Is astrology a science?
Is astrology a science? This is the most common question posed about astrology by both sets of people - the non-believers and the rationalists who claim that astrology is bogus and that it exploits the fear and insecurity of people. The believers of astrology and the astrologers themselves stoutly defend the stance that astrology is a precise science.
To my mind, both are wrong and both sets of people approach this question from a predefined mind set.
For nonbelievers, it is fashionable and politically correct to denounce any system of knowledge, which does not fit into the 19th century definition of materialism and physical science.
For astrologers, the mind set is that unless Astrology is a science, it is not respectable in today's world, and for believers, anything that is termed as science can be blindly believed or accepted.
The new millennium is called the Age of Aquarius, and astrologers claim Aquarius is ruled by the planet Uranus. Uranus signifies new science and technology.
So in the Age of Aquarius, I propose to examine this question in an objective fashion without any preconceived mindset.
The first question that comes to mind at this stage is, "What is the meaning and definition of science and astrology?"
According to Random House Dictionary, the definition of these two words are:
A branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws.
Mathematical Sciences - Systematic Knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
Any of the branches of natural or physical science.
A study that assumes and attempts to interpret the influence of heavenly bodies on human affairs. As far as the definition of astrology is concerned, there is little reason for disagreement. However, the debate and dispute begins the moment astrologers start claiming that astrology is a science. Of the three definitions of science given above, I believe that definitions '2' and '3' are not applicable to astrology as it has evolved over the years and exists as of date.
Rationalists and nonbelievers argue that heavenly bodies cannot influence human affairs. On the other hand, astrologers, particularly Vedic astrologers, start with the assumption that the systematic body of knowledge is in fact inspired by the Supreme Being himself. Hence, this is the absolute truth and cannot be questioned. They are God's words, which were passed on through generations by oral tradition and were first documented and classified by sages like Parashar (Astrology is part of Vedas and that is why it is called Vedangas).