Illustration for article titled About 42% of Americans think astrology is scientific. It is not.

Every two years, the National Science Foundation asks Americans their thoughts on astrology. We don't have the numbers for 2014 yet, but back in 2012, 42 percent of Americans said that astrology was scientific — which is a bit depressing, since astrology is in no way scientific.


About 10 percent said they believed astrology was "very scientific," and 32 percent said it was "sort of scientific." Somewhat encouragingly, 55 percent of Americans recognized the correct answer, describing astrology as "not at all scientific." About 4 percent said they don't know.

For an in-depth look at why astrology is bullshit, check out Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog, but his bullet points below lay out the main arguments for why reading your horoscope is a complete waste of time:

  • There is no force, known or unknown, that could possibly affect us here on Earth the way astrologers claim. Known forces weaken too fast, letting one source utterly dominate (the Moon for gravity, the Sun for electromagnetism). An unknown force would allow asteroids and extrasolar planets to totally overwhelm the nearby planets.
  • Astrologers tend to rely on our ability to remember hits and forget misses. Even an accurate prediction may be simple chance.
  • Study after study has shown that claims and predictions made by astrologers have no merit. They are indistinguishable from chance, which means astrologers cannot claim to have some ability to predict your life's path.

And you can read more about why belief in astrology is far from harmless over at io9.

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