13 comments on “Astrology, Bullshit Raised to an Art-Form

  1. You know what the funny thing is about this? The “misrepresented arguments” you’re talking about are mostly drawn from the JREF booklet I originally wrote about… which you seem to have responded to by not responding to it. But hey, that’s okay… JREF itself haven’t responded to my own challenge about their own booklet. Which, I guess by their standards, makes them… um, scamming dirtbags?

    PS: You seem to have changed your tune about people whose beliefs are different than yours.

    http://brilyn.net/hating-the-belief-not-the-believer/#more-3801

    That’s okay though… if I’m Googling properly, you’re a Sagittarius like myself, and we tend to beak off every once in a while.

    PS: When you put the phrase “yes, I’m scamming you. So what?” in quotation marks like that, it looks like that’s what I said… which I didn’t. I will give you the benefit of the doubt on this rather than. Or perhaps I can look forward to you “admitting that you are a lying piece of shit” (your actual words, BTW. See how quotation marks work?)

  2. You know what the funny thing is about this? The “misrepresented arguments” you’re talking about are mostly drawn from the JREF booklet I originally wrote about… which you seem to have responded to by not responding to it.

    I have labeled 1 argument as misrepresentative. And JREF has attacked the shitty newspaper version of Astrology, rather than the much worse scam-fest that is “real” astrology. My response addresses that lack.

    That JREF is dealing with the most common form of Astrology is not something I really care about: they’re dealing with the most common form of Astrology. That you chose to take umbrage with them, rather than the other shysters speaks volumes.

    PS: You seem to have changed your tune about people whose beliefs are different than yours.

    People who merely believe that Astrology is true, I have no beef with. They are merely victims.

    People, like you, you prey on and scam those victims: you are being held accountable for your chosen career, your actions, not merely your belief. I can understand that you find this kind of critical thinking difficult (you are a sleazy con-artist after all), but please try to understand the difference between “people who believe in astrology” and “people who profit of people who believe in astrology”. I have sympathy for the former, and contempt for the latter.

    When you put the phrase “yes, I’m scamming you. So what?” in quotation marks like that, it looks like that’s what I said… which I didn’t.

    You tacitly admitted that you were by acting as if what you’re doing is the same as stock tips. Take some responsibility. At least own your scam.

  3. Wow Brian, You sure seem like you have a deep well of hate inside of yourself. For someone who is trying to be a rational objective and critical thinker, your arguments seemed to be laced with an outrageous amount of poisonous emotions, Perhaps you should be exploring that problem in depth, rather than trying fervently to discredit something that you obviously have no personal experience with.. something that has helped guide and direct many people during immensely painful and difficult periods in their life. Have you had personal experience with Astrology? Have you ever sat down and had a thorough and lengthy explanation about what Astrology is and how it works? Astrology is complex and considers a multitude of variables that is not easily understood, unless you take the time to learn, and understand.

    It takes a long time of study and training to be a competent Astrologer, and believe me, WE DONT DO THIS FOR THE MONEY. Why would someone take all that time out of their lives to learn this discipline, to make very meager earnings, and be scam artist scumbags as you so eloquently put it (…classy)? That makes no sense to me. I have known A LOT of Astrologers and the last thing they are is “Scamming Scumbags”. Do you personally know any Astrologers? Do you know why they got into this field and their detailed education and learning history with Astrology? Do you know their earnings…bank accounts… and their personalities (Scumbag scammers must be pretty rotten… many would most likely be sociopathic without a conscience to engage in pulling outright scams on innocent people)? You make some pretty serious and inflammatory statements about a group of people that you know absolutely nothing about.

    You stated, ” Worse, none of these things determine your personality, at all”… referring to the placement of the sun, moon and ascendant in a chart. Funny, every chart that I have ever done on a person most certainly validates the Sun, Moon and Ascendant placement as determining personality, and of course there are modifying factors to consider (other planets in aspect to the Sun, Moon, and Asc.) so as to add another layer of depth and dimension to the personality. I am sure all Astrologer would agree with me on this one. Your apparent lack of experience with Astrology would not qualify you to make a statement like this, and frankly it makes you sound ignorant, making such a definitive statement without having any expertise of experience with this.

