Sunday, January 06, 2008

Richard Dawkins' skewed view of astrology

I tripped over this video of a BBC TV programme in which Richard Dawkins derides and tries to discredit astrology, psychics and belief in the paranormal. I forced myself to watch it to the end, even though it made me angry.

Richard Dawkins claims to be scientifically minded, and a seeker of "the truth", but in investigating astrology he insisted on discussing only the Sun sign variety. If he has done even minimal research, he will know that this isn't the fair and reasonable way to investigate astrology.

Astrologer Neil Spencer was very patient, as shown in the programme, but in my opinion he was far too nice. He reminded me of many American Democrats - no fighting spirit, too passive. But perhaps this programme was edited to exclude anything which could put astrology in a more positive light.

Richard Dawkins is making money from his books and TV shows. In my opinion he's doing so just as fraudulently as some less genuine psychics conduct their businesses. He is not giving viewers the full picture, not presenting sufficient information for them to decide for themselves. He cherry picks those parts which are negative, to support his own skewed opinions.

Why hasn't some brave astrologer stood up and told him that he doesn't know everything about the universe and its workings? Astrologers don't know either, of course. They don't know now, and they didn't know in past centuries. What astrologers could, and can, see is that something is going on. Something, using astrology's main principles, works. Something relies on movements as recorded in an ephemeris.

"Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?"
(Bob Dylan)

A set of astrological tools has been developed over many centuries, these tools are all there is with which to make any semblance of sense about that elusive something.

I believe the future will reveal the source of that elusive something. Some tools astrologers have used will become redundant, new and more efficient ones will replace them. This is my prediction, and I'm sticking to it. What we now call astrology will, one day, be found to be a small part of the way the universe works. Richard Dawkins and I will not be around by then though. I shall never have the satisfaction of seeing him eat his words.

15 comments:

Out the Comet's Ass said...

Thanks for the video Twilight. If his practice of Science is as superficial as his understanding of Astrology I don't think we need to worry what this guy "thinks." I think he's just a "Pop" scientist. People go for 20 years to a psychotherapist and don't improve at all. I wonder why these guys don't attack the psychologists. That seems much more criminal.

Twilight said...

Hi OTCA

Probably because the psychologists would fight back !

He's one of many nowadays who have seen the possibility of "a nice little earner" by way of books and TV. The growing "club" of so-called skeptics have provided him with a captive audience and a market for his wares. Can't blame him for being a good businessman, I suppose, but making money by doing nothing but taking pot-shots at others is pathetic at best.

MrsLilypond said...

I think some 'scientists' are like the overly religious anything that they don't understand upsets their nice little world is a threat.

Btw...do you have any book recommendations for beginners in astrology?

Twilight said...

Yes, Mrs. L - that just about says it all!

Books for beginners - hmmmm.

Well it depends how much of a beginner really - if someone is starting from a point where Sun signs are the only point of reference, and everything else is a blur, I think Jonathan Cainer's "Guide to the Zodiac" can take a person painlessly just beyond Sun signs. It explains very simply and generally how the next stage works, without using technical language, and it's a fun read.

"The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need" by Joanna Martine Woolfolk was recommended to me early on, and I found it very useful, it covers a lot of ground and goes a little way beyond JC's book.

"Horoscope Symbols" by Robert Hand is a favourite of mine too, it has a more serious tone than the other two books, but it's still easy to understand.

Adrian Fourie said...

RICHARD DAWKINS IS A STUPID, NAIVE ARIES ON AN ARIES EGO TRIP. HISTORY DOES AND WILL REMEMBER GALILEI, COPERNICUS, KEPLER, BRAHE AND NEWTON, NOT THIS SILLY LITTLE MAN WHO IS THE BIGGEST FRAUDSTER OF ALL.

THE SAD THING IS THAT THE WORLD CURRENTLY REGARDS HIM, CHOMSKY AND ECO AS THE LEADING THINKERS OF OUR TIME. WHAT A JOKE! IT SHOWS YOU HOW WELL OUR CREATOR HAS HIDDEN ESOTERIC SCIENCES FROM IDIOTS FOR OUR OWN PROTECTION.

