A minister in the state of Karnataka, home to the Indian infotech industry, has announced that the state government will set up a committee “to find out ways to eliminate black magic.” It is considering whether to require astrologers to register with the state authorities, apparently to sort out the legitimate fortune-tellers from the frauds.
Last month, during its 4th International Astrological Conference, the Karnataka Astrologers Association adopted a resolution to ban “dishonest astrologers in public sphere.” It was responding to predictions based on the Mayan calendar that spread fears the world would end on Dec. 21. The association’s vice president reportedly railed against “fake astrologers” out to make money peddling “mindless prophecies” for damaging “the reputation of astrology, which is traditionally viewed as a science.”
That’s “science” as in hard science — but political science, too.
Astrology, the poster child for sciencey nonsense, plays a big part in the economy and politics in this region of India. It’s taught in colleges, it’s used by officials to plan important events and apparently to make decisions. That’s just a little bit insane. But more insane is trying to weed “good” from “bad” when it comes to astrology because there IS no difference. It’s all garbage.
The idea to register astrologers is not going over well. Exactly what would be the criteria I wonder?
The real astrologers seem annoyed with every self-styled prophet crowing about the latest coming apocalypse and want to shoehorn those money grubbers out.
The emergence of fake astrologers in recent times and the considerable media coverage they attract has damaged the reputation of astrology which is traditionally viewed as a science. Mindless prophesies from those who believe that anything said in the name of astrology can be sold like hot cakes, are creating panic among people. Their theories are vacuous and are scaring people.”
Astrology is entirely vacuous. No matter who is doing it.
Tip: Massimo Pigliucci (@mpigliucci on Twitter)