Hawking and Astrology
edited by Ace in the Hole
Stephen Hawking debunked astrology -- along with some
of Albert Einstein's theories -- in a lecture Wednesday in
the capital of India, where most Hindus consult star
charts and astrological signs for decisions on marriage
and other matters.
According to Astroenergetics.com, astronomy is concerned with the observation of the
motions of heavenly bodies, and reduces to mathematical
order these observations. Astrology is the study of the
effects the movements of these celestial bodies have on
human affairs. Through prolonged observation, the ancient
astronomers were able to predict the recurrence of cosmic
phenomena, and astrologers began to forecast the earthly
events which coincided with these.
Astrology has been
studied for millennia, and it dates back as far as recorded
history. The original Astrologers were priests and scholars,
and they were looked up to as doctors and learned men.
According to modern speculation, the Three Wise Men of
Christian belief were Astrologers! At that time, Astrology
was the same science as Astronomy and Psychology,
whose modern descendants arose from Astrology.
In ancient times, the Greeks and Romans based their
system of gods on what they believed was up in the sky.
Zeus, who equates to Jupiter in Roman myth, and the other
gods and goddesses were based on the Planets visible to
the ancients. Astrology was similarly popular in Babylon
and Egypt, and it also rose in the Middle East, India and
Modern Astrology has changed with the discovery of new
Planets: first Uranus in 1781, then Neptune and Pluto, as
well as the four feminine-energy Asteroids. These three
Planets have a stronger effect on generations as a whole
rather than individuals, but they still have an important
place in modern Astrology, according to Astrology.com
"When it was discovered that the Earth was not the
center of the universe, astrology became impossible,"
said Hawking, delivering a lecture through voice
synthesizer to a standing-room-only crowd of
"The reason most scientists don't
believe in astrology is because it is not
consistent with our theories that have
been tested by experiment," Hawking
said to a rapt and quiet crowd that had
waited for an hour in lines winding
around the block to see and hear him.
Delivering the Albert Einstein Memorial
Lecture for the Center for Philosophy
and Foundation of Science, Hawking
said some scientific theories about the
ability to predict the position and
velocity of particles in space or time
may be no better than astrology.
Explaining that scientists have been unable to make an
exact measurement of an object's velocity and position
at the same time, he said, "One can suppose" that
information is "known to God, but hidden from us."
Giving an overview of how physics historically has been
part of man's quest to predict the future, Hawking said
Einstein had been "confused" about quantum theory and
wrong about the existence of black holes, massive stars
with gravity so strong that light does not escape.
At the end of the lecture, Hawking was given a standing
ovation and presented with a Hindi language translation
of his popular physics book, "A Brief History of Time."