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Upbeat
05-11-2008, 12:23 AM
Skeptical for years, I finally started to read them only to find they're more on target than not!
Now, I'm convinced there's a unique planetary-pull influence on each of us according to our birth dates.
A December-born friend is a super-active, consistently adventurous soul with a firey personality who sometimes needs to be advised to cool his jets.
A couple of Leo friends - born leaders - seem always to have big plans in mind - often managing them to a successful finish.
A January-born Capricorn friend - impatiently power hungry, seems uninterested in taking a break to 'smell the roses'.
The awareness of of zodiac-related personality traits can, in my view, be helpful in relating to others - with understanding, rather than with the conflict.

BenPanced
05-11-2008, 01:34 AM
My horoscope says I don't believe in astrology.

Seaclusion
05-11-2008, 01:39 AM
No. I don't believe in astronomy.

Richard

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 01:40 AM
My horoscope says I don't believe in astrology.

My horoscope says to treat skeptics with sweetness and charm.

Seaclusion
05-11-2008, 01:41 AM
But I do read my fortune cookie.

Richard

William Haskins
05-11-2008, 01:43 AM
i like to clip them out and mail them to the families of people listed in the obituaries.

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 01:47 AM
No. I don't believe in astronomy.

Richard

I dare you to read your horoscope daily for one week, then tell us what you think.

Seaclusion
05-11-2008, 01:48 AM
Ok. I don't get a newspaper. Can you provide a link to a good source.

Richard

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 01:49 AM
i like to clip them out and mail them to the families of people listed in the obituaries.

Oops ! ...too little and too late.

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 01:51 AM
Ok. I don't get a newspaper. Can you provide a link to a good source.

Richard

stariq.com (good source)

Seaclusion
05-11-2008, 01:55 AM
Just added it to favorites. I will read it every day and make a note on how accurate it is. Next week I will resurect this thread (OH wait, my horoscope said it wouldn't be dead) and report my findings. I'll even keep an open mind even though everyone tells me I have a mind like a steel trap.

Richard

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 02:00 AM
Just added it to favorites. I will read it every day and make a note on how accurate it is. Next week I will resurect this thread (OH wait, my horoscope said it wouldn't be dead) and report my findings. I'll even keep an open mind even though everyone tells me I have a mind like a steel trap.

Richard

'...mind like a steel trap'? Good heavens! What's your birth date?

Seaclusion
05-11-2008, 02:02 AM
October 22, On the cusp (see I know more than I think)

Richard

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 02:07 AM
October 22, On the cusp (see I know more than I think)

Richard

Yes, you do, even though you say your location is 'in a quandary'!

CDarklock
05-11-2008, 02:22 AM
Now, I'm convinced there's a unique planetary-pull influence on each of us according to our birth dates.

Speaking as a former professional astrologer, this is a positively ludicrous notion. The people who told you this are trying to pretend astrology is a science without really understanding how it works.

Astrology works because things move in cycles. As it happens, the cycles of human existence match other things in the universe. People have different personalities depending on the positions of the planets, not because the planets make them have those personalities, but simply because the planetary orbits happen to match these cycles.

Just like a woman's menstrual cycle tends to match the phase of the moon. The moon doesn't control her cycle. They simply happen to have the same duration.

That said, I don't read my daily horoscope, because these cycles don't advance sufficiently in a single day to make any reliable predictions about how things will happen. People believe in daily horoscopes largely because of confirmation bias, not any real level of accuracy. I will occasionally check my horoscope (as in my horoscope, cast by me) for synastry and influence when making a major decision, but all ten major heavenly cycles need to be considered - the eight planets other than earth, the moon, and the sun - to have any real weight.

Which is why a lot of people read their daily horoscope and find it to be largely wrong, or wrong roughly as often as it's right, or so vague that you can't really tell if it's right or not.

