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The astrology scam The astrology scam
by Joseph Gatt
2007-11-14 09:34:43
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About one in three Americans believe in astrology. Yet there has been unpublicized proof that astrology is a scam. Indeed, astrologers themselves might not believe in astrology.

Astrology might be the most rational and scientific superstition. Indeed there are other superstitions including witch doctors. I remember a radio shows in France where witch doctors and fortune tellers told people who called them to come see them urgently because they were cursed by nature or by other people. Indeed, and easy, effective way to make money.

Yet something more hidden lies in astrology. The explanation for astrology is that if there is scientific proof that the stars, planets and other heavenly objects affect the movements of the seas and agriculture, they should affect human beings as well. So for one month, as skeptic as I could be, I read my horoscopes: yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, career, love, teen and general horoscopes, on different newspapers and internet websites.

As a result, I noticed that most of them used the conditional tense, “you might…”, “it could happen…” Most of them had information that could basically happen to anyone. Most of them told me that I might be emotional, hot or cold tempered or that I would have a good day.

Yet some horoscopes claimed that important events would happen. They were clear precise events such as an important inflow of money, a fight with a hierarchical superior or that I would be thanked by important people. None of that bullshit happened.

I therefore came across an interesting article. Astrology claims that it can predict events, and those events can easily be verified. Therefore in France, there was a test involving a famous astrologer, Elisabeth Tessier, a skeptic and a computer. Tessier claims that 80 to 90% of her predictions are accurate.

The results were: the computer got eight predictions right, the skeptic and Tessier both got seven right. Another test concluded that astrologers had the same success rate that a random system.

Even more interesting, in 1964, James Randi launched the One million dollar challenge. Randi would give 1 million dollars to anyone who could prove to have occult powers. Until today, no one has won the challenge.

The French version of the One million dollar challenge was launched and called Défi zététique international. Anyone who can prove occult powers can win 200,000 Euros. Therefore, since there is no financial risk and huge prize money can be awarded, astrologers would have been expected to rush to those contests. Yet in the French version, there were only 250 tests and none were concluding.

Therefore, astrologers do not believe in their gift. They rip off people’s money in claiming that they are able to make accurate predictions, and play a psychological game in which the person will do everything so that the astrologers' predictions are right, acting the same way the astrologer predicted.

People who believe in astrology should be respected for their beliefs, and people should remain tolerant towards them. So should people who believe in astrology towards skeptics.

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Sand2007-11-14 09:44:11
Why should people who cheat other people be respected?

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 12:58:00
"Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy: the mad daughter of a wise mother." ~Voltaire

Voltaire was too intelligent not to make a clear distinction between religion (the wise mother) and superstition (the mad daughter). On the other hand, the statement is not logical as it applies to astrology (the mother) and astronomy (the daughter). As it reads the wise mother would be astrology because historically and chronologically, astrology comes before astronomy which arrives with the Greeks and eventually becomes a science and goes its own way. Therefore if astrology is the mother and not the daughter, Voltaire is either slightly confused as to time and space(which is untinkable to rationalists who consider him one of their champions) or he is pulling our leg.

Sand2007-11-14 14:23:45
Aside from the latest accepted viewpoint that time and space are so intimately intertwined that not to confuse them is to be confused, the article indicated that practicing astrologers are most probably scoundrels and should be viewed from that point.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 14:36:24
Since time and space are tightly intertwined you probably talk to Voltaire every morning. I'd appreciate you asking him to explain a bit more clearly what he meant by that statement of his.

Sand2007-11-14 14:50:37
No, Paparella, you are the one intimate with gods and spirits. Christ has been dead longer than Voltaire and you seem quite involved with him.
Your unfamiliarity with Einsteins concept of time and space amply demonstrates how archaic your thinking is.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 16:53:23
When you talk to Einstein next ask him what the concept of transcendence of time and space might be and why rationalists have difficulties wrapping their mind around it. He is the one who warned that one cannot get out of the box of rationalism via rationalism.

