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An argument for astrology?

 
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john



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 550
Location: Lancashire, England

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:52 pm    Post subject: An argument for astrology? Reply with quote

Hi, I would welcome other astrologers thoughts on the statement below.
Some of you may be familiar with it.

My question is would astrologers recognise this as an argument for astrology, or does it fall short?

I'll comment some more once people have had time to consider/comment.

"The existence of us, our species homo-sapiens, is a result of changes in the earth's orbit which depends on the precise position and orbits of other planets in the solar system, the way the earth axis moves around, which depends on the position and mass of the moon and position and mass of the sun and the influence of these changes on the climate here on earth"
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 2635
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it might be an argument for astronomy, but i am not sure of that even.. maybe someone could use it as an argument for astrology, but it is a type of logic that will appeal to some and not others..
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spock



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 51
Location: Evansville, Indiana

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: An argument for astrology? Reply with quote

john wrote:
Hi, I would welcome other astrologers thoughts on the statement below.
Some of you may be familiar with it.

My question is would astrologers recognise this as an argument for astrology, or does it fall short?

I'll comment some more once people have had time to consider/comment.

"The existence of us, our species homo-sapiens, is a result of changes in the earth's orbit which depends on the precise position and orbits of other planets in the solar system, the way the earth axis moves around, which depends on the position and mass of the moon and position and mass of the sun and the influence of these changes on the climate here on earth"

This statement, if intended as an argument for astrology, fails on two counts. One, it's an argument from analogy. It says, or at least implies, that since it took a discrete series of astronomical changes to create our species, comparable sequences are effective in human populations almost by definition. Comparable sequences are effective in human populations only if we observe them to be. The argument also fails in its lack of understanding of the relationship between climate change, the consequence of those astronomical fluctuations, and human evolution. We are arguably the result of a unique series of environmental changes, so that our distant primate predecessors took to the trees for sustenance and safety, and our less distant hominid predecessors descended from the trees and entered a new life in the borderlands between forest and savannah. These changes, and arguably the sequence of changes, left us with an anatomy that, as it turned out, had unique and enormously consequential possibilities. We ourselves, homo sapiens, are more recently a product of the ice age, which continues to this day albeit we've been in a relatively warm interglacial interlude for the last 12,000 years. During this ice age hominid lineages in which individuals were able to cooperate more effectively with one another have thrived and reproduced at the expense of lineages less capable of effective group action. Evidently at the beginning of the ice age one line, the one that led to hominids, began a spate of rapid brain evolution. Almost all of the increase in brain size that has resulted in large-brained homo sapiens has occurred in the last three million years since the beginning of the ice age. A species of bi-pedal apes, the first of the australopthicines, split off from some champanzee-like predecessor about six million years ago, but brain size changed hardly at all during that first three million years. So we are a product of the ice age, but we were not a necessary consequence, only (as it turned out) a possible one. The neanderthals are an example of a successful related species, with brains perhaps slightly bigger even than our own, but not organized like ours (not capable of fully symbolic reasoning, apparently). When homo sapiens came on the scene, especially after a perhaps subsequent evolutionary development led to the emergence of symbolic thinking 40,000 to 60,000 years ago, there suddenly existed a human species with which no other human species could compete, and all extant hominid lineages save homo sapiens rapidly died out. (It's as if one cat species, dramatically different and more fit than all other cat species, were to become the sole representative of its family on the planet.) But astrology in no way predicted our occurrence.

Astrology's foundational assumption is that there are parallels between change in the heavens and change here on earth, so evidence for astrology would constitute demonstrating that such parallels exist, describing what parallels and kinds of parallels exist, and explaining how it is that such parallels can exist. I think the best evidence that parallels exist comes from biographical and historical regularities, such as recurrent developments in individual lives "timed" by Saturn and other planets, and recurrent historical developments such as the characteristic cultural efflorescences that have coincided with successive Uranus/Neptune conjunctions; developmental psychology, especially the works of and that descend from Jean Piaget and L.S. Vygotsky, which essentially amount to rigorously arrived at descriptions of various age transits, especially Saturn conjunct, square and opposite its natal place, and Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and even the Sun and Moon similarly aspected to theirs; and statistical work such as that performed by the Gauquelins, which appears to show that, for instance, certain locations of Mars vis a vis "the angles" correspond to what the Gauquelins called "iron will" and which I prefer to call "unlaziness".

