Astrologers Debunking Astrology by Accident

Every so often I have to take another look at modern dabblers in astral divination who unlike their past counterparts tend to be even less scientific than ancient and medieval practitioners. Via Doubtful News comes a story about one astrologer in the fashion world in New York City and has become prominent in their nitch area. The reporter interviewing the astrologer and having their own reading seems to be one that isn’t too easily absorbed into the revelatory powers supposedly being used. That is quite refreshing given how often there is a lot of credulity when it comes to these things in the media.

What is a bit interesting is that another professional astrologer made a comment to the story named Ed Kohout (supposedly the same one from this website I’m guessing). I reproduce that comment here:

I’m an astrologer, and after looking at Ms. Miller’s natal chart, I can only think that she is hopelessly full of crap. Her technique is very simplistic, incorporating old ideas that most cutting-edge astrologers have long abandoned. Her understanding of the world is very childish, but she believes she knows everything even though she gets her news from network TV. 15 years of study does not make a top-notch pro. 30 years, perhaps. She is prolific, but to the point of inanity. So much has been published that she’s bound to stumble upon “the truth” here and there. Astrologers like her reflect poorly on the rest of us.

So apparently, according to this professional, the fashion-scene astrologer doesn’t know what they’re doing and doesn’t have the experience to be all that good at it. However, what this leaves unexplained is why then the fashion astrologer is so successful, why she has such positive feedback from customers.

Could it be that it doesn’t really matter what the charts “say”, but instead it’s all cold reading, Barnum statements, and confirmation bias? In other words, is someones can get positive results without doing it right, how can you tell the difference between a professional, an amateur, and an unreal science?

On another note, today is Nicolaus Copernicus’ 540th birthday. He was an astrologer too, but at least he did some good science as well.


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