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IS ASTROLOGY A SCIENCE?
An afterthought. Perhaps I belong to the first category of those who do not know. I do not know what I am going to forecast, I am influenced neither by the appearance nor articulate mannerisms and I do not know what I am going to say, until I open the horoscope. I depend only on astrological concepts and intuition, which flashes when you do not expect. But intuition is hard to come, it requires out-tuition, pouring in many ideas by repeated study, investigation and practice. Dr. Karl and Naked Scientists is one of my favorite programs on BBC radio 5. In late September 2015, one listener - a scientist himself wanted to know from Dr. Karl, the reasons for his grand father's successful dowsing. The scientist had found greater accuracy in his grandfather's dowsing beyond coincidences. There was a villager too who could tell the sex of chicken by shaking the eggs! Dr Karl Kruszelnicki replied, "Such knowledge can not be expressed in words and shaking of dowsing rod or eggs serves as mere tools". He went on to say, "You can pass on your knowledge and experience of cycling in words but there is hidden face of it which can not be passed on with words." In the universe there are some concepts which can not be reasoned out but work. Many scientists would not acknowledge non-verbal knowledge where a stick or a sketch serves as mere tool. Open minded curiosity is very scarce.
In 1975, 186 scientists including 18 Nobel Prize winners -condemned astrology in the American journal, The Humanist. The Press wanted to interview at least one of the Nobel Prize winners concerning their own personal views regarding astrology. However, they refused to be interviewed. They are also the ones who do not know or do not know, they do not know and had they given an interview - at least one of them - it would have been a fatal day for scientific community! 186 intelligent people (perhaps, there were none, earlier to 1975) decided for the whole seven billion earthlings and believed they would be believed! The software you download offers updates. Since 1975, these scientists have not offered any updates. We believe in what we believe not knowing why we believe. Many consider astrology as mere chance game. But when we discover the other dimensions, our long held impressions shatter. Alan Turing, was a British pioneering computer scientist and mathematician. Turing played an important role in interception of coded messages with high precision and super fast computer devices. Otherwise the World War II could have continued for two more years. This narrative is given by the daughter of Turing's friend, aged 17 years then. "Turing was very friendly, he entertained me very much. We went to a carnival one day. He was very jovial all along. We came across a gypsy fortune teller and Turing explained permutations and combinations how future projections are given. For fun sake, Turing entered the gypsy's tent. He came out after sometime, downcast and uncommunicative. All the way back he had fallen silent. My father did not bother him by asking what came out of gypsy" (Witness, on BBC World Service). Obviously the gypsy had thrown some unexpected future possibility, unanticipated. Turing was found guilty of a (then) criminal act in 1952. He opted chemical castration with estrogen injections as an alternative to prison and died in 1954.
The gypsy or any fortune teller uses well established principles to dig into future. Highly enlightened rationalists aka basic physics teachers (who still hold Newtonian principles as gospel that apply to everything and every space) claim there is no such force exerting from the outer space. So far, we do not know how weak forces operate within the atom. We do not know whether gravity is a field or a particle. Dark matter, dark energy, black holes, parallel universes, string theory, supposed worm holes in space-time dimension still elude our comprehension.
Particle zoo is such a wizardry place where various possibilities galore. As of now, no one knows how the planets influence us. To investigate whether astrology works or not, the inquirer should assume of certain force (unknown so far) may influence human affairs, as the physicist assumes a single poled magnet. In absence of clear causative factors, instead of dismissing the claim like the noble laureates and company did, they should try statistical methods for verification. John Graunt developed early human statistical methods that became a hallmark for modern demography. Graunt was one of the first experts in epidemiology. He analyzed pattern of morality in London based on which government created a system to warn of the onset and spread of bubonic plague. However, statistics is quite misleading. If you keep one hand in boiling water and the other in freezing water, on average, you are in moderate 50°C. The parameters shall have to picked out carefully. It should not be the percentage of one legged or three legged persons playing foot ball! In case of astrology, it should not be rahu kala / durmuhurta / chougadhia/ varjya etc., which do not have anything to do with planets. These depend on name of the day and time of sun rise only. So, any experiment involving planets and placement in house would be more appropriate.