Astrology
#13
The first astrologer, who predicted critical illness of my father on a certain date, lived in a town far away from ours and lived a retired life. He died shortly thereafter. He was very old and he never set foot in our house. After my father succeeded him, he moved away. He called my brother out of the blue and warned him about the incidents that would happen.

The astrologer who predicted the exact date of my grandfather's death, (incidentally my grandfather was also Narendra Nayak's grandfather) was a well-known astrologer by the name of Puduval, a Kerala man. I never met him. My grandfather was never afraid of death and he knew his time had come. So he informed my brother that he would meet his death on the designated date. He neither died out of fear nor committed suicide. He simply passed away in sleep.

As regards the physics professor who said my child had a birth defect, it happened within a few hours of my child's birth in America. We had not even brought the child home. The phone calls were received immediately after the child was born. My old-fashioned mother in law was so upset that she did not want anyone to know about her first grandchild's problem. So there was no way this man could have known what happened in the hospital room in the U. S.

Again, I am not trying to prove anything here. I am simply stating the events as they happened. All I am saying is that I have no rational explanation to these astrological claims. I have no reason to misstate the facts and look like a liar or fool.
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#14
Quote:Again, I am not trying to prove anything here. I am simply stating the events as they happened. All I am saying is that I have no rational explanation to these astrological claims.

Dr. Kamath, I think we do indeed have rational explanations for such events in general, even if we cannot apply them to your particular circumstances without knowing about the details of all the events in your life that your brain did not register (the misses). This is what I was trying to demonstrate in my reply.

You are, of course, not alone here. Many very rational folks have found such people as clairvoyants and astrologers to be genuine, because of the human capacity to seek patterns and ignore facts that don't fit the pattern.

In any case, pointing out to individual hits is not helping us find out if any of this is true or not. These anecdotes are not useful beyond raising curiosity and establishing that study is necessary. To talk about astrology in an objective and scientific context, we must try and eliminate such anecdotes from our vocabulary and focus on blinded tests that can establish statistical significance. This is the only way we can avoid the sort of subjective bias that all individual humans are subject to.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#15
I am involved in an Investigation (still ongoing) in Vedic astrology -

http://yuktivadi.blogspot.com/2010/04/di...ology.html

Still donot have any explanation for Mr. Kamath's situation
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#16
Azad, your approach to the subject of astrology is absolutely the best. I often see people dismissing just about every claim by "Vedic scientists" as utter nonsense. It is up to us to prove that their claims are nonsense. If we dismiss them without proof, we will be just like them, only in the reverse. They claim supernatural phenomenon as fact, and we claim these assertions as nonsense without proof. You blog is wonderful.
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#17
(02-May-2010, 05:50 PM)K. P. S. Kamath Wrote: Azad, your approach to the subject of astrology is absolutely the best. I often see people dismissing just about every claim by "Vedic scientists" as utter nonsense. It is up to us to prove that their claims are nonsense. If we dismiss them without proof, we will be just like them, only in the reverse. They claim supernatural phenomenon as fact, and we claim these assertions as nonsense without proof. You blog is wonderful.

Dr. Kamath, did you read the link that I posted as the first post here? It was from Phil Plait, also known as the bad astronomer. That article clearly explains why ASTROLOGY IS IMPOSSIBLE. That is not a dismissal. It is the result of careful analysis of the claims made by astrologers.

It is a false equivalence to say that we are "just like them" if we dismiss "Vedic Science" as nonsense. There is a lot I can say on the subject, but instead let me just say that there are different ways of answering questions, each concerned with different levels of epistemological rigor.

After a significant amount of scientific/rational analysis has been done and the pseudoscience rightfully dismissed, it is completely rational to expect the other side to present compelling evidence. We all do this when it comes to many topics.

Edit: The clash here is between scientific analysis which is where scientists like Phil Plait are coming from, and study of the mythology and history which is where you are coming from, broadly speaking. Very often both sides end up thinking that the other is wrong, because they do not bother to understand the other side.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#18
It is a long blog and I need some time to read it carefully. I am not supporting "Vedic science" at all. I intuitively think it is nonsense. Hindutva people are churning out a lot of nonsense these days in addition to rewriting history. But I do think that we need to methodically pull apart their claims, like I did with the BG. It is a laborious process. We need to systematically challenge the so-called best astrologers and prove them wrong again and again. Someone must develop a methodology -step by step- by which we should proceed with this subject.
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#19
(02-May-2010, 07:09 PM)K. P. S. Kamath Wrote: Someone must develop a methodology -step by step- by which we should proceed with this subject.

