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markdohle

Michael Shermer debunked by Astrologer

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Was that the entire segment, Mark?

In what we see, Shermer's producer played it straight, showing that the astrologer exceeded expectations. I was surprised though, that Shermer would willingly give the astrologer the last word, then cut to black.

Using my own hamster intuition that there was probably more to the story, I looked for a statement by Shermer about the incident. I found something attributed to him here,

http://marcalandimartino.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/the-curious-case-of-shermer-vs-armstrong/

It appears that Shermer wasn't the producer of the show, just the "on air talent" and expert consultant. The protocol he proposed was not carried out. How much weight the partial experiment deserves is hard to say.

Obviously, I cannot speak for Shermer. My own personal reservations (apart from the above, based on that statement attributed to Shermer):

The "switch" was not double blind and the sample size is 2. I notice that when later primed to evaluate "their own" actual reading, the two "switched" subjects gave the highest "accuracy" ratings of any two readings.

If the criterion of success is a subject's agreement with proposed self-descriptions, and the statements offered for agreement include things like "The subject is handsome, well-groomed, whose company is much sought after..." Well, there's three hits right there.

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i must say I have had my doubts before, but wow, this guy is impressive...or rather, the astrology readings are.

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Astrology is actually a science ,which involves mathematics ,and planetary influences . It's not like someone holding your hand and saying,I see the letter L name...Larry ,Lenny ...blah blah .

It's very different in reality ,which peop le do not always realize ...

And I'm realizing i owe a thread a reading......oh my slothful ways....

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Astrology is actually a science ,which involves mathematics ,and planetary influences .

When and where does astrology employ the scientific method?
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When and where does astrology employ the scientific method?

Heu you should study ancient religions... unfortunately neither the Summerians, the Egyptians nor the Druids have left much detail of their way of work but fortunately the Chinese did. So read re-read and re-re-read.

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When and where does astrology employ the scientific method?

Hey,if you're the expert ,and you don't know ....how can you ask anyone else that .

Its done with computers now ,but it used to be done with an astrolabe and ephemeris ,all of which is ALL MATHEMATICS and TRUE planetary positions in the sky

Math and planetary position are both non existent sciences...SCIENCES , to be debunked now ? Lots of luck .

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Heu you should study ancient religions... unfortunately neither the Summerians, the Egyptians nor the Druids have left much detail of their way of work but fortunately the Chinese did. So read re-read and re-re-read.

Hey, go look up the meaning of science sometime. Or better yet, learn english. Edited by Rlyeh
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Hey,if you're the expert ,and you don't know ....how can you ask anyone else that .

So you can't answer it? As someone who practices pseudoscience and quackery, I thought you'd have a better idea.
Its done with computers now ,but it used to be done with an astrolabe and ephemeris ,all of which is ALL MATHEMATICS and TRUE planetary positions in the sky

Math and planetary position are both non existent sciences...SCIENCES , to be debunked now ? Lots of luck .

Creationism uses mathematics, it must be science!!

You realise using science doesn't make the conclusion scientific.

Edited by Rlyeh

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Was that the entire segment, Mark?

In what we see, Shermer's producer played it straight, showing that the astrologer exceeded expectations. I was surprised though, that Shermer would willingly give the astrologer the last word, then cut to black.

Using my own hamster intuition that there was probably more to the story, I looked for a statement by Shermer about the incident. I found something attributed to him here,

http://marcalandimar...r-vs-armstrong/

It appears that Shermer wasn't the producer of the show, just the "on air talent" and expert consultant. The protocol he proposed was not carried out. How much weight the partial experiment deserves is hard to say.

Obviously, I cannot speak for Shermer. My own personal reservations (apart from the above, based on that statement attributed to Shermer):

The "switch" was not double blind and the sample size is 2. I notice that when later primed to evaluate "their own" actual reading, the two "switched" subjects gave the highest "accuracy" ratings of any two readings.

If the criterion of success is a subject's agreement with proposed self-descriptions, and the statements offered for agreement include things like "The subject is handsome, well-groomed, whose company is much sought after..." Well, there's three hits right there.

I was just surprised at how Shermer responded during the whole event, which is the real reason I posted it. My respect for him has gone up. Skeptics can be like believers, only letting in what they already believe what is true and ignoring the rest...he did show very good restraint in is reactions.

peace

Mark

i must say I have had my doubts before, but wow, this guy is impressive...or rather, the astrology readings are.

Yes, if real, it was very impressive.

peace

mark

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Hey, go look up the meaning of science sometime. Or better yet, learn english.

Why? You need lessons?

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Why? You need lessons?

No, you do.

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I was just surprised at how Shermer responded during the whole event, which is the real reason I posted it. My respect for him has gone up. Skeptics can be like believers, only letting in what they already believe what is true and ignoring the rest...he did show very good restraint in is reactions.

peace

Mark

That's nice that you think more highly of him now, it really is. And thank you for the like, too. But the title of your thread is "Michael Shermer debunked..."

Debunked? Shermer openly advocates an opinion, and in whatever of his I've read, he has always included a discussion of the evidence upon which his opinion rests. In this case, he helps somebody else, the producer of that show, to present facts contrary to Shermer's own opinion.

Shermer's not a bunco artist in the first place; how can he be debunked?

(I know, it's the Youtuber's title originally, but you aren't stuck with that when you link to it for discussion here. My issue is not "skeptic versus believer," but fairness to a specific person who has been called out by name.)

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No, you do.

Sorry dude but I don't speak Aussie.

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Sorry dude but I don't speak Aussie.

If you don't understand "When and where does astrology employ the scientific method?", you've got more problems than just speaking aussie.

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That's nice that you think more highly of him now, it really is. And thank you for the like, too. But the title of your thread is "Michael Shermer debunked..."

