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Does Astrology Work?

One positive thing can be said for astrology: It is based upon ideas and constructs which can be tested. To their credit, many astrologers agree that such testing is desirable in the interest of good science.

The very nature of astrology is to provide statistically meaningful information, so if we analyse the information provided by astrologers we should be able to see statistically meaningful patterns. It is a beautifully simple, indisputable approach.

Researches at have complied lists of published studies into astrology. They found, amongst other things, 54 studies that tested whether astrologers could match astrological birth charts to their owners (this is something astrologers claim to be able to do). After consolidating the results from all 54 studies, the conclusion was that astrologers could not match birth charts to their owners any better than by random chance.

With a little imagination you can easily think of many tests for astrology, and many such tests have been carried out. For example:

  • Are certain star signs strongly represented in certain vocations?
  • Do standard personality tests match the expected star signs?
  • Do hospital records indicate an unusually high occurrence of accidents on days predicted by astrology?

A quick Internet search reveals dozens of recognised studies which have failed to show any support for astrology. Given the claims of accuracy by astrologers, this puts their camp in a very difficult position. According to their claims there should always be some statistical bias in a legitimate large-scale study. There is no reason for any study to fail yet most of them do.

Note: If you think scientists just ignore astrological research they disagree with, see why I don't think scientists cover up unwanted theories.

Ironically, the Achilles heel of astrology is the fact that it is structured in a scientific way. It claims to be consistent and therefore measurable. Studies consistently show no statistical evidence to support astrology. Until someone comes up with some convincing statistics to the contrary, it is a dead theory. This brings us to...

A Challenge

If you believe in astrology I have a great idea which could make you rich and famous.

The beauty of astrology research is that anyone can do it. If you think astrology is real, you can prove it and make yourself an instant celebrity. Imagine how the public will react when you show them absolute proof that astrology is real!

All you need to do is take one of the ideas above and put it into action. For example, if you are a university student you could figure out which star signs are most likely to be attracted to a particular course, then poll students and see if there is any bias. If there is, you will probably want to expand and repeat the poll to make sure it wasn't a fluke. Ideally you should get your results reviewed and endorsed by a recognised authority, but in any case you'll have all you need to approach the media and bask in the ensuing glory.