Steelmanning Astrology

(By astrology, I mean the idea that personality traits are influenced by planetary motion. There are many forms of astrology, and I’m not talking about any particular form, rather about the more general claim. To my knowledge, no such claim has been empirically supported, but I don’t assume that we would have detected it even if it were empirically demonstrable. I don’t believe in astrology, and I’m not convinced that what follows is a good argument or is convincing, but it’s possible mechanism by which it could happen.)

Step one is to notice that holidays are family and cultural phenomena. Indeed, holidays are cultural events; part of what defines a commonality or overlap of culture between two people is the celebration of holidays together. And holidays tend to be a family affair, so that there are probably genetic patterns in holiday celebration (the gene pool of those who celebrate Diwali is very different from the gene pool of those who celebrate Yom Kippur).

Step two: Holidays make babies. People boink after they get together and have fun. I’m not sure that that’s true of all holidays, but I’d expect it to be true of many holidays. For example, there’s a big spike in the US 9ish months after Christmas/New Years.

  1. From 1 and 2, we can conclude that regularities in the prevalence of certain genes in the gene pool may cluster around certain times of year.

  2. Now, certain behaviors and personality predispositions are likely gene-modulated (see e.g. many mild mental disabilities or divergences, like autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, etc.)

  3. And many holidays are based on plantary patterns: solar patterns, i.e. time of year; and lunar patterns, e.g. certain Chinese and Jewish holidays)

Therefor, planetary motion could modulate behavioral predispositions indirectly, by causing holidays that cause sex that cause gene pool variations throughout the year.

Indeed, the fact that humans celebrate holidays may itself support this line of argument. After all, shouldn’t we assume that a behavioral trait that seems to arise naturally and universally is being selected for? Celebrating holidays may confer a selection benefit on human groups that participate (c.f. assortative mating in 13 and 17 year cicadas).

We might also expect variation over time, since the role of holidays in society and reproductive sex will vary over time, as well as the genetic uniformity of the people celebrating them. That would allow for astrological patterns that were detectable when initially described by a pre-modern society, but which were no longer detectable by the time we had the tools to quantify the relationship.

I’d be interested to know what people who do believe in astrology think about this. I think it’s biggest weakness is how neat it feels, and how little susceptible it is to evidence. There are also issues with possible effect sizes and noise that might make an observable effect impossible to see. But it’s the kind of argument I could buy.

Carleas said:

“By astrology, I mean the idea that personality traits are influenced by planetary motion. There are many forms of astrology, and I’m not talking about any particular form, rather about the more general claim. To my knowledge, no such claim has been empirically supported, but I don’t assume that we would have detected it even if it were empirically demonstrable. I don’t believe in astrology, and I’m not convinced that what follows is a good argument or is convincing, but it’s possible mechanism by which it could happen.)”

I do believe in it as being another form of manifested albeit unseen energy.

My wife and I are contradictory in most every way, and our birthdays are, astrologically complete opposites, as well: her birthrate falling on 4/8 and mine on 8/4. This fact can be viewed as far from being councidental, and has very much to do with the heavenly configuration that space-time effects on life as waived phenomenon.

I am convinced if this premise without the need to extend into the cultural effects of holidays, which, however are then become equally plausible.

Ever had your chart done, C?

Its hard to steel man something without putting it to the test.

Ironical is that precisely with those subjects people consider ‘vague’ or whatever, they find it natural to judge these subjects without actually touching them, experimenting with them.

They must remain unsubstantive to the observer so as for it to make sense to judge than as such.

Ive only ever had one person who claimed a reading wasn’t spot on to his character in a surprising degree, and that was WWII angry and I think he was lying because I was using the chart against him in an argument. I told him he was privileged, he didn’t want to know it. My bad strategically and ethically, but other than that zero ‘meh’s’, zero contradictions, only gratitude and wonder.

It’s real broseph and until you try it you will be ignorant of it. It’s that simple, as it is with all method, those that tend toward science are mysteriously efficient especially.

Our skulls aren’t isolated for electricity. Electricity comes in geometric patterns. It’s all one big grid. Its a wonder that people dont understand this, why they dont understand their cellphones influence them very heavily too. People are very unscientific these days.


So this is a chart, precisely for Notre Dame Paris a few minutes go

Id suggest in order to steel man this, you become capable of translating these symbols and lines into words, ‘reading’ a chart.

‘To judge a language, learn to read it’
-ancient wise ape[/tab]

C, do you know why it is so unattractive for people to study the subject?

Youve tried to bridge the gap, which is commendable, but have done so without giving actual subject the slightest bit of attention.

What is it that is so abhorrent about engaging a puzzling subject directly, on its own terms?

Well I get that it is scary as hell, and that the fact of astrology is itself very concerning, as it has a lot of implications on our lives.
But obviously, it doesn’t change what we are. It merely clarifies it.

My suspicion is always that this clarification is what scares people. People want to remain unsxmrutinizes, un-understood. The idea of being understood my someone who never met you is scary. I do understand that.

If you give me birth date, time and place of one of your family members that I never heard of, I will be able to define that person accurately. I get that that is scary -but it is a fact. And I also gather that many so called septics actually suspect this to be a fact - as I always challenge them in this way and they almost never accept the challenge - and when they do, they come out convinced.

