Radical Breakthroughs in 21st Century
Astrology Software and the Dawn of Scientific Astrology
Copyright © 2008 All Rights Reservedby David Cochrane
BELIEF IN ASTROLOGY
Astrology is a controversial subject. Harris Polls in 2003 and 2005 and a Gallup Poll in 2005 confirmed what other research has found: about 1/4 to 1/3 of Americans believe in astrology:
The results for the 2005 Harris Poll also confirm what other studies have found: belief in astrology is greater among women, among less educated people, and among young people. A woman in her 20's with a high school education is much more likely to believe in astrology than a man in his 70's with a Ph.D.
Not even all astrologers believe that astrology is valid, if by "valid" we mean scientifically verifiable validity. Some astrologers believe that astrology has a more symbolic than empirical truth, or that the truth of astrology is revealed only through a divinatory process. These issues have been discussed extensively elsewhere, and I will not repeat the discussion here. You can for example read the article on astrology at Wikipedia.org for a discussion and links on these ideas.
TEST OF THE OBJECTIVE VALIDITY OF ASTROLOGY:
An embarrassing fact for some astrologers is that to date there have not been any completely unambiguous, replicable scientific validations of astrology. Although astrologers may state that Taurus is inclined to gardening, construction, and finance, Cancer is inclined to domestic businesses, and Aquarius is inclined to progressive movements and sciences, to date these ideas have not been clearly confirmed and replicated in research studies.
However, there have been promising results in some of the research studies. By "promising results", I mean that the research has produced results which indicate that there is a strong possibility that astrology has objective validity. When promising results are obtained, it is an indication that further research should be conducted to determine more definitively if a positive finding can be obtained. The research studies that have produced these positive results typically are based on a theoretical framework that is simultaneously different from what astrologers think of astrology and also very different from what scientists think of as science. The results of this research therefore are indicating that there is an emerging new discipline which has some similarities to astrological ideas and some similarities to scientific ideas.
While many people feel strongly about either their belief or disbelief in astrology, a quiet revolution is now underway, and this quiet revolution is creating a new discipline and a new technology. This new discipline may very well be overlooked by both ardent believers and skeptics of astrology because they are so fervently entrenched in a viewpoint that sees astrological theory in unambiguous terms. Now a new discipline is emerging that incorporates concepts from both astrology and from current scientific theories. We need to be open to new paradigms and new insights in order to appreciate the vitally important new insights that this emerging new discipline can bring. I refer to this emerging discipline as "cosmic cybernetics".
THE BIRTH OF COSMIC CYBERNETICS:
While astrologers are busily consulting clients and refining their understanding based on the methods that they have learned, and while academics in other fields are engaged in their activities, astrology software developers and researchers have pioneered an exciting new technology. This technology integrates some concepts from astrology and some concepts from physics to form a new discipline that shows much greater promise of having objective, scientific validity than any of the astrological ideas more commonly used by astrologers. Because these new ideas are more analogous to ideas in physics than in astrology, the word "astrology" for these studies may be a misnomer. This emerging new scientific form of astrology can be called cosmic cybernetics, a term introduced by Theodor Landscheidt. Landscheidt introduced the term to refer to the concept that information could be communicated through celestial configurations and events. I use the term in a slightly different context to refer to the new emerging hybrid of astrological and scientific thought that uses the scientific method using a new set of rules and new applications.
Cosmic Cybernetics thus far has not included the concepts upon which the great body of astrological literature is based: zodiac signs, houses, rulerships and other dignities, fixed stars, asteroids, or a reliance on major aspects. It is possible that at some future time research will confirm that these concepts do provide objectively verifiable information but thus far they have failed to do so. A radical departure from these traditional ideas to a new set of ideas introduced in the 20th century has provided the theoretical foundations for scientifically verifiable research studies.
Current studies in cosmic cybernetics treat planetary positions are based on ideas originally formulated by astrologer John Addey. Addey developed a system of astrological analysis based on the assumption that planet positions acted as defining points of waves, and that planetary positions somehow created waves which affect human beings through the length of the wave forms, just as different wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum have different qualities. I do not refer to these studies as studies in harmonic astrology but rather studies in cosmic cybernetics because the theoretical basis for these studies has now grown beyond the framework initiated by Addey and now incorporates concepts from other progressive and innovative work in the 20th century, such as the work of Reinhold Ebertin in an astrologically based system that he called cosmobiology.
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF FIVE STUDIES USING COSMIC CYBERNETICS TECHNIQUE:
An extraordinary feature of these studies is that the research was conducted fairly quickly, the astrological formula used is simple and elegant and is in accordance with astrological theory, and statistically significant results were obtained.
