Astronomy and astrology were often practiced together


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After providing birth details during the first visit, the client is asked to return a few days later on the pretext that it will take time to find his horoscope among the thousands held by the astrologer. While the client is away, the astrologer, based on the information supplied by the client, writes his or her horoscope on a fresh palm leaf and soaks it in a slurry of coconut kernels and mango bark, both of which are rich in tannin.

This gives the palm leaf an ancient look Premanand et al. In , the first companies to offer computerized horoscopes appeared in India, seventeen years after they had started business in Europe. In twenty minutes today, in just a few seconds they could do the calculations that previously took three months. Predictions cost up to rupees depending on the number of years ahead Rao , Indeed, about two decades ago an educated young man committed suicide after a computer horoscope predicted total failure in everything he did Premanand et al.

In , I was showing a visitor around my newly established astronomy center in Pune. At that time we had just set up our new computer and I explained its capabilities to the visitor. At the end, I waited for any questions she may have had. Of these, twenty were accepted Siddhanta , 2. More than scientists and social scientists wrote in protest to the government.

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Astronomy and Space Science: Astronomy Emerges from Astrology

Of the thirty letters-to-the-editor that appeared in the Indian science journal Current Science , most of them from scientists in university departments or research institutes, about half dismissed astrology as a pseudoscience, and a quarter felt that decisive tests were needed. Against this, the rest felt there was nothing wrong with funding something that most Indian people believe in.

But the protests were without effect because, in Indian law, Vedic astrology is seen as a scientific discipline. Nevertheless, in , several scientists asked the Andhra Pradesh High Court to stop the UGC from funding courses in Vedic astrology because it was a pseudoscience, it would impose Hindu beliefs on the education system, 4 and it would reduce the funds available for genuine scientific research.

However, the court dismissed their case on the grounds that it was not correct for a court to interfere with a UGC decision that did not violate Indian law. In , an appeal under the act that bans false advertising was made to the Mumbai High Court. Astrology is a trusted science and is being practiced for over years. Here the performance of astrology in predicting the results of events has been very poor. The nearest we have are follow-ups to predictions of public events such as elections, where failure is the norm.

For example, the elections in were a showdown between Indira Gandhi and her political opponents. The Astrological Magazine was filled with predictions by amateurs and professionals, most of whom predicted that Gandhi would lose. In fact, she won with an overwhelming majority.

Oh no, there's been an error

The elections attracted another frenzy of predictions, most of which saw Gandhi losing. For example B. Also in , at a large international conference organized by the Indian Astrologers Federation, both the president and secretary of the Federation predicted a war with Pakistan in , which India would win, and a world war between and All wrong!

In the West, books critical of astrology are not hard to find, but in India the reverse is true. Some excellent books exist, such as Premanand et al. Unfortunately, given the low level of income and high level of illiteracy of the masses, web sources may not be very effective in general. Pune itself has a population of about 3. So volunteers from the Committee for the Eradication of Superstitions went to different schools and collected the names of teenage school children rated by their teachers as mentally bright.

Astronomy Room - Thunder & Rain - Relaxing Rain and Thunder Sounds for Sleeping and Study

They also collected names from special schools for the mentally handicapped. The destinies of these cases could hardly be more different, so they were ideal for testing the above claim. From the collected data we selected bright and mentally handicapped cases whose age distribution is shown on the next page. Birth details were obtained from their parents because birth certificates are rare in India. Professional Indian astrologers routinely assume that birth details provided by parents are correct, so our procedure followed the norm.

Each horoscope birth chart was calculated by one of us PG using commercial astrological software. All horoscopes were coded and stored in safe custody by Professor Kunte at Pune University, so that neither the experimenters our group of four nor the astrologers could know the identities of the individuals. We announced our experiment at a press conference in Pune May 12, , and invited practicing astrologers to take part.

We explained that each participant would be given forty horoscopes drawn at random from our set of and would have to judge whether their owners were mentally bright or handicapped. We also invited established astrological organizations to take part, for which they would be given all horoscopes, a respectably large sample size. The press conference, which was reported in almost all local and regional newspapers, proved to be an efficient way to reach astrologers. We asked them to send us their names, experience, and method of prediction used, together with a stamped self-addressed envelope for mailing the forty horoscopes.