This is what I have been saying from the beginning! Dr. Kamath, science is relevant here because astrology makes claims about the natural world that can be verified for their scientific validity. Thinkers in the scientific tradition have come up with clear methodologies for tackling astrology. The science is completely relevant, and completely addresses every claim made by Vedic astrologers. You are just suggesting your preferred way of analyzing the subject.

Here is a small segment of articles, taken from skepdic.

Astrology-and-Science.com

Proof of Astrology? by Ivan Kelly

Astrology is Bigotry by Bob Steiner

Astrological Things What is Your Sign, Really?

Phil Plait (The Bad Astronomer) on astrology

Eric Krieg's Astrology Page

The Astrotest - A tough match for astrologers by Rob Nanninga

Analysis of Astrology FAQ Page collected and edited by M.M. De Robertis

The Real Romance in the Stars by Richard Dawkins

What's Your Sign? by Gary P. Posner

Astrologer Prudence Jones on astrology

Isaac Newton and Astrology (He was "convinced of the vanity & emptiness of the pretended science of Judicial astrology.")
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#20
While the discussion has moved from the anecdotal to academic, I'd like to give you examples of astrology in my life.

1. My dad does not believe in astrology or palm reading. Once at a party, a very famous astrologer + palm reader was giving readings to everyone. Then he offered to read my dad's hands, but he refused politely saying he doesn't want his future read. My dad then left the scene to get some food, and in a fit of rage, the astrologer claimed to his audience (my dad's colleagues) that my dad will die at the age of 50 in a fire accident.

Now my dad is known for his rather youthful looks, and little did the astrologer know that he was actually 57 at that time.

2. The family astrologer of a good friend of mine, who apparently is famous and also does not read for money, once told that this friend of mine will not live beyond 21. She is 22 now and doing just fine.

3. Once this girl (who claimed to be a face reader) in my college proclaimed, on the first time she met me, that I am a skeptic and I will leave college to join another soon. At that time, no such plan was in the offing. But soon, I got an offer in Delhi Uni, and I took it up. There was no way she could have known. This was the only successful prediction I have had. But then again, this girl also made another prediction which fell flat. So it was more chance than anything else.
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#21
My mother believes in astrology and had consulted three astrologers about my future profession when I was a kid. Each of them had come up with five different professions. There were only 2 professions (doctor and lawyer) that were common among all predictions, rest were politician, hotel manager, accountant etc, but none had predicted engineer. Now I am software engineer and so I can never become lawyer or doctor now. When I talk about this, people used to tell "may be, they were not good astrologers".
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#22
Hi,

A very interesting article on Astrology from "Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda" , Volume 8, Notes on Class Talks and Lectures. The lecture is titled, "MAN THE MAKER OF HIS DESTINY"

http://www.vivekananda.net/ByTopic/Vol8/...stiny.html

.
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#23
Since I'm not well versed with fundamentals of Astrology, I'm seeking few clarifications. Couple of points from Dr. Kamath's experiences.
1. His father's heart attack must had a prior medical condition in high cholesterol/hypertension
2. His son's leg defect had a prior medical condition in mistreatment

Now, if an Astrologer predicts or postdicts(?) any calamity aren't the reasons for these calamities planetary motions(I suppose Astrology predates medical diagnosis)? Now, in the above situations have they advanced the effects of planetary motions to prior medical conditions?
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#24
(25-May-2010, 03:01 PM)manju Wrote: S

Now, if an Astrologer predicts or postdicts(?) any calamity aren't the reasons for these calamities planetary motions(I suppose Astrology predates medical diagnosis)? Now, in the above situations have they advanced the effects of planetary motions to prior medical conditions?

If every natural calamity is a result of planetary motion and if every planteray movement and its results can be predicted, Then whence cometh the calamity ??.Wink
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