DORKINS said...

STUFFING ASSHOLE

Rog said...

The "God Delusion"'s 'mother of all burkas', the dramatized hyperbolic metaphor by Richard Dawkins:
http://www.truveo.com/Richard-Dawkins-The-Middle-World-Or-The-Mother-Of/id/1863511136

Using the 'artistic expression' of Dawkins as astrological (alchemical) material for chart rectification we get a chart like this:
http://pedantus.free.fr/Dawkins_R_X01a.gif

I wonder if he knows when he was born...too bad we'll probably never find out...:)

Rog

Twilight said...

Interesting, Rog. I get a distinctly Virgo feel to the man, his voice and manner of expression.
But he annoys me so much that it's impossible for me to be objective! ;-)

Gabriel Pender said...

I have done a bit more detailed natal chart for Richard Dawkins. I discovered to no surprise that he is an Aries with a Moon in Pisces and an Ascendant in Pisces. Goodness Gracious Me!!! It's no wonder people are so damn well swayed by his projected ideals because Aries are very persuasive. They can have very black and white views without seeming arrogant. Because he has a moon and rising in Pisces which notably represents scepticism he achieves success in flaunting his very skewed ideas of astrology to those who bother to listen. Like the main writer of this article stated he didn't confront astrology in full total. I wish some very genuine astrologer would have a good hour talk on that TV show "Ted". I wonder how many people would turn up to listen to it. A Nobel Prize winner once said "If people think as much to astrology as there is, then there would be no need for any other science, yet if it were little as people think it is then it would not have survived for 6000 years". Hopefully the Age of Aquarius will sort everyone out.

Twilight said...

Gabriel Pender ~~~ Hi! And thanks for popping in to comment.

Aries/Pisces eh? Interesting!
DANG though! Someone with that much Pisces ought to be doing astrology or at least something esoteric, not deriding it. The Aries Sun works though - if he can't persuade he'll steam-roller!

I think I'll revive this and all the comments to re-post later in the week. It's good to remind people. :-)

Twilight said...

Gabriel Pender ~~~ Hi! And thanks for popping in to comment.

Aries/Pisces eh? Interesting!
DANG though! Someone with that much Pisces ought to be doing astrology or at least something esoteric, not deriding it. The Aries Sun works though - if he can't persuade he'll steam-roller!

I think I'll revive this and all the comments to re-post later in the week. It's good to remind people. :-)

Rog said...

I think that I find comfort in viewing our all-too-human attempts at faithfully describing what-goes-with-what-and-why as basically a 'religious' exercise. So, Science is but part of that mental spectrum--the part with most (if not all) of the truly objective evidence....:) To not concede this 'truth' is itself a kind of unforgivable 'blasphemy', a flaunting of one's weak reasoning skills, and essentially of no service to the greater good.
I never forget that my affection for astrological 'truth' is but an informal membership in a theocratically inclined bunch of radical dogmatists...a political party of sorts...none of who I actually agree with of course...:) Astrology belongs to Art , not Science. Art, itself, is no less than the 'reason' for all of creation. In short, I would rather watch how Dawkins unconsciously expresses his natal chart, and simply enjoy this feeling of having earned, for myself, an holisitic, priviledged, sacred, perspective...rather than trying to imagine the egoistic and unholy task of re-creating that particular man in my own image...:)

Rog

Twilight said...

Rog ~~~ Hello again! thanks for popping in and adding your thoughts so eloquently.

I'll definitely revive this topic in the next few days.

I like your viewpoint a lot, and will bring it to the attention of current passing readers who might not have been around when this post originated. :-)

Cara Lee said...

Using today’s tools, such as data mining and super computing, we should be able to make astrology much more scientific and increase the degree of certainty of the prediction of astrological events. Then, the scientists will sit up and take notice.

Twilight said...

Cara Lee ~ That's true! I guess it takes money though; and astrology, unlike science does not have a bottomless pit of funds.

Also, astrology, as it relates to personality, is going to be very difficult to quantify, define and put into "little boxes". But yes, it ought surely to be possible now to do something more detailed than has already been tried.