If you really want to know how accurate your daily horoscope is, read it at night instead of in the morning. If it has any real predictive power, it will be every bit as accurate. What you'll find is that the accuracy level declines markedly, because you haven't been out there following up on what your horoscope said would happen - and that's what made it look so accurate. If you go out believing you can do something, you're a lot more likely to succeed in doing it.

Dario D.
05-11-2008, 02:27 AM
I did a test of all of my family members, and the majority of their horoscopes didn't even almost match. Example: my colors are supposed to be Green and Dark Brown. LOLWUT??? The two colors that, if I had to arrange a list of most significant colors in my life (being a big-time artist [link] (http://www.deefrag.com/index.htm), and thinking about colors a LOT), would be darn near close to dead-bottom. Near the top would be blue, more blue, and bright-and-sunny orange (like in my avatar).

So anyway, after doing that test, I found this (http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/02/what_do_you_mea.html)... (wonderful read) So now, if anyone asks me what my sign is, I just say Skeptico... :D ...and I tell them to Google it.

The Forer Effect (http://www.answers.com/topic/forer-effect?method=26&initiator=FFANS) seems to win for lots of folks nowadays. As long as signs have "something for everyone", people find them hard to shake their minds free of, even if the "non-something for me" attributes are disgustingly off.

CDarklock
05-11-2008, 02:40 AM
And then I found this (http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/02/what_do_you_mea.html)... (wonderful read)

Scientifically flawed, but a wonderful read.

Test 1: We gave people a choice of three horoscopes, and asked which one was most like them. They didn't choose the right one.

So... most people didn't accurately identify their own personality from a lineup. Who's surprised by this? I mean, honestly.

Test 2: We gave astrologers a horoscope and asked them to match it with the correct person's psychological test results. They didn't do so well.

So... astrologers can't correlate a personality test with a chart. Could you?

How about test 1a: give people a choice of three psychological test results, and see how often they choose their own as representing them.

Or test 2b: give psychologists a test result and ask them to match it with the correct person's astrological chart.

Or test 3: give astrologers charts, and psychologists test results, and let them interview the people they reflect. Then have them match the charts or test results to the correct people, and compare the success rates.

The results are biased. The deck was stacked against the astrologer in both cases, and no alternate mechanism was shown to do any better.

(The average astrologer is still largely a charlatan, and probably won't do so well... but so is the average psychologist, so I'm not worried.)

Dario D.
05-11-2008, 03:04 AM
The results are biased. The deck was stacked against the astrologer in both cases, and no alternate mechanism was shown to do any better.
Umm, okay... having been following this for a while, you're the first person I've seen (in the non-biased-lunatic camp) to be drawing this conclusion. :)

What makes you think that? From your examples, and from what I read, I can't see one iota of evidence that the tables were stacked against the astrologers. The tests are quite logical, and deathly simple... and most of these studies were done by the scientific community, and universities. "Stacking the tables" is usually completely against their grain, and if stacking is detected by ANYONE who isn't completely biased, the study is a flop. Done. Finished. Do-over.

writin52
05-11-2008, 03:06 AM
Must confess I do, but only believe it if it is good

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 03:10 AM
Speaking as a former professional astrologer, this is a positively ludicrous notion. The people who told you this are trying to pretend astrology is a science without really understanding how it works.

Astrology works because things move in cycles. As it happens, the cycles of human existence match other things in the universe. People have different personalities depending on the positions of the planets, not because the planets make them have those personalities, but simply because the planetary orbits happen to match these cycles.

Just like a woman's menstrual cycle tends to match the phase of the moon. The moon doesn't control her cycle. They simply happen to have the same duration.

I don't consider astrology a science. It's in a realm all its own.

Once a skeptic, I have found consistently that the behavior patterns of friends and family members, closely resemble those reflected in their zodiac signs.
That said, I don't read my daily horoscope, because these cycles don't advance sufficiently in a single day to make any reliable predictions about how things will happen. People believe in daily horoscopes largely because of confirmation bias, not any real level of accuracy. I will occasionally check my horoscope (as in my horoscope, cast by me) for synastry and influence when making a major decision, but all ten major heavenly cycles need to be considered - the eight planets other than earth, the moon, and the sun - to have any real weight.

