Why can't people understand that Astronomy and astrology are two completely different things?

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Astronomy is a REAL SCIENCE that studies outer space and celestial objects in outer space.
Astrology is made up trash for the sole purpose of cheating people out of their money by telling them things they wish to hear and then making them pay for the pretty words. There is no real science what so ever with astrology.
Why can’t the astrology people stay in their ENTERTAINMENT section under Horoscopes and quit giving wrong answers for the real Astronomy questions?

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Well, I agree with you that it is an annoyance. But there are lots of things going on. First off, at the level of vocabulary, there are lots of people who don’t read multi-syllabic words the way other people read them, so kind-of-right looks like “what I’m looking for.” Try typing “astro” into google and watching what comes up in your drop-down bar. In other words, much of the issue is on the order of geography/geology or etymology/entomology. There are big differences but not everyone out there has the spelling and writing skills to be sensitive to that. Such sensitivity requires a first order commitment to sensitivity about language which is often lacking.
Second, astrology isn’t 100% trash in the sense in that alchemy wasn’t 100% trash. Certain basic chemical reactions came to be understood by alchemists, and astrology at a minimum provided the world with positional information.
Third, at least one of our greatest resources has more to do with an astrological perspective on the sky than a scientific one in the modern sense. I’m thinking of the Messier catalog. Messier’s catalog of non-comets was compiled because it was his business to ferret out real comets which were thought important because of they were considered omens. Messier didn’t know squat about globular clusters, novae and supernovae, and galaxies. And in fact much of astronomy was simply cataloging positions because the underlying physics of stars didn’t begin to become unraveled till the twentieth century.
Fourth, I would remind everyone here that the real professional astronomy we love and admire depends on taxpayer dollars. When people stumble into this forum and get berated and treated with hostility it doesn’t convince them that astrology is bad. Rather, it leaves them with the impression we are hostile jerks, and that is not a good way to build a basis for enthusiastic taxpayer support of expensive ground and space-based telescopes.
So I would council people to find some inner resources to be tolerant. Try to provide links to the horoscope section and help the people who don’t belong in this forum to move on. Courteously invite them back if they have questions about astronomy.


because there are many stupid and uninformed people in the world

Spurs fan 14

1. people can’t spell
2. people are idiots
Lol that very good Holly.


Expect it to get worse too! I’ve got 50 years plus watching my country grow. The most pathetic thing I see? The education level in this country. My country has dropped to 12th down the list of most educated children in the world. too many cell phones, too much playing on the internet at school, too many ignorant parents who dont force their children to do their studies. Children in my country are so illiterate these days its NOT funny! What happened to the good old days when if you didnt do your schoolwork, you sat after school until it was finished?

Gene L

Thanks Dr. Carl Sagan for the explanation but you’re preaching to the choir.


Well I’m sure anyone could understand the difference, if told. It’s just that the two sound similar and, in fact, have similarities.
I agree, it is rather annoying to hear people refer to astrology when then obviously meant astronomy… but I let it slip-by.


B: What’s the difference?
L: About fifty IQ points.


Once upon a time, astrology and astronomy *were* the same field (early astronomers were also astrologists), but with the development of modern science in the Renaissance, the field split into the scientific one and the mystical one.
I guess one of the reasons why some still see it as the same field is because it’s a leftover cultural heritage thing, maybe?


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