If [star signs] had any influence at all, however small, the giant magnifying glass of this huge sample would detect it. There's nothing there,” concluded Dr. Voas.


Note that even if we apply the gravitational shift, 13th zodiac sign shift and any other correction, it would have shown some pattern anyway, just displaced — however, there is no pattern. Just chance.


Also read :







Could Stars or Moon Somehow Influence You ?



In short, no. That’s marasmus.


Gravity



Gravity of neither stars nor the moon does not affect you.


Gravity of the moon and Earth mutually affect one another, resulting in tides on Earth, but that does not mean you get affected by the moon.


Gravity is the weakest fundamental force, its mutual attraction force formula is given by :




Gravitational Force | Image credit : toppr.com



Derivation of the Gravitational Force Formula








Let’s solve for Gravitational force between the Earth and the Moon.



r 3.844 × 10^8 m (center-to-center, semi-major axis)



(Data sources : Wikipedia, NASA; Unveiling the Universe



This is a force of mutual attraction between the Earth and the Moon.


Now let’s solve for a mutual attraction between the Moon and a somewhat average-massed human of 60.00 kg (living on the Earth).



Simple/Basic calculations





More Advanced Calculations








Force of this magnitude can hardly affect you.


For comparison, the amount of force acting on a body when Earth pulls a mass of approximately 102 g is equal to one newton.


Could this be a thing ?


Keep in mind, that this is a force between a whole 60-kg object and the moon, if one tries to be smart and explain this as if 0.16 N is reasonable for neurons or cells, than we should actually re-do the math for a mass of a single neuron or any other cell.


Mass of a large sensory neuron 10^-9 kg. (Data source : BIONUMBERS)


You do the math.


If you try to solve for a gravitational pull force between you and some stars light years away — that is what astrologers claim — the outcome will be exponent-grown funny.


Let’s try solving for gravitational force between average-massed human and Hamal (α Arietis) star, a brightest star in Aries constellation.




Simple/Basic calculations







More Advanced Calculations







Simple math. You could do it.

If gravitational attraction force between a human and the moon could appear far-fetched reasonable, you will probably not convince me that this puny of a force can alter the course of history and decide whom you should marry.



Magnetism


Moon


Being the second strongest conservative fundamental force (classic list of four fundamental forces is obsolete), electromagnetism deserves to be mentioned in this discussion. As you may know, some planets, like Earth, have a magnetic field.


Moon, on the other hand, does not currently have a dipolar magnetic field. However, there are localised regions on the Moon’s surface sized up to several hundred kilometres, where a very strong magnetic field preponderates. This has been shown by rock measurements from Apollo missions. Questions about the origin of those magnetic spots arose.


“An analysis of magnetized moon rocks brought to Earth by Apollo astronauts showed that the Moon must have had a strong (above 110 μT) magnetic field at least 4.25 billion years ago, which then fell to 20 μT level in the 3.6 - 3.1 billion years BP period.” Source : ScienceNews


First theory goes that they are somewhat remnants of an ancient core magnetic field — possibly similar to what can yet be observed on Earth today. Molten and solid iron are components of the Earth core. Such core rotation generates the magnetic field. Why the inner field of the Moon extinguished at some point has remained a subject of studies.


"How exactly the magnetic spots were formed still requires more research. But now it is clear that at some point in time an internal magnetic field of the Moon had to be present for this to happen," says Yuri Shprits, Professor at the University of Potsdam and head of the Magnetospheric Physics Section at GFZ-Potsdam. "In addition, this study can help us to better understand the nature of the dynamo-generated magnetic field and the dynamo process on Earth, the outer planets and exoplanets." Source : ScienceDaily


“However, single silicate grains with magnetic inclusions from Apollo rocks formed at 3.9, 3.6, 3.3, and 3.2 billion years ago have been shown to be capable of recording strong magnetic fields but do not. This supports the alternative hypothesis that the Moon never had a long-lasting core dynamo, consistent with the lack of energy needed to sustain a field.” (Sources : science.org, the conversation)


According to the first theory, the dynamo causing the magnetic field needs flow of the conducting material, such as liquid iron. In case of Earth, this happens in the planet’s outer core, and is caused by convection of heat. The moon’s mass on the other hand does not suffice for convection to take place. Astronomers could not give a decent explanation of what else might generate the required liquid iron motion in the moon, until Christina Dwyer stepped in.



Illustration of the dynamo mechanism that creates the Earth's magnetic field


Illustration of the dynamo mechanism that creates the Earth's magnetic field: convection currents of fluid metal in the Earth's outer core, driven by heat flow from the inner core, organized into rolls by the Coriolis force, create circulating electric currents, which generate the magnetic field. | Source : Wikipedia


“Christina Dwyer of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her colleagues suggest that the moon’s solid-rock middle layer, called its mantle, stirs up its liquid iron core. The researchers think this happens because the moon’s core and its mantle rotate around slightly different axes, and the boundary between them is not quite spherical, so their relative motion causes the fluid to mix around.


The strength of this stirring is determined by the angle between the core and the mantle, and the distance between the Earth and the moon, because the tidal gravitational tug from the Earth causes the moon’s mantle to rotate differently than the core.



