Thursday, November 13, 2008

Astrologers: do the witch test

This long post is about scientists testing an astrologer in the 90's in Belgium. A long time ago, but still a valid way to see what may happen when astrologers meet science. is still proud of it and many use the contents of their site as the proof that astrology fails. They tested one astrologer, under their terms. The astrolger had to try to match 7 charts with several mostly not very life changing events. She had 7 hours to do so, without more background information than a descripton of the event (no gender, sometimes not even a date, no information about ´what happened next´).

She could have gained millions. Could she REALLY? Do you want to give it a try? Join in testing witches (after translation), or first check the data in this post (below). And if you do it for the money: please first ask if the money is (still) available and if the scientists will show up for control. And maybe you reconsider after reading the conditions and terms for the test and about how they did not stick to the protocol.

What happened?, a Belgian skeptic forum had a great idea. They would give a lot of money to the astrologer who was able to pass their ‘scientific’ test. A Belgian astrologer had said on television that she was aible to see certain events in a chart. So for over 2 years a member of Skepsis urged the astrologer to give it a try with Skepsis. They offered a lot of money. And in the end this astrologer gave in. She failed the not scientifical, prejudiced and badly prepared test in very cold and intimidating conditions. And the people of had already predicted that! They said to each other beforehand:
Quote: (I translate): ‘Our intuition says rather strongly: No, based upon what we all learned at the university and by what we know about the status quo in scientific thinking, this is not possible' End of quote.

If they knew beforehand, why than did it takes such a needless, diffuse and complicated test in such a hurry?

Was this test science? Is astrology identical to one astrologer? Is astrology predicting? And is this test without prejudice, and is the material adequate? I don't think so. This test was done based upon wrong ideas about astrology, to start with.
Skepsis believes that astrologers can (or should...) see earth quakes coming at any possible time and place on earth. So with triumph they published the news that AN Indian astrologer had NOT foreseen an earth quake. Wow!
Here you see their message about the Indian astrologer, in Belgian

There were 7 charts and as it happens there also were 7 things wrong about this test. Those 7 mistakes turned this test into a witch test in a witch hunt against astrology.

1. There are 7 charts and there is a lot of unnecessary data, while the information that is really needed is missing (occupation, gender, present situation)
There is no consistency in the given information, so it takes time to create order in the chaos. Why didn’t they mention: data, event, consequences-present situation- gender- occupation 7 times?

2. Although Skepsis had a protocol stating that only IMPORTANT events should be part of the test, they choose to take only 2 important events (severe illness and change of profession) and those events happened both around 1990!

3. Two of the charts were of the same day! The astrologer protested, but (said the scientists): a lot of people are born on the same day, so …continue. This cannot have been done in order to make it more easy:) It is the same issue as with the two important events in 1990.

4. The conditions of the test were rather strange. The scientist complained about icy cold hands. In these circumstances the astrologer worked without her own library and only with her calculation program at hand.

5. The scientist intimidated the astrologer when she said that 7 were too much. They told her that for a decent test it would take at least 7 charts. Why? This was the first time that such a test was done with astrologers, so they could not proof that it took 7 charts. Why didn't it take 7 astrologers instead of only one to prove astrology wrong?

6. The astrologer had only 1 day (7 hours) to complete the test. The scientists insisted that it could be done in one day. How did they know? Intuition again?

7. They had promised to use cases that were very different from each other and events with impact! I see a case of a person whose insured car had been stolen. And there were 3 relationships ending softly in a certain year (…!), even though they had a protocol that said that they would use material of a bitter divorce with conflicts.

This site is for astrologers, so I need not explain that she had to draw at least 21 charts: a birth chart, several progressed charts and the transits for all of these charts for a few years or moments and possibly also solar return charts!

DATA of birth (day/month/year/24hours):
24/4/1939 11u45
13/01/1955 7u00
22/06/1955 0u25
22/06/1955 23u45
20/08/1960 21u25
04/09/1968 18u10
12/04/1964 10u15

- diagnosed for multiple sclerosis in 1990,
- change of profession (becoming an actor) in 1990
- a not announced leave of a partner with financial consequences on a certain day
- stolen car
- person with misty career looses job and starts living together in a year
- a move in a year without problems
- another move with a stomach perforation in 1997, no data
- slowly ending relationship

Try to find this within 7 hours, with cold hands and without your books and win millions by finding 2 out of 7. If you find only 1 or less you have been found a light weight. But inquire first if you want to win the money*)

Real statistical research about astrology is done by Astrodatabank. Check the research department.


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