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If you wikipede “Christian Views of Astrology”, you will discover that, for once, the Church has had a pretty good track-record in recognizing, since Saint Augustine in the fourth century, that astrology is hogwash.  The Doctor of Doctors was sharp enough to use the diametrically opposed behavior patterns of many twins to ridicule astrology.  Theologians ever since have argued that its doctrines are contradicted by the reality of free will.  One should not be too hard on scientists like Kepler and Galileo, astronomers who were also court-paid astrologists.  Have you never, for a lark, consulted your horoscope ?

There is no point in paraphrasing here  what everyone can find on the Web about Religion, Science and Astrology.  But few of you – if any – would have access to the French monthly “Sciences et Avenir” and its August, 2015, article : “Astrologie, Astronomie : La Science face aux Croyances (Beliefs)”.  I thought therefore that you might appreciate the following item of information.  Did you know that :

“People born in March and April are more affected by cardio-vascular illnesses.” ?  This statement, the magazine points out, “was not made by some medium with her crystal-ball, but by one of the great scientific institutions of the world, Columbia University in New York.  In June this year, the researchers in its Department of Medecine published the result of a study conducted on 1,800,000 persons born between 1900 and 2000, announcing that the month of birth – in other words the astrological sign – allows the determination of illnesses during one’s life . . . The team declared that it has established correlations which, from its point of view, could not be the result of chance” (p.27).

After that attention-grabber, the article goes on to lament that the good doctors were impervious to the avalanche of mathematicians’ criticism of the statistical methods they employed and their obvious unscientific bias.  (I would not like to be one of their patients …).

Astrology is alive and well and on the increase.  Contemporary “scientific astrology” is no longer into making predictions but focuses on the “potentialities” of an individual, the strong points of his psyché and the conscious and unconscious manifestations of his personality – depending, as in classical astrology, on the position of the planets at the time of his birth !  Modern astrology is still based on the geocentric vision inherited from Aristotle and Ptolemy, respectively 4th and 2nd century B.C.  In this view the Sun, the Moon and the five planets known at the time are all placed in concentric orbits around the Earth.  All are indifferently labeled as “planets”.  The outside skin of this cosmological onion is that of the “Sphere of the Stars”, which are all therefore considered to be the same distance from Earth !

Over the last ten years, the article tells us, the number of French people who believe in horoscopes has gone UP 2% to 22% of the population !  With credulity like this, is it any wonder that so many people not only in France but around the world still believe the myths and superstitions the Church teaches them ?  At least Rome does not preach Astrology.  But Angelology is just as silly.

RIDENDA   RELIGIO

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