Zodi-fake signs

in Opinion by

Zodiac signs, while once a silly way to correlate your birthday with arbitrary traits, have evolved into something far more serious. People of all ages, belief systems and genders are rapidly falling for this scam in droves, ignoring basic logic in favor of absurd pseudoscience.

    A recent report by Pew Research found that 29% of Americans believe in astrology and 41% believe in psychics. “The Independent” in the UK, meanwhile, reported that nearly 50% of British people surveyed made monetary decisions based on their horoscope. Believing in any pseudoscience can be problematic, but zodiac signs in particular are not founded in any common sense and only serve to fool gullible individuals.

While some zodiac fans are not extreme and do not truly believe that the position of the planets the moment you were born determines your personality, there is a subsection of zodiac devotees who illogically spread misinformation and waste money on self-proclaimed psychics in the hopes of receiving their “fortune.” Reading your horoscope while taking it with a grain of salt is fine, but truly believing in, or worse, spreading this pseudoscience to others is a problem that has only grown with the rise of social media.

Zodiac originated during the Babylonian era according to Time magazine, with the Babylonians separating the sky into 30 degree arcs and assigning names to each section based on how the star constellations looked. These proto-zodiacs eventually diffused into Ancient Greece, where they began to look more like the zodiacs we know today.  

For a society that didn’t have access to telescopes, space probes or modern-day astronomy textbooks, it is understandable that they believed the position of the sun and stars in the sky—one of the only things they could reliably observe—was the key to determining what happened on Earth. After all, they had no other explanation for why natural disasters occurred, or why certain people happened to be lucky.

However, in today’s age of astronomical exploration, and with thousands of years of knowledge at our fingertips thanks to the Internet, it no longer makes sense to continue believing that the placement of stars in the sky has any bearing on human life. Not a single scientific study has proven astrology was real.

For one, stars aren’t the bodies moving, we are, so there is no such thing as “mercury in retrograde” or “sun in Sagittarius.” Earth is not the center of the solar system, and the celestial bodies are not revolving around us, so the sun’s position in the sky is because of Earth’s motion, not its own. 

Meanwhile, Mercury in retrograde, which is commonly associated with bad luck for astrologers, makes no scientific sense. A planet in retrograde motion means it is moving backwards, which Mercury does not do. These seemingly scientific terms that many don’t understand the true meaning of can trick people into believing this astrological pseudoscience.

Even if zodiac were somehow true, since Earth is the one moving, the night sky looks different from the way it looked in Babylonian and Ancient Greek times when they were established. Some stars have died out, while Earth’s general position in the solar system has shifted slightly; Earth moves about 1.5 centimeters annually according to Forbes, adding up after thousands of years.

Also, the creators of the zodiac are from the same time period that believed gods like Zeus, Demeter and Poseidon controlled the weather, skies and sea. We don’t believe in the Greek pantheon of gods anymore since we now have scientific explanations for many of the phenomena the Ancient Greeks struggled to explain, so why would we believe in astrology, another myth of that era, after all these years?

Astrology was a product of its time, an attempt of ancient humans to understand the strange and mysterious world around them. However, with the knowledge we have now, it is no longer necessary nor logical to believe in it. It’s time to take accountability for our actions and stop blaming our problems on balls of flame, gas and rock millions of miles away.

This star chart attempts to use scientific-sounding symbols and words to provide credibility to its claims. However, the descriptions of each symbol are vague statements that apply to almost anyone. The description for my sun sign, Aries, states: “Some Aries people are bold, but even the quieter ones are brave and even plucky in their own way.” Basically, Aries signs are loud and in charge, unless they’re quiet. This is a direct contradiction, which allows it to relate to everyone. Statements like these are peppered throughout the entire chart, managing to describe the entire spectrum of personalities. (Photo/Ella Gohari)

Junior Ella Gohari is entering her third year on the Patriot Post staff and second year as co-Print-Editor-in-Chief. After co-leading the Patriot Post last year, she is excited to continue taking the Patriot Post to new heights in the year ahead. She has done research with Mrs. Joykutty since 6th grade, and is now editor-in-chief of the Sigma Xi Science Society’s magazine. On weekends, she volunteers with Village Book Builders and OTTER to teach underprivileged children, and is also peer tutor chair for the Science National Honor Society. She hopes you enjoy your time reading the Patriot Post.