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    Re: Oblique Ascension.
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2005 Aug 28, 06:31 EDT

    Peter, you wrote:
    "As to astrology being  'nonsenses'; I wouldn't know, not having studied the
    subject. Isn't the  essence of rational thought not jumping to conclusions
    without evidence?  Isn't taking a fixed position, perhaps based on prejudice,
    and refusing to  look beyond it, something the whole scientific revolution
    has tried to move  beyond?"
    I can't speak for George, whose post you were responding to, but  I certainly
    have explored astrology in some detail myself applying the standards  of
    science as I understand them. And having done that, I have no problem calling
    astrology 'nonsense'. It's a flavor of numerology.
    But this brings us to  an interesting conundrum... How do you know that any
    "mainstream" topic in  science is not "nonsense"? Let's take, as a random
    example, fluid dynamics. It's  mostly classical physics in the extreme, and I can't
    think of any reason to be  skeptical of its basic conclusions --it's about as
    mainstrem as you can get. But  why do you believe in it as a science and not,
    to pick another random example,  homeopathic medicine?? Have you studied it
    yourself (and if you have, pick  another comparable example)? Although rational
    thought and personal  experimentation are a big part of science, in the end,
    you and I cannot  personally test each and every theory. So do we adopt an
    absurd agnosticism in  which subjects outside our personal experience are unknown
    to us? Or can we  accept that there is a certain division of labor in
    science, and if I find  something nonsensical, you also have a basis for finding it
    nonsensical? I  believe that this is actually what people do in the real world
    of science, but  it's a bit removed from the utopian vision of scientific
    proof. As I say, it's a  conundrum.
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N  72.1W.

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