- The Scientific Edge - Penguin India
- Stargazers claim their knowledge has empirical basis, scientists debunk it as mumbo-jumbo
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Astrology is not only restricted to the hindu community alone. What made me write this post is that i came across a paper prepared by Jayant Narlikar Founder director of IUCAA and three others on a simple statistical test on astrology.
The full paper is here:. Its a basic principle of statistics is that only similar entities should be compared. The team rightly chose to compare whether astrology or tossing a coin has a better statistical chance in correctly predicting a particular event. Yes you guessed the result right. The study found tossing outperformed the sacred science of astrology.
Giving a scientific look to this superstition was widely pursued by the BJP govt during their term as a part of their divisive hindutva agenda. While blind faith and irrational social compulsions will keep the believers hooked to it, various interest groups will fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo. Posted in from my life , india , just my thoughts , Political , Social. Narlikar questions how failures in life can be blamed on stars.
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Why are we encouraging people to blame everything on the stars? We are responsible for our destiny.
The Scientific Edge - Penguin India
How can the UGC officially tell universities that vedic astrology helps us to manage and optimally utilise time? If your motivation is to highlight our past, teach yoga rather than vedic astrology.
Let UGC devote more attention to these texts. But even a clock which is not working will show the correct time twice a day. So how has such an unchanging set of formulae held sway over thousands of years, even into the age of supercomputers and the information highway? The dilemma is a sociologist's delight. Their insight is that the fear of the unknown has mothered human insecurity creating a desperate need to be reassured about the future, which in turn guarantees the popularity of predictive arts.
Stargazers claim their knowledge has empirical basis, scientists debunk it as mumbo-jumbo
Says Asis Nandy of Delhi's Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, "A visit to an astrologer is a bit like psychotherapy: it cushions you from stress as you make decisions about the future. At some level the calculations, for whatever they are worth, simply do not matter, the practitioner's powers of interpretation do. Just as some sublimely gifted doctors can diagnose complex ailments with a gentle touch of the patient's pulse, adroit astrologers use their intuitive faculties to bring a remarkable prescience to their readings.
Medicine, of course, depends in the continuous development of technique while astrology's methods of healing life's wounds rest totally on faith in the astrologer. And the predictive portfolio of soothsayers has been by and large impressive since the days of Nostradamus. Delhi's Lachchman Das Madan, who is probably the first astrologer to have applied for a practice patent, says he had seen Devyani Rana's horoscope and advised her "not to marry" because he foresaw the disaster that would follow if her relationship with Nepal's Prince Dipendra flowered.
Prabir Ghosh, general secretary of the Science and Rationalists' Association of India, would not agree. Ghosh is an astrovigilante who exposes astrologers and has tripped up more than of their ilk, mostly on TV and radio shows. He contends that astrology has no organised database that a science should have. Also, astrologers who recommend gems or home-made cures for problems rarely check if they worked, so there's no method of testing and inference. During a radio show in , Ghosh dressed three successful businessmen as a peon, guard and a cheap liquor seller.
When the astrologers were asked to guess their incomes, they were misled by the get-up and grossly undervalued their subjects' worth, and this was heard live by thousands. But every branch of knowledge has its pretenders, and the gullible are legion. The inherent esoterica of astrology crates enough scope for impostors and quacks.
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Senior astrologers like K. Rao admit that astrology's integral merging of "science, spirituality, and mythology" makes it possible for clever conmen to exploit the credulous, they point out that standardising and recognising it as a course of study will reduce the influence of quacks. With science itself changing its perception of reality, with string theories and parallel universes becoming a part of quantum physics, astrology faces its greatest challenge today: to prove itself as a science.
Or at least a dynamic discipline. Will the stars oblige with a theorem of mysteries?
Radhakrishnan and Subhash Mishra. Stargazers claim their knowledge has empirical basis, scientists debunk it as mumbo-jumbo Even as stargazers claim their knowledge has an empirical basis, scientists debunk it as mumbo-jumbo. Click here to Enlarge. Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from.