As for the nature of the parallels, on the basis of the kinds of evidence outlined above I believe that there are motivational systems which come to the forefront, in terms of influencing behavior, at regular intervals that correspond to the hard-angle transits of (some of) the bodies in our solar system. What's predictable about the Saturn Return, for instance, is where we're coming from, and therefore what sorts of things we're more likely to do, not what's going to happen to us. An astrology that predicts motivations, on the basis of transits and aspects, can be made sense of, biologically and astronomically, in a way that an astrology that predicts events per se (on the basis of symbolism) can't. Researchers in the field of chronobiology have discovered and detailed, within the past thirty years, the molecular basis of the 24-hour internal clock that closely (but not exactly!) corresponds to the period of "a day" defined by the earth's rotation vis a vis the Sun. The "not exactly" refers to the fact that all such clocks are only close approximations of solar time and are reset once a day at daybreak when the long wave light prevalent at that time impinges on molecules (opsins) sensitive to that wavelength, which then reset the molecular machinery that keeps time back to zero. It seems likely to me that this system evolved into being with organic life using the 24-hour astronomical pattern as a template around which to organize in time some of its constituent processes. The existence of organic rhythms which correspond to other astronomical periods, for instance the 29½-year period of Saturn and its 7⅓-year subperiods, suggests that the latter, too, have served as templates for the evolution of biological systems, more specifically (in this view) motivational systems. But it raises a timing problem, or conceivably a solution to existing problems.

It is, for instance, the internal clock, not the Sun's position relative to the earth, that determines the timing of the various processes that follow a diurnal schedule. If other motivational urges come to the forefront at intervals timed by internal Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, etc. clocks, it seems at least possible, if not likely, that these biological rhythms, too, are timed by the internal clock per se, with the planet whose period served as a template for the evolution of the clock having the function of resetting it at some point in the cycle. Hence Mars in the sky closing square its natal place might not coincide exactly with the three-quarters point in the internal clock's cycle, and in terms of the timing of the relevant "astrological effects" might not actually be "the square". (That's why I used scare quotes when I earlier wrote "timed" by Saturn.) If so we need to know the actual exact period of the operative internal clock, and the place in the planet's cycle (and the means by which) the internal clock is reset by the planet. Looking for biographical or historical rhythms first, then trying to see which if any astronomical rhythms seem to fit, or almost fit, seems the best way to proceed.
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Article: After Symbolism


Last edited by spock on Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:23 am; edited 2 times in total
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john



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 550
Location: Lancashire, England

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you to both james_m and spock for replying, also to spock for broadening out the discussion.

A few thoughts on the issues raised:

It is my understanding that hominid evolution/increase in brain size has occurred about every 400,000 years, from hominid australopithecus, homo erectus, heidelbergensis and homosapiens, which has correlated with the extremes of the earth’s elliptical path around the sun.

From chaos theory, there are an infinite number of balls of gas in the universe, an infinite amount of lumps of rock and an infinite amount of time, so that life and our existence was not a possibility but an inevitability.

Not coming from a psychological astrology background and considering the examples of Saturn, I would say that astrology describes ‘types’, that is during a Saturnian period I would expect ‘Saturnian type things’ to happen.

If the timescales and subject matter are on too large a scale, I’ll provide a quotation at the opposite end of the timescale to that in the first post for consideration. This abridged quotation I will acknowledge as coming from Rob Hand at UAC 1986.

“Astrology is applied mysticism. It is a practical day to day experience that you and the universe are one. The true meaning of mysticism is the awareness that the individual and the universe are one. Astrology is a practical applied consequence of that doctrine. Planets do not cause anything, signs of the zodiac do not cause anything, they are simply a symbol of the unity of the individual with the cosmos”
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 872
Location: Canada

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumbs down Thumbs down (two thumbs down)

Astrology doesn't operate at this level. Astrology is about the relationship between heavenly bodies and human affairs on a variety of scales; but probably the most important scale is individual and personal; not at the level of the evolution of new species.

The causality problem in astrology has never worked out satisfactorily.
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