Exposing PseudoAstronomy

August 18, 2016

Has Yahoo! Finally Hit Rock Bottom, with Horoscopes in its Science Feed?

Jerry Coyne reports today that Yahoo!’s science news feed is reporting on astrology. Not that it’s Taurus excrement, but an article with the headline, “Tonight’s full moon and upcoming lunar eclipse are going to bring about some CHANGE” is full of astrological bull crap.

Not only that, but the picture they use is of an annular solar eclipse. Notice that a “solar eclipse” does not equal a “lunar eclipse.” An annular solar eclipse is when the moon is near apogee (farthest point from Earth) so it appears smaller than the sun’s disk and therefore cannot completely cover it, leaving a ring of solar illumination around it.

Not only that, but the “eclipse” this month is not a lunar eclipse at all, and the one next month is a penumbral eclipse — unless you have a camera and are very carefully looking at the brightness, you will not notice any change.

Fortunately, the vast majority of the 250+ comments (as of the time of this writing) take Yahoo! to task over this.

Though I will let an astrologer have the last word. To the currently highest-rated comment, by “Tia” with 104 up-votes and two down-votes, and 15 replies, “gypsyshookar” (which I originally read as “gypsyhooker”) wrote:

“While I agree with you, as a very experienced and certified astrologer, we have it on our own authority that this qualifies astrologically as an eclipse with eclipse effects. However, it is NOT astronomy which focuses mainly on the observable physical phenomena of rocks in space. Astrology, on the other hand, is based on the observable correlation of life and events on Earth with the placement of the planets. FYI, astronomy is based on the earlier astrology and not the other way around. And before you pooh-pooh astrology, I suggest you take a course in it from an accredited astrologer such as myself, whose name is followed by something like BA,MCL, or better yet PhD. When scorned by a colleague for his belief in astrology, Sir Isaac Newton replied: “I have studied it, Sir. You have NOT.””


June 28, 2009

Horoscopes … Ah, the Joys of Not Thinking

Filed under: astrology — Stuart Robbins @ 9:40 pm
Tags: , , , ,


There isn’t any introduction to this post other than to say I am still not going to directly address astrology yet, but I just watched something that deserves to be quoted.


Do any of you remember that short-lived, 4-season series from the mid 1990s called Cybill? I do … I used to watch it with my mom, and recently I discovered that it has come out on DVD. My favorite character was not the title character, but her best friend, Maryanne, played by Christine Baranski. I’ve been going through the series and just started season 2 episode 22, “Pal Zoey.”

In it, Cybill’s cousin from Arkansas comes to town to be in The Price is Right show. Why? Well …

Cousin: Last week, my horoscope said, “Libra, the time is right.”

Maryanne: So, you plan your life around a line in the newspaper. Bravo. [Cousin nods.] Relieves you of all that pesky thinking.

Cousin: I’ll say.

Final Thoughts

Well, that about wraps it up. 🙂

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