Astrology as a False Science

"Excuse me," she said hesitantly, "but what effect do these minor planets have on our behavior and fortunes? I mean, you know, astrological influence?"

He looked at her. "None."

"None at all?"


"But if the planets affect our fortunes—" She stumbled to a stop at the dispassionately scornful look on the pale man's face, the slow way he shook his head. "Surely you'll agree that the planets order and control our destinies?"

"They do not."

"Not at all?"


"Then what does? Control our destinies, I mean."

"The only external forces that have any influence on us are those we can see every day: the smile, the frown, the fist, the brick wall. What you call 'destiny' is merely a semantic fallacy, the attribution of purpose to blind causality. Insofar as any of us are compelled to resist the flow of random events, we are driven solely by internal drives and forces."

Jane seized on this last. "Then what you're saying is that our fate lies within us, right?"

He shook his head. "If so, it must be extremely small and impossibly distant. I would not suggest you put any reliance in such an insignificant entity."

An icy, nihilistic void seemed to unfold itself around Jane, stretching to infinity in all directions at once, a perfect sphere encompassing all the universe. It seemed unimaginable, this existence the pale man presented her with, unregulated, sourceless, without purpose or direction. And yet, he was so obviously beyond illusion, solace, or desire, she could not imagine him lying to her. Why would he bother? "But everyone I know believes in planetary influences."

"Yes. They do."

She waited, but he did not elaborate. "In introductory astrology they told us that each person has a tutelary star and that each star has its own mineral, color, and musical tone, and a plant as well that is a specific for the disease that is caused by that star's occultation."

"All untrue. The stars do not concern themselves in the least with us. Our total extinction would mean nothing to them."

"But why?" Jane cried. "If it's not true, why would they teach it to us?"

A dry fingertip tapped the page not impatiently but pedagogically. "All courses require textbooks, charts, and teaching aids. By the time the information codified as astrology was discredited and became obsolete, it had a constituency. Certain… personages benefit from the supply contracts."

The smell of chalk dust was harsh in Jane's nostrils, a statistical effluvium of dead molecules suspended in the still air and nothing more. She could taste it in her mouth. "But if what you're saying is so, then it's all meaningless. Isn't it? I mean, nothing means anything at all then, does it?"

"Acu tetigisti" the pale man said in his affectless voice. "You have touched it with a needle."

She shivered, as if a rat had run over her grave.


In a fantasy world, where it retains distinction in academia because the academics have too much invested in it.

Folksonomies: politics science academia

/hobbies and interests/astrology (0.488294)
/hobbies and interests/reading (0.485191)
/family and parenting/children (0.474497)

pale man (0.962551 (negative:-0.600030)), dispassionately scornful look (0.818101 (negative:-0.763823)), Control our destinies (0.661843 (neutral:0.000000)), minor planets (0.657549 (negative:-0.286430)), astrological influence (0.650275 (neutral:0.000000)), fantasy world (0.648059 (neutral:0.000000)), planets order (0.647763 (positive:0.399817)), insignificant entity (0.646249 (negative:-0.649779)), False Science (0.646126 (neutral:0.000000)), nihilistic void (0.635483 (negative:-0.335399)), semantic fallacy (0.634115 (negative:-0.521760)), slow way (0.627845 (negative:-0.597249)), brick wall (0.619718 (negative:-0.256630)), dry fingertip (0.616415 (negative:-0.256858)), total extinction (0.613753 (negative:-0.491869)), internal drives (0.613226 (negative:-0.232461)), external forces (0.613126 (positive:0.270140)), random events (0.612955 (neutral:0.000000)), Acu tetigisti (0.612527 (neutral:0.000000)), planetary influences (0.610563 (neutral:0.000000)), perfect sphere (0.610141 (positive:0.708961)), Certain… personages (0.607175 (positive:0.690371)), musical tone (0.606371 (neutral:0.000000)), introductory astrology (0.604925 (negative:-0.216483)), tutelary star (0.601564 (negative:-0.216483)), affectless voice (0.599567 (negative:-0.519290)), teaching aids (0.597407 (neutral:0.000000)), chalk dust (0.595872 (negative:-0.632873)), Jane (0.595678 (negative:-0.577383)), statistical effluvium (0.594350 (negative:-0.768958))

Jane:Person (0.786421 (negative:-0.577383))

Star (0.940308): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Planet (0.842169): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Astrology (0.826927): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Destiny (0.716284): dbpedia | freebase
Not at All (0.692096): dbpedia | freebase
The Pale (0.691547): dbpedia | freebase
Mercury (0.651743): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Pale of Settlement (0.649535): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 The Iron Dragon's Daughter
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Swanwick, Michael (2004), The Iron Dragon's Daughter, Retrieved on 2015-01-23
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: science fiction fantasy abused children