    I would expect that somebody who has so much hate and negativity to spew about Astrology, and who is on a massive Crusade to discredit it and spread hate about the people who practice it, would have had some in depth and personal experiences and perhaps even training with it in order to be able to accurately debunk it. If you are so sure about your position on this, you should have no problem taking time out to learn about Astrology from a professional Astrologer, and to be open minded about having a personal session done to see just how wrong they really are. Although you seem like the type who would disagree with an analysis for spite, regardless of how truthful it really is, so maybe that’s not a great idea for you. In any case, I wonder why we dont see complaints abound about how Astrology has scammed people and ruined their lives… perhaps even lawsuits if this is so true?! In fact, I see and hear just the opposite. I hear about how much astrology has helped improve lives, how it has helped people to better understand themselves, their strengths, weaknesses, blocks, challenges… how it has helped to better understand and navigate through dark times and conquer difficult aspects within themselves. And again, may I remind you… THE MAJORITY OF US DO NOT MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE ON… that’s where second jobs come into play my friend. Scam? Come on…

    I have read Matthew Currie’s articles and the James Randi booklet info, and we all have yet to see the James Randi Foundation make a rebuttal against Matthews statements. Matthew so obviously calls them out on their ridiculous arguments.. and I am waiting with eagerness for their response to his challenge, and if they are so sure and so right about how much of a fraud Astrology really is, we should most definitely hear back from them… soon. I am still waiting to hear from you, a valid argument against astrology.. so far I hear a lot of hot air and a lot of hate.

    Before you slay a dragon, make sure its really a dragon, and not a delusion.

  4. Oh Brian. You tagged this blog entry with “critical thinking,” and yet your response to my blog entry about JREF’s lousy “critical thinking” is just more of the same. Or at the very least you just didn’t read the thing you’re yelling about.

    In Part Three, I clearly address the Sun Sign issue, and pointed out how dismissing astrology based just on that is “is as accurate and thorough as dismissing modern medicine based only on a look at your family history (Hey, all my grandparents lived into their 90s, so I can smoke, and drink and drive, and eat cheeseburgers, and juggle explosives while taunting bears all day long, because I’ve got genetics on my side, woohoo! Go Science!).”

    You approach to debunking astrology is like those people who try to debunk evolution by saying things like “if humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” That argument says more about that person’s lack of critical thinking on the matter than it does about evolution.

    As for tacitly admitting I was acting as if what I’m doing is the same as stock tips… no, that’s not what I said, tacitly or otherwise. I was, in fact, saying my advice about people’s futures in the long run is better than the average stock tip over time, and yet economics is still a science. If your complaint is with economics being a “science,” then we may have something to discuss.

    And, let me get this straight… you’re a philosophy tutor? Doesn’t philosophy involve trying to understand the things you’re questioning? Doesn’t debunking something involve understanding the thing you’re debunking first, even if you don’t believe in it? Do this standards make you a good “philosophy tutor,” or are you scamming us?

  5. Matthew:

    In Part Three, I clearly address the Sun Sign issue, and pointed out how dismissing astrology based just on that is “is as accurate and thorough as dismissing modern medicine based only on a look at your family history (Hey, all my grandparents lived into their 90s, so I can smoke, and drink and drive, and eat cheeseburgers, and juggle explosives while taunting bears all day long, because I’ve got genetics on my side, woohoo! Go Science!).”

    The sun sign thing is dumb, and is the lowest hanging fruit of astrology, used by newspapers in a column labeled “astrology”, and by people who call themselves “astrologers”.

    Meanwhile, there are no columns in newspapers labeled “medicine” where this crap is trotted out, nor do self-labeled “doctors” make claims like this without facing serious legal ramifications.

    Your analogy is false. You’re whinging that “sun-signs aren’t really astrology”, while self-proclaimed “astrologers” make a buck selling this bullshit. 100 years ago, medicine faced the same problems and cleaned up their own house. The problem, at its core, is that your profession has no standards, no rules, no regulations, and no “real astrology”. There’s the false bullshit you peddle, and then there’s the omg-I-can’t-believe-how-foolish-this-is bullshit that other astrologers peddle: go take your complaint up with them. Go lobby your government to make “Astrologer” a legally-protected term (like Doctors, Professors, Dentists and Dieticians did), and then we’ll talk.

