The thread over at Funk Astrology where Jamie Funk has pretty much cast me as an inquisitor hunting astrology heretics, wherein I’ve asked several times that someone actually show up and address the questions in my post, has netted us a number of amusing trolls but nobody actually addressing my post. Oh, I mean, you get the odd person saying “astrology just works, and science can’t explain it”, which pretty much equals “ya gotta have faith”, and people saying “you haven’t studied it, therefore you don’t understand it”, which equals the Courtier’s Reply, but the fun is short-lived.
Especially if all you get in the way of an actual attempt at a falsification is “tell us your personal information so we can do a chart on you”. Never mind that a) pretty well everything you could ever want to know about me, my life’s history, my personality traits, etc., are all on my blog and all you have to do is sit down and read; and b) even if I told them how they’re wrong they’d probably turn around and say I was lying or they’d make up excuses for why THEY’RE right and I really DO have the personality traits they think I do; and c) they’d probably just end up saying I’m a bitter old curmudgeon with a closed mind (or whatever else they’re projecting onto me at the moment). Meh. Frankly, I’m just not interested in a bunch of wackos having my personal information, even if I have a lot of personal information right here on this blog already.
I did promise I would cross-post my original article into the Deepwater Horizon thread at Jamie’s blog, and that IS something I welched on. When I went to do the cross-posting, I honestly forgot that I had said explicitly where I’d post it. So yes, I was a jerk in that respect. I said I’d give Jamie today (with his barbecue and spending time with his fiancee Marina), and I managed to not post there myself (and ignore my own blog for the most part!) for the day as well. So I haven’t been stoking the fires. Tomorrow, as long as the topology hasn’t shifted significantly, I’ll copy my “smells like Funk” post over into a comment on the Deepwater Horizon thread and fulfill my original promise.
I just posted this comment, my way of reminding everyone exactly what I wanted to talk about, and what I wouldn’t be goaded into discussing. I couldn’t resist taking one comment from someone who evidently believes personal attacks that are easily falsified qualify as debate, and throwing a few facts in their face. I don’t think I did much fire-stoking here, do you?
I’ve promised myself I wouldn’t spend much time online today, but I just can’t let this particular comment pass.
It’s evident you didn’t read my blog, or the comments therein. I can tell because you think nobody in my family or circle of friends has ever consulted an astrologer. In fact, in one of my comments, I pointed out that I married an ex-astrologer. She did all sorts of natal charts for people, and she thought she was “the real deal” and that horoscopes in papers and interpreting sun signs were crap. She has since discovered it was all selection bias, mind you, and that reality is really cool when you let it tell you about itself, but hey. That won’t stop any of you from making assumptions and insinuations that can be so easily disproven just by going over to the offending article and actually reading it.
So far this entire thread has devolved into telling me that I don’t have any facts to back me up, or that I follow some kind of scriptural dogmatic science religion, or personal attacks on my character. I don’t mind those. I’m actually quite used to them. I’ve fought for years on the internet against creationists trying to replace scientific teachings with “the earth was made by God six thousand years ago, evidence be damned”, so I’ve had every one of those attacks levelled at me. I’m pretty inured at this point. The only one of you that seems to have their heads about them is Rob, who (while he incorrectly assumes I fear character assassination) actually understands that this “debate” isn’t going to go anywhere as long as it’s driven out of some kind of attempt at hectoring.
Everything else, about people trying to peer-pressure me into
proving religion is true by quoting the bible err sorry, proving astrology is true by doing my natal chart, can stop barking up that tree. Unless someone decides to be super-creepy as Deb suggested they should (I work in IT, I know how easy it is to obtain personal information about someone without their consent, but if you do it, you’re doing it without my consent, ergo creepy, capisce?), there will be no interpreting my astrological influences when you could find out everything you could ever want to know about me, my personality, et cetera, from my blog.
I’ve set the terms for what I want to actually talk about — that being my concerns about astrology, how it could work, and how I suspect it probably can’t. I’d like evidence to back up that the planets have any sort of influence on humankind whatsoever, outside of the few we know — Jupiter sweeps away asteroids, giving us a better shot at life; the moon drives our tides and churns our oceans; and the sun provides us with all the energy we need to overcome entropy. I know, I know, you can do a chart and find out why things happened after the fact via your framework, but have you ever tried doing up the wrong date for an event and explaining that event with the incorrect chart? Have you noticed how you can pretty well explain any event with any chart if you try hard enough? Outside of post-hoc rationalizations (e.g. doing charts after events), what proof do you have that there’s any kind of effect? Have you measured that effect? What drives the effect, and how does it affect only who and what it does?
Those questions, and more, are asked in my post, and I strongly welcome any of you to answer them. You know, rather than this unproductive and one-sided screaming. Again, if nobody’s interested in actually debating what I’ve posted, I’ll consider the matter closed, with no willing participants. I’d prefer Jamie do it, since he’s the one who challenged me, but if someone can give me any kind of explanation outside of “science can’t explain astrology” (which equals “you need faith”) in my mind, please take a shot at it! That’s why I’m here, and I’ll leave if I don’t get it.
(On second thought, if you just want to be rid of me, thinking I’m nought but a troll, then maybe you should just stand around and call me names and demand my birth information some more. I know when nobody’s serious about actually defending their beliefs in the context of the evidence to the contrary.)
So long as nobody’s actually addressing the content of my post, my interest in this fight is waning rapidly. I feel like I’m beset by jackals, but every one of them toothless and clawless and they’re busy trying to gum me to death. It’s nothing I won’t survive, but it’s getting really irritating.