Sand2007-11-14 17:22:03
It is difficult to get any clarification of anything you write but I must persevere in spite of your demonstrated incapability in previous efforts. Transcendence according to my dictionary involves something beyond experience and, as a scientist, Einstein never claimed to do any work that involved anything beyond experience. If you know otherwise, I would much appreciate your information about that. He never involved himself on anything outside time and space.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 17:44:50
But as human being which he was, and not a robot, he did wonder as a child (which made him a great scientist) and did ask the question "why is there something rathe than nothing" which a rationalist in incapable of conceiving, never mind answering. He said that God is subtle but not malevolent. He certainly did not get that idea simply by doing science which has its limitations vis a vis the existential questions of our humanity.

Sand2007-11-14 18:42:37
As is common with you you have resorted to dead lies in your references. You have no reference whatsoever that Einstein asked whether there is something rather than nothing. That is St. Augustine's question and it is intrinsically meaningless because the simple answer is "Why not?"
Einstein did say that his concept of God (which has nothing whatsoever in common with what you call God) was a faith that the laws of the universe are available to human understanding and are not perversely unavailable. In other words, by doing science the universe is discernible.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 19:04:51
Indeed, true to form you have once again resorted impugning the veracity of your interlocutor, one of your nasty intellectual habits. You should stop listening to those voices in your head. They are up to no good. To repeat, as already explored in the current article on Thoreau: to have the wonder of a child is to be a philosopher and to implicitly wonder why is there something rather than nothing. Eistein was a great scientist because he had that sense of wonder and had faith in the ability of reason to reach truth. Aquinas was a great philosopher for the same reasons.

LL2007-11-14 19:33:04
I wonder

LL2007-11-14 19:36:10
the ad above reads :Live Pychic Readings:

All beings should be respected. Look how His Holiness The Dalai Lama treated President Bush.

Sand2007-11-14 19:43:05
To attribute Einstein's capability to a sense of wonder and ignoring or depreciating his rational capabilities would be amusing if it was not so horribly perverse.

I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. (Albert Einstein)

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 19:46:17
Did the voices told you that? I never said it. You should stop listening to them.

Sand2007-11-14 19:54:01
"Eistein was a great scientist because he had that sense of wonder"

Direct quote.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 20:35:31
Direct quote from Eisntein himself:











--Albert Einstein

How do you square that circle Sir? I predict that you will now find some devious way to get around that too. May I advice that you speak to Einstein about wonder when you carry on the next conversation in your head and ask him to open your eyes?

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 20:44:05
"ignoring or depreciating his rational capabilities would be amusing if it was not so horribly perverse."

The devious voices in your head said that that, not I.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 20:48:51
"Eistein was a great scientist because he had that sense of wonder"

Direct quote.

Yes but truncated. What is missing is the conclusion "and had faith in the ability of reason to teach truth."

I wonder, did they teach those intellectual stratagems at Pratt Institute of Industrial Design or did you learn them on your own?

Sand2007-11-14 21:08:44
Yes, I agree that the last part is quite important.

"faith in the ability of reason to teach truth."

And the whole point of your presentation is to stay with the sense of wonder and discard the reason to reach truth. Einstein knew that reason was the critical element.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 21:52:45
I see you have already spoken to Einstein, but I am afraid it was not him but one of those nasty voices in your head again who once again suggested the twisting of my words and you fell for it. The correct quote is the following:

"Eistein was a great scientist because he had that sense of wonder and had faith in the ability of reason to reach truth,"

which you conveniently twisted to "to teach truth" to then proceed to build an erroneous syllogism on it. Rationalists never cease to amaze me. They are a paradox extolling reason but proceeding with deviousness. Anything to win a debate. One would think that those who self-declare themselves intellectual poope scoopers and guardians of the gates of political correctness would at least quote correctly their opponents' words. Sir, it has been obvious for some time now that you have no interest in a genuine dialogue, not with me and not with any other participant who disagrees with you in this forum, I suspect. You have another agenda in mind and it has precious little to do with the search for truth.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 22:00:40
Reason as Einstein understood it was a holistic phenomenon encompassin all the components of a human being, not merely rationality but also imagination, emotions, and especially intuition about which he spoke repeatedly as essential to arrive at scientific theories. He was also aware that before a scientist can begin to do sciene he needs a rock bottom faith in the ability of reason to reach truth. That faith cannot be proven or put under a microscope. Only a rationalist will consider it invalid because not materially provable.