    Of course, in order to do that, you’ll have to demonstrate that you’re not selling lies to people. Which, of course, will be a problem.

    You approach to debunking astrology is like those people who try to debunk evolution by saying things like “if humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” That argument says more about that person’s lack of critical thinking on the matter than it does about evolution.

    You’ve heard the one about ‘glass houses’ and ‘stones’, right? Accusing me of not reading your articles, while claiming that I’m criticising astrology based on sun signs? Which I’m not doing.

    I’m criticising Astrology based on the most precise reading (and I use “precise” as it’s used in astrology: very loosely): the Ascendant. Two people born within the same 10-15 minute window, in the same city, are going to have identical astrological charts (unless Astrology has changed in the last 15 years, which is unlikely). Identical. Yet they will have different personalities, and different futures. Ergo Astrology is bunk.

    I won’t be repeating myself again.

    I was, in fact, saying my advice about people’s futures in the long run is better than the average stock tip over time

    Prove it. As it stands, you’ve just lied.

    If your complaint is with economics being a “science,”

    I agree with you here. Economics (as it’s practiced generally, and popularly known) being bullshit doesn’t make Astrology not-bullshit. This is an irrelevant side-track.

    And, let me get this straight… you’re a philosophy tutor? Doesn’t philosophy involve trying to understand the things you’re questioning? Doesn’t debunking something involve understanding the thing you’re debunking first, even if you don’t believe in it? Do this standards make you a good “philosophy tutor,” or are you scamming us?

    Yes.

    I have studied Astrology in the past, up to and including how to make and interpret astrological charts. Your belief that I don’t know this is based on you failing to read the actual points I’m making, and assuming that because I’m not against the attack on the bullshit sun-sign “astrology”, then I think that that’s all there is to astrology: this is an issue of your ignorance and assumptions.

    I’ve dealt with your deflection twice now. I’m not interested what JREF says or does. I am not affiliated with JREF in any way. Your fixation with them is not my problem. In order to continue this interaction, you have two choices:

    1. Demonstrate an empirical basis for astrology (i.e. that it works, I’m not asking (yet) how it works). The experiments by Carlson, and Dean and Kelly clearly demonstrate that Astrology (as used by practicing Astrologers) is bullshit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology_and_science#Tests_of_astrology

    2. Concede that you are conning people out of their money in bad faith.

    In other words: put up, or shut up (future comments that don’t meet either of the above two criteria will be marked as spam).

  6. femalepower:

    competent Astrologer

    This is a contradiction in terms.

    The bulk of your post is completely irrelevant: if you are selling something that doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter a damn why you are selling it. intentions aren’t magic. If you are selling something that does not work, then you are conning them out of money. It’s that simple.

    The onus is on you to demonstrate that the product you are pushing works. Astrology has been demonstrated, time again and again, to be a bag of bullshit. That you disagree with that is irrelevant: you’re wrong.

    Your apparent lack of experience with Astrology would not qualify you to make a statement like this

    It’s this kind of assumption that I find extremely frustrating. The fact that I’m stating that astrology doesn’t work doesn’t mean that I’m unfamiliar with astrology.

    The fact that you’re making this argument about me, personally, rather than demonstrating that it works speaks volumes.

    On the same wikipedia page that I directed Matthew to, there is a list of theoretic obstacles that Astrology has failed to overcome. No astrologer realised that planets were missing (before the discovery of Neptune, Uranus, or Pluto). There’s no explanation for the other celestial bodies that are as big (or bigger) than Pluto, but are not accounted for in starcharts.

    In short, astrologers think astrology is accurate based on their ignorance of astronomy, and their lack of interest in (or ability to) rigorously test their claims.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology_and_science#Theoretic_obstacles

    and who is on a massive Crusade to discredit it and spread hate about the people who practice it

    Really? Are you just trying to be ridiculous?

    Out of 63 posts on this blog, only one is directly about astrology. A second is tangentially about astrology. Yet you characterise me as being “on a massive Crusade”? For fuck’s sake…

    Same two choices to you as Matthew: put up, or shut up. Demonstrate that Astrology works, generally (no anecdotes), or go away.

    Some acknowledgement of your condescending assumptions about me would be a good start too.

  7. Matthew:

    You were given two choices, and you’ve chosen to be placed in moderation. Should you chose to make a constructive contribution, I’ll post that comment. Your inability to stay on-point will not be tolerated here.

