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?

 

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