Sand2007-11-14 22:04:54
One must reach truth to teach it.
Your continuous disdain for reason which was the tool with which even you admit and state that Einstein used to explore the universe makes me wonder what games you are playing and for what motives.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 22:08:09
"the misterious is the source of all true art and all true science" that is what Einstein said, but the voices in your head say that reason is critical element. The critical element is always the source, logic 101 ought to have taught you. Which does not mean that we should discard reason, properly understood.

Sand2007-11-14 22:15:24
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. - Albert Einstein

Einstein's efforts throughout his whole life were to confront the mystery of the universe and not admire it but destroy it with understanding. Whereas, Paparella, you feel the proper stance before mystery is to gape and moan.

Jack2007-11-14 23:10:24
Concerning the article, anyone who has belief that astrology accurately predicts the future, is not reading the Horoscope correctly. The predictions are based upon likey human activities: You will put on your pants one leg at a time today...small wonder anyone can claim 80-90% accuracy. {small note Ms. Tessier...is it 80 or 90%? With your powers you ought to be able to pin it down better than, oh say 10% here or there, what's the difference?).

If any are accidently fulfilled, it is likely the individual fullfilled it knowing it was to happen anyway. A self-fullfilling prophecy. Why plan your day on anything so philmsy? There is cause and effect, but the Horoscope can not cause it on it's own power (say, if someone doesn't read it). If someone does read it the cause is likely the person themself, not some prediction, so vague and likely to occur. Coincidence can not be discounted either. Either way, it is utterly useless information to depend upon, only for entertainment (it's real purpose).

A person who plans their day around Astrology, is being manipulated being manipulated by it.

Eero Nevalainen2007-11-15 00:38:50
Astrology doesn't work. News at 11.

Asa, is Ovi's quality circling the drain or is it just me?

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-15 07:37:40



That is what Einstein said, but the voices in your head suggest that he wanted to destroy the mystery. Logic 101: a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. But it appears that some rationalists transcend logic and are able like a magician to square the circle, as long as they win the argument. No surprises there.

Rinso2007-11-15 09:40:03
Asa, is Ovi's quality circling the drain or is it just me?

I agree, it becomes more and more the Paparella show.

Sand2007-11-15 09:41:32
And Einstein devoted his life to solving and dismissing mystery instead of worshiping ignorance and stupidity which is the concern of religion.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-15 13:24:41
You have been listening to those strange voices in your head again. This is what Eistein believed on mystery. The wiser thing by far would be to take pause of the above and reflect on it and determine why it is different from your particular opinion of the issue, not to twist the truth which gives a bad name even to mere rationalism.

Direct quote from Eisntein himself:











--Albert Einstein

Sand2007-11-15 13:51:30
And you, Paparella, are frozen in a permanent stance of not thinking. You now seem to be in a mental loop that is impermeable to any attempt at even a modicum of good sense. I am sorry for you.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-15 13:59:43
Mr. Rinso, and others who have used the same metaphor of the vortex in the sink (or the storm in the tea cup as the case may be) who may be implying (since my name was mentioned) that I should be offered the same advice given to Hugo Chavez a few days ago, it may be worth to remember that when I began contributing to the magazine sometime in May some six months ago, there were precious few comments in Ovi. Mr. Butcher relied to me that some complained that there were no comments offered to their contributions but then when asked why they did not themselves contribute comments to the contributions of others they had no persuasive reply. Now there may be too many for your taste. Which way do we want it?

Be that as it may, you surely know that any intellectually vibrant magazine worthy of that name is one that not only tolerates diversity and difference of opinions but even encourages free speech and a robust discussion of issue. This is the case for Ovi and that is what keeps me in the magazine despite the rude attacks ad hominem that have been proffered from time to time. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-15 14:01:17
My puzzlement to you remarks is this: why not contribute to that diversity of opinions rather than carp about a show that is being stolen? Stolen from whom? I don’t think that the editors consider the magazine some kind of circus show in which to exhibit one’s comedic talents; I for one never thought of it as such. Admittedly, there may be an obsessive repeating of the same replies but that is because they are replies to the same obsessive misguided shallow caricatures that keep being put forward as unbiased views. If you find that funny enjoy it. If you find it offensive make a contribution on one side or the other but don’t suggest censorship or muzzling which would reverse the advice on top of the comments’ box: get it off your chest. That way, I am afraid, lies the road to demagoguery, intolerance and xenophobia and would in fact reduce the magazine to a caricature of a magazine too.

