Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Ancient people used the position of the sun, the moon and the stars in the sky as a guide for agricultural activities. Nomadic tribes used the constellations of the night skies for navigation, a practice which was later used by many civilizations. This led to the study of astrology (note that astrology is different from astronomy).

Why would they care about a planet trillions of miles away with mass less than 100 times the mass of our sun? We are so pathetically minute and incapable within our own solar system that we couldn't even land a man on Venus.

The Greek then assigned zodiac signs to each constellation which we now call horoscope. A basic horoscope is related to a person’s birth time, date, and year as well as during which of the twelve Zodiac segments the birth occurs. The year is divided into twelve parts, each named after a different constellation that is prevalent in the sky. Each Zodiac sign has both positive and negative characteristics.

Image: datingsites.org
The twelve horoscope signs are:

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Leo (July 23-August 22)
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Libra (September 23-October 22)
Scorpio (October 23-November 22)
Sagittarius (November 23-December 21)
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Aquarius (January 20-February 19)
Pisces (February 20-March 20)

The Chinese also had their own version of horoscope. It uses animals as horoscope signs which are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, monkey, boar or pig, horse, sheep, rooster and the dog. The Chinese horoscope changes on an annual basis whilst the Greek horoscope changes every month.

Image: oldcity.sunncity.com
For believers, horoscope is an accurate way of predicting a person's habit, characteristic, and future. Aries, for example, is notorious for impulsiveness and egregious audacity. Scorpio, on the other hand, is good at comforting or entertaining others.

Image: framed-occasions.co.uk
As for the chinese horoscope, those who are born in the year of the ox are humble and hardworking, and those who are born in the year of the tiger are courages, outspoken and brave.

There are, however, people who think that horoscopes are nonsense.

For the Chinese version, they argue, it is remotely possible that the characteristic of a particular animal could determine the character of an entire generation. If that is the case, then we would see an annual fluctuation in students' results (ox-students are extremely hardworking, boar-students are extremely lazy?), economic performance and even gross domestic product of a country. It is also unlikely that only those who are born in the year of the tiger that fit enough to join the military. Make sense?

Image: fpif.org
As for the Greek horoscope, they are mere stars in the sky. Put it this way: those are stars hundreds of light years away from our galaxy, and they are lifeless object--the only chore they could perform is just burning themselves to death. When they are not burning i.e dead, they could either be white dwarfs(for smaller stars) or blackholes(for larger stars), both of which are also dead objects.
Image: myspace.com
Who are they then, to determine our fate here on Earth? Even if they are alive, why would they care about a planet trillions of miles away with mass less than 100 times the mass of our sun? We are so pathetically minute and incapable within our own solar system that we couldn't even land a man on Venus.

An example of vain believer of astrology? I present to you, the former manager of France Football team, Raymond Domenech. If you thought his coaching methods were questionable and often outrageous, wait till you hear about how he goes about his team selections.
To Domenech, Scorpios were considered to bring in too much negative energy, while Leos often worried him because of a certain tendency to show off.

Image: thesoccerroom.com
Domenech is supposed to take this stuff quite seriously, being quoted once as saying: "When I have got a Leo in defence, I've always got my gun ready, as I know he's going to want to show off at one moment or another and cost us."

Image: enjoyfrance.com
As a result, he ludicrously omitted former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires at his prime for being a Scorpio. Excellent results followed and in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Domenech was challenged by his players and the whole team left the Africa humiliated.

Advocates of horoscopes argue that the position of the moon and the sun affects our tides, and that in turn affects the plants, and wind, and rocks and trees. And we, being a part of the cycle, would also be affected. Impressive argument there.

But No. The constellations are stars situated light-years away from us. Their gravity is not enough to affect the tides on our planet. So forget about the above argument--totally busted.

In a nutshell, I do not believe in horoscopes.

Image: www.sodahead.com/living/
As we walk further and further away from our wild mammalian friends, we should drop the mindset of relying on myriad myths and tales inherited from our parents and even from the erudite Greek. Those who lived 600 years ago didn't have the internet, and they were confined to their own civilization, and thus knowledge was unable to expand. Today, we know better simply because someone in the past pioneered the study of logical thinking, and now the internet has created a borderless world where knowledge could be shared and in due time, we could become as good as Plato himself.

Time to rebut the science of horoscopes(if you could call it science at all).


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