Which is why a lot of people read their daily horoscope and find it to be largely wrong, or wrong roughly as often as it's right, or so vague that you can't really tell if it's right or not.

If you really want to know how accurate your daily horoscope is, read it at night instead of in the morning. If it has any real predictive power, it will be every bit as accurate. What you'll find is that the accuracy level declines markedly, because you haven't been out there following up on what your horoscope said would happen - and that's what made it look so accurate. If you go out believing you can do something, you're a lot more likely to succeed in doing it.

I don't consider astrology a science. Its in a realm all its own.
Although I once was a skeptic, I've found that the behavior patterns of family member and friends, consistently correspond with those of their zodiac signs.
While there certainly are charletan astrologers, I've found stariq.com astrologers' daily horoscopes to be credible.
You speak of 'predictive power', which is not what I'm seeking when reading horoscopes.
In my view, zodiac signs indicate behavior patterns.

JimmyB27
05-11-2008, 03:26 AM
Skeptical for years, I finally started to read them only to find they're more on target than not!

Of course they are. I've seen a little of Julia Sweeney's show 'Letting Go Of God' (utterly brilliant, btw) and there's a bit in it where she tells how she discovered her mother had moved her birthday by a few weeks when she was a kid to get her into school a year early. She always used to read her horoscope as a Virgo and it was always 'so totally me!'. Now she was a Libra, so she started reading that horoscope and found that it was also 'so totally me!'.
Their written to be as generic as possible, so everyone can find something in them that fits. And, as CDarklock pointed out, if you read them in the morning, you'll have whatever it says in your mind all day and be more likely to follow it's predictions in a self fulfilling prophecy sort of way.

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 03:42 AM
Of course they are. I've seen a little of Julia Sweeney's show 'Letting Go Of God' (utterly brilliant, btw) and there's a bit in it where she tells how she discovered her mother had moved her birthday by a few weeks when she was a kid to get her into school a year early. She always used to read her horoscope as a Virgo and it was always 'so totally me!'. Now she was a Libra, so she started reading that horoscope and found that it was also 'so totally me!'.
Their written to be as generic as possible, so everyone can find something in them that fits. And, as CDarklock pointed out, if you read them in the morning, you'll have whatever it says in your mind all day and be more likely to follow it's predictions in a self fulfilling prophecy sort of way.

It's the charletons who are generic.
As for Virgos and Libras, their zodiac signs indicate similar hehavior patterns.

Brutal Mustang
05-11-2008, 03:46 AM
A couple of Leo friends - born leaders - seem always to have big plans in mind - often managing them to a successful finish.

I resemble this remark! I like being the boss.

BenPanced
05-11-2008, 03:52 AM
My horoscope says to treat skeptics with sweetness and charm.
My star sign can beat up your star sign. :tongue

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 04:01 AM
I resemble this remark! I like being the boss.

Now I'm wondering if you might be either a Leo or a Capricorn.

CDarklock
05-11-2008, 04:04 AM
What makes you think that?

The first test assumes that the candidates will accurately assess their own personalities.

The second test assumes that an astrological chart and a personality inventory have comparable content.

I am not convinced that either assumption is even remotely accurate. A logical conclusion which proceeds from false premises is invalid.

Brutal Mustang
05-11-2008, 04:04 AM
Now I'm wondering if you might be either a Leo or a Capricorn.

Roar!

CDarklock
05-11-2008, 04:05 AM
Now I'm wondering if you might be either a Leo or a Capricorn.

Or an Aries. People forget Aries. I think we can discount Taurus, though.

Dario D.
05-11-2008, 04:05 AM
The first test assumes that the candidates will accurately assess their own personalities.

The second test assumes that an astrological chart and a personality inventory have comparable content.

I am not convinced that either assumption is even remotely accurate. A logical conclusion which proceeds from false premises is invalid.
I simply don't understand.