Sand2007-11-15 14:53:19
All those words, Paparella, merely to say that to stem your volume is an assault on your quantity. Unfortunately, quantity is never a reasonable substitute for quality in the matter of information.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-15 16:34:36
Indeed, Mr. Sand, what a piece of work is your rationalism. In italian the word for computer science is "informatica" which fits what seems to interest you most to the exlusion of the whole worlds of humanities. If Ovi was merely interested in information, as you put it, it would be a mediocre magazine at best and would attract only mediocrities. Fortunately, it is also interested in dialogue and discussion of issues and opinions, and the search for truth, and as far as I know, it has not and plans not to appoint any official Grand Censor and guardian of the gates of political correctness. The moment one is appointed I will stop sending contributions.

Sand2007-11-15 16:55:22
Paparella, you are now almost continuously emitting squeals of fear at my overwhelming power to exclude you from this forum. Relax. I welcome your idiotic emissions as easy flimsy targets for destruction. Because they have no strong information, an element you consider as useless, they demolish easily the merest puff of my counter-observation. Why should I want to banish you when you provide such easy exercise?

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-15 17:25:13
The feeling is mutual and so let us continue "the show" as some of your psycophantic supporters with a similar mind-set admirers seem to consider it. It does provide an element of humor. As to the validity of what is being posted in a serious vein, I'll take my changes with the readers whose vast majority surely can judge for themselves and don't need your vituperative antics to help them in that judjment.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-15 17:34:10
For the record, you petulantly left this forum for a few months exactly because I was in it and then came back after appointing yourself Grand Inquisitor of what I expressed in it. This is how you explained to the aptly named blog you ran to A Lamb without a guiding light:

Jan Sand said...
I had been a contributer to OVI on various subjects but was was puzzled, disturbed and offended by much of what Paparella has submitted to the site. When I tried to engage him in discussion I discovered he was so deeply embedded in what seems to me total nonsense that I became completely frustrated. He has several religious zealots to support his obvious illogic and since nobody else seemed to support my point of view I decided to withdraw submitting from the publication altogether as Paparella has spread his idiocy like some malignant fungus throughout the whole site and his comments were taking too much of my time and energy to confront with no support.

01 July, 2007 08:48

Congratulations on finding a few psycophants who now support your point of view. I wonder though why most of them do not reveal their full name.

Sand2007-11-15 17:47:00
You have found us out! We are a huge group of odd people that depend upon reason to run our lives instead of worshiping the true spirits that created the universe out of matzos, consecrated wine and holy water. We wear hooded costumes colored ultra violet so we are invisible in normal light and we call ourselves the Puu Plux Plan in the eternal battle against stupidity and transcendental stupor lead by the secret master Paparella. I admitted trying to opt out in a moment of weakness but I met Descartes who was playing a guitar on Männerheimintie and begging for euros with a trick duck who could balance five balls on its beak. I thought he was a fake but he told me he thought therefor he was and the obvious proof was that he was so I had to believe him. He was surely genuine but the duck, like you, Paparella, was a quack.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-15 17:55:21
I too met Plato and Vico and Homer and Rumi some time ago on Mount Olympus who spoke to me of the kind of people you consort with. To find out what they said you need to peruse my article titled "A conversation among philosophers and poets on Mount Olympus," but I suspect that the computer of meat in your head will still remain incomprehending. Give it a shot though, one never knows.

Sand2007-11-15 18:22:17
Now, now, Paparella, if your inventions of these archaic individuals bears any relationship to the originals I would be very surprised. Since you have proved inaccurate about myths I do not think your fantasies really worth contemplating. Descartes, on the other hand, and, of course, his duck, were absolutely the real thing. He showed me the flying saucer he rides around in.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-15 19:29:58
Say hello to him next time you have a conversation with him and his duck in your head. Say hello also from Giambattista Vico and let me know how he reacted.

