Talk:Astrology

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Good articleAstrology has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
July 11, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
December 13, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
January 2, 2014Good article nomineeListed
Current status: Good article
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First Sentence[edit]

The first sentence of this article as of June 24 2020 says "Astrology is a pseudoscience...". There are four citations at the end of this sentence claiming to support that statement. I followed the links to the page's citations [1][2][3][4] etc and found that whoever wrote this first sentence is actually using trickery to summarize the definition. Reference [1] is from the UK Dictionary https://www.lexico.com/definition/astrology and says

"The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world." This definition defines astrology as a study.

Reference [2] is from the Merriam Webster dictionary https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astrology and says:

"the divination of the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects" This definition defines astrology as divination.

Reference[3] is from The Blackwell Dictionary says: "...mainly known as a divinatory art." This definition defines astrology as an art.

It is only reference [4] "Why Astrology is a Pseudoscience" by Paul R. Thagard https://philpapers.org/rec/THAWAI

which mentions the word "pseudoscience", and that is someone's opinion, with no independent review of whether this opinion is valid.

Therefore, Wikipedia has no right to define astrology as a pseudoscience, since there is no evidence given that it was correctly termed a science, in the modern sense, in the first place. It seems that the writer of the current sentence is simply using the derogatory term "pseudoscience" as an ad hominem slight and vengeance to get a personal opinion across, both of which are against Wikipedia's policies, and should therefore be deleted, and replaced with an alternative linguistic definition of astrology. Alternatives might include:

                        metaphysical study
                        spiritual study
                        belief system
                        theory
                        symbolic language
                        art

Cjcooper (talk) 18:30, 24 June 2020 (UTC)[]

Hello @Cjcooper:, you should read the rest of the article as well. There are multiple other citations that support the pseudoscience statement. For example, ref 14 (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) states that "There is widespread agreement for instance that creationism, astrology, homeopathy, Kirlian photography, dowsing, ufology, ancient astronaut theory, Holocaust denialism, Velikovskian catastrophism, and climate change denialism are pseudosciences." Keep in mind that astrology is literally the text book example of what a pseudoscience is. This is in no way "someone's opinion, with no independent review of whether this opinion is valid". Current version of the article is perfectly correct.--McSly (talk) 18:47, 24 June 2020 (UTC)[]

Hello @McSly, The statement "There is widespread agreement..." is not evidence of something being correct. For example, an encyclopedia of cooking could say "there is widespread agreement that British cooking is pseudo-cooking". Would Wikipedia then be bound to start off a page about British cooking with the words "British cooking is pseudo-cooking". I hope not. And in order for something to be termed a pseudo-science, it would have had to have been claimed to be a science in the first place. But there is no evidence in the article, or the citations, that astrologers ever claimed that astrology was a science, as we understand science today (standing up to repeated experimental testing, making accurate predictions etc). It looks to me as if the first sentence is a deliberate jab at astrologers by someone who thinks that astrologers are not bright enough to know what modern science is. Ther truth is that modern astrologers are quite happy with astrology being termed a belief system, art, metaphysical study, ancient philosophy, divinatory study etc, with the only link to science being the astronomy on which it is indirectly based. Music, ballet and painting all depend on scientific principles but are of themselves arts, not sciences. Similarly, the art of astrological interpretation indirectly depends on the observable science of planetary cycles in a metaphysical way, incorporating spirituality and psychology. By continuing to term astrology a pseudoscience, Wikipedia is only giving the impression to readers of one-upmanship and vengeance, as the term is derogatory. It does not make Wikipedia editors appear to be "on the level", neutral or acting fairly, in my opinion, and I have a science background.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Cjcooper (talkcontribs)

Well, I have no doubt astrologers are happy to be described in positive terms instead of negative terms. That's why we rely on independent sources. So far, your whole argument seems to be that "you don't like it" and you have yet to produce a single source to back it up. On WP, we edit articles based on what reliable sources say on the topic. The sources are clear that not only astrology is pseudoscience, but it is the example used in textbooks to explain what pseudoscience is. Whether we personally agree or think that is to "only giving the impression to readers of one-upmanship and vengeance" has zero relevance. If you think the pseudoscience description should be removed, please provide the specific sources needed to back up that change. --McSly (talk) 12:07, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[]

Hello McSly, You are probably right that astrologers would prefer not to be described by a negative term, especially on a social media platform which used to be known for its unbiased presentation. Wikipedia itself describes the word pseudoscience as pejorative, so it should not be difficult to understand why anyone, whether they are an astrologer or not, might assume that Wikipedia had a Chip_on_shoulder about astrology, using the word pseudoscience to unnecessarily insult, when several other un-insulting linguistic descriptions of astrology are available. So yes, I do think that the pseudoscience description should be removed and replaced with " Astrology is a branch of esotericism. My source for this statement comes from later in the Wikipedia article itself, where someone has written, in the Western section "Along with tarot divination, astrology is one of the core studies of Western esotericism". Since Western astrology is cited as being a core study of Western esotericism, it seems reasonable to assume that Eastern astrology is one of the core studies of Eastern esotericism, and therefore that both Western and Eastern astrology are part of/branches of the general term "esotericism".Cjcooper (talk) 01:37, 27 June 2020 (UTC)[]

