(a) My destiny and personality ruled by astrology
I have the impression that we are presently living during a new, scientific revolution, similar in scope and significance to Copernicus’s revolution of the 16th century. In his heliocentric model, Copernicus argued that the center of the universe was the Sun – an idea wholly at odds with the view of the Catholic Church that the Earth was the center of the universe. Obviously, the Vatican was ready to condemn him for contradicting Holy Scripture, but acted too late to prevent his ideas in the form of his thesis, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, from falling into the hands of European intellectuals.
Today, in this second Copernican revolution, we have confirmed that our sun’s position is in the outskirts of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, which itself contains another 200 billion+ sun-like stars. There are still those who contend that until we actually meet extraterrestrials in the flesh, we cannot be certain of their coexistence with us in the universe. Such a contradiction prompted renowned physicist, Enrico Fermi, to examine and contemplate the high probability of extraterrestrial civilizations existing with their apparent (and as yet unobserved) physical absence. This ‘spatial scale’ versus ‘probability’ is known as the ‘Fermi Paradox.’
To sum up, the modern scientific revolution we are experiencing has allowed us to become aware that we are but a tiny sample of cosmic dust, traveling nowhere in particular, on an unstable, rocky spaceship which is floating inside an unimaginable and terrifying vastness!
However, it appears that modern astrologists have read nothing about Copernicus’ second revolution. They continue believing that the Sun is a celestial body around Earth. In addition, they firmly believe that since all planets in the solar system exert gravity and emit “planetary energy,” are thus able to affect our brains, influence our psyches, and impact our affairs from birth to death.
Let’s examine the legitimacy of these claims by utilizing the laws of physics.
As Venus is the planet closest to us, I will use it to calculate its gravitational force on a baby at the moment of birth. Then, I will compare the results with the gravitational force on the same baby exerted by the Earth.
Newton’s law of Gravitation says: Gravity Force = (G x m1 x m2) / d2
With G (a constant) = 6.6726 x 10-11 N-m2/kg2
First, let’s calculate the gravity force of Venus over the baby:
m1 = Venus mass = 4.868e24e24 kg.
m2 = Baby mass = 3.5 kg.
Distance between Venus and the baby = 38 million kilometers (the closest distance.)
Result: Gravitational ForceVenus = 0.0000002 pound-force.
Now, let’s calculate the gravity force of the Earth over the baby:
m1 = Earth mass = 5.974e24 kg.
m2 = Baby mass = 3.5 kg.
Distance between center of Earth to the baby = 6,371 kilometers.
Result: Gravitational ForceEarth = 7.8 pound-force.
The gravitational force from Venus on the baby is 2 ten-millionths of a pound-force, which rounds down to and is essentially zero in the grand scheme of things. The gravitational force from the Earth on the baby is almost 8 pounds of force. Consequently, it is mathematically correct to say that, relatively speaking, there is no significant gravitational influence from Venus on a person living on the surface of planet Earth. And, as Venus is the closest planet to us (excluding the moon which is only an appendix to the backyard of Earth), this implies that the remaining planets would also have virtually no gravitational influence on us. Given these results, it would appear our astrology-minded friends are bit off the mark here.
By the way, if you know an astrologer, please inform them that his romantic Venus, the planet of love, fertility, beauty, and art, is regrettably a real-life inferno: Its surface temperature sits at around 900 degrees Fahrenheit and has a thick atmosphere composed of sulfuric acid along with compounds of chorine and fluorine, which precipitate acid rain. That’s not to mention the ferocious winds that make the nasty acidic clouds race around the planet at a whopping 200 miles per hour. It really sounds like a charming place to visit, no?
(b) My health ruled by Homeopathy
It is not just astrologists that are bringing bizarre theories into the 21th century; modern alchemists also have some strange ideas, albeit with fancy names like homeopathy.
In 1998 I was invited to participate in a lecture series at an international scientific seminar in Tours, France, with leading scientists from France, England, Japan, and Israel. Among them was the president of the Homeopathic Laboratories of France. He explained that homeopathic remedies are made by a process of several dilutions of an active ingredient in water so that the final product would contain hardly a molecule of the original ingredient. Then, because the water has “memory” it will impeccably remember the chemical properties of the original substance. For instance, if you need an antibiotic (but don’t want the potential side effects) you need only take some diluted antibiotics that are able to “nostalgically remember” the original antibiotic… You place a little drop of this clever water upon a sugar pill, package it elegantly, and Voila! The pill is ready for the market.
The German physician Samuel Hahnemann, in the 18th century, was the founder of the principles and therapies of what we now know as homeopathy. In 2005, a research group of scientist leaded by Prof. Matthias Egger from the University of Berne, Switzerland, conducted a thorough comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy. The results were published in the old and prestigious medical journal, ‘The Lancet’, and its conclusion was: ‘homeopathy is no better than placebo”. Of course, like any placebo effect, it can causes positive physiological changes such as immune system support, or a release of endorphins that alleviate pain.
In the present day, the current field of homeopathy has added herbal extracts into the production of its so-called medicine. This situation has changed the inoffensive water “with memory” into a set of serious chemically- active products. Even though some of these herbal medications have shown beneficial effects, others – after a period of time – have shown to potentially cause adverse reactions such as kidney failure and liver damage. In the USA these alternative medicine products are often unregulated, and as such, we should have very little confidence about whether or not the dose printed on the container is accurate.
Homeopathy uses ambiguous claims and individual anecdotes as a method of validation. In essence and specific terms, no one is really quite sure exactly how efficacious it is on net – and in point of fact, there are many cases where this lack of clarity can cause harm to our health. Furthermore, as a marketing tool, homeopathy employs the idea that the pharmaceutical industry has developed a conspiracy against it in pursuit of greater profits, or some other nefarious end.
In reference to Astrology, it’s not worth a commentary.
Karl de Azagra