Achieving scientific validation is the gold standard in a world that is dominated by science. But entry to this exclusive club has its requirements and its price. In this series 'Why Astrology is Not a Science', I explore:
- whether or not astrology can legitimately be called a science
- how the practice of astrology is distorted when squeezed into a scientific mold
You can tell by the title of this series of posts, which camp I am in. I have written extensively about my views in the ISAR e-letter and a previous article in The International Astrologer (Landwehr, Joe. “On the Use of Science to Measure Astrological Theory.” Aries, 2007 Issue, pp. 48-53), presented a talk at the ISAR conference in Chicago (August, 2009), and devoted over 200 pages of my book, The Seven Gates of Soul: Reclaiming the Poetry of Everyday Life to this topic. In this series, I wish to summarize the most important points I’ve made in these various forums, and add a few new insights.
I am not anti-science. I think science has its place in the study of the material world. But I think science oversteps its bounds in attempting to study the human psyche and in its application to many of the so-called soft sciences – like psychology, sociology, anthropology, and history – which I consider a sort of track record of the evolution of collective psychology. To the extent that we apply ourselves as astrologers to the study of these fields, I also think science is a poor mold in which to cast ourselves. In this series I would like to tell you why. I welcome your thoughts in the comments below any of the posts in the series or in direct communication by email.
Here is a summary of the view I'll be elaborating on in the forthcoming posts ...
Astrology is not a science because:
- Our own historical development is not that of a science.
- Astrology does not yield objective truth.
- Its conclusions are context-dependent, inconsistent from one context to the next and not verifiable by research demanding consensus and replicability.
- Its conclusions are derived through a wide range of diverse techniques and approaches to astrology that differ widely from astrologer to astrologer.
- Its conclusions are derived, not through empirical observation alone, but through the participation of subject and object in a mutual dialogue.
- Its conclusions assume the possibility of meaning and purpose, while science disavows these possibilities and is not prepared to discuss them.
- Astrology ascribes a qualitative dimension to time, which is not acknowledged by science.
- Astrology has no cogent, testable mechanism to explain how it works; nor has any such theory ever been tested by the rigorous standards demanded by science.
List of posts in this series:
Why Astrology is Not a Science
Two Problems with the Scientific Validation of Astrology
Science Demands Objective Truth - Astrology Yields Subjective Truth
Astrological Symbols Vary (Unscientifically) with Context and Consciousness
The Participatory Experience of Astrology is not Predictable by Science
Astrology Facilitates a Quest for Meaning that Science can't Recognize
Qualitative Time and Non-causal Phenomena in Astrology Have no Place in Science
Astrology: If Not Science, Then What?