Is Astrology a Pseudoscience?

Photo by David, taken on January 2, 2006, Some rights reserved,

Many people have a casual familiarity with astrology. They would be able to tell you their zodiac sign or perhaps casually scroll through their horoscope every morning. Older generations often fail to understand Generation Z’s fascination with astrology. Although buying into this idea can be entertaining, this does not necessarily mean it is regarded as a true science or that it can be an accurate predictor of our life’s event.


As defined by the University of California, Berkeley’s “Understanding Science” website, astrology is the study of the degree to which “heavenly bodies — the sun, moon, planets, and constellations — have influence over or are correlated with earthly events.” This generally refers to the positioning of celestial bodies at the time and date on which one was born. Astrology then categorizes humans into the twelve designations, each with a unique set of characteristics.


Modern scientists share a general consensus: astrology is not grounded in science and therefore cannot be reliably applied to life as a whole. Thomas Gilovich, a professor of psychology at Cornell University writes further in the New York Times, arguing that people tend to employ confirmation bias (a principle of psychology that explains a person’s tendency to find evidence to support an idea they’ve already been presented with) when it comes to understanding astrology.


People often read about these supposed characteristics pertaining to their zodiac signs and stretch them to fit themselves. In reality, these are often very broad traits, meaning that they could apply to just about any average person so any overlap is to be expected.


This contemporary understanding of astrology and the universe’s interaction with it leads to its modern categorization as a pseudoscience. This means that although it may be based on scientific principles and hypotheses, it lacks hard evidence and cannot be tested in the field. Quamrul Haider, a professor of physics at Fordham University in New York, definitively states, “Effects of astrology do not exist in the Universe.”

Though it may not be regarded as true science, that does not mean that we as a society are not allowed to enjoy and take interest in it. Society is often critical about the interests of young people and will look down on them from their position of intellectual superiority. Keep reading your horoscopes and analyzing your birth charts because life is short and we should not spend our precious time stressing over whether everything we consume is 100% grounded in truth. At the end of the day, it is always a good thing to try to learn more about ourselves and the chaotic universe that surrounds us.