The Experiment that Disproved Astrology

A story told by this friend, Firminus, shook the young Augustine from his pagan faith. Firminus’ father, an earnest experimenter in astrology, always noted the positions of the stars and even “took care with the most exact diligence to know the birth of his very puppies.” Firminus’ father learned that one of his women-servants was to be delivered of a child at about the same time that Firminus’ mother was expecting. “Both were delivered at the same instant; so that both were constrained to allow the same constellations, even to the minutest points, the one for his son, the other for his new-born slave. For so soon as the women began to be in labour, they each gave notice to the other what was fallen out in their houses, and had messengers ready to send to one another, so soon as they had notice of the actual birth, of which they had easily provided, each in his own province, to give instant intelligence. Thus then the messengers of the respective parties met, he averred, at such an equal distance from either house, that neither of them could make out any difference in the position of the stars, or any other minutest points; and yet Firminus, born in a high estate in his parents’ house, ran his course through the gilded paths of life, was increased in riches, raised to honours; whereas that slave continued to serve his masters, without any relaxation of his yoke, as Firminus, who knew him, told me.” The diverse destiny of twins struck Augustine as the most obvious and appealing argument against astrology.


Two children born at the same time, one a master, the other a slave.

Folksonomies: supernatural experimentation astrology

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Mother (0.899015): dbpedia | freebase
Time (0.878800): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Parent (0.789292): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
House (0.778761): dbpedia | freebase
The Messengers (0.762080): website | dbpedia | yago
Experiment (0.758658): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Master (0.756324): dbpedia
The Birth of a Nation (0.739561): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 The discoverers
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Boorstin, Daniel Joseph (1983), The discoverers, Random House Inc, Retrieved on 2013-08-08
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