Does the Astrology File prove that astrology is true?

YES, these findings (partly) prove that astrology is TRUE

In order to answer the question “does the star sign under which a person is born have any influence on that person’s nature?” the team led by Gunter Sachs carried out 11 investigations and found significant differences in ALL of them, which in 9 cases were highly significant i.e. very unlikely to be due to chance. 

And they did not stop there.   In the world of science one always needs a control group, because the research team may be making a systematic error in good faith and their significant findings might be due to the error.  If the significant findings occur only in the investigational group and not in the control group, then the probability of a systematic error is strongly reduced.  To this purpose the statisticians mixed the data at random and created artificial star signs.  “To do so they left the traditional star signs in the same order within the year, but provided these with artificial i.e. false birth dates.  In this way an artificial year resulted, beginning with 6 April, for example, followed by 11 November. etc.”  They claim that they did not find any significant correlation for marriages and suicides of artificial star signs, and illustrate the data related to suicides. 

Gunter Sachs reaches the conclusion that “We have proved it – there is a correlation” and his conclusion is officially supported by the statistician involved.  What is more – and important in the world of science – Gunter Sachs asked for peer review, which was performed by Head and a Section Head of the Institute for Research and Development into Federal Statistics at the German Statistical Office.  The key conclusions of his review are that “Gunter Sachs used correct statistical methods without exceptions” and that “the few critical remarks we have made do not adversely affect the overall impression.  In our view his testing of data and their reserved interpretation is successful and “skilled”.

NO, these findings do not prove that astrology is TRUE

First of all, the question was not related to astrology in its entirety, but only to the star signs (= sun signs”), which are only one of the components of a horoscope, the other two being the position of the planets and the aspects among the various planets.

Secondly, the team led by Sachs undoubtedly found significant differences among people with their sun in different zodiac signs from a statistical point of view i.e. unlikely to be due to chance


-         Little is said about the size of the differences i.e. the difference that is actually seen in practice, in real life.  Were the differences really important?

-        Who says that the differences were really due to astrology?

It is a pity that Sachs decided that he did not want to include any astrologers in his research team.  True, this meant that the team was fully independent and that there could be no undue influence by astrologers, but it resulted in the formulation of questions and choice of parameters that did not take any of the previous research findings into consideration.  This is an unorthodox way of carrying out research, which usually starts with a rationale based on previous findings and builds on what has previously been established.  When one reads the book, one gets the impression that no research had been carried out in the past – which is simply not true (e.g. see the research by Gauquelin). If Sachs had involved astrologers he could have asked more targeted questions, such as:  Is it true that if you are born with the sun in XXXX sign, you are more likely to …. Choose yyy profession, divorce, commit suicide, etc??  This would have given more credence to any positive significant findings. 

What Sachs actually did was ask questions blindly.  And he asked many, many questions.  It is well known in statistics that if you ask often enough you will find associations by chance.  True, some allowance for this was made, but even so, how can one really be sure that the results are due to astrology and not to other factors?   The team claim to have corrected for differences in birth rates throughout the year, but there are doubts as to whether this was exhaustively done so, as factors that potentially impact the rates, such as climate and socio-economic factors, can change from year to year and from place to place. 

These and other criticisms raised by astrologers and statisticians can be found at the website “Astrology and Science”.