Evidence Proving The Validity Of Astrology

EnolaGaia

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... Why would they bother, when they are aware that "their critics' own cherished methods" are misapplied to this category of phenomena, and shall find nothing "real" there with the tools they habitually deploy? ...
Survey / statistical methods wouldn't be misapplied at all in building a case that astrological predictions or other results prove themselves to be accurate beyond a threshold of random coincidence.

There's no reason at all to rule out the use of "scientific" methods to support the proposition that "there's something to astrology."

The criticality of "scientific" restrictions comes to the fore only when seeking to explain how stellar influences may operate.

There's a big difference between establishing the reliability of a purported phenomenon and establishing a demonstrable understanding of its inner workings.
 

Indrid Drood

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There exists a wealth of material on the workings of astrology in practice -- written by both astrologers themselves as well as by interested onlookers -- available to those sincerely interested in the subject. None of this, needless to say, will satisfy those looking for proof of the validity of astrology. (Had they really been interested in understanding what astrology was all about, they would doubtless have already investigated the subject via the written records of practitioners of the craft, and known better than to even raise the subject of the validity or otherwise of someone's star sign or of a prediction made in a newspaper/magazine column.)

It should be obvious (I hope!) that I have no interest in convincing anyone of the validity of astrology, nor do any astrologers with whom I have been acquainted. There is so much to learn, experience, enjoy, and imbibe in all areas that who has the (unpaid as well as otherwise unrewarded) time to waste on that? Not me, that's for sure!
 
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Indrid Drood

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More from Jeff Kripal (and once again pertinent here, I believe):

The more humble or respectable way to describe both the events Fort
collected and his desire to collect them is to say that Charles Fort was a collector
of coincidences. These were coincidences, however, that he felt—he
could not quite say why—signaled some larger, and perhaps literally cosmic,
truth
. He was on the intuitive trail of, well, something. Here is how he
put the matter:

Sometimes I am a collector of data, and only a collector, and am likely to be
gross and miserly, piling up notes, pleased with merely numerically adding to
my store. Other times I have joys, when unexpectedly coming upon an outrageous
story that may not be altogether a lie, or upon a macabre little thing that
may make some reviewer of my more or less good works mad. But always there

is present a feeling of unexplained relations of events that I note; and it is this
far-away, haunting, or often taunting, awareness, or suspicion, that keeps me

piling on. (WT 861–62)

To begin with, in 1901 Fort had already
completed a draft of a youthful autobiography entitled Many Parts, only a
portion of which has survived. The title is from Shakespeare’s famous lines
in As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely
players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time
plays many parts.” As with Shakespeare’s collapsing of the stage into life
and life into the stage (or my earlier discussion of the personality as a persona,
as a “mask”), Fort denied in principle any stable distinction between
fiction and reality
. He hated, for example, how books were divided up as
“fiction” or “nonfiction” in the libraries (WT 863).

I cannot say that truth is stranger than fiction, because I have never had acquaintance with either.”
There is only “the hyphenated state of truth-fiction
” (WT 864).

Nor, as we have already noted, did Fort believe in any stable distinction
between the imagined and the physical
(WT 1010). As with Myers’s
notion of the imaginal, the imagination, properly understood in its true
scope, is nearly omnipotent in Fort’s worldview
. Indeed, it is so powerful
(and potentially perverse) that Fort suggested in more than one context
that we are all living in someone else’s novel, which was not a particularly
good one. “Some of us,” he observed, “seem almost alive—like characters
in something a novelist is writing” (BD 79). There thus can be no final conclusions
or firm beliefs or even arguments “in the fiction that we’re living,”
only what he calls “pseudo-conclusions” and “expressions”
(WT 1009).
The world, after all, may be imagined and written anew tomorrow in some
other way, on some other page.
To me the astrological phenomenon is entirely consistent with the bolded parts above. It has more the quality of dream, myth, and story interacting with an apparently objective world than something that can be pinned down and proven conclusively to be true or false, valid or invalid. Does anyone here take issue with Charlie on the points bolded above (and would they be so bold as to assert their greater forteanity for taking issue with him on these points?)
 