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 04:05 AM
My star sign can beat up your star sign. :tongue

Don't even try. My sign says, ' Speak softly and carry a big stick!'

CDarklock
05-11-2008, 05:04 AM
I simply don't understand.

I'm at a loss to explain it any more clearly.

The results achieved in these tests are not in any way damning of astrology. You'd get similar results with the MMPI or the Myers-Briggs type indicator, because the tests themselves are flawed.

You don't want to see the flaws, because you like the results. This is called confirmation bias. When a test gives us the results we wanted, we ignore any flaws or irregularities in the test itself, because we don't want to admit the results are invalid. We want those results to go into our rhetorical arsenal, so we can win arguments.

There's just this stack of glaring flaws blinking on and off in both of the tests, like a big neon sign that says "garbage". People do not accurately self-assess under any circumstances. A natal chart is not comparable to a personality inventory. 116 participants is not enough for any serious research study. The 2:1 odds of success imposed a minimum significance level of 56%. The studies are just junk. When you question the scientific rigor, it's about as accurate as...

Well, as astrology. ;)

Upbeat
05-11-2008, 11:46 AM
I simply don't understand.

Although CDarkLock denounces Zodiac-related influences on people, it is fascinating that tides happen because of the varying positions of the moon. Humans are more than 60 percent water.:)

Dario D.
05-11-2008, 05:55 PM
Although CDarkLock denounces Zodiac-related influences on people, it is fascinating that tides happen because of the varying positions of the moon. Humans are more than 60 percent water.:)
If THAT were a controlling factor (and I'm not sure if you mean to imply that it is), it would mean that if a planet's pull on the Earth/water affected our fate (casting birthdates aside), people in each region would all have the same sign (the moon), the same personality, and the same fate, because we're all being affected at the same time (on a regional basis). All else pales in comparison to how the moon affects the Earth.

The same should theoretically apply to the sun, since its pull has a death-grip on the Earth. Every region of the Earth faces the sun at a certain time, so people from the western hemisphere, for instance, should all have a specific set of influences, whereas people from the east should have THEIR own - all the same affects. How and why something like positions of incredibly distant stars have anything to do with it is where the fiction comes into play. Realistically, one would have to first consider other powerful forces, like the gravitational pull of our galaxy, which constantly draws everything into it... and then, after that, the outward motion of the universe. Stars affect the Earth like needles affect mountains. If you want to talk about things that SHOULD be affecting our lives, I would say that taxes would be a more suitable astrological sign to pay attention to.

One with an imagination could figure that these forces would affect people on a regional basis (people from America would all have roughly the same fate hovering over them), but now it's all based on when you were born. And now we have gods in the picture.


The results achieved in these tests are not in any way damning of astrology. You'd get similar results with the MMPI or the Myers-Briggs type indicator, because the tests themselves are flawed.With all due respect (and a light smile), you can claim anything you want, but thus far, it makes 0 sense to me, because your claims aren't backed by anything: you're just saying the final results of what you believe.


You don't want to see the flaws, because you like the results. This is called confirmation bias.Actually, I'm honestly searching for the meaning of what you're saying, but the only issue is that your claims aren't running any deeper than saying, "the system is flawed... so believe it, because I say so."

Let me just repeat what I said earlier:

The tests are quite logical, and deathly simple... and most of these studies were done by the scientific community, and universities. "Stacking the tables" is usually completely against their grain, and if stacking is detected by ANYONE who isn't completely biased, the study is a flop. Done. Finished. Do-over.
These tests were published and released for all to see, obviously getting the green-light from whoever ran the printing presses. Scientific journals (and universities) avoid running/conducting phony tests like the plague, because it destroys their reputation. Also, remember that all of the astrologers who were tested (including the high-and-mighty ones) agreed to the test formulas before they were conducted. Thus far, you're the only person I've seen who hasn't. :)

Lyra Jean
05-11-2008, 06:19 PM
I've read my horoscope at the end of the day and it is almost always wrong.

