How dare Dakwin’s insult astrology in his documentary Enemies of Reason. He has not spent years studying astrology, he does not know the exact meaning of each of the planets and what it means for Uranus to oppose Venus, or the significance of each equinox. Why it’s as though one would think he’d have the gusto to insult religion without being a trained theologian.
My point here is pretty obvious (I hope), it’s about as appropriate to say someone cannot criticize religion without being a trained theologian as one cannot criticize astrology without being a trained astrologer. I realized this one evening in bed, but later realized that it was a repeat with a different punchline (and not as eloquent) as PZ Myers spoof.
Here’s a brief reference of articles (from this great anti-astronomical pseudo-science resource) that discredit those who believe astrology is something more and may disagree with me (these of course tend to be scientists published in science journals, and if you have a problem with that relearn the scientific method as it stands today):
Abell, G. “Astrology — Its Principles and Relation and Nonrelation to Science” in The Science Teacher, Dec. 1974, p. 9. An early debunking article.
Bok, B., et al. “Objections to Astrology” in The Humanist, Sep/Oct. 1975. A special issue devoted in large part to this subject.
Carlson, S. “Astrology” in Experientia, vol. 44, p. 290 (1988). A clear review.
Carlson, S. “A Double Blind Test of Astrology” in Nature, vol. 318, p. 419 (5 Dec. 1985). A technical paper describing a good experiment examining whether astrology works.
Dean, G. “Does Astrology Need to be True?” in Skeptical Inquirer, Winter 86-87, p. 116; Spring 1987, p. 257. An important examination of tests about astrology.
Dean, G. & Kelly, I. “Does Astrology Work: Astrology and Skepticism 1975-2000” in Kurtz, Paul, ed. Skeptical Odysseys. 2001, Prometheus Books.
Dean, G., et al. “The Guardian Astrology Study: A Critique and Reanalysis” in The Skeptical Inquirer, Summer 1985, p. 327.
Dean, G., et al. “Astrology” in Gordon Stein, ed. The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal. 1996, Prometheus Books, p. 47-96. Long readable introduction.
Fraknoi, A. “Your Astrology Defense Kit” in Sky & Telescope, Aug. 1989, p. 146. An introductory article with some basic skeptical questions about astrology. (Available on the web at:
Fraknoi, A. “Astrology Versus Astronomy” in Astronomy, Jan. 1999, p. 102. Concise note.
Kelly, I. “Modern Astrology: A Critique” in Psychological Reports, vol. 81, p. 1035 (1997). An excellent review. (An expanded version can be found on the first web site recommended below.)
Kelly, I.” Why Astrology Doesn’t Work” in Psychological Reports, vol. 82, p. 527 (1998).
Kelly, I. “The Scientific Case Against Astrology” in Mercury, Nov/Dec. 1980, p. 135.
Kelly, I. “Astrology and Science: A Critical Examination” in Psychological Reports, vol. 44, p. 1231 (1979).
Kruglak, H. & O’Bryan, M. “Astrology in the Astronomy Classroom” in Mercury, Nov/Dec 1977, p. 18.
Kurtz, P. & Fraknoi, A. “Scientific Tests of Astrology Do Not Support Its Claims” in Skeptical Inquirer, Spring 1985, p. 210.
Kurtz, P., et al. “Astrology and the Presidency” in Skeptical Inquirer, Fall 1988, p. 3. A good summary of the controversy concerning astrology in the Reagan White House.
Lovi, G. “Zodiacal Signs Versus Constellations” in Sky & Telescope, Nov. 1987, p.507.
Mc Gervey, J. “A Statistical Test of Sun-sign Astrology” in Skeptical Inquirer, Spring/Summer 1977, p. 49.
Nienhuys, J. “The Mars Effect in Retrospective” in Skeptical Inquirer, Nov/Dec. 1997, p. 24. Good summary of the current research on what seemed to be one lone test confirming astrology. (see also, Dean, G. “Is the Mars Effect a Social Effect” in Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 2002, p. 33.)
Rotton, J. “Astrological Forecasts and the Commodity Market” in Skeptical Inquirer, Summer 1985, p. 339.
Basically my main point here is as follows: “it is entirely fair to discredit something even if you aren’t formally trained in it, so long as you can legitimately question the foundations of the belief.” Knowing the ins and outs of every verse of the New and Old Testaments can’t demonstrate whether or not god exists, in the same way knowing each of the meanings associated with the planets (or remembering all the “rules of correspondence” for the stars and planets).