Thursday, 18 February 2010

The stars in their courses

I was leafing through the prospectus of a local college of further education this evening when I noticed a course offered on Astrology. "Tell me this is a misprint," I thought. No, it's Astrology. Stars, celestial houses, and all that.

Actually, there are two courses: 'beginners' and 'improvers', for which read 'feeble-minded' and 'braindead'. At eighty quid a pop. Oy.

I suppose it's no worse a fraud than many. Fortunately the prospectus noted that these courses were not eligible for reduced fees for the unwaged, the unfortunate and so on, otherwise I might have had to firebomb the place for wasting taxpayers' money.

It always amazes me that people believe in this garbage. Even my dear Mrs QO, whose Mensa-administered IQ test placed her in the top one percent of the UK population, has a tendency to claim that her favourite people share the same birthsign. A moment's reflection shows that it plain ain't so. Some of her favourite people do, but not all. The theory therefore falls, according to any rational thinking. But not to hers.

Mind you, Pisceans will believe any old nonsense.


  1. (I think my post vanished into the astrological virtuality so I try again)

    Suprised you are bothered by this. Is it the subsidy for the evening class ? Or the subject matter of the course? At least it isn't a contract bridge course.

    Next you will be saying that Anglicans and Catholics believe any old nonsense. That climate-change scientists at UEA are no better than intelligent-designers. Anything that keeps people off the street and from contemplating the dire state-of-the-world is fine. Are you really a total rationalist with no superstition? Most people sit on the fence until they are dead.

    Remember Montaigne - Opinions are not certainties, and some certainties are mainly opinions.

  2. Welcome to the blog and thanks for the comment.

    I am not overly bothered by astrology, though I would have been annoyed if the course had been publicly subsidised. To be frank, I don't see a great deal of difference - except in scale - between a belief in astrology and Anglican or Catholic faith. Both systems require acceptance of sets of propositions for which there is no evidence whatsoever. "Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know", as Montaigne also said.

    Am I a total rationalist? Getting that way, I think. I don't believe science knows all the answers, but then it never claims to. It's superstition that does that.