    And yes, I will often direct students to Philosophy topics on Wikipedia. As any competent person knows, a Wikipedia page is only as good as it’s references. Good references = good Wikipedia page. Simply proclaiming Wikipedia a problem is asinine. I’ve asked you to address the particular studies that were mentioned and discussed on that page. Even if Wikipedia is generally crap, those two studies were not made by Wikipedia editors, and are still serious criticisms of Astrology, at the ‘demonstrate that it’s complete bunk’ level.

    But hey, people can still pay you $75 to have a reading done, but only if they’re your follower on Twitter. Profiteering scammer, you? Of course not….

  8. Hi Brian,

    “The experiments by Carlson, and Dean and Kelly clearly demonstrate that Astrology (as used by practicing Astrologers) is bullshit.”

    This is not correct. The conclusions of the Carlson Test (1985) have been criticised by 3 professors including Hans Eysenck. in 2010, Professor Ertel in Germany has shown that the astrologers were able to rate their blind choices to a level (p=.037) that cannot be accounted for by chance. So rather than be the best evidence that astrology is no better than chance the Carlson test provides evidence in support of astrology. see
    http://www.astrology-research.net/researchlibrary/U_Turn_in_Carson_Astrology_Test.pdf

    The Carlson test was sponsored by CSICOP, a group dedicated to debunking fringe or paranormal theories. Geoffrey Dean, who is a fellow of CSICOP, was involved in all these tests. I have written some comments on the problems and limitations of his experiments. see http://www.astrologer.com/tests/deantest.htm
    Admittedly it is very difficult to perform scientific tests when the subject is part of the experiment and can affect results. Also, there are a great many artefacts, which are no fault of astrology, but come with planetary movements and human behaviour.

    Wikipedia is a great resource. However, sceptical groups including the JREF have sponsored covert organised editing teams to take over fringe pages to push their materialistic bias. This is not some conspiracy theory as it became public last year. You are right that “Wikipedia page is only as good as it’s references. Good references = good Wikipedia.” The problem is that references are cherry picked so that a peer reviewed astrological journal, Correlation was blocked by the sceptical editors, while the Skeptical Inquirer was considered an acceptable source. While Correlation publishes articles that are both supportive and sceptical of astrology (including Dean and others), the Skeptical Inquirer will not print material that questions their beliefs and is for that reason, a pseudoscientific publication.

  9. Robert:

    Hey, an Astrologer focusing on facts and evidence, as opposed to the blogger writing about it. How novel!

    I’ll review the “U Turn In Carson Astrology Test” over the weekend. In the mean time:

    The Carlson test was sponsored by CSICOP, a group dedicated to debunking fringe or paranormal theories.

    Yes, a group with a history of fairly solid methodology. That they’re ideologically opposed to scams is not grounds for dismissal. A history of shoddy work and lack of knowledge (i.e. Astrologers in general) is. I’ll review your notes on Dean over the weekend, hopefully it’s more than just “I don’t like him”.

    However, sceptical groups including the JREF have sponsored covert organised editing teams to take over fringe pages to push their materialistic bias.

    You mean a bias in favour of reality? Sure. This is known, and I’m not sure what the problem is. If you have evidence that they are lying or misrepresenting things, then please present it. But being biased towards how the world actually works isn’t an appropriate criticism.

    a peer reviewed astrological journal

    If you have references to solid work that was done in an astrological journal, then 1) I’m shocked, and 2) I’m interested in seeing it.

    the Skeptical Inquirer will not print material that questions their beliefs and is for that reason, a pseudoscientific publication.

    Really? On what grounds (other than its “materialistic bias”, which all science publications have) is it pseudoscientific?

  10. Hi Brian,
    Yes, bias does not make a point correct or incorrect. However, it can affect the selection of data resulting in sampling and other statistical ‘errors’. Also, science should be about open enquiry and scientific journals should be open to publishing opposing views. The Skeptical Inquirer only publishes material that supports their point of view. It’s more like a political newspaper or a TV channel that supports one political party or even a religious publication the promotes certain beliefs rather than a scientific journal. However, the pretence of being scientific makes it pseudoscientific.