Don’t want to be accused of “hijacking” another thread, so I took his claims above here: … 0#p2816270

Is there a star sign that means you transcend Star signs? Thus astrology?

I find it interesting that FC thinks the can know me by my star sign. What if FC’s star sign is that he’s retarded and I’m always smarter than him by my star sign?

It reminds me of Hitler … who thought Nordic people were the master race. Did he ever ask the master race what he should do? They would have called him a complete douche! And told him to stop doing this crazy, evil shit.

Talk about a hypocrite.

That’s the ground FC sits on.


By the way FC, most of us are smarter than you, astrologically speaking, but like Hitler, you refuse to ask or accept what we have to say.

I’m a Sagittarius Fire Dragon (Chinese sign)… best sign there is.

Why do you refuse to listen to me?

In steelmanning it, you’ve made it unrecognizable from its current form. Funnily enough, I’ve noticed actual astrology believers do the same thing.

For example, actual astrology believers will point to the work of Michel Gauquelin who “proved” the mars effect - that the location of mars in the sky seemed to have a relationship with top-level athletes. They’ll point to his studies as evidence that astrology is true, but ignore that 99% of his studies showed no correlation between astrological phenomena and real-world effects on people (and they also completely ignore the fact that later in life, he completely rejected his own findings as flawed). So when they want to prove astrology, they mold it into some weaker form that resembles “the mars effect”, but when they’re not concerned with proving it suddenly all the more bogus aspects are back in!

If your steelman of astrology were true - which it might be - it would only be cause for a slight statistical change in personalities correlated with birth dates. 31% of the general population has this personality trait, but 32% born 9 months after Christmas have it! I think it’s fair to say that this vision of astrology is drastically far from what astrology actually is, the kinds of things actual astrologists believe. I mean hell, just look at Fixed Cross post for a great example of what they actually believe! “If you give me birth date, time and place of one of your family members that I never heard of, I will be able to define that person accurately.”

I think it should also be considered that many cultural events are intentionally and unintentionally created by astrological planetary motions. Obviously the year is based on the Sun’s movement (the Sun being an astrological “planet”) - month - on the Moon.

But then all of the planets have been given social meanings (Venus=love, Mars=aggressiveness,—) and due to that - when there is no other influential guide - the belief that “war is on the rise” (Mars is literally rising in the sky) can actually cause war to soon come. When enough people believe something - they tend to cause it (which I guess is why they keep promoting apocalyptic narratives - they want that outcome).

If they formed enough planet-to-social event associations, they could cause what appeared to be a natural evolution of events that follow the planets but was actually instigated by the belief. Over the thousands of years they could gain enough observations of social events to make significant planetary associations be causitive.

And then as stated in the OP, the instigated social events would naturally lead to more specific, detailed, and predictable situations - like certain cultures having certain personality types be more prevalent if born during certain months and years (such as when war was “on the rise” - creating a greater warrior class).

If you could actually demonstrate in a controlled trial that you have this capability, you could get quite wealthy because you’d probably be responsible for one of the most important findings of the 21st century. Finding that astrology is valid would literally revolutionize science and would change our outlook on the reality we live in. You would immediately become the centrepiece of modern spirituality.

If you did want to do that, the way you described to test it wouldn’t be the way. The way you described it has a fundamental flaw, an incredibly obvious flaw, and that is the Barnum Effect – if you give people ‘personality readings’ and you’re utilizing the types of descriptions most astrologists use, you’re using lots of Barnum Statements, which means you’re saying things about peoples personalities that are so vague and generic that just about anybody would find them agreeable. I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing, but what I am saying is that IF that’s what you’re doing, you would have the results you’re reporting - lots of people being seemingly surprised at how well you described their personality. That’s what Barnum Statements are designed to do.

If you wanted to actually design a real compelling experiment to prove this, and thus become world famous and revolutionize our understanding of the world, here’s the experimental design I would recommend:

Get an unbiased and capable person to organize the experiment. The rest of the instructions are for him or her:

Get as many people as possible who will be the test subjects, screen out people who know a lot about astrology (they might already know their astrological reading and that could skew the results). Start with, say, 1000 people - that may be a small sample size for a true proof but it will be a good starting point. Split the 1000 people into groups of 5. Get all of their birthdates + time + place.

For every group of 5, send the 5 birthdates + time + place to Fixed Cross, Fixed Cross will then send you a personality profile for each one of those back.

Shuffle the 5 profiles, then send all 5 to each of the 5 people, with an ID for each profile. You know which ID matches each person, but they don’t - so at this point they have to read the 5 profiles and guess which one most accurately describes them. They’ll send you the ID of the one they think is the best match. You of course record which ID they chose and if it was a match or not.

Do this for all 1000 people (should be 200 groups), and if what Fixed Cross believes is true, then we should see a much higher match rate than 20%. We’d expect approximately 20% by random chance alone.

I don’t think you’re correct about your abilities, Fixed Cross, but if you are I’d love to see you change the world.

Unfortunately for Astrology, similar experiments have already been done before with negative results. So many attempts have failed by this point that I actually think the biggest problem would be getting funding to run an experiment - nobody cares anymore, science has lost interest. They tried it, it didn’t work, they moved on. But a relatively small experiment like this might not be very expensive, might even be within the realms of a Doctorate student writing their dissertation on it or something.

do mine