Now that Pluto is no longer considered a planet how does that effect the zodiac and astrology since all the signs are ruled by one of the planets. I'm a Libra and the planet ruling over Libra is Venus.

I think using any of the world's zodiacs would be an interesting to create characters.

CDarklock
05-11-2008, 08:48 PM
if a planet's pull on the Earth/water affected our fate (casting birthdates aside), people in each region would all have the same sign (the moon)

There's a massive laundry list of "if the gravitational pull of the planets affects us this way, then..." reasons why astrology cannot possibly be the result of gravity.

My favorite is based on the idea that gravitational pull decreases with the square of the distance between two bodies. So if you had a fat neighbor, that would dictate your child's personality more than any planetary body.


the only issue is that your claims aren't running any deeper than saying, "the system is flawed... so believe it, because I say so."

Um... no. The system is flawed in four specific ways, which I've already identified.

1. The first test expects people to be reliable objective observers of themselves, which is not empirically true. People are self-delusional.

2. The second test criticises astrologers for failure to correlate dissimilar objects. You might as well criticise a farmer for inability to tell which goat belongs to the owner of a specified cow.

3. The sample size is too small, so a single decision adds disproportionate weight.

4. The one-of-three choices offered create a massive standard deviation that makes almost every result inconclusive.

The first two, you could argue. The last two, no - they're objective reality. Talk to a statistician.

I'm wondering how exactly you can look at these reasons and boil them down to "because I said so". They're basic criticisms of scientific rigor. Any lab student should be able to look at them and shake his head. Certainly no scientist beyond the graduate school level should be submitting a study with these flaws to a journal.


These tests were published and released for all to see, obviously getting the green-light from whoever ran the printing presses.

That doesn't actually mean too much.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Hendrik_Sch%C3%B6n

Many scientists criticise peer-review journals for invariably supporting the status quo of modern science, refusing to publish papers which show unusual or politically incorrect results. Opponents of global warming, in particular, are grumbling quite loudly about the failure of journals to publish their counter-findings. Nature, in fact, even refused to publish the findings that led to the development of MRI technology... and won its creators the Nobel Prize. Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, has this to say on the matter:

"The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong."

It is trivial to arrange a test which appears to be conducted with scientific rigor, but is subtly skewed in the direction of the desired results. If the peer review committee likes the results you got, confirmation bias kicks in, and they don't subject your methods to the same scrutiny. Schön relied largely on this phenomenon to execute his fraud.

mscelina
05-12-2008, 05:58 AM
Proof that astrology does NOT work-----

----->I am a Libra.

Carry on.

Cranky
05-12-2008, 06:13 AM
:roll:

That said, I'm a Scorpio. Mostly fits, but the horoscope's always wrong. Or it used to be. Never read that anymore.

mscelina
05-12-2008, 06:17 AM
Yep. Me and FOX news have something in common--we're fair and balanced.

That being said, I'm going to meet the love of my life this week. I was not amused.

My husband is a Libra too.

slcboston
05-12-2008, 06:30 AM
Only horoscope I ever took seriously was on a Chinese restaurant menu... it said "beware of the monkey." :D

mscelina
05-12-2008, 06:35 AM
awwwwwwwwwww! And Monkey's not even here to defend herself!

Cranky
05-12-2008, 06:39 AM
I think my weekly horoscope was tryin' to tell me in a roundabout way that I can get some lovin' this weekend if I play my cards right.

CDarklock
05-12-2008, 07:19 AM
Yep. Me and FOX news have something in common--we're fair and balanced.

Common misconception. Librans pursue balance. They don't necessarily have it.

I'm far from balanced. I've got fully half my planets in Scorpio. So basically I spend my life trying to kill half the world and mate with the other half.

I'm still making up my mind about you. ;p

mscelina
05-12-2008, 07:22 AM
*shrug*

Whatever works for you. I don't quite get that 'planets in Scorpio' bit so I'll just have to take your word on it.