    “I’ll review your notes on Dean over the weekend, hopefully it’s more than just “I don’t like him”.” I would be interested in your thoughts. Despite our differences of opinion, I actually like Dr Dean and have had stimulating exchanges with him. He is a much better informed critic of astrology than most. Critics of astrology should focus on the real arguments and not the misinformed claims originating from pseudoskeptical organisations like the JREF.

    “If you have evidence that they are lying or misrepresenting things, then please present it.” I don’t want to taint a whole organisation, but they have had a chequered history and a hugely embarrassing exposure when one of the founders became a whistle-blower and showed that in tests of Michel Gauquelin’s evidence for astrology, they tampered and covered up data. You must judge this for yourself as the same pattern of sampling errors occurred with the Carlson test. These practices don’t make astrology valid, but they dispel the myth that “astrology has failed in countless tests” that some would have us believe. For more about CSI/CSICOP see http://www.astrologer.com/tests/csicop.htm

  11. Femalepower:

    What i wanted to comment on mostly about your post was how you were viciously attacking people’s character who practice Astrology (as you included this in your rant), as if these people were all con artists who know that Astrology is totally fake, yet pretend to promote its truth to scam people out of money, which would make these people lower than life.

    Astrologers are selling a product and making a claim. You’ve heard of “due diligence“?

    You dont know me from Adam, and you have no idea about my relationship with Astrology

    You were asked to either provide evidence in favour of Astrology, or you would be put back in moderation. You have chosen the latter. A buddy of mine suggested the following response, and it seems apt:

    “since you’ve changed the topic to me rather than the facts and evidence, I’ll take it that you concede the actual argument. If doing that requires me to be an asshole then I’m fine with that.

    I’m a jerk, and you believe in nonsense. I call that a win for me.”

    I can appreciate that you dislike being called a scamming scumbag. The solution is simple: stop scamming people. All this piffle about science being “corrupt”? You’re merely broadcasting your ignorance. There’s a deep irony at complaining about being named a scammer, and then accusing millions of people world-wide of corruption. Hypocrisy, thy name is femalepower.

    Welcome back into moderation. The comment that I’m responding to, and partially quoting from, has been trashed.

  12. Femalepower:

    I guess there is no room on here for OTHERS to raise valid points

    Robert Currey is raising valid points. You are spewing a variety of erroneous personal comments, conspiracy-riddled nonsense, and irrelevant asides. I realise that the “poor, victimised me” narrative is attractive, but at least pay attention to the person who is not being blocked.

    Still no substance, still just acrimony and bullshit.

  13. you know what is difference between dark matter and astrology? one insignificant detail, with dark matter we dont know what it is, but its proven it does what it does, while astrology knows the subject are planets, but there is no single proof from scientific(excluding astrologic) community it does what it describes it does. so as you see, dark matter and astrology are complete opposites my friend currie, how much community paid you to write that thinked out pseudoarguments, i guess lot.

    saying you dont exploit, just because somebody else doesnt exploit money from people, is like saying from drug dealer i dont make money of people, since you could tell parents take care of you just because, they want make you be addicted to care for them when they are old. who is more sincere this time. you should know there are some exceptions, and astrology seems to be more close to exceptions of good thing, than any other thing.

    argument doctors healed before they knew what was cell.
    there are also exceptions, they drilled holes into skulls,to relief demon pain, because they were missing something(analogy pluto). case was wrong, now with pluto correct(dont drill anymore)
    reverse analogy. etc…

    actually i have to go vomit, that i need to debunk your astrology bullshit, have you ever actually seen the sky, the constellations could have been mapped to whatever because there are so many other stars in clean sky, even alligned to straight lines, and btw they do not resemble anything, they are just thinked out.

    and because of precession of equinoxes, constellations does not matter, and was named afters signs themselves, we could have drawn them more precissely using more stars, there are plenty of them close to each other, basically you could draw anything into night sky, still maintaining 12 signs division. we could have named signs more precissely as ie teen virgo blondie girls, are not often so pragmatic and clever but rather naive and stupid stereotype blondie girls. maybe it should have been named manager if it existed in premedieval times. blew yuk.

    we probably should not have been ever showned stars, less astrologers the better, as on some other planets gases in atmosphere wont let you see single star.

    i absolutely pitty you Matthew Currie, your self-scummed existance

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