They were then allowed one month for making their judgments. In due course, fifty-one astrologers asked for horoscopes, of which twenty-seven from all over Maharashtra sent back their judgments.

Astrology and astronomy - Wikipedia

The rest did not tell us why they chose not to participate. We assured them that the skepticism of data collectors had no active role in running the experiment, and that the experiment was of the double-blind kind to make sure it was entirely fair. But they were not convinced, and tried unsuccessfully to dissuade other astrologers from participating. A month later, at a Pune astrological seminar, we explained that tests, indeed many tests, are necessary if astrology is to establish itself as a science.

The Beginnings of Astrology

In India, leading astrologers have their own astrological organizations, and so we wrote to those on our list about a dozen inviting them to judge all horoscopes. Two responded with expressions of interest, of which one sent in its judgment. The other remained silent. Among other things he gave us a rule for predicting sex and another rule for predicting intelligence, both of which he claimed were correct in 60 percent of cases. But when applied to our set of horoscopes, the predictions were respectively 47 and 50 percent correct, which offers no advantage over pure guessing or tossing a coin.

Of the twenty-seven astrologers who participated, not all provided personal details, but fifteen were hobbyists, eight were professionals, nine had up to ten years of experience, and seventeen had more than ten years of experience. So they clearly formed a competent group. Their average experience was fourteen years. In fact the highest score was of twenty-four hits by a single astrologer followed by twenty-two hits by two astrologers. The remaining twenty-four astrologers all scored twenty hits or less, including one professional astrologer who found thirty-seven intelligent and three undecided so none were mentally handicapped!


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The average for all twenty-seven astrologers was So much for the benefits of their average fourteen years of experience! Certainly no scientific theory would survive such a poor success rate! The institution whose team of astrologers had judged all horoscopes got hits, of which fifty-one were bright and fifty-one were mentally handicapped, so their judgments were, again, no better than tossing a coin.

Tragically, our statistician, Sudhakar Kunte, died in an accident in , and the security he imposed on data storage has so far made it difficult for us to perform further tests, such as whether the astrologers agreed on their judgments, whether they could pick high IQ better than low, and whether the three astrological methods used Nirayan, Sayan, Krishnamurty differed in success rate.

We hope that the access to this data will eventually be possible.


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  • In Clark twenty astrologers averaged 72 percent hits for ten cases of high IQ paired with cerebral palsy, but this famous result could not be replicated by Joseph , where twenty-three astrologers averaged only 53 percent hits for ten cases of high IQ when paired with the severely mentally handicapped. It is also consistent with the few tests of Western astrologers who practice Vedic astrology, for example Dudley Our experiment with twenty-seven Indian astrologers judging forty horoscopes each, and a team of astrologers judging horoscopes, showed that none were able to tell bright children from mentally handicapped children better than chance.

    Our results contradict the claims of Indian astrologers and are consistent with the many tests of Western astrologers.

    Astrology vs Astronomy

    In summary, our results are firmly against Indian astrology being considered as a science. The Department of Statistics, Pune University, and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, provided infrastructural support while this experiment was being conducted. A brief account appeared in Current Science 96 5 , —, My special thanks to Geoffrey Dean of Perth, Western Australia, for providing information on tests of Western astrology as well as giving me a general background of astrology in the West versus the East.

    In , he drew up charts for his daughters. What he saw must have caused some consternation, for he then placed the daughters in a monastery for life. It turns out that one of the major characters in the dialogue was, in real life, a friend of Galileo's who would consult with him about primary directions.

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    astronomy and astrology were often practiced together Astronomy and astrology were often practiced together
    astronomy and astrology were often practiced together Astronomy and astrology were often practiced together
    astronomy and astrology were often practiced together Astronomy and astrology were often practiced together
    astronomy and astrology were often practiced together Astronomy and astrology were often practiced together
    astronomy and astrology were often practiced together Astronomy and astrology were often practiced together
    astronomy and astrology were often practiced together Astronomy and astrology were often practiced together
    astronomy and astrology were often practiced together Astronomy and astrology were often practiced together

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