CROSSING BRIDGES TO A SCIENCE OF COSMIC CYBERNETICS:
The research studies summarized above fall a little bit short of scientific proof. At the outset of the studies a range of possible findings was presented, rather than a very specific hypothesis. Also, in the first two studies the sample size was very small. If similar studies are conducted with a very specific hypothesis stated at the outset and positive results are obtained, then peer review and replication is needed to firmly establish cosmic cybernetics as a new scientific discipline.
In the studies described above, extreme measures were taken to ensure that obvious biases and distortions did not creep into the studies. A serious attempt was made to determine if cosmic cybernetics shows promise of becoming a scientific discipline rather than a defensive, naive, and biased set of steps taken in order to defend a belief. The extremely positive results indicate that cosmic cybernetics shows great promise of becoming a sound scientific discipline. Because of the radically new nature of cosmic cybernetics, it threatens the beliefs of both believers and skeptics of astrology. Cosmic cybernetics is not astrology as we think of astrology nor is it psychology or physics as we normally think of them. Cosmic Cybernetics is a new discipline created out of a hybrid of different disciplines. In the past I have presented these ideas primarily to the astrological community, but now I am presenting these ideas more to the academic community where I think there is the opportunity for the ideas to develop, grow, and become thorughly tested and analyzed. At this point in time it appears that cosmic cybernetics may blossom within the academic community rather than the astrological community.
The Primary Reason for the Birth of Cosmic Cybernetics
Speculating and theorizing are often much easier than careful testing of an idea. For thousands of years astrology has mushroomed into a vast subject with seemingly endless concepts. Without rigorous testing and validation of the ideas, astrology has grown horizontally (that is, the mass of ideas has expanded) but has not grown vertically (that is, without a solid, emperically supported base, it has been difficult for astrology to become more refined and specific as the sciences have been able to do).
In the history of human inquiry and analysis, the scientific method is a relatively new innovation for determining what is true (see, for example, the article at this link: Scientific and Epistimological and Paradigm Shifts of the Early 1900's). The ancients were not likely to develop scientific studies to determine the validity of astrology. Modern astrologers can conduct research if they have the motivation, skills, data, and time to conduct the research. Cosmic cybernetics, currently based primarily on Addey's wave theory requires a time-consuming analysis of the chart. Without data and without computer software, the question of the validity of astrology cannot be unequivocally known, and people can only voice their opinions as loudly and assertively as they may wish to, but without knowing for certain if they are correct.
In May, 2008, Cosmic Patterns Software, the company that I founded over 25 years ago released a new version of the software that propelled our ability to conduct research in cosmic cybernetics forward to a completely new level. This software is called SIRIUS". With this new software we visually see the harmonic patterns, we can obtain graphs and bar charts of results, we can present data in a number of different ways, and we can build and refine a formula for whatever phenomenon we wish to study (success in various professions and commodity prices as was done in the studies cited above, as well as many other behaviors). With the new forecasting tools in Sirius, I was able to see the graph of actual gold prices, the forecasted gold prices, the correlation coefficient between the two graphs, and also whether the correlation is statistically significant automatically without needing to export the data or even navigate to a different part of the software.
Astrologers are accustomed to thinking of astrology software as providing chart calculations, and listings of data of various kinds. For astrological research the astrologer may wish to see how many musicians and artists have Venus in Pisces or the ruler of Venus in particular houses, etc. Although our software can do this, it is the tools for analyzing complex patterns that provide the breakthrough needed to give birth to cosmic cybernetics.
Because cosmic tapestry is so progressive, the software so innovative, the need for training and education to appreciate these breakthroughs so great, the quiet revolution taking place through the development of these software tools is going completely unnoticed by some astrologers. Other astrologers note the developments but are busy with their own more astrological interests. Ironically, it may be academics and scientists, not astrologers, who recognize the power, potential impact, and viability of cosmic cybernetics.
A knowledge of scientific research methods and the sensitivity to finding potential weaknesses in research are the key ingredients needed at this point. Academics and scientists have the knowledge and training to test and apply cosmic cybernetics. A form of astrology is now going mainstream and may very well be slipping away from the hands of astrologers. As the software is further expanded and perfected, as data is analyzed, and new research studies are conducted, we can expect cosmic cybernetics to take its first baby steps.
Personally, I have no doubt about the viability of cosmic cybernetics. Decades of anecdotal evidence are now being reinforced in more controlled studies and we are approaching the time when research studies will be replicated with positive results. Of course, I may be wrong. This is why we conduct research: to discover the truth. The worst case is that this research will, once and for all, provide the data to confirm that astrology in all of its variations is incapable of producing objectively verifiable information. At best, we are