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Star Wars
Astrologers react to negative findings

Geoffrey Dean and Ivan W Kelly

Abstract -- Astrologers were predictably outraged by the negative findings reported by Dean & Kelly (2003) in "Is Astrology Relevant to Consciousness and Psi?" Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (6-7), 175-198, a long scholarly article of 24 pages and 85 references. Tests of time twins and of astrologers had showed no support for astrology. Conclusion: The possibility that astrology might be relevant to consciousness and psi is not denied, but such influences, if they exist in astrology, would seem to be very weak or very rare. When the media picked up and distorted the findings, it led to the biggest media frenzy on astrology for 2003. By 2005, according to Google, the article was being cited on several hundred websites. Two things make the frenzy of particular interest. First, its focus is not your everyday sun sign astrology but the serious astrology of conferences and consulting rooms. Second, the frenzy brought out some of astrology's top defensive guns, allowing you to judge how well they perform when confronted by scientific findings. Astrologers in general reacted with name-calling, getting it wrong, and never citing compelling evidence to support their claims. The top guns (newspaper astrologer Jonathan Cainer, pineal expert Dr Frank McGillion, maths teacher and astrologer Vladimir Gorbatsevich) did little better. Nobody noticed that the two sides might be talking about different things (facts versus benefits) which are not mutually exclusive. It seems that media interest in astrology generally destroys any hope of informed debate. Appendix 1 gives an abstract of the JCS article. Appendices 2, 3, and 4 give Dean and Kelly's response to the main points in the Cainer, McGillion, and Gorbatsevich critiques.

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