Astronomy vs Astrology Quotes

Image Credit: Josh Rangel

In ancient cultures people noticed that astronomical events in the heavens seemed to impact life on Earth, such as stars and constellations appearing in the night sky at certain times of the year marking the seasons for farming. This gave rise to the pseudo-science of astrology which studied the sun, moon, planets and stars in order to determine the will of the divine and predict subsequent effects on the lives of human beings on Earth.

Over long centuries the semi-religious aspects of astrology were passed over in favour of the science of astronomy, in which scientists sought to understand the physics of the universe outside of divine explanations. However, even today astrology remains of broad popular interest to many people and horoscopes still regularly appear in daily newspapers. Here are some interesting quotes on the subject of the merits of Astronomy versus Astrology:

Maimonides (1135-1204): “You will certainly not doubt the necessity of studying astronomy and physics, if you are desirous of comprehending the relation between the world and Providence as it is in reality, and not according to imagination.”

William Shakespeare (1564-1616):

“Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck,
And yet methinks I have astronomy.
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or season’s quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Or say with princes if it shall go well.”

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630): “A mind is accustomed to mathematical deduction, when confronted with the faulty foundations of astrology, resists a long, long time, like an obstinate mule, until compelled by beating and curses to put its foot into that dirty puddle.”

Voltaire (1694-1778): “Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882): “Nature may be as selfishly studied as trade. Astronomy to the selfish becomes astrology; psychology, mesmerism; and anatomy and physiology become phrenology and palmistry.”

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913): “Responsibility, n.  A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one’s neighbor.  In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.”

Franz Cumont (1868-1947): “After a duration of a thousand years, the power of astrology broke down when, with Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, the progress of astronomy overthrew the false hypothesis upon which the entire structure rested, namely the geocentric system of the universe..Celestial mechanics and spectrum analysis finally robbed them of their mysterious prestige.”

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948): “I know nothing of the science of astrology and I consider it to be a science, if it is a science, of doubtful value, to be severely left alone by those who have any faith in Providence.”

Robert Green Ingersoll (1883-1899): “If the people were a little more ignorant, astrology would flourish – if a little more enlightened, religion would perish.”

D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930): “The cosmos is a vast living body, of which we are still parts.  The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins.  The moon is a great nerve center from which we quiver forever.  Who knows the power that Saturn has over us, or Venus?  But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time.”

Rebecca West (1892-1983): “Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology.”

Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975): “Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology…the blunder leads to blasphemy: the Creator is accused of systematic deceitfulness.”

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