Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

petosiris

Banned
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/349279

''wretched subjects''

''superstition''

Honestly, looking back at the OP, I think it is pretty close to agreeing with the following statement
''wretched writers like Vettius Valens'' - Otto Neugebauer.

Yes, ancient astrology texts can be useful for studying ancient astronomy, mathematics, language, religion, literature (Manilius, but I also like Manetho) and so forth. However, astrologers are primarily interested in the astrology not the cultural background.

I am primarily interested in whether Valens' compiled astrological techniques can accurately predict:
1. Length of Life
2. Occupation, Rank and Fame
3. Violent, accidental or internal death and its cause
4. Marriages, number of wives, the years of marriage, the success of partners
5. Children and their number, also their success
6. Health and occupation of parents
7. Years of sickness with the corresponding illness
8. Livelihood, wealth, property, the years of inheritance or buying property
9. Friendship and Siblings, the number and gender of siblings and their success
10. Operative and inoperative times
11. The native's religion and background
12. Travel and the years of travelling
13. Personality

If you are not interested in the above things (I am sure you are not in at least 11 points) or you think it is impossible to predict, congratulations, you are not interested in the ''wretched subject'' of astrology, but only in astronomy, history, ancient culture and religion. You can join the scholars and be a ''humanitarian''.
 
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waybread

Staff member
I wasn't familiar with this article, petosiris, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. Of course, Neugebauer (professor at Brown University) precisely made the case for studying astrology, as a mathematician and historian of astronomy and mathematics. Are you familiar with his monograph (Neugebauer and Van Hoesen, Greek Horoscopes)? He used the horoscopes in Valens as well as other texts and archaeological finds to date them, and concluded that the great majority were accurate.

You're not saying that Neugebauer himself opposed the study of ancient astrology??? Rather, he critiqued people who did.

Today there are some really fine historians of astronomy who focus on astrology, increasingly because of a shift in outlook. In the past, a lot of historians of science pruned away any "nonsense" that did not lead directly to science as it is understood today. More recently, scholars try to understand the histories of astronomy more from the perspective of the past societies who developed it. If the Babylonians understood the sky in terms of their pantheon and divination, then that is where the research takes scholars today.

Some really active historians of ancient astronomy, mostly in classics or ancient languages departments are Francesca Rochberg, Alexander Jones, and Daryn Lehoux. David Pingree at Brown was influenced by Otto Neugebauer.

I cannot understand why you want to demarcate between people who study the history of astrology and card-carrying astrologers. Surely we can be interested in both. Surely you are aware of astrologer and professor Nicholas Campion's magisterial 2-volume history of astrology, and Robert Hand's research on the history of astrology. Are you familiar with Chris Brennan's book on Hellenistic Astrology? I don't count myself in their ranks, but I am interested both in the history of ancient astrology and modern astrology practice.
 

Senecar

Well-known member
There are different type of Science - Physics, Biology and Chemistry aren't only Sciences.

Astrology is, Metaphysical Science, which combines Astronomy, Religion and Magic. It is a combined Science with those sub subjects.

BTW, what is your definition of Science? When you say Science, what do you actually mean?
 

waybread

Staff member
There are different type of Science - Physics, Biology and Chemistry aren't only Sciences.

Astrology is, Metaphysical Science, which combines Astronomy, Religion and Magic. It is a combined Science with those sub subjects.

BTW, what is your definition of Science? When you say Science, what do you actually mean?

I'd rather ask you, Senecar, what you mean by science? Science seems to be an everything-nothing concept for you. Have you looked at a university course catalog lately? Which disciplines are in a faculty (college) of science? Which ones are labeled humanities or fine and performing arts?

There is a kind of catch-all definition of science as knowledge or even information, independently of its truth or reliability. We could talk about the "science of cake decorating," for example. But this open-ended definition is not the one used by professional scientists.

I take it you are familiar with the scientific method of rigorous hypothesis testing.
 

david starling

Well-known member
To the victor go the spoils. Modern Materialistic Science is currently the arbiter of what constitutes true "science" (from the Latin, meaning "knowledge"), and what has been downgraded to "pseudo science" (meaning false knowledge). If you're consistent in accepting the pontifications of Modern Materialistic Science as undeniably correct, then you would have to agree that Astrology itself, whether Modern or Traditional, is a "false" source of knowledge. Even though not all Modern-scientists are strictly materialistic in their worldviews, it's still the most materialistic ones who dominate the current definitions of "hard", "soft", and "pseudo" Science, in general.
 
