Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ass clown argues astrologer ass clowns are actually scientists

The following text comes from a letter to the editor, published in today's Age, by first rate idiot Phillip Jensen of St Andrews Beach:

The various forms of astrology are evolving disciplines that constitute millennia of observation, recording, hypotheses and proofs through experimentation, incorporating differing opinions based on an accepted knowledge base. This sounds like science to me.

The reason why it sounds like science, Phillip, is because you are misappropriating scientific terms. Either you are deliberately creating a False Analogy or, more than likely, you are just an ass clown*. I wonder if Phillip can point me in the direction of an astrological hypothesis or "proof" which has been verified by experimentation?

I've written about the difference between science and pseudo science before:

A scientific theory is a concise and coherent set of concepts, claims and laws (frequently expressed mathematically) that can be used to precisely and accurately explain and predict natural phenomena.

A theory should include a mechanism that explains how its concepts, claims, and laws arise from lower-level theories.

Astrology fails these criteria miserably. Its very nature is to work in wishy-washy generalisations. This is the antipathy of science, which requires concise and coherent predictions and explanations for natural phenomena. And as to providing some kind of plausible mechanism...?

At the beginning of his letter, the ass clown claims that:

Astrological "readings" are symbolic personality and life path delineations that verify things we already know about ourselves as well as effectively making the unconscious conscious.

Well, just how good are astrologers?

The scientific community, where it has commented, claims that astrology has repeatedly failed to demonstrate its effectiveness in numerous controlled studies. Effect size studies in astrology conclude that the mean accuracy of astrological predictions is no greater than what is expected by chance, and astrology's perceived performance has disappeared on critical inspection. When tested against personality tests, astrologers have shown a consistent lack of agreement with these tests. One such double-blind study in which astrologers attempted to match birth charts with results of a personality test, which was published in the reputable peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature, claimed to refute astrologers' assertions that they can solve clients' personal problems by reading individuals' natal charts. The study concluded that astrologers had no special ability to interpret personality from astrological readings. Another study that used a personality test and a questionnaire contended that some astrologers failed to predict objective facts about people or agree with each other's interpretations.

Another bunch of ass clowns.

* One whose stupidity and/or ineptitude exceeds the descriptive potential of both the terms ass and clown in isolation, and in so doing demands to be referred to as the conjugate of the two. (Ref: Urban Dictionary.)

Source: Astrology is not only star gazing - The Age - 24 Dec 2006 - Letters