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Offlinealphatrion
journeyman
Registered: 08/01/01
Posts: 64
Last seen: 18 years, 5 months
research pointers [Re: Swami]
    #571424 - 03/06/02 06:49 PM (20 years, 10 months ago)

Actually *REAL* research into astrology is fairly easy to do compared to other research into strange phenomena, it just takes time, precision, statistical analysis and good research methodology.

What you need to do is:

1] assign groups of people: sportsmen or politicians or people who have a specific type of cancer or something else get their birthdates/time.
2] compute their horoscopes and put all constalations, powers and planetary positions in degrees into a database table. I used 512 variables for each horoscope.
3] run factor analysis and t-tests on the data

If the groups are large enough the horoscopes shouldn't be different. If they are different AND their methodology is sound than there is something unexplained going on.

Actually researchers that go into this this deep (and risk their reputation) DO find differences, but the results are NOT always in line what tradition astrology would predict.

If i could find the time i would program it all out (again, my old turbo pascal program was very unfortunate deteriorated on the floppy) and take notes on my pda while visiting graveyards. My hypothesis would be that there is an astrological correlation between birthdates and deathdates.
I don't have the time for this yet - but if someone picks this please drop me a message!

I was inspired by this by the research of Peter Roberts (UK) who found harmonics in the distribution of the sunposition in groups of polio patients (Peter Roberts - The message of astrology). Other researchers are Eysenck (famous for the introvert <--> extravert distinction) and Percy Seymour. The problem is that in academics you make yourself unpopular with astrology research so not much quality research in academia is done. You don't have to expect commercial ventures to spend money on this statistical research. That leaves astrology groups, but most astrologers are therapists, jungians and dreamers without knowledge or motivation to research this.

As I said I looked into the sceptic corner, but it was not really convincing to me because:
1) they appeared to be interested only in disproving astrology
2) they discussed only very simple research methodologies

Some groups of astrology researchers:
http://www.astrologer.com/aanet/pub/correl/index.htm
http://www.isarastrology.com/
http://www.aureas.org/rams/ramsus.htm
http://www.iol.ie/~taeger/research/research.html



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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: research pointers [Re: alphatrion]
    #571701 - 03/07/02 12:42 AM (20 years, 10 months ago)

BTW, I rarely just dismiss anything out-of-hand without research.

Actually I have discussed this with professional astrologers (I don't know if they were "real" only that they made part or all of their living doing personal charts.) I asked them what they base their charts on. For astrology to be valid, it MUST be based on something. Well, it comes down to following a particular book or school of astrology. These books or schools do NOT agree with each other. This goes back to the Swami Exclusion Principle(tm). This law states that with contradictory views, only one or none can be correct (am not talking about parts, but the system as a whole).

Backing up further, trying to find what these books or schools are founded on and you find earlier schools. To quote an old TV commercial "Where's the beef?" (the substance). Seems there is none. One of the astrologers that I interviewed said that personal characteristics were based on thousands of years of observation. Fair enough. When I asked where this database could be found, he looked at me as if I were retarded (Ok - left myself wide open there :smile:) It doesn't exist.

Even if we were influenced by or a reflection of our birthdate, where does one come up with the fact that as a Cancer I am "supposed to" be a shy, sensitive, caring, homebody or whatever? Apparently from nowhere.

Add in the fact that the zodiaks precess (not sure if that is the correct term) or shift positions relative  to the earth over time. In other words , a Cancer today may not have been a Cancer 1500 years ago.

 


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinealphatrion
journeyman
Registered: 08/01/01
Posts: 64
Last seen: 18 years, 5 months
Re: research pointers [Re: Swami]
    #573385 - 03/07/02 04:56 AM (20 years, 10 months ago)

BTW, I rarely just dismiss anything out-of-hand without research.

If you have dismissed the idea behind astrology (not the specific interpretation) on the basis of your mentioned research report I really think you are mistaken. I wouldn't be content with your methodology if it were mine. I am also a sceptic but i have not yet even finished researching the issue and reached a conclusion. This is not something you can do on a day off.
If you find an astrologer you would be disappointed to find that they are usually not scientific types because their expertise is more in archetypes, counseling and advise so don't expect to much scientific arguments. You don't seem to be aware that interviewing astrologers has its worth but also its limitations. For example you may find occasional science types that can explain you their astrological view and practice with arguments. Be not surprised to find professional astrologers that do not believe in the objective value astrology themselves (!) and explain this to their clients , this does not disprove astrology but shows you that astrology is diverse and also can have counseling value. If something is diverse it doesn't automatically mean it is invalid, in a conversation many times people seem to have different opinions that seem to be opposed but are both valid (for example the feynmann thread).
As in any research you must first define what you are studying - you do not appear to have done this. 'Astrology' is not a science, but a large field of very different persons with different opinions and expectations of astrology doing the things they do for different reasons. You will be (and you have been) disappointed if you approach the field in the narrow way you do. The way you approach it will influence your findings. We are talking about social science here not only math and physics. I am NOT saying that it therefore cannot be researched: the basic assumption of astrology that the position of the planets has a correlation (this does not have to be 1.00) in some circumstances with life on earth *can* be researched and in my previous post i showed you one nice clear example of doing that. But most astrologers will tell you that the objective truth behind astrology will be less important than the symbolism that can be used to view our lives here in a new way.