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david starling

Well-known member
The real problem isn't the "Scientific-method" itself, when it's defined as some form of empirical confirmation of a theory. Most, or at least many, Astrologers for example, test their adopted and self-conceived theories empirically, and keep what works for them, and discard, or at least pay less credence to what doesn't. The real problem is that Modern Materialistic Science leaves the mind and emotions of the practitioner out of the equation, and requires across-the-board, statistically-verifiable replication, regardless of who is conducting the test of a theory. A clear example is Alchemy in comparison to Chemistry: In Alchemy, the mind and emotions of the Alchemists themselves, enter into the results of the chemical reactions. In Chemistry, the results have to be exactly the same for everyone and anyone operating under the same physical conditions.
Astrology is an ESOTERIC Science, inaccessible to the Lowest Common Denominator nature of Modern Materialistic Science.
 
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Senecar

Well-known member
I'd rather ask you, Senecar, what you mean by science? Science seems to be an everything-nothing concept for you. Have you looked at a university course catalog lately? Which disciplines are in a faculty (college) of science? Which ones are labeled humanities or fine and performing arts?

There is a kind of catch-all definition of science as knowledge or even information, independently of its truth or reliability. We could talk about the "science of cake decorating," for example. But this open-ended definition is not the one used by professional scientists.

I take it you are familiar with the scientific method of rigorous hypothesis testing.

I didn't expect you would answer my question with your question. :)

I feel your understanding on definition of Science is too narrow, which causes the misconception on your definition of Astrology.
 
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david starling

Well-known member
I didn't expect you would answer my question with your question. :)

I feel your understanding on definition of Science is too narrow, which causes the misconception on your definition of Astrology.

I'm surprised myself, because waybread always says to use "what works for you". I have the same attitude: If it works, use it. Even if Modern Materialistic Science claims it CAN'T work, because it doesn't have an explanation that fits within its very narrow parameters.
 

waybread

Staff member
To the victor go the spoils. Modern Materialistic Science is currently the arbiter of what constitutes true "science" (from the Latin, meaning "knowledge"), and what has been downgraded to "pseudo science" (meaning false knowledge). If you're consistent in accepting the pontifications of Modern Materialistic Science as undeniably correct, then you would have to agree that Astrology itself, whether Modern or Traditional, is a "false" source of knowledge. Even though not all Modern-scientists are strictly materialistic in their worldviews, it's still the most materialistic ones who dominate the current definitions of "hard", "soft", and "pseudo" Science, in general.

David, your expression "Modern Materialistic Science" is a real misnomer. For one thing, a lot of science, notably in physics, is highly theoretical.

Are you familiar with the phrase "curiosity-driven science"? This means scientific discovery for its own sake, not directed towards a commercial goal. Sometimes curiosity-driven science subsequently turns out to have a commercial application, but this isn't it's original objective, which is primarily to learn how something works.

Could you outline, for me please, the steps of the scientific method??

Are you at all familiar with disciplines usually classified as social sciences, humanities, or the fine and performing arts? Portions of the social sciences use the scientific method, but some do not. Nobody calls cultural anthropology, philosophy, or studio art pseudo-sciences. Nobody questions that they have knowledge to impart. English literature isn't pseudo science. History isn't some kind of wrong-headed biochemistry.

Science is quite simply the wrong comparable with astrology. But if you want to compare them, please learn more about how science is practiced today.
 

waybread

Staff member
Guys, I highly recommend that you learn what science is and what it is not before you ridicule it or try to invent your own definitions.

I have a M. S. (M. Sc.) degree and I rubbed shoulders with professional scientists during the course of my 30+-year career. I was married to a scientist for 20 years and socialized with his colleagues. I still count scientists among my personal friends. I don't have much confidence in the level at which you're trying to lampoon science.

Might I recommend that you go on-line and look up a science department at your nearest college/university? Go through the list of faculty, and invite one of them out for coffee or lunch. Ask him/her to explain "science" to you and what distinguishes it from other fields. If you catch one in a good mood s/he might give you a laboratory tour.

You might skip this step if you have professional scientists among your friends or family members. But ask them to explain science to you.

You might find this interaction informative, because it's far too easy to wrongly caricature science from so great a distance from how it actually operates.
 

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
David, your expression "Modern Materialistic Science" is a real misnomer. For one thing, a lot of science, notably in physics, is highly theoretical.

Are you familiar with the phrase "curiosity-driven science"? This means scientific discovery for its own sake, not directed towards a commercial goal. Sometimes curiosity-driven science subsequently turns out to have a commercial application, but this isn't it's original objective, which is primarily to learn how something works.

