Tuesday, 18 April 2006

The Real Romance in the Stars - Astrology as an enemy of truth.

"We should take astrology seriously. No, I don't mean we should believe in it. I am talking about fighting it seriously instead of humouring it as a piece of harmless fun."

"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out."

"Note, accordingly, how little it means to say something like "Uranus moves into Aquarius". Aquarius is a miscellaneous set of stars all at different distances from us, which have no connection with each other except that they constitute a (meaningless) pattern when seen from a certain (not particularly special) place in the galaxy (here). A constellation is not an entity at all, not the kind of thing that Uranus, or anything else, can sensibly be said to 'move into'."

"The shape of a constellation, moreover, is ephemeral. A million years ago our Homo erectus ancestors gazed out nightly at a set of very different constellations. A million years hence, our descendants will see yet other shapes in the sky, and their astrologer (if our species has not grown up and sent them packing long since) will be fabricating their oracles on the basis of a different zodiac."

"Scientific truth is too beautiful to be sacrificed for the sake of light entertainment or money. Astrology is an aesthetic affront. It cheapens astronomy, like using Beethoven for commercial jingles."

- Richard Dawkins