You’d think something like the following would be the proverbial stake-in-the-heart that kills something as silly as belief in Astrology, but like most silly beliefs it’ll continue on regardless.
For several decades, researchers tracked more than 2,000 people – most of them born within minutes of each other. According to astrology, the subject should have had very similar traits.
The babies were originally recruited as part of a medical study begun in London in 1958 into how the circumstances of birth can affect future health. More than 2,000 babies born in early March that year were registered and their development monitored at regular intervals.
Researchers looked at more than 100 different characteristics, including occupation, anxiety levels, marital status, aggressiveness, sociability, IQ levels and ability in art, sport, mathematics and reading – all of which astrologers claim can be gauged from birth charts.
The scientists failed to find any evidence of similarities between the “time twins”, however. They reported in the current issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies: “The test conditions could hardly have been more conducive to success . . . but the results are uniformly negative.”
Analysis of the research was carried out by Geoffrey Dean, a scientist and former astrologer based in Perth, Australia, and Ivan Kelly, a psychologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Dr Dean said the results undermined the claims of astrologers, who typically work with birth data far less precise than that used in the study. “They sometimes argue that times of birth just a minute apart can make all the difference by altering what they call the ‘house cusps’,” he said. “But in their work, they are happy to take whatever time they can get from a client.”
The findings caused alarm and anger in astrological circles yesterday. Roy Gillett, the president of the Astrological Association of Great Britain, said the study’s findings should be treated “with extreme caution” and accused Dr Dean of seeking to “discredit astrology”.
Dr. Dean doesn’t have to discredit astrology as the facts of the study do that on their own. Not that it should take such a detailed study to convince people that Astrology is phonier than a wooden nickle. Go to two different Astrologers and have them analyze you and you’ll get two different results.
The astrologers, however, have good reason to be alarmed. Astrology as a business rakes in millions of dollars every year and belief in this claptrap has been growing along with belief in other forms of pseudo-science. It probably doesn’t help that Dr. Dean is a former astrologer himself and as such is viewed as something of a traitor to the cause. So people will go on believing this nonsense and the astrologers will continue to rake in the cash by peddling platitudes.