Debunked? Shermer openly advocates an opinion, and in whatever of his I've read, he has always included a discussion of the evidence upon which his opinion rests. In this case, he helps somebody else, the producer of that show, to present facts contrary to Shermer's own opinion.

Shermer's not a bunco artist in the first place; how can he be debunked?

(I know, it's the Youtuber's title originally, but you aren't stuck with that when you link to it for discussion here. My issue is not "skeptic versus believer," but fairness to a specific person who has been called out by name.)

LOL point taken, but glad I posted it....Like I said, Michael showed real class in the video.

Peace

Mark

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If you don't understand "When and where does astrology employ the scientific method?", you've got more problems than just speaking aussie.

This is why I said read and re- read the ancient Chinese astrology. Their methods was observation and notes. You might not like what they say because in your opinion the ancient couldn't be as truthful as you are, doesn't change the facts.

And I always found fascinating how certain people start to use insults when out of any forms of argument.

Edited by Paracelse

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This is why I said read and re- read the ancient Chinese astrology. Their methods was observation and notes. You might not like what they say because in your opinion the ancient couldn't be as truthful as you are, doesn't change the facts.

Pay attention, I asked "When and where does astrology employ the scientific method?". Your response didn't answer the question, in fact your response had nothing to do with the scientific method.
And I always found fascinating how certain people start to use insults when out of any forms of argument.

You wouldn't have to worry about that, the only argument you've presented is your own ignorance. Edited by Rlyeh

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Astrology is actually a science ,which involves mathematics ,and planetary influences . It's not like someone holding your hand and saying,I see the letter L name...Larry ,Lenny ...blah blah .

It's very different in reality ,which peop le do not always realize ...

And I'm realizing i owe a thread a reading......oh my slothful ways....

Simply saying "it involves mathematics, its is actually science" doesn't make it so.

Show your working out. Show how the process works. Don't just tell me it does and advise me to read up on Chinese mysticism.

Detail how astrology works, and I'll believe you.

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Yes, ASTRONOMY is indeed science. But astroLOGY is something that attempts to tie all that astronomy in to human behavior, predictions, etc.

Now, please show me the science for that. I sometimes read the astrology fluff in papers and magazines, and I can get most of it to apply to me... Who'da thort!

Wki says:

Scientific testing of astrology has been conducted, and no evidence has been found to support any of the premises or purported effects outlined in astrological traditions. There is no proposed mechanism of action by which the positions and motions of stars and planets could affect people and events on Earth that does not contradict well understood, basic aspects of biology and physics.

Ouch..

Now we all know Wiki isn't always right, so could the astrology supporters please provide some citations for scientific testing / evidence that does unequivocally support astrological effects, AND then tell us what the proposed mechanism is, and how that mechanism could/should be tested?

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Simply saying "it involves mathematics, its is actually science" doesn't make it so.

Show your working out. Show how the process works. Don't just tell me it does and advise me to read up on Chinese mysticism.

Detail how astrology works, and I'll believe you.

Listen,if you cannot see the difference between something that involves actual sciences,compared to a psychic reading,or automatic writing,or a tarot card reading ,I cannot explain it to you ,if you do not have the proper cognitive functions to get it .It's as simple as that .

You people PURPOSELY nit pick at everything I say,jjuusssttt to seem oh so cool and intelligent .

It's tiresome ,to me,and I assume most people with a brain ,so forgive me if I just blow you all off ...

Thanks

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Listen,if you cannot see the difference between something that involves actual sciences,compared to a psychic reading,or automatic writing,or a tarot card reading ,I cannot explain it to you ,if you do not have the proper cognitive functions to get it .It's as simple as that .

You people PURPOSELY nit pick at everything I say,jjuusssttt to seem oh so cool and intelligent .

It's tiresome ,to me,and I assume most people with a brain ,so forgive me if I just blow you all off ...

Thanks

I understand science pretty well thank you. I asked you to explain to me how astrology works scientifically.

I'm not calling BS. I'm not having a go at anyone's lifestyle or beliefs. I'm not trying to be "cool and intelligent" (definitely not the former, the latter is up for debate).

I am a skeptic - if the evidence is there, I will concede that astrology is reality; just as I have with evolution, quantum physics - hell, any area of any science. I want to know that the universe is amazing, but this should always require evidence.

So, again: what is the scientific evidence for astrology, and through what process does it work?

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Listen,if you cannot see the difference between something that involves actual sciences,compared to a psychic reading,or automatic writing,or a tarot card reading ,I cannot explain it to you ,if you do not have the proper cognitive functions to get it .It's as simple as that .

Astrology is generally seen as a pseudo-science, not as an actual science. Surely you know that. For this reason you can't react like that.

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Very direct answer by Phil Plait (awesome guy)

Summing Up

I had a lot to say here! So just to make it easier on you, here are the main points of this page:

  • There is no force, known or unknown, that could possibly affect us here on Earth the way astrologers claim. Known forces weaken too fast, letting one source utterly dominate (the Moon for gravity, the Sun for electromagnetism). An unknown force would allow asteroids and extrasolar planets to totally overwhelm the nearby planets.
  • Astrologers tend to rely on our ability to remember hits and forget misses. Even an accurate prediction may be simple chance.
  • Study after study has shown that claims and predictions made by astrologers have no merit. They are indistinguishable from chance, which means astrologers cannot claim to have some ability to predict your life's path.
  • There is harm, real harm, in astrology. It weakens further people's ability to rationally look at the world, an ability we need now more than ever.

Entire article is great.

Nibs

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I've often wondered why astrologers make their living doing horoscopes. Why don't they make it from the stock market by casting the horoscopes of public companies?

Of course I'm sure there is a rationalization they provide for this.

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