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Frideswide

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Care to provide a brief list of some of the other tools? :)
* reading and assimilating the canon of whatever it is, as a whole

* finding the internal logic of the canon

* relating the phenomenon to one's lived experience, accepting analogy as well as homology

* reading the rebuttals of the believers to "science" and "common sense" dismissal, again looking for coherence and internal logic

That's off the top of my head :D never had t write it down before, thank you @Indrid Drood
 

EnolaGaia

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... To me the astrological phenomenon is entirely consistent with the bolded parts above. It has more the quality of dream, myth, and story interacting with an apparently objective world than something that can be pinned down and proven conclusively to be true or false, valid or invalid. Does anyone here take issue with Charlie on the points bolded above (and would they be so bold as to assert their greater forteanity for taking issue with him on these points?)
It's difficult to correlate these general points with the specific case of astrology (and Fort's own attitude toward astrology) because Fort never addressed astrology head-on as a topic. Astrology is mentioned only rarely in his primary "fortean" books, and then almost always with respect to "astrologers" rather than "astrology."
 

INT21

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So we agree that there is a class of phenomena beyond science's scope, which it would be not only foolish but utterly fruitless to attempt to study and understand with the tools of science (like astrology, perhaps?).

.
To suggest that any field is closed simply because we cannot, at the moment, use hte tools of science to examine it is rather short sighted.

The only thing the alignment of the Planets offers is a miniscule change in the gravity effecting the Earth; and of necessity, all of us.
So it may be the place to look.

But it should not be forgotten that the 'readers of the stars (and planets)' were, back in the day, regarded with reverence. A nice little earner if you could get on it.

A bit like religion; the basis of which is also unprovable .

I suspect that the above may explaine it more than anything else.
 

Indrid Drood

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* reading and assimilating the canon of whatever it is, as a whole

* finding the internal logic of the canon

* relating the phenomenon to one's lived experience, accepting analogy as well as homology

* reading the rebuttals of the believers to "science" and "common sense" dismissal, again looking for coherence and internal logic

That's off the top of my head :D never had t write it down before, thank you @Indrid Drood
Thank you, that's more like it! :)

If a person were sufficiently intrigued by the phenomenon to have the motivation to explore it in greater depth than is expressed in the words, "Oh, that's interesting; I wonder what it's all about!" (in my experience this generally only comes about through having personal contact with someone who makes some very precise statements about events in one's life via the birthchart, leading one to wonder, "How the hell could s/he know that!"), and they had a scholarly approach, they would of course first perform an exhaustive search of the literature, and discover that all the kinds of studies proposed in this thread have already been done. To ask for evidence of the validity of astrology in a forum such as this, however, while remaining ignorant of (and seemingly disinterested in) all that prior research and discussion, shows a lack of seriousness that cannot be productive of anything except confirming one in the correctness of one's belief (in the invalidity of astrology).

Of course, given the difficulty in tracking down a lot of these research materials (many only in specialist journals that are, obviously, not held in academic library collections), one would have to be highly motivated – and probably on the spectrum like you and I – to even come to learn of their existence. I would even argue that unless you are such an atypical case, ready to go to the ends of the earth to get to the bottom of it, and willing to suffer mockery, ridicule, and ostracisation in that single-minded pursuit, then it is much better indeed to just write it off as a load of rubbish (while perhaps maintaining in online forums that one is "open to looking at the evidence" and then taking it from there...).

My point in participating in this thread was not to advance arguments in favour of astrology, but simply to point out that the obvious historically-unaware, "hard science" approach would yield nothing of value (apart from supporting the prejudicial beliefs of those already convinced that it's all a load of rubbish).

For the record, my own association with astrology has been almost entirely historical for over a decade, and I have no urge to convince anyone of its "truth-fiction" (unlike some devout materialists, here and everywhere, who – plainly or otherwise – are all too eager to point out at every opportunity that hard science = unhyphenated truth, and things like astrology = unhyphenated fiction).
 
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