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The Courts Science

Bombay High Court Rules Astrology To Be a Science 478

neosaurus writes "In India, the Bombay High Court recently ruled astrology to be 'a time tested science more than 4000 years old.' Not only does this stretch the definition of science, it also reaffirms people's faith in pseudosciences at a broader level." At least we can know for certain the people trying to get creationism taught as science in our schools have equally wacky friends around the globe.
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Bombay High Court Rules Astrology To Be a Science

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  • by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @02:17PM (#35092872) Homepage Journal

    James Randi's astrology experiment remains one of my favorites. Gather information from a room full of people, prepare a reading for each one, and have them read it (in the same room, but silently). Invariably they claim that it was 85-95% accurate, far beyond what they would believe is pure chance. Then he has them pass their readings to the next person in line. Very soon they realize that the entire room was given the same paper.

    As Heinlein liked to say, man is not a rational animal, rather a rationalizing one.

  • Who's next? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by udoschuermann ( 158146 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @02:25PM (#35093010) Homepage

    I'm taking bets on the next practice or belief system to be labeled and taught as a science. The reading of entrails, tea leaves, palms, or smoke columns? How about tech support by Tarot? (that one does have a certain ring to it, doesn't it?) Any others?

  • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @02:36PM (#35093170)

    From the article: "The PIL had urged the authorities to ban articles, advertisements, episodes and practices promoting astrology and its related subjects like vastu, reiki, feng shui, tarot, palmistry, zodiac signs and rashifal." Emphasis added.

    They had recently passed a law banning certain false advertising practices for medicine and treatments (similar, I imagine, to the regulations that the FDA imposes in the US), but the law was written in such a way that it could be used to ban any psuedo-science from being advertised or sold.

    The court was left with three choices. Apply the law as written and ban the above listed pseudoscience, enraging scores of superstitious Indians across the country. Declare that those subjects were science and continue to all them (what apparently they chose to do). Personally I think, the third choice, declare those practices to be outside the scope of the law, would have been the preferred one. But I can understand why, for political reasons, they ruled the way that they did.

  • Re:Idle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @02:50PM (#35093426) Homepage

    Well, I was fooling around with an Indian chick, but she wanted to consult with an astrologer before things got too serious. I refused to tell her my birthdate and pay an extortion fee to some con man for his blessing of the relationship. Now I'm forever alone, and am very aware of the real harmful effects of India's perverse fascination with astrology.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"