CDarklock
05-12-2008, 07:27 AM
A full-fledged horoscope tracks the positions of ten "planets" (astrology considers the sun and moon planets... and Pluto, too). There's also a body of work related to exactly how those planets relate to one another... conjunction, sextile, semisextile, trine, square, quincunx, opposition... and the overall composition of the chart.

The sun sign (what most people say they "are") is significantly less than 10% of the chart. So a horoscope based on that alone is sort of like saying all people believe what ten percent of people believe.

xiph
05-12-2008, 07:31 AM
[deleted]

mscelina
05-12-2008, 07:33 AM
I'd say that's all Greek to me, but unfortunately I can still manage to translate Greek.

Here's my gig with astrology: first off, charlatans throughout the ages have posed as astrologers. That kind of bugs me. Nancy Reagan soured me on that. Secondly, astrological forecasts (to me) end up being self-fulfilling prophecies. In other words, "My horoscope said that I'm going to have a bad day, therefore I'm going to be in a bad mood."---and therefore has a bad day. Thirdly, it's way too easy to transfer blame from one's actions to some nebulous ancient ritual based upon long-dead religions. I don't kill goats and burn their entrails to discover my future, or jaunt off to Delphi to watch a sibyl munch on bay leaves and breathe volcanic smoke until she's in a trance, therefore I'm not going to see 'what the stars' have in store for me either.

That being said, my skepticism hits a speed bump sometimes with other paranormal occurrences. *shrug* But, that's just me.

CDarklock
05-12-2008, 07:48 AM
Here's my gig with astrology

I have all the same problems with it, and I spent a year or so doing it for a living. The more you know about it, the more limited you realise it is, and the more practitioners you meet... well, I'm also an amateur magician, and suffice to say that while magicians are full of crap - astrologers are stuffed to bursting with it.

Astrology does work reasonably well within certain very limited parameters, but I would never trust an astrologer. If you're interested in astrology, my advice would be to learn how to do it yourself. Joanna Martine Woolfolk wrote an excellent layman's reference, "The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need". It's much better than Linda Goodman's stuff.

mscelina
05-12-2008, 07:49 AM
Thanks for the advice, but I don't want to learn how to do it myself. The thought that I don't control my own fate gives me the willies.

CDarklock
05-12-2008, 08:01 AM
You do control your own fate. Astrology is more like showing you where a particular fate is uphill, and where another fate is downhill. It's easier to go downhill, but you can still pick whichever you like.

mscelina
05-12-2008, 08:07 AM
I can do that without astrology. All it requires is a reasonable sense of probabilities and a little bit of common sense. Same result--no mumbo jumbo.

*grin*

Of course, I DID just have my tarot cards read. *snerk*

CDarklock
05-12-2008, 09:11 PM
I've always thought the most useful part of astrology (or any other similar fortune-telling mechanism) was the conceptual third party being responsible for what you didn't want to hear. Playing off your avatar:

"You have Venutory in Caprio. That means you're a crabby bitch."

"Hey!"

"It's not me, it's the planets. Blame them."

There's a need most people have to be smacked in the face with the things they don't want to believe about themselves. If you go to a therapist who says "hey, you have this negative quality" - a common response is to stop seeing that therapist. If your friend says it, you get grumpy and act offended until your friend apologises. What supernatural and pseudo-scientific sources give you is the ability to say things people need to hear, but don't want to hear, without offending them. You redirect the animosity onto an inanimate object, or the planets, or the spirit world.

"The spirits say you were once a great ruler! That there are statues of you in Tasmania... covered in pigeon shit! A man with bad teeth and dirty hair is urinating on you as we speak! Somehow, you have always known this."

Essentially, the fortune-telling itself is just a cover. The method and its transparent rationale are just the scapegoat, so the fortune-teller can deflect responsibility. So it's always a scam, really; the question is whether you're using the scam to further a productive and valuable service, or just as a scam. It's easier to just use it as a scam, if your personal ethics and morality allow it.