Astrology is the study of the movements of the planets, sun, moon, and stars in the belief that these movements can have an influence on people’s lives. Astrology originated in Babylon far back in antiquity, with the Babylonians developing their own form of horoscopes around 2,400 years ago. Then around 2,100 years ago, astrology spread to the eastern Mediterranean, becoming popular in Egypt, which at the time was under the control of a dynasty of Greek kings.
Astrology is a very vast science. It is practiced in almost all the religions of world and each religion have different principles and methods for predicting future and revealing destiny. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and the Indians, Chinese, and Maya developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. In the West, astrology most often consists of a system of horoscopes purporting to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict future events in their life based on the positions of the sun, moon, and other celestial objects at the time of their birth. The majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.
They made the calendar, predicted the tides, estimated the harvest season, followed the stars in the sea, and so forth. It helped, so it became the science of the day.
Things moved in the sky, but they always came back. Always. And they came in patterns. Just like how humans are born and dead. The cycle – the cycle of life. Maybe, just maybe, the celestial alignment breathes the very same cycle of life? A few thought so anyways.
With a gripping delusion, they projected everything up high, to the sky; the joy, the suffering, the pain, the flood, the death, the birth, the entire human existence. And right there in the night, under the gazing stars and the moon, astrology was born. An ancient pattern matching scheme – a manual one. And, astrology thrived.
They started manually collecting the celestial alignment at birth data of all the kings, queens, royals, servants, saints, widows and witches. And, then they manually labelled it, and looked for patterns. They checked if all royals had some celestial alignment in common, and the same went for the poor and the misfortunate. Criss-cross. Cross-criss. Thus began the humongous scheme of pattern matching.Through years and years of data collection, pattern matching and model learning, they tuned their model and churned out the model that best fits their data.A chart was stuck to you upon birth. A lifeline that tells your destiny, your personality, your likes and your dislikes. The one that indicates everything; your everything, even your sex life.To be honest, it’s an ingenious idea, and great efforts too. Mind the time, this is thousands of years ago, when they didn’t even have a WiFi.
As years roll on, the scientific community rejects astrology as it has no explanatory power for describing the universe, and considers it a pseudoscience. Scientific testing of astrology has been conducted, and no evidence has been found to support any of the premises or purported effects outlined in astrological traditions. There is no proposed mechanism of action by which the positions and motions of stars and planets could affect people and events on Earth that does not contradict well understood, basic aspects of biology and physics. Those who continue to have faith in astrology have been characterised as doing so. In spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary.
Confirmation bias is a form of cognitive bias, a psychological factor that contributes to belief in astrology. Astrology believers tend to selectively remember predictions that turn out to be true, and do not remember those that turn out false. Another, separate, form of confirmation bias also plays a role, where believers often fail to distinguish between messages that demonstrate special ability and those that do not. Thus there are two distinct forms of confirmation bias that are under study with respect to astrological believe.
Across several centuries of testing, the predictions of astrology have never been more accurate than that expected by chance alone. One approach used in testing astrology quantitatively is through blind experiment.