Further Testing of Astrology

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What other tests of astrology can you come up with? Perhaps you might try setting up a study of astrology predictions with your classmates and friends. Ask them about what happened to them yesterday and then compare that to what the horoscope in the newspaper said should have happened. Should you look at their horoscope before you ask them what happened? Would that bias how you interpret what they tell you or would it help you ask appropriate questions to jog their memory? If your astronomy class is large enough and everyone in the class is involved in the study, you will probably have several people sharing the same zodiac sign and comparisons can be made. Be sure to keep track of both positive and negative results. You will need to decide how much of the horoscope prediction should be valid (the whole thing or at least one point?). Your astronomy professor may have other suggestions for possible tests.

For Further Exploration

  1. Andrew Fraknoi's Astrology Defense Kit. Select the link to view it in a new window.
  2. Andrew Fraknoi's pseudoscience bibliography. Select the link to view it in a new window.
  3. Nick Strobel's Pseudoscience vs. Science. Select the link to view it in a new window.
  4. Carl Sagan's book "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark", 1996, published by Ballantine Books.
  5. Robert Park's "Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science", Chronicle Review , vol. 49 (issue 21), page B20. Select the link to view an annotated version in a new window (Strobel gives some clarifications.)
  6. Kendrick Frazier's article in Skeptical Inquirer vol. 10, Spring 1986 ``Double-blind Test of Astrology Avoids Bias, Still Refutes the Astrological Hypothesis''. Reprinted in The Outer Edge p. 40, eds. Nickell, Karr, & Genoni (CSICOP, Inc., 1996).
  7. Ray Hyman's article in The Zetetic Spring/Summer 1977 ```Cold Reading': How to Convince Strangers That You Know All About Them''. Reprinted in The Outer Edge p. 70.
  8. Paul Kurtz's and Andrew Fraknoi's article in Skeptical Inquirer vol. 9, Spring 1985 ``Scientific Tests of Astrology Do Not Support Its Claims''. Reprinted in The Outer Edge p. 36.

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last updated: September 1, 2015

Is this page a copy of Strobel's Astronomy Notes?

Author of original content: Nick Strobel