Wikipedia is not a "social media platform". It is an encyclopedia. And neutrality does not necessarily mean "balance". If the consensus of the best available sources is that astrology is pseudoscience (and so far as I can tell, it is), then the neutral presentation of the subject is that the article reflect that consensus. Unless you can demonstrate that a substantial amount of reliable reference material does not agree with that classification, it is correct that it appear as such. Do you have any good references which dispute the classification of astrology as pseudoscience? (As a means of comparison, an unnecessarily insulting and non-neutral term would be to describe it as "bullshit" or "woo". "Pseudoscience" might not be a term astrologers like, but if it's accurate, it is no more needlessly pejorative than describing a convicted murderer as exactly that.) Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:25, 27 June 2020 (UTC)[]
When a topic is pure nonsense, an encyclopedia should, and in this case does, describe it as such. Pseudoscientific is exactly on the mark, neatly indicating in mainstream terms the utter utter nonsense it describes. We dont do handwaving. -Roxy the elfin dog . wooF 12:35, 27 June 2020 (UTC)[]

Since you all apparently can't be bothered to actually read @Cjcooper's (admittably long worded) posts, allow me to summarise it as concisely as I can, in big, easy to read letters...

ASTROLOGERS DO NOT CALL THEMSELVES SCIENTISTS. ASTROLOGERS DO NOT CALL ASTROLOGY SCIENCE. THEREFORE, BY DEFINITION, IT *CANNOT* BE PSEUDOSCIENCE.

And a thousand astronomers who wait in line to espouse that astrologers are fraudulently pretending to be scientists doesn't make it any more true than does a thousand Chinese communists declaring that the Dalai Lama's reincarnation will be controlled and regulated by the CPC make that to be so (and there are *plenty* of sources declaring it to be, but no reasonable editor would advocate stating that in wikipedia's voice). Firejuggler86 (talk) 09:44, 30 July 2020 (UTC)[]

I think the above comment sums it all up nicely. -Roxy the inedible dog . wooF 11:54, 30 July 2020 (UTC)[]
Right, so the word "pseudoscience" should be removed, woof.
I for myself am not convinced that astrology is bullshit, neither am I that it makes sense. Which leads me to want to read about it, to form an opinion, get to know more about it. Finding an article to start with a derogatory word like "pseudoscience" immediately stops me from reading further, since obviously, the article is tainted.
My suggestion would be 'belief system', which is quite neutral and for people that get the shrugs from everything spiritual, they know they can stop reading.
But who would read this article? Certainly everybody has at least an idea about what astrology is, so I would deem the article to be directed toward interested readers. Why shy them off? ˜˜˜˜ H. (talk) 14:46, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]
"The article is tainted" - so you don't want spoilers? You say you want to form an opinion, but as soon as there is the slightest danger of that happening, you start complaining. It seems you want to keep sitting on the fence, so you reject everything that could change that state of affairs.
Well, it does not matter, since we will not adapt the encyclopedia articles to pander to your dogmatic agnosticism, or whatever it is. If you do not want your state of opinionlessness endangered, you should avoid websites that contain information, such as Wikipedia. --Hob Gadling (talk) 15:29, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]
@Hob Gadling: From your reaction it looks like I offended you. I am sorry if I did.
What you call a spoiler makes me feel like someone trying to force his opinion on me. And you are right that calling it tainted is a harsh judgement on my part, I am sorry for that as well. H. (talk) 15:55, 2 October 2020 (UTC)[]
I don't think it matters much whether astrologers actuallyclaim to be scientist or not. They claim to arrive at knowledge, facts, about earthly realities, don't they? Or, if they avoid that claim, I think their clients tacitly assume they do. I know it's often packaged with mumble-jumble about needing to be interpreted, and not being definitive but something the client can take into account and influence with his/her own choices and actions, but still, unless some connection between the stars/planet and earthly matters is assumed, the whole exercise is vacuous.
This means, I believe, that astrology must be classified either as pseudoscience, religion, belief system, or superstition.
Obviously, as with e.g. cold reading, a good astrologer can consciously or subconsciously twist the interpretation of any horoscope to make sense for the client, and may in fact be a positive force in the client's life (not unlike what can be the case with e.g. i ching oracles).-- (talk) 19:06, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]

