The Book

A scientific evaluation

The name of this website is taken from a book published in the 1980s “Astrology: True or False?  A scientific evaluation” by two professors of astronomy, Robert B. Culver and Philip A. Ianna,  an updated version of their original book   “The Gemini syndrome”.  Their objective was to fill the gap between astrologers and scientists.  On one hand astrology fans claim that astrology is a science without understanding what science really is and what evidence they require to make their claims; on the other hand, scientists have an attitude of “detached disgust” and will not have anything to do with the astrology – an attitude that leaves astrologers free to make appealing claims to the public with no proper opposition.

The scandal of an astrologer at the White House

The book that inspired the name of this website was published after the scandal about Ronald Regan’s advisors in the spring of 1988:  one of them, at the urging of the First Lady, was an astrologer! 

Comparison between astronomy and astrology

The book relates how astronomy and astrology have diverged over the centuries.  Astronomy has assessed and discarded traditional beliefs in favor of new theories supported by hard evidence and is now able to provide exact predictions related to the positions of celestial bodies.  Indeed, it has even been able to establish that the movements of Uranus were disturbed by an unknown planet and determine the position of the planet (Neptune) before it was discovered.

Astrology has only expanded on traditional theories.  The authors review Western astrological methods pointing out weaknesses and inconsistencies, and discuss purported mechanisms (“cosmic vibes”) whereby celestial bodies might influence humans, highlighting how poor the reasoning is.  They also assess the small amount of hard evidence supporting astrology and come to the conclusion that it is wanting.    

A challenge to the astrological community

In the 1984 edition the authors came to the conclusion that they were “convinced that astrology does not work”…. “Nevertheless, recognizing the limitations inherent in the search for truth we admit there always remains the remote possibility of finding an astrologer or astrological technique that may succeed where all else has failed”.  They therefore challenged the astrological community to demonstrate their claims, suggesting 10 tests that could be carried out. 

The challenge was criticized, some of the tests were considered to be unreasonable and did not evoke an overwhelming response.  In their epilogue 4 years later, the authors reviewed additional evidence that had become available and reached the conclusion that they were “now convinced there is no truth to astrology.”