Well, it comes down to following a particular book or school of astrology. These books or schools do NOT agree with each other. This goes back to the Swami Exclusion Principle(tm). This law states that with contradictory views, only one or none can be correct (am not talking about parts, but the system as a whole).

Partly true, they do agree on the basics - what does the Swami exclusion principle (tm) say about overlapping views? Of interest in this regard is to know that some astrologers think these differences are a problem and they are behind are movements to come to a central astrology in two ways:
* scientific research
* going back to the original sources of interpretations
You can compare these movements to similar movements in christiantity like ecumene or literal interpretation.

One of the astrologers that I interviewed said that personal characteristics were based on thousands of years of observation. Fair enough. When I asked where this database could be found, he looked at me as if I were retarded (Ok - left myself wide open there ) It doesn't exist.

This is also just partly true.. these "thousands of years of observation" are actually experiences from 'famous' astrologers that put them in books - other astrologers copied them. The Ptolemy or Alexander Leo are examples of sources of interpretation.
But how can you violate alphatrion's law of arrogant qualitative research subjects (tm) which states that research subjects who view you as retarded when you ask them a honest question are not to be taken seriously. Search an astrologer that actually understands your question and give a valid responds!

Even if we were influenced by or a reflection of our birthdate, where does one come up with the fact that as a Cancer I am "supposed to" be a shy, sensitive, caring, homebody or whatever? Apparently from nowhere.

No, the interpretation exists and this cancer interpretation is pretty widespread, therefore it must come from somewhere. Memes do not fall out of the sky. If you do not know (and refuse to find out) where it comes from you can not argue about the quality of the source.
See above... you could argue someone made it up or came about it in other ways. Maybe Ptolemy or mr. Leo or other astrologers have written the method by which they got this information, maybe they just made it up, or maybe they took drugs on specific dates who knows. Have you searched for that, if not your research is not complete.

Add in the fact that the zodiaks precess (not sure if that is the correct term) or shift positions relative to the earth over time. In other words, a Cancer today may not have been a Cancer 1500 years ago.

This is normal and factored in into tropical astrology (the most common form). And if you wish dismiss that that still leaves you with sidereal or vedic astrology of which zodiac positions do not shift.

So my conclusion is that you did not do your research very well. Also you take a somewhat sceptical approach to astrology... why is this, why not another appraoch like: what is astrology, what does it mean to people and why do they use, need it... is it a form of guidance, comfort? Can it have value as a philosophical or psychological system?

But i would rather see you going the more scientific route i proposed in my previous post - you have responded to that by saying you did your research... that's not research what you described!!

I find it disturbing that someone who is so for using the mind doesn't seam to use it very well in this regard (not reading sources, not verifying information, not thinking beyond concepts or the background of them, social and psychological contect etc). You should be my shining beacon in our nights of irrationality!

But on the other hand, i can't blame you for not investing much time in it (but i do blame you for your shortsightedness)... i don't find the objective value of astrology more interesting than for example Aliens, Psychoactive, using linux and reading science fiction, arguing on internet. Just like other people are fascinated by astrology.... let them have their fun if they don't do harm and get something meaningful out of it.
Astrology is more like psychology than like physics. And if it would be please approach it more scientifacally; I await your p-values, preferably < 0.05. Please let me know your findings. Be sure to describe and define every term you encounter (zodiac, cancer, astrology, interpretation, meaning) very carefully in order to avoid confusion.


Some pointers if you decide to broaden your view in this regard:

My previous post.

The book: Peter Roberts, 1990 "The Message of Astrology" The Aquarian Press, Wellingborough

YA Astrology research pointer
http://www.astrodatabank.com/Astrology_Research.htm

Cultural branches of astrology
http://www.astro-guide.com/cultural.htm

Astrology Considered as a Potential Science of Time
http://cura.free.fr/xv/11frank3.html

Restoring the astrology of the ancients
http://www.projecthindsight.com/

The Problem of Astrology
http://www.projecthindsight.com/problem.htm



Edited by alphatrion (03/07/02 05:06 AM)


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Offlinesaturnalone
Stranger
Registered: 03/07/02
Posts: 8
Last seen: 20 years, 10 months
Re: Guess Swami's Sign [Re: Swami]
    #572016 - 03/07/02 08:04 AM (20 years, 10 months ago)

your sign. DEA. Drug Enforcement Agency.


--------------------
:wink:


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