Is Astrology a science?
By Karthik Venkataramani
Most scientists would reply in the negative.
Especially if they are from India, where we have been systematically trained over decades to discount anything Indian. But, opinion espoused by scientists shouldn’t discourage us from pursuing facts. Had Einstein postulated that time-space continuum is a dimension in the 19th century, the chances are he might have been ridiculed. The most common objections to astrology are:
One, astrology implies that planetary movements have impact on individual lives. Modern research shows that planets cannot influence individuals.
Two, astrology claims to predict the future events. Again there is no empirical way it can be done. From the perspective of modern science, these objections are valid. Yet, this throws open a few more questions:
Does modern science describe reality in its entirety on the basis of empiricism and reductionism? The answer is a clear no, as every quantum mechanical postulate has to be buffered with correction factors to justify them. And most theories are based on very esoteric assumptions, which haven’t been proven. A case in point would be black holes, wormholes and white holes. And we understand very little about what constitutes inter-stellar space or how this universe evolved (if at all it evolved). So, to discount astrology on the basis of current advancements and understanding in modern science would not be valid.
Also, most of us have experienced that even a mediocre astrologer can make very detailed and fairly accurate prediction of future events. And with good astrologers, the level of accuracy increases. This begs a question. How can a stranger predict events to come in someone’s life? Even if he can predict one
event to a fair detail and accuracy, there has to be a method behind it. How much the practitioner has mastered the method is specific to the individual.
So, this gives rise to 2 possibilities, both hypothetical:
One, there is a science behind astrology, but it is of a higher level of abstraction. But the calculations themselves are made with reference to planets, which are at best reference co-ordinates.
Two, the science of astrology has consciousness as its central theme. And Vedic science recognizes that every entity, including planets, have consciousness. Dutch philosophers like Spinoza share this view too. And some Physicists like Einstein and Wigner share that as well. So, the planetary effect on an individual’s life is indeed interplay of the
consciousness of the individual and the planet.
Consciousness is yet to be recognized as part of modern science. Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner feels that sans consciousness our efforts at building a Grand Unified Theory will come to a naught.
At this juncture, let us step aside and look at astrology from a quantum-mechanical perspective. From the QM point of view, the concept of linear time is meaningless. Hence, our normal understanding of past, present and future are rendered meaningless in QM. There are just 3 things – Events, Observer and the
Interaction between them.
As for events, they don’t occur; they exist. The observer perceives them when he is located at the right co-ordinates from where he can interact with those events. So, for the purpose of understanding, let us depict time as an axis. If we assume that the observer is located at (0,0) co-ordinate, everything to the left of (0,0) co-ordinate will be the past; everything at (0,0) co-ordinate will be the present; everything to the right of (0,0) co-ordinate will be the future. The observer can perceive and interact with the events of the present. He remembers events of the past with which he has interacted. But, he doesn’t know what events lie in the future, i.e., to his right. For some reason unknown to us, he can move only from left to right at a defined velocity. So, he perceives future events whenever he reaches the co-ordinates at which they exist.
Now, let us hypothesize that astrology is a science that has a method to shift the co-ordinates at will either to the right or left. That means an astrologer trained in that method can perceive the events that exist in the past or future. But, he cannot interact with that.
Perhaps this could be understood with an
analogy. Let us say it is pitch dark and you are
looking at your car, which is parked 100 metres from you. Obviously, you can’t read the number plate on the car. But, you have torchlight and project a beam at the car, then you can read the number plate, though you cannot touch it. So, when an astrologer shifts the co-ordinates to perceive a future or a past event, it is like flashing a beam of light at a distant object to perceive it.
That brings up another interesting question. How do we account for time travel? Is it the same as astrology? Well, time travel is documented in Vedic scriptures. Many modern researchers have also documented cases. Well, if we were to continue the analogy, then time travel is in part distinct from astrology. An observer may use astrology to perceive a future event, i.e., he flashes a beam of light at it. But if he were to interact with that event, he has to undertake time-travel. That he has to travel in some form to the co-ordinate where the event is located. Since we know that QM limits us from doing so with our gross body, this again brings up the relevance of Consciousness and subtle body employed to do this.
Venkateshwara A Reddy adds…
Astrology is beyond Science. There is an emerging Mathematics known as Clifford Algebra (higher dimensional divisional Spaces) deals with existence of Magic, Occult, and Astrology et al. All these so-called sciences are certain examples in that mathematics.
Why don’t you question on the Axiomatic foundations of these sciences.
Axiom is neither proved, nor disproved. Ask for the proof of those axioms from those so-called scientists.
A Finite system can’t understand /comprehend the Infinite Truth. This is called Godel Incompleteness Theorem in Logic. Godel was tried to prove the existence of God.
There is a book. It is titled as ‘on the history of mathematical proof of existence of god’ written in German by some mathematician.