Is Astrology A Science?
Which astrological sign is yours. We all know our zodiac sign, many of us check the horoscope page in the newspaper each morning before we go off to work. A large majority of us believe that the position of the planets when we were born controls our personality and also determines the events which occur throughout our lives. It is more than likely that you have met someone who does believe. Whether you are serious about astrology or not, it is often used as an ice breaker in conversation, it is a good way to get to know someone. However, is astrology just mumbo jumbo or does it really have a controlling influence on our lives, is it an actual science?

One of the earliest forms of science known to man is Astrology. Records of astrology have been found which originate in Babylon, these have been found to date from 1645 BC. Early Egyptians and early Greeks produced a timekeeping system and also used a calendar just like the ones we use today. When early man started to observe and understand the world around him, he also began to realize that there was a relationship between his life and the earth, stars and planets. It is possible that astrology may have helped some of the earliest civilizations to understand who they were and where they came from. They most certainly perceived astrology and the world around them as something which was greater than they themselves were, and something which should be studied and understood.

Astrology in modern times is not seen as being a very credible science. At one time astrology was one of the most credible sciences, just as astrophysics or chemistry are today. Early astronomers such as Galileo and Copernicus were known to be practicing astrologers. The astronomer Claudius Ptolemy of whom very little is known was seen as a leading intellectual of his day, Ptolemy's study and approval of astrology made astrology a hugely respected subject within academic circles. By giving astrology credibility as a science and also as an art, he ensured its practice would not be hindered during the medieval period. It was at this time that many other studies and occult practices were persecuted on religious grounds. He was deemed to be an authority on astrology and established the Tetrabiblos, (this is Greek which means four books) this became the definitive reference for all astrological students. Arabic scholars used the Tetrabiblos quite extensively, and they regarded Ptolemy to be the absolute expert on the subject. Later European scholars began to use the Tetrabiblos and translated it back into Latin in the 12th century.

Modern sciences such as the quantitative sciences caused the influence of astrology to diminish, astrology did however have a resurgence during the 1930's when Princess Margaret was born. In the United Kingdom the Sunday Express newspaper printed Princess Margaret's astrological profile; this is how the daily horoscope in the newspapers we all know came about. Anyone who has read their astrological profile would have to admit that there are a number of coincidences. There are those skeptics who will often say that newspaper horoscopes are very general and could apply to just about anyone.

These skeptics will also say that people will only look for what they want to see, and they will ignore what is not true for them. Therefore, according to the skeptics, people delude themselves and believe that the horoscope is accurate. I believe that this skepticism could be eliminated if we were to sit the skeptic down with a competent astrologer and have his or her astrological profile made using the date, time and place of their birth.

The human race claims to be very knowledgeable about the universe, yet we find it very easy to dismiss astrology as being a credible science. Perhaps if we were to put more effort into the study of astrology as a science, we may learn much more about the early civilizations of our world. Shakespeare perhaps understood, when he wrote in Hamlet, *There are more things on heaven and earth Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy.*
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