Sand2007-11-15 19:41:29
Terribly sorry. Descartes told me that Vico is in Hell.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-15 20:42:55
I thought he'd react that way. Next time ask him what does he think hell is and where. Sartre thought that hell is other people and he probably had a valid point.

Sand2007-11-15 20:59:15
He went south with his duck which he confided was Socrates going through his seventeenth life. He was particularly pissed off because he felt Plato had completely missed the point of his dissertations. But nobody listens to a duck these days.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-16 09:20:19
Poor Descartes, he has a right to be pissed off at Plato since Alfred Whitehead, a great philosopher in his own right, called Western philosophy a footnote to Plato, thus stealing his grandiose rationalistic show. The duck is merely his nemesis and his projected unappropriated shadow.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-16 09:35:01
P.S.It has come to my attention that Descarte's duck is working on a dissertation on the poetics of defecation to be defended before a committe of eminent scholars while standing on Descarte's shoulder while Descartes holds his head which "enlightens" him...Since dissertation are defended publicly, I'll keep you posted as to time and place. Bring an ax and a grinder along.

Sand2007-11-16 10:51:08
Your evident rejection of defecation as a viable content of conversation is a strong indication that this natural function has evaded you to a large extent. Its good confirmation that you are full of it as I suspected.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-16 15:00:40
May I write to the Yale University president suggesting that you be given a doctorate honoris causa in the poetics of defecation bypassing the normal defense of a dissertation on it. Be sure to eat a lot of beans before it is awarded so you can also give an proper scientific empirical demonstration.

Sand2007-11-16 15:27:14
My defecation takes place through the appropriate aperture whereas you seem to have the ability most noted in politicians and theological extremists to accomplish the deed orally.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-16 16:49:27
In that case you might change need a couple of adjectives and dub it "the poetics of politically correct normative defecation." That way it even sounds more scholarly.

Sand2007-11-16 17:19:34
I have been able, with some difficulty, to deal with your frightful spelling, but when your syntax runs off the tracks I am afraid I cannot puzzle out what you are trying to say. For someone who proclaims a Ph.D. from an accredited institution I find it altogether odd you cannot handle the English language. Alzheimer's plus your other psychological irregularities may be making you totally incoherent. Sorry.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-16 18:00:41
Voices in your head again? What if it is them who have alzheimer and other psycological irregularities despite their assurances of being educated in the English language and of having attended some accredited albeit obscure college?

Sand2007-11-16 18:31:15
There you go again. PSYCHOLOGICAL

Psycho plus logical. You are certainly psycho but unfortunately not logical.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-17 14:01:17

Daniel2009-01-06 20:37:39
True practitioners of astrology do not claim to make true and accurate predictions and persons who make such claims are only ignorantly damaging true astrology. Charlatans defile the art to the masses in many fields.

Astromauh2009-12-13 10:49:47
In 1964, James Randi launched the One million dollar challenge. Randi would give 1 million dollars to anyone who could prove to have occult powers. Until today, no one has won the challenge.

Creationist Kent Hovind has widely publicized his "standing offer" to pay $250,000 for scientific evidence of evolution. He argues that the "failure" of anyone to claim the prize is evidence that the "hypothesis" of evolution is not scientific but religious in nature.

If the Randi's prize is the proof that astrology is untrue, then the Kent Hovind's prize is the proof that evolutionism is untrue.

Maria the Orphan2011-06-06 08:04:23
Reading the series of comments between Paparella and Sand has been hilarious. I was getting bored of astrology, came here and I now have a new hobby - reading Ovi magazine, a decent humor site. It -is- a humor site...right?

Ronald2012-01-05 07:44:45
Astrologers don't claim to be psychics. They use deductive rules to interpret future trends. No professional astrologer claims to predict specific events. They can and do predict trends. For example, Jupiter in transiting through the 2nd house of income often leads to an increase in money. Astrologers can't tell you the specifics of why and how you will get the money, but they can see a higher likelihood of increased income.

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