Could you outline, for me please, the steps of the scientific method??

Are you at all familiar with disciplines usually classified as social sciences, humanities, or the fine and performing arts? Portions of the social sciences use the scientific method, but some do not. Nobody calls cultural anthropology, philosophy, or studio art pseudo-sciences. Nobody questions that they have knowledge to impart. English literature isn't pseudo science. History isn't some kind of wrong-headed biochemistry.

Science is quite simply the wrong comparable with astrology. But if you want to compare them, please learn more about how science is practiced today.


RICHARD FEYNMAN ON THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD :smile:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KmimDq4cSU



Guys, I highly recommend that you learn what science is and what it is not before you ridicule it or try to invent your own definitions.

I have a M. S. (M. Sc.) degree and I rubbed shoulders with professional scientists during the course of my 30+-year career. I was married to a scientist for 20 years and socialized with his colleagues. I still count scientists among my personal friends. I don't have much confidence in the level at which you're trying to lampoon science.

Might I recommend that you go on-line and look up a science department at your nearest college/university? Go through the list of faculty, and invite one of them out for coffee or lunch. Ask him/her to explain "science" to you and what distinguishes it from other fields. If you catch one in a good mood s/he might give you a laboratory tour.

You might skip this step if you have professional scientists among your friends or family members. But ask them to explain science to you.

You might find this interaction informative, because it's far too easy to wrongly caricature science from so great a distance from how it actually operates.

Now I’m going to discuss how we would look for a new law.
In general, we look for a new law by the following process.
First, we guess it no, don’t laugh, that’s the truth.
Then we compute the consequences of the guess, to see what, if this is right
if this law we guess is right, to see what it would imply
and then we compare the computation results to nature
or we say compare to experiment or experience
compare it directly with observations to see if it works.
If it disagrees with experiment, it’s WRONG.
In that simple statement is the key to science :smile:
It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is
it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess
or what his name is…
If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.
RICHARD FEYMAN
 

petosiris

Banned
Guys, I highly recommend that you learn what science is and what it is not before you ridicule it or try to invent your own definitions.

I have a M. S. (M. Sc.) degree and I rubbed shoulders with professional scientists during the course of my 30+-year career. I was married to a scientist for 20 years and socialized with his colleagues. I still count scientists among my personal friends. I don't have much confidence in the level at which you're trying to lampoon science.

Might I recommend that you go on-line and look up a science department at your nearest college/university? Go through the list of faculty, and invite one of them out for coffee or lunch. Ask him/her to explain "science" to you and what distinguishes it from other fields. If you catch one in a good mood s/he might give you a laboratory tour.

You might skip this step if you have professional scientists among your friends or family members. But ask them to explain science to you.

You might find this interaction informative, because it's far too easy to wrongly caricature science from so great a distance from how it actually operates.

Actually I agree with you - https://www.astrologyweekly.com/forum/showthread.php?t=114475, my objections were entirely different and you conveniently ignored them. I am one of the few here who understands that swinging pendulums and doing Tarot readings is not even near the conventional and established definition of science. What troubles me is that you have no intention of doing anything about the question and in many ways agree with skeptics.
 
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waybread

Staff member
petosiris, I am soooo off that "Materialistic Modern Science" thread. During the past decade, I've tried to educate other members about science so many times that I no longer care to spend much more time on such an uneven "debate".

If anyone wishes to debate about science, I hope you can do so at a level that indicates more knowledge about actual science than I have seen to date on this thread. Feynman, for example, has some great insights, but quoting him isn't the same as being a professional scientist or regular reader of Science, Scientific American, Nature, and other top-drawer science periodicals. Scientists examine the outcomes of their hypotheses. I don't have a problem with that. Speculation and theorization often lead to rigorous testing, subsequently.

If you put some other questions to me that you think I ignored, please restate them. Hopefully we all maintain a healthy skepticism about astrology. Astrology does not ask us for an oath of allegiance. I read a lot of charts for people, but I often ask myself whether or not a reading offers good insights even if astrology were bogus. Obviously, I don't think it is, but astrology contains the good, the bad, and the ugly, and we have to be connoisseurs of what we read and adopt.
 
