Qualitative Time and Non-Causal Phenomena
In Astrology Have No Place in Science

July 2010

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As insurmountable as these philosophical hurdles to a scientific practice of astrology are, they are at least hurdles that we share with other helping professions. The last two hurdles I want to mention briefly in this article, cut more specifically to the core of what is unique about astrology.

First, astrology is predicated on the idea that each moment in time is qualitatively unique. The birthchart is like a 10-handed clock, with each hand moving at a different rate of speed. If you consider the asteroids, or trans-Neptunians, or hypothetical planets, you can add an almost unlimited number of hands to this already complex clock. I haven’t worked out the mathematics, but obviously it would take a very long time for all the hands of this clock to be lined up in exactly the same way as they are right now. It may never happen again – which means this moment in time is utterly unique. Through our observation of the planetary positions and the pattern of interplanetary relationship in a birthchart for this moment, we can describe the quality of this moment. This is a truly amazing feat, though one we probably take it for granted.

The problem here is that science neither recognizes the uniqueness of the moment, nor its qualitative dimension. There is some room in scientific circles for understanding time as a cyclical phenomenon, but very little room, if any, for discussing the quality of the moment. Time in the scientific sense is a uniform, consistent unit of quantitative measurement. Period. In a post-quantum world, time has become a bit more bendable, but not qualitative. Because there is no way for science to measure quality objectively, to talk about time in qualitative terms is distinctly non-scientific. This is a problem for astrologers whose stock in trade is an assessment of the quality of the moment.

The last post in this series is Astrology: If Not Science, Then What?

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