I usually can’t be bothered pointing out superstition and debunking it. When people ask me what star-sign I am, I generally let them know I’m a Cancer. Such a question is generally followed up with some kind of observation about my personality that fits with the Cancer-ian dealy. Or an exclamation about some other reason why that’s meaningful.
Ultimately, people are just so pervasively superstitious that to run around constantly pointing out the folly would occupy most of my time and certainly wouldn’t win me too many friends. So I choose not to. However!
That doesn’t mean that I don’t get a bit of a smile on my face when someone else makes the effort. Today’s quick and entertaining lunchtime read comes from Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog, taking a good hard look at astrology. He takes the time to dissect how:
There exists no known force which is a suitable candidate for creating astrological influence.
Based on astrology’s own set of conditions, there seems to be no possible unknown force either.
That cold reading and human pattern-bias explain accurate-seeming predictions.
That astrology’s claims are not consistent, nor even internally consistent – and utterly lack any predictive power.
Finally, that reliance upon astrology creates actual, demonstrable harm.
Scattered throughout, there are a bunch of links to help illustrate this position. Give it a read! If you’re wondering how I got here, it’s from a much more recent blog post of his about a nutjob named Terry Nazon’s attacks on an astronomer named Stuart Robbins following a good debunking. Check that out too, if you like!