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david starling

Well-known member
RICHARD FEYNMAN ON THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD :smile:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KmimDq4cSU





Now I’m going to discuss how we would look for a new law.
In general, we look for a new law by the following process.
First, we guess it no, don’t laugh, that’s the truth.
Then we compute the consequences of the guess, to see what, if this is right
if this law we guess is right, to see what it would imply
and then we compare the computation results to nature
or we say compare to experiment or experience
compare it directly with observations to see if it works.
If it disagrees with experiment, it’s WRONG.
In that simple statement is the key to science :smile:
It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is
it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess
or what his name is…
If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.
RICHARD FEYMAN

Flawed experiments lead to flawed conclusions.
 

david starling

Well-known member
The original definition of "Science" has been REDEFINED by those who need to see the world in purely materialistic terms. If you accept that fairly recent redefinition, fine. But why insist that everyone else has to accept it as well?
 

muchacho

Well-known member
The real problem isn't the "Scientific-method" itself, when it's defined as some form of empirical confirmation of a theory. Most, or at least many, Astrologers for example, test their adopted and self-conceived theories empirically, and keep what works for them, and discard, or at least pay less credence to what doesn't. The real problem is that Modern Materialistic Science leaves the mind and emotions of the practitioner out of the equation, and requires across-the-board, statistically-verifiable replication, regardless of who is conducting the test of a theory. A clear example is Alchemy in comparison to Chemistry: In Alchemy, the mind and emotions of the Alchemists themselves, enter into the results of the chemical reactions. In Chemistry, the results have to be exactly the same for everyone and anyone operating under the same physical conditions.
Astrology is an ESOTERIC Science, inaccessible to the Lowest Common Denominator nature of Modern Materialistic Science.
Well said. Modern materialistic science as you call it only confirms the consensus trance everyone is living. So for scientists to change their outlook, the consensus trance has to change first. Science will follow suit automatically.
 

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
petosiris, I am soooo off that "Materialistic Modern Science" thread. During the past decade, I've tried to educate other members about science so many times that I no longer care to spend much more time on such an uneven "debate".

If anyone wishes to debate about science, I hope you can do so at a level that indicates more knowledge about actual science than I have seen to date on this thread. Feynman, for example, has some great insights, but quoting him isn't the same as being a professional scientist or regular reader of Science, Scientific American, Nature, and other top-drawer science periodicals. Scientists examine the outcomes of their hypotheses. I don't have a problem with that. Speculation and theorization often lead to rigorous testing, subsequently.

If you put some other questions to me that you think I ignored, please restate them. Hopefully we all maintain a healthy skepticism about astrology. Astrology does not ask us for an oath of allegiance. I read a lot of charts for people, but I often ask myself whether or not a reading offers good insights even if astrology were bogus. Obviously, I don't think it is, but astrology contains the good, the bad, and the ugly, and we have to be connoisseurs of what we read and adopt.
Obviously, in comparison with “an M.Sc obtained forty years ago”
today we have greatly improved research tools
as well as
much better understanding of science
than 40 years ago
allowing science to address more questions
and answer them more definitely.


IF one has taught science for more than thirty years – which perhaps you have
then necessarily ones university would have had to have kept pace
with new developments
and so obviously teaching equipment would have been replaced/updated
over the years

BUT
anyone may regularly read Science, Scientific American, Nature
and other top-drawer science periodicals
without necessarily “being a professional scientist”

also

“being married to a scientist for twenty years”
and
“rubbing shoulders with scientists” is nothing unusual
and scarcely qualifies one as "a professional scientist"

having scientific friends is nothing unusual either
and does not mean that as a consequence one is "a professional scientist"
Being born to a family who for generations have been top-level scientists :smile:
is less common
 

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
Guys, I highly recommend that you learn what science is and what it is not before you ridicule it or try to invent your own definitions.

I have a M. S. (M. Sc.) degree and I rubbed shoulders with professional scientists during the course of my 30+-year career. I was married to a scientist for 20 years and socialized with his colleagues. I still count scientists among my personal friends. I don't have much confidence in the level at which you're trying to lampoon science.

Might I recommend that you go on-line and look up a science department at your nearest college/university? Go through the list of faculty, and invite one of them out for coffee or lunch. Ask him/her to explain "science" to you and what distinguishes it from other fields. If you catch one in a good mood s/he might give you a laboratory tour.

You might skip this step if you have professional scientists among your friends or family members. But ask them to explain science to you.

You might find this interaction informative, because it's far too easy to wrongly caricature science from so great a distance from how it actually operates.
and petosiris agrees
while highlighting that his objections remain unresponded to
Actually I agree with you - https://www.astrologyweekly.com/forum/showthread.php?t=114475
my objections were entirely different
and you conveniently ignored them
.

I am one of the few here who understands
that swinging pendulums and doing Tarot readings
is not even near the conventional and established definition of science.
What troubles me is
that you have no intention of doing anything about the question
and in many ways agree with skeptics
.
Exactly :smile:
 
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