Moon layers model


This model would explain why the moon used to have a magnetic field, but no longer does. That’s because the angle between the mantle and the core has narrowed over time, while the distance between the moon and the Earth has widened, causing the tidal forces to steadily decrease. While these forces used to be enough to generate a dynamo inside the moon, they aren’t anymore.

Based on their calculations, the researchers estimate the lunar magnetic field might have lasted for about a billion years, somewhere between around 2.7 billion and 4.2 billion years ago.”


Source : SSERVI/NASA


There are various theories for the magnetised rocks found on the moon, but let’s return to our subject, shall we ?


Stars


People are constantly irradiated by electromagnetic radiation ubiquitously, both from sources within our planet and space. Electromagnetic radiation comes in various frequencies and makes up a decent amount of the world as we know it.



The electromagnetic spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum | Image credit : University of Bergen


Again, stars continuously irradiate people, animals and everything else on this planet, including the planet. This does not mean you could get affected much by, say, the constellation of Virgo — the stars in those constellations are light years away, and you see them no more, then little shining dots in the sky — that is, if you manage to find a decent slice of a sky free from light pollution.

You are too far away from those little pretty dots to get any decent rad-dose, and even more far to somehow get engaged in the magnetic fields of the stars.

The only star, however, that does affect you — and not in some weird mystic way, but by (predominantly & relevant) good old sun rays — is, of course, the Sun. And you better take care with it — sunburns can have nasty health consequences.

But the solution to this is old fashioned : use [non-toxic for aquatic life] sun creams, don’t be staring directly into the sun, especially in telescopes and during eclipses; and try to go green and not put your own load into the upcoming ecology crisis — ozone layer holes are no joke, neither is the climate change.

Unlike your horoscope. This is some ancient joke, which got far out of hand.

Sagittarius, scorpio or seven-tailed flying beetle, whatever, why not choose a unique constellation for your character to follow your own, personally forged [by yourself] fate ?


Skyrim gag



Other


None of the classic four fundamental forces can be used to explain, why did Jane break up with you by a text message, by means of associating yourself with some unicorn-mermaid dot-connected star shape light years away.

And trying to solve the math through gravity and electromagnetism or by weak and strong forces (which are much worse candidates for such story since they are very short-range, i.e., they only work on subatomic level) is a bad idea.

Either create your own kind of magic or discover an existing one, but stop messing up actual science, okay ?

Yes, there are new fundamental forces to be proclaimed, and new discoveries are yet to come, which will stepwise re-shape the world of physics. However, make sure you study science, not unicorns.




Negative Relationship Between Intelligence And Belief In Astrology


Albeit various studies bring no proof of astrology concepts validity, there is a study that does indicate people who fall for astrology have tendencies to be more narcissistic and have lower intelligence levels (duh !).


“The team collected 264 responses using an online questionnaire. The participants were assessed for belief in astrology using a shortened version of the Belief in Astrology Inventory assessment, as well as personality assessments, a specific assessment for narcissism, and a test of intelligence (using a three-dimensional rotation items test from the International Cognitive Ability Resource).” Quote source : IFLScience


“The main result showed that the higher the narcissism, perhaps surprisingly, the higher the belief in astrology," the team wrote. "The positive association is possibly due to the self-centered worldview uniting them, though this must be examined in further research. Furthermore, cultural aspects of millennials may emphasize the uniqueness of individuals which might lead to a more egocentric view of the world, and thus relate to narcissistic traits. Further, since astrological predictions and horoscopes tend to be positively framed, this reinforces grandiose feelings and thus might appeal even more to narcissists. Note that narcissistic traits correlated with the belief that astrology is supported by science, which leads to a speculation that narcissists may generally be more fact resistant,” as written in the study discussion.


Study also revealed smaller positive correlations between belief in astrology and agreeableness, extraversion.

“Our aim with the present study was to contribute to an increased understanding of individual differences and unfounded epistemic beliefs, such as belief in astrology. The results showed interestingly that narcissism was the strongest predictor of belief in astrology: Even the stars think I am superior,” as written in the study conclusion.

This is solely the digest of the research. Read the study for yourself; get acquainted with study limitations, data tables and more.



Conclusion


Astrology has nothing to do with neither astronomy nor other science. There is no proof it is working. The ‘science’ behind astrology is broken. Humanity misuses it, according to its own lore, nevertheless, ‘it works’ this way, because ‘authentic astrologers’ make up some idiotic excuses to glue up the lore behind it.


After all, the imaginary business has to be maintained, because milking folks with a lack of critical thinking and proper education is a swell business.


Rick & Morty reference

Believing that random cluster of stars light years away, dot-connected by some dude thousands of years ago ineluctably affects your love affairs and fate is no less ridiculous than brick-building your life, depending on ‘Which Winx are you’ ?

By the way, I am Techna.


I am Tecna

My Winx type | Image credit : Winx Club



Oye, how about dividing the night sky between Naruto characters ?

Ah no, bad idea, I won’t be able to fit both into Naruto, Orochimaru and all the Uchiha constellations at once.

Hey, tell you what, how about we create our own horoscope with blackjack and hookahs ?


We’ll call it hookascope !





References



Some of the pages that were used for informative purposes for this article :


Research :



Articles :



Wikipedia :


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