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Guinard's Manifesto
A massive exercise in pseudoscience

Arthur Mather

Abstract -- Patrice Guinard's Manifesto is a statement of 42,000 words based on his 1993 PhD thesis at the Sorbonne, about how astrology provides meaning despite being shunted aside in modern thought, and why it deserves not to be. His central idea is that the planets resonate with our psyche leaving the results in our minds as unspecific impressions. So astrology has nothing to do with science or religion or philosophy. It is a psychic phenomenon that has evolved with humanity and should be accepted as part of our nature. Unfortunately the Manifesto is impenetrably wordy and hard to make sense of. Guinard assumes that astrology as perceived by astrologers has no ordinary explanation, but he is most likely wrong. His arguments boil down to speculations about astrology which he says are untestable. They are bolstered by frequent asides, some insightful, some misguided, some fatally uninformed, and some even self-contradictory. Empirical studies reported by Dean & Kelly (2003) do not support his speculations. In effect the Manifesto boils down to a massive exercise in pseudoscience.

Before my critique appeared, Guinard had noted how the present astrology-and-science website has not "affronter mon Manifeste" (addressed my Manifesto). When it appeared, Guinard was invited to reply to my critique, but initially he gave only a brief brush-off response. Five years later he circulated a more detailed response that has required only minor changes to my critique. My response to his later comments appears at the end under "Guinard's response".

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