Scientists Behind New Zodiac Signs Think You're Stupid


zodiac signsThe new zodiac sign dates have had us all acting like we've been moved into the Cancer realm and turned into permanent crabs. But don't bother reading your horoscope today, we're about to make you really crabby about the new astrological dates. It turns out the people at the Minnesota Planetarium Society, the scientists responsible for this whole astrological mess, don't believe a word they're saying.

It's a report from the astronomers in Minnesota that's been given credit for the major zodiac sign changes that had parents panicking and divorce papers drafted yesterday. But take one look at the society's website, and the only nod to the report is a link to the news story that started the whole hullabaloo. And then there's this:

A link directing you to visit the site of Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, taking on astrology. It's directly underneath the note about the zodiac report, so it must be something that will shed a little light, right? Make the Scorpios feel better about being Libras, and so on?

Not at all. Plait is a real astronomer. And as such, he thinks that astrology, zodiac signs, and horoscopes are a teeming pile of horse manure. Just check out his initial disclaimer on the site:

Before I even start, a note: this page is my attempt to show that astrology has no basis in reality whatsoever. Ironically, the Google ads on the right hand side of this page will invariably advertise astrological websites, because Google looks for keywords in a page and serves up "appropriate" ads. It's impossible for me to filter out the swarming mass of astrology ads, so you have my permission to look at them and chuckle.

And what about this indictment of everything that went on yesterday?

There is harm, real harm, in astrology. It weakens further people's ability to rationally look at the world, an ability we need now more than ever.

This is what the people who got us all worked up yesterday want us to read? That they don't put one iota of faith in it? Looks like we all just got played ... and played right into their hands.

Hey, I've always been a bit of a "skeptic" about the zodiac. I don't read my horoscope faithfully. I don't even know the "traits" of folks outside of my own family. But when I read the word "astronomer" associated with the report yesterday, as opposed to just plain old "astrologist," I can't be the only one who stood up and listened. Astronomers, after all, are real scientists. If they're talking about this, it has to be real. Right? Right?

But the worldwide frenzy that cropped up yesterday just proved Phil Plait right: we didn't look rationally at the world yesterday. We saw the word "science," and we jumped. Unfortunately, we forgot to read what the scientists were really saying.

Does this make you feel like you've been played or like you were overreacting?


Image via justj0000lie/Flickr

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Renée Fortin

Judging only your little rant here, I'm going to call you a Leo. :P

No need to get all riled up, either. Just a joke.

nonmember avatar balh

People who want to keep their signs for the sake of that's what they have been all their life go ahead, doesn't change the fact that the sun position in a constellation determines your true sign...

autod... autodidact

parents panicking? divorce papers? those people ARE stupid.

K_Mama33 K_Mama33

There's a lot more to astrology that that little paragraph you read at the end of your favorite magazine.  There's a reason its been around for thousands of years.  Obviously it serves some purpose in society.  The only thing said here was that that one particular astromomer who wrote the study doesn't believe in astrology.  But he has not disproved it scientifically either.

For millioins of people, it is going to take a lot more than one guy saying, "I don't believe in this" for anyone (including me) to change their minds.

Suzzanne Barwick

I thought that I was getting more Bull-Headed & my family was changing the way they had always been & I thought why are they acting like the way their siblings Zodic were when they were 1st born. I know that it doesn't change anything, but even my mother has been acting differently this year. It was a nice change from the everyday year after year thing.

nonmember avatar Amaryllis

Zodiac signs are so general that they could describe anybody and everybody. People take all these tests and personality quizzes, and seeing these things that describe their personality, they mold their personality unconsciously to fit that role. The same goes for zodiac signs. I'm a gemini, but I'm also an ENTP, according to Myers Briggs (which has a better way of testing things anyways). It doesn't really matter. Plus, I have no idea what my new sign is. Meh.

nonmember avatar EB

Always took the readings with a huge grain of salt, but that's how I look at all belief systems. I try to base my decisions on rational thought processes. I've always just thought it was kind of interesting, especially if you don't look at the reading until after the period of time that it is supposed to be for. Example: Look at 2010's reading on 12/31/2010, and see how it panned out for you. For me, it's just fun, and I don't take any great meaning from it.
I think all the astronomer was trying to say was, basically, that if you're going to base your life after what house your star or whatever is in, you might as well actually look up at the stars and the constellations, and base it on where the stars currently are. He never claimed to be an astrologer.

mamak57 mamak57

your horoscope and the little blurb they mention in the paper is two differnt thigns. Your horoscope is the map of the sky at the time of your birth. that silly thing in the paper is  the sun's position on any given day.

Astronomy is the kid sibling of astrology. The moon has been proven to effect people so do the other planest as the travel the sky it has to do with gravity and its affect on the human body and its water content. I am a certified astrologer and ahve been since 86.

PoeDu... PoeDunkMae

I looked at it as more of a joke.  I poked fun at the whole idea.  Yeh, I've been guilty of reading my horoscope, but that was back when I was in highschool.  I will admit that I do fall under the "libra" personality, and my husband is definetley a Virgo, but we don't "live" by our signs.  So it was all pretty much a joke to me.  As I read it...I this stuff REALLY true? 

nonmember avatar Dana

OK folks - An "astronomer" is a scientist (someone who has a doctorate - read has studied their area of science for a minimum of 12 years) and an "astronomer" (read someone who has studied astrology - the zodiac and the theoretical influences of the planets and constellations and their assigned qualities and influences for an unknown period, from various and often conflicting set of references and "experts". Yes, I do personally believe there is some truth and merit to astrology on the whole. But scientists by definition, can Only deal with measurable (empirical) facts. So, the position of the primary constellation at the time of your birth are changing, however, that does not change the fact that they were that influence at the time and date of your birth. It is probably a good idea though, to look at what the "new" sign represents as it may be somewhat influential to the energies influencing your current circumstances, but I am not an astrologer, so I can not say for sure.

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