Is Astrology a Science?

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In Webster’s Dictionary, the definition for the term “astr-“ or “astro-“ is “star, heavens, of outer space, astronomical,” and the definition for “–ology” is “science, doctrine, theory of,” yet even though the combination of these terms makes the word “astrology,” astrology itself is not considered a true science in modern Western Philosophy. The term we use for the scientific study of the stars, planets, and other celestial phenomenon is astronomy. Webster’s dictionary defines science as “systemized knowledge derived from observation, study, and experimentation carried on in order to determine the nature or principles of what is being studied.” Astrology is knowledge derived from observation and study, however its lack of testability, within our currently known methods, makes experimentation and provability a task we have yet to accomplish in the field. Therefore, under the ideals of modern Western Philosophy, astrology falls short of making the cut as a science until we develop a means of reliably testing its theories. However, some have begun to use astrology as a way to generate very specific outcomes in the natural world. In recent years psychologists have introduced a more objective approach to astrology, by devising experiments that enable them to test the theories and predictions of astrology scientifically. Psychologists’ primary interest in astrology is the potential to predict an individual’s personality traits and abilities. If this is true, we might reasonably expect to find measurable differences between people born under different signs, using an objective test of personality such as a questionnaire. If used to generate specific expectations, astrological theories or predictions could be testable.
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