Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Humans have always recognized they lived in a dangerous, unpredictable world and sought ways to influence and understand events occurring around them. In today's Western world, most people try to do that by paying attention to work done by experts in various fields, largely through the mass media, and increasingly through the Internet. Religion, cultural values, and political judgments shape personal decisions. Before there were staff meetings, space satellites, and scientific inquiry, however, there was astrology.

Astrology is based on the curious notion that the positions of planets and stars in Earth's sky influence the lives of individuals and the course of human events. Exactly how this influence is manife4sted is unclear. What is clear is that when the principles of astrolgy were laid down, there were seven planets, including the Sun and the Moon, but excluding Uranus and Neptune, and the entire universe consisted of stars that can be seen with the naked eye from Earth-- about six thousand. Now we know the universe is a vastly larger, vastly more complex place. That new and deeper understanding should have buried astrology long ago, but it didn't.

You may notice that Blogger profiles carry the person's astrological sign. I have no idea why. Nor do I understand why people read astrology columns in newspapers, or hire astrologers to do specific charts. The explanation that seems to make the most sense is that people are still desperate to understand a dangerous, unpredictable world.

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