Astrology vs. Astronomy


Astronomy, as a field of science, is the scientific study of the universe: the motions, positions, sizes, composition, and behavior of astronomical objects. Astronomers start from an objective point of view, seeking to make new discoveries; they observe, study, and report their findings. Astrology, on the other hand, is the study of planetary positions in a belief that their motions affect human beings and human behavior.

For several millennia, the desire to improve astrological predictions was one of the main motivations for astronomical observations and theories. Astrology continued to be a field of science until the late 1600s. However, when Isaac Newton proved some of the physical processes through which celestial bodies affect each other by scientific methods, astronomy evolved into a completely separate field, where predictions about celestial phenomena are made and tested using the scientific method.

On the contrary, astrology nowadays is regarded as a pseudoscience, though thousands of people around the world still seek advice from astrologers and astrology publications in making important professional, medical, and personal experiences. Though astrology has many of the trappings of actual science, such as mathematics, complicated diagrams, and a specialized vocabulary, astrologers do not follow the scientific method. They do not carry out experiments to prove their theories; instead, they depend on anecdotal evidence.

Astrology tracks the planets and stars such as astronomy, but its fortune-telling aspects, and its roots in classic element theory and mythology, are well beyond the bounds of modern science. Today, we do not use mysticism to understand the stars, but use physics; we do not use mysticism to understand people, but use psychology. We do not use divination to predict the future; we use statistical analysis and big data.

If you believe that your life is determined by the position of the stars, you need to know that astrologers are following their charts incorrectly. The fact that astrologers tell you that there are 12 signs is wrong; there are 13 signs. Ophiuchus is the forgotten zodiac sign; this sign is not new, but it was thrown out thousands of years ago because only 12 signs were desired.

The next thing that makes astrology a pseudoscience is Earth wobbles; these wobbles cause various alignments in the sky to shift slightly, which is seen in the Earth’s North Star. Right now, we know of the North Star named Polaris, because it is best aligned with the North Pole of the Earth; however, it was not always the North Star. The wobble shifts the axis slightly, so thousands of years ago, and in the future, there were and will be different North Stars.

Similarly, the constellations shift slightly as well. Your sign is determined by the constellation the Sun rises in on your birthday; the signs you are used to are based on the constellations as they were over 2000 years ago. I was born on 1 April; back then, the Sun rose in the constellation Aries, and that is what astrologers say. However, if I was to stay awake on my birthday, I would not see the Sun rise in Aries; it would rise in Pisces.

Astrology is tricky; it has tried everything to be a science. Astrologers lied to the masses, preaching shoddy laws based on mysticism and ignorance. Extensive scientific studies have shown that horoscopes are not valid or real; yet, many people still believe in them. The truth is astrology is one of the most widely spread pseudo-sciences that has persisted for millennia, not only among the less fortunate classes, but sometimes among the highest of classes. Thus, it is not an easy feat to defeat it; it is only through consistent scientific awareness that this battle against ignorance could be won.


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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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