Gtmoore (talk) 21:36, 27 December 2020 (UTC) /* First Sentence */ Correction to assumptions about definition of "pseudoscience": First, pseudosciences do not need to self-identify as sciences to be called pseudoscience. All they need to do is to use methods that can be mistaken for science by others. [1] Astrology uses what appear to be scientific tools, namely real star charting and real mathematics, but fails to clearly state testable theories or test and prove its claims. Second, astrologists, astrology books, and astrology sites do constantly claim to be scientific. One of the main astrological tables is called a scientific ephemeris. The word pseudoscience has been used to describe some approaches to psychology, anthropology and archeology, (which are generally called "soft sciences"). [2] Predictability is considered scientific for some subjects such as weather. On the other hand, stock market predictions are still not scientific, even though they are capable of being described in what is claimed to be a purely numeric manner. Weather is not perfect in its predictions, but the parameters of success are known and testable. If astrology ever had the same predictability as weather predictions, it could become a science. Likewise, stock predictions. In the meantime, they are both psuedoscience, having an appearance of being scientific, but not meeting the definition of science. Gtmoore (talk) 21:36, 27 December 2020 (UTC)[]

@Gtmoore: This discussion was over months ago with no consensus to remove "pseudoscience" from the lede. Ian.thomson (talk) 07:39, 28 December 2020 (UTC)[]

References

  1. ^ “Pseudoscience.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pseudoscience. Accessed 27 Dec. 2020.
  2. ^ https://dictionary.apa.org/pseudoscience

Regarding the use of 'pseudoscience' to an ancient human practice inherent to all cultures of the world since the dawn of civilization, a practice which was the ground of mathematical, musical, and geometric growth and learning across the planet for millenia is extremely short-sighted, arrogant and, dare I say, colonialist. I am surprised that some of the comments above in the discussion are still here given how rude and insensitive they are, passing the boundaries of wikipedia's rules for conduct. One could maintain the use of 'pseudoscience' in the first sentence with an epithet: Astrology is considered a 'pseudoscience' by western scientific paradigms, but remains an age-old influential and popular practice of divination in most all human cultures. [1] [2] Coloniality denigrates and attempts to destroy all forms of knowledge which it does not understand and which do not abide by its self-imposed rules and standards of measurement. Anyone with any sort of responsibility towards encyclopedias and human knowledge ought to find the above discussion and the imperialist use of the term 'pseudoscience' abhorrent. I would be interested to know how other wiki entries in different languages have approached this issue, or if indeed it is as big an issue as in the dominant english language? Joldt (talk) 00:15, 5 June 2021 (UTC)[]

Congratulations, you found a great way to convince people that you are right: insult them, label their achievements with bad "-ism" words, boast that your way is better because it was invented way back in times when the overall understanding of the world was so good that average life expectancy was about 20, look down on them, wrinkle your nose at the words they use, quote sources as saying things everybody knows anyway and which are already incorporated in the article, demand the abandonment of rules, and avoid reasonable discourse at any cost.
But I have bad news for you: original as it may seem to you, others have tried all that before, and for some unfathomable reason, it did not work. Can you please do it somewhere else? This page is for discussions about source-based improvement of the article. --Hob Gadling (talk) 14:38, 17 July 2021 (UTC)[]

Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 21 April 2021[edit]

This article mistakenly calls astrology pseudoscience. Definition of pseudoscience: "a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method." Astrology does not profess to be one of the physical sciences, and it certainly does not champion the scientific method or argue the scientific method validates it. This assertion is false, and likely the result of emotional bias.

Request is that all references to astrology being a pseudoscience be removed. Arescend52 (talk) 17:51, 21 April 2021 (UTC)[]

 Not done: It is well referenced as pseudoscience. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 17:59, 21 April 2021 (UTC)[]
Arescend52, the article section Astrology and science#Philosophy of science is a good explanation of the reasons astrology is considered pseudoscience. Schazjmd (talk) 18:24, 21 April 2021 (UTC)[]

Addition of a comma or colon[edit]

I have noticed that there is no separation between "The Zodiac Man" and its description in the text under the 2nd image. I believe the best way to remedy this is by placing a comma or colon there. Sorry if this isn't the right location to point this out.

--GaryTheSeagull (talk) 15:46, 27 April 2021 (UTC)[]

Yup, it needed a comma (or a colon, though I think a comma is adequate) and yup, this is the right place to point it out. Done, and thanks. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:53, 27 April 2021 (UTC)[]

the word divine and claims which are repetitive[edit]

The first sentence of this article uses divine as a verb, and it is not a verb. And I know that the edits I made are unsourced, but its important to paraphrase. You can't give information that words a sentence the exact way as the source. Thats plagiarism. Unless it doesn't matter with wikipedia is free and is not-for-profit. Lunnesta8899 (talk) 21:03, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Lunnesta8899[]

Mirriam-Webster's definitions include " to discover by intuition or insight : infer" which is the meaning intended here. I shall unwikilink. -Roxy the grumpy dog. wooF 21:10, 22 June 2021 (UTC)[]

Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 17 July 2021[edit]

Hey it is a science of god Hey it is more than science please do not call it a pseudoscience 61.2.201.111 (talk) 09:57, 17 July 2021 (UTC)[]

our article correctly labels Astrology a pseudoscience, so we will not be making changes. -Roxy the grumpy dog. wooF 16:10, 17 July 2021 (UTC)[]
  1. ^ Innis, H.A. Empire and Communication, 1950
  2. ^ Lawler, R. Sacred Geometry: philosophy and practice. 1982