Is there any science in astrology?
Astrology is the belief that celestial movements affect human events and personalities, but is there any scientific basis to it?
Asked by: Heather Allison, Sheffield
Even many astrologers concede that so-called Sun-sign predictions – “Virgoans will meet someone new and exciting today” – are nonsense. However, they still maintain that our personalities are influenced by the location of the Sun, Moon and planets at the time of our birth.
It’s a claim hard to square with a study published in 2003 by former astrologer Geoffrey Dean and Professor Ivan Kelly of the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. They compared the results of personality trait tests of over 2000 ‘time twins’: people born within minutes of each other, and thus with indistinguishable astrological birth charts. If there was any truth to the claims of astrology, this would mean each of the ‘twins’ have similar personality traits. Yet according to the researchers, comparisons of the personality trait tests failed to find any significant correlations among the twins.
Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.