The Pseudo science

Few pseudo sciences enjoy the kind of popularity and belief as astrology. Although variants of this pseudo science is practiced in many parts of the world, the Indian brand would definitely

Image courtesy the universal press syndicate

outshine its competitors in terms of acceptability. That such a belief system which believes that the fate of a person and his character is determined by the position of celestial bodies at the time of his birth baffles reason. Even naming this brand of superstition as ‘astrology’ with close resemblance to ‘astronomy’ is itself a fraud on science.

From deciding on the compatibility of the bride and the groom to fixing the date to start a journey, from deciding on financial transactions to naming a newly born, it seems all past, present and the future are decided by a few celestial bodies hanging from the sky. Genes? they don’t exist. Which force is used by the bodies to set all these? a mystic force other than the four fundamental forces. BULLSHIT.

What bothers me is not the total absurdity of the subject but how it is accepted by the public including highly educated persons and the high decibel statements made by interest groups that ‘astrology is a science’. Astrology is not only restricted to the hindu community alone. Reliance on it by members of other major communities is also on the increase.

What made me write this post is that i came across a paper prepared by Jayant Narlikar (Founder director of IUCAA) and three others on a simple statistical test on astrology. The full paper is here:

http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/mar102009/641.pdf

Its a basic principle of statistics is that only similar entities should be compared. The team rightly chose to compare whether astrology or tossing a coin has a better statistical chance in correctly predicting a particular event. Yes you guessed the result right. The study found tossing outperformed the sacred science of astrology.

Astrology is not a personal superstition but rather its harm is extended to innocent others also. Marriages cancelled after engagements, financial deals cancelled after finalizing the agreement etc are just a few cases. Giving a scientific look to this superstition was widely pursued by the BJP govt during their 1999-2004 term as a part of their divisive hindutva agenda. They went so far as trying to include ‘Vedic astrology’ in the university syllabus.

Superstitions challenge the foundations of our knowledge base and if let free has the potential to destabilize the basic tenets of our social life. While blind faith and irrational social compulsions will keep the believers hooked to it, various interest groups will fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo.

 

 

 

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Posted on February 19, 2011, in from my life, india, just my thoughts, Political, Social and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. you are absolutely right. I know a handful of people ruined their lives just coz of their blind conviction on those so called “future tellers” predictions. They exploit all the fear and anxieties that a person may have to get money from him. I would say it is nothing but a glorified robbing.

  2. Worst offenders are those astrologers who advertise in local newspapers claiming to solve marital-problems, court cases and everything under the Sun.

    I’m not a blind follower of astrology but I enjoy reading Indian Express [Sunday edition]’s future predictions, because many times (not always) things happened exactly the way they had predicted in my life.

    Last prediction said

    something great is going to happen in my life in next 2 months because of some spectacular alignment of planets.

    I’ll comment back with result whether it happened or not 😉

    • I feel newspapers and media are also responsible for the increase in the acceptance of beliefs like this by giving them space……Last day there was an article in the leading malayalam daily about the astological status of indian cricketers for the world cup….

      Anyways, may the ‘great thing’ happen to you 😉

  3. samridhi sharma

    sir ur answers in interview was very well. i want to know that i has qualified net from education but education is not a subject in ias exams if i opt for psychology ccan u please provide me some guidelines to prepare in it.
    now coming to astrology . astrology has always been apart of our sanskrit as u are aperson of physics u mind be knowing that angles (ans)written in jankundli and graha at that particular angle effects the life.if its not so than why not everyone preparing for ias do not became ias.why all doctors are not famous although they came out from same medical college. hard work is must but lucks and astrology do counts in one life.

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