View Full Version : Divination and pseudo science

22-05-05, 12:49
There is currently a thread running about the way the Japanese use blood types to base your personality. Most people seem to think that is rubbish, but how many of you beleive in something similar that is used in the west? For example there is Astrology. This system uses the star sign you were born under to determine your personality type along with were the planets were on that day. How many of you have said rubblish to blood types, but read your horoscope? Another is Palmistry. The left hand of a right handed person is used to determine your personality and the other hand your future. There was the use of Phrenology in the Victoriian age that was used until scienctific research proved it to be rubbish (For those who do not know what Phrenology was, it is the basing of a persons psyche by the bumps on their head). There are plenty of pseudo science about that seem to have no basis in real life yet people will run their lives upon these readings. Do you have any you beleive in or had experience with any of these pseudo sciences?
Just a brief list for you: Astrolgy, Tarot cards, I Ching, Feng Shui, Palmistry, Tea leaves, Rune stones, bone casting. The list can go on, but there are bound to be some I haven't heard about. :wave:

16-03-06, 00:33
I don't know if there is any truth to it :? But Feng Shui seems interesting :)

Dutch Baka
16-03-06, 00:53
I don't know if I believe in it. but there is a funny story I have to tell you guys, this really happened.

About 3 years ago my mom send a letter , and my picture to some Deviner, this woman wrote my mom a message back. 6months later, I decided to go to australia for some backpacking, and my mom decided to show me the letter because in the letter it said: Davey is a young man who want to see the world, and will travel is insecure , etc.

this was so funny, because this woman knew I would go traveling! now comes the best part of it, in the same letter the woman wrote that in the future I would met a woman starting with the letter M. what is the name of my wife whom i met in australia? MAYUKO * this i totaly forgot when I was in australia and i remembered around 1 year ago that she also wrote this.

now one small funny thing, my mom wrote her a letter again, after she heard that I would emmigrate to Japan, and the Deviner wrote: Maybe Dave was a person in his previouse life who lived in Japan, and felt at home there....

really I am not making this up! but I think it is soo funny, but for the rest I won't go into it to much, because I want to follow my own path, see things for myself, and not read how i should do things, etc. All i can do is listen to advice and think if i want to do something about it.

that's why I don't believe in the bible, koran, etc. because I don't want a book to tell me what is good or bad, i want to see that for myself!

16-03-06, 01:05
The thing about astrology is that, If you are an Aquarius at this present time, then 2000 years ago you would have been a capricorn. So whoever made up astrology didn't know that the signs change every 2000 thousand years. Thus making astrology false. Although, it may seem really accurate at times. Creepy..............

16-03-06, 01:05
Apparently there is a very good fortune tellers here in Okayama. He told a student of mine that her ex that she broke up with a year before would soon make contact with her, and he did. I saw something on TV about cold-readers, and I wonder if that could be the natural explanation for the fortune teller's 'knowing' of her future could be, since my student never told the fortune teller about her love life.

16-03-06, 01:09
Cold reading is fishing for the answers. It happens a lot.

Mars Man
16-03-06, 01:33
It may well be a matter of, what, divination? Seeing the future? or what? that Mycernius could see that a thead opener he had posted back in May of last year would get its first reply in March of this year. That's May and March--M & M. And that's my sign MM, and here I am....wow....hee,hee,hee.

There have been some good write-ups about these things in Sceptic magazine as well as in Scientific American which show most of it to be groundless, thus not true reality. There is room, however, for some elements of 'the paranormal' to be of a physical nature, depending on what we can say time really is. If we were to reach the conclusion that time really is an illusion and that entropy is what creates it, then it could be argued, so the theoretical thinking goes, that all is 'present'. And, within that sphere of reality, information carrying particles may well cross-bond, providing things, for example, like the girl who could speak some relatively high degree of German yet who had never been to Germany, had never studied nor been around German speakers in her life (as far as could be discovered by those who studied her case), or like the Jean Dixion foretelling of JFK's assasination.

16-03-06, 03:07
Just a brief list for you: Astrolgy, Tarot cards, I Ching, Feng Shui, Palmistry, Tea leaves, Rune stones, bone casting. The list can go on...
The Zodiac as well.

My take on these 'divinations' can be unified into the interaction with nature and the surroundings.

What's interesting is that all these forms have originated from time immemorial, which goes to show that people nowadays are unable to formulate such 'divinations'. Perhaps we are living in an era of forgotten 'spiritual' wisdom?

16-03-06, 05:16
it was odd.. my gf asked if i was O pos.. because she said that O pos people are easlily irritable...

I said

sorry a bad joke.. lol. but i dont really belive in it at all.
Women what the hell are you talking about

16-03-06, 05:55
You may have seen this programme (I[̐) on Japanese TV recently. Ehara-san reads the guest's aura and communicates with dead relatives, etc., and Miwa-san talks about their past lives. It's quite an interesting programme, if only in that you have to admire Ehara-san and Miwa-san's skill at appearing convincing. Of course, the guests are willing to be gullible and I think everyone in the audience is too - wishing it was them who was the centre of such mysterious attention.

I'm not putting it down - I think it's nonsense, but interesting and even entertaining nonsense, especially on TV when the guest is someone famous you are interested in.

16-03-06, 11:24
I don't believe at all in fortune telling, divinations, those kinds of things.

I think a clever fortune teller can deduce things about you, that can allow them to make correct guesses about you or have a feeling for the way you will interpret their words.

it could be argued, so the theoretical thinking goes, that all is 'present'. And, within that sphere of reality, information carrying particles may well cross-bond
That idea, I can better consider, as I think our perception of time is rather limited.

