The science behind the stars has always been something humans have strived for a deeper understanding of. Since before civilization itself, the stars have guided us in discovering the foundational elements of the world around us. From navigation and agriculture, to predicting the future, the stars and constellations have been at the center of our evolution, but why do we put so much blind faith into? The vast expansion of night sky is a mystery to be revealed piece by piece. Nowadays, we map out the stars in a system called astrology in order to make sense of our own lives. So next time you’re outside, stop and take a moment to look up at the night sky, and wonder how such angelic entities made their way into our story.
Many people have the question, is there really any science behind astrology? The most accurate answer is a mixture of yes and no. Astrology is rooted in natural elements such as the sun, moon, planets, and constellations, and how they can impact what happens on Earth. Based on the positions of these elements, astrologers predict human actions and reactions. Because of the natural elements being so integrated in astrology, it gives off the illusion that there is a science behind astrology, but astrology doesn’t fit the foundational criteria to classify it as scientific.
The first thing a field of study must have for it to be classified as scientific, is that is must have an idea that is testable. There are so many general outcomes that could theoretically come out of astrology. Because of this, we cannot test the ideas derived from astrology. As enjoyable as it is to look online and read your horoscope, there has been a failure to support the legitimacy of astrological ways. According to a study done by APA PsycNet, 193 people were tested on the accuracy of the personality traits described in their horoscope. The results showed that what happened in their day to day lives were not consistently linked to what their horoscope predicted. Astrology is more of a pseudoscience with an absence of evidence, and lack of scientific method.
Regardless of how scientifically inaccurate astrology is, there is no denying the comfort people take in it. For those seeking clear reasons to describe the ways of the world, astrology is the perfect marriage between science and psychology. People utilize astrology as their North Star, guiding them along their life’s journey. Sometimes, people feel as though they cannot relate to other people. That’s why astrological signs are so important, they makes us feel like we have a common outlet to connect us to a small group of other people.
I spoke to science teacher Angela Bergman about her opinion on the accuracy of astrology, “There are scientific laws that govern the movement of the planets and stars. Those laws have little impact of the personal environment of individuals or their personal choices. Those choices and how you respond to your environment will impact your future. Your belief system is usually what people choose to refer to when making choices. I would say that numbers alone are enough to say no. If planets and stars could predict the future, it would be impossible for our human brains to process all of that information from the entire universe. And if we only referenced our nearest 7 neighbors, then that would be like reading only the title page of the book. Usually that is no real indication of the entire work of literature,” said Bergman.
Astrology helps us realize that we don’t have to feel captive at the hands of forces we cannot explain, that astrology is our saving grace that connects to the cosmos. Astrology offers what no other science can, reassurance.
Psychologists describe the draw people have to astrology as Barnum Effect This explains the peculiar reasoning behind why people give such personal meaning behind such a general concept. This idea is very true, and can not only be interpreted as something deeply moving, but can be a good outlet for entertainment. It’s thrilling to read your horoscope at the beginning of the week, and watch the similarities and differences of the predictions versus reality.
Astrology is the star divination of the modern age. Whether you are a firm believer in its accuracy, or simply like it for the entertainment it brings, astrology is a guiding mechanism that has found its way into our lives.
story by daisy friedman, graphic by kaitlyn jansen