16-03-06, 13:07
Spooky! I have just read a book comparing ancient divination techniques in Europe and China and was going to start a thread about it, then this appeared! :p

I used to be really interested in divination when I was younger - particularly astrology and tarot. My choice to study Maths & Philosophy at university was confirmed in my mind when I found out that Bertrand Russell is a near 'cosmic twin' to me.

I once read tarot cards at a local carnival. Everyone was very impressed with their readings. I think the way it worked was, I would say a list of things that the cards suggested until I got a reaction, then I would expand on that one thing. At the time I didn't realise I was doing this - it must have been happening on a subconscious level, because I became quite scared at the accuracy of my readings. Looking back, I have worked out what I was probably doing.

Now I know that divination, as Mycernius quite rightly says, is a pseudo-science. For me though it was a step on the road to what I now understand to be true. I don't look back and think "Wow, I was stupid", I think "I was searching for truth, and this phase was part of that search", just as I used to be a Christian.

I hesitate to say 'a load of rubbish', because historically, divination has helped mankind on the road to some truths, as it helped me as an individual. For example, astronomy began with astrology, and anatomy likely began with extispicy (divination by entrails).

I still have some affection for my tarot cards. Some decks have beautiful artwork on them, and the stories attached to the individual cards are interesting. There is a suggestion that they are one form of the Arthurian romances.

As for Feng Shui, I think it is a way of giving some common sense advice in a way that was easy for ancient people to relate to - a bit like the convenant and commandments in the OT. If you look at the advice given in Feng Shui, some of it makes sense on a different level. For example, you are told to keep your toilet lid closed to stop chi escaping. Well, that makes sense for hygiene reasons. You are supposed to keep lots of healthy plants about the house - we know that is good for removing carbon dioxide from the air. Plus, some of those 'cures' you can get, like the jade figurines, windchimes and Chinese coins on red thread are very pretty :blush: :D

Women what the hell are you talking aboutSome men believe in divination too you know. :okashii:

16-03-06, 19:08
i once studied astrology, even made several natal charts to see at the results. i don`t know about predicting future with use of astrological data, `cause its methods (at least those what i found in my books) looked to me rather dubious, besides, i find such forecasting a waist of time.

but there were some things about natal charts that certainly can be put aside as rubbish. i took a look at these charts as at "personality patterns".
After some readings i stopped at geocentric methods of calculation. Don`t
think that rotation really matters but i choose counterclock direction. And left only major bodies - planets, moon and sun (no asteroids or pseudo-planets, though nowdays some objects are discovered in area behind Pluto
(Koyper (sp?) belt)) I intentionally left out "House system", `cause it bears more predictive hew and different systems are often controversial.
And i used european system

i drew few charts for the people i knew, and few about those i didn`t know.
I ought to tell, that "prediction" of personal traits and pecularities didn`t look as faking or making up a results. It seems more like accumulated experience of earlier psychological observations (at the times when such term and science didn`t yet exist). People accumulated their obserervations over
others in "folded" and symbolic manner. Every planet bears name of god, and
every god(goddes) has its particular traits, its archetypes, if you want.

As for Zodiac... i can suggest that people of ancient times didn`t know about
precession. But in some astrological research i`ve read that it`s not the stars what matters, but the sector of a celestial sphere. Why? - hell knows, but there is certain similiarity with Feng Shui then.

It`s proven fact that moon and sun affect living organisms. Why other planets
should act the same (or similiar) way? There is no scientific proof of it. Yet,
or, maybe, never... But on a level of psychological characterization the
system i tested worked quite efficiently (for more precise results i should`ve
draw more charts, but i am too lazy)
And what i`ve noticed, while reading all that staff reasonable astrologers
follow those maximas (translation is loose %) ):
"stars define, but individual develops and reveals what is defined"
(or doesn`t develop as well :D)
"fool obeys the stars when wise one uses them for his own success"

16-03-06, 20:47
Wow, this thread has come back, cool.
I had originally posted this to see how people react to different forms of divination. My own reaction is that I am not a great believer in it.
I will take two for now to for examples.
My first is Astrology. A bit of a bugbear for me. I am interested in astronomy and from astrology came astronomy, so in some ways it has been useful to man and his thirst for knowledge. Where I do not like it is the way people seem to ignore all the problems and inconsistances in it. For example ancient astrology only accounted for the planets they knew about. As more planets were discovered charts and ideas changed to adapt to these changes. Does that mean all astrology done before the discovery of Pluto is wrong. The other thing, as Mitsuo Oda san points out, is that the stars and constellations move over time. Those born under Aries are no longer born under aries, but astrologists do not take this into consideraton. The final point are the constellations themselves. Form this point in space Taurus can look like a bull, but if we move to a different place the stars change position and they no longer make the constellation we see. These stars that make up these constellations are not near each other, in some cases might not even exist anymore, but because of the huge distances involved we are still seeing the light. IMHO Aries, Taurus or Leo have about as much effect on a persons personality as Ursa Major, Orion or Canis Major. The biggest problem I have with this is when talking to ardent followers of astrology. When I point out these flaws they always ask what star sign I am. When I reply, Aries, The answer is always the same. I expect that because that is the sort of person an Aries is. Ever felt like hitting someone?
Secondly; Tarot cards.
When ever you ask about tarot cards to someone who uses them they usually say it dates from ancient Egypt. This proves one thing. They know nothing about Tarot cards (try it, I have on several occassions). Tarot cards were orginally used to spread stories, sometimes heretical, from Christianity. They have never been used by ancient Egyptians. From there it developed into a trick playing card game, similar to whist, with the major arcana being used as trump cards. It wasn't until about the 17th centruy that they started being used for divination. So in actual fact divination using Tarot cards barely scraps in at 500 years.
These are two forms of divination that when examined from an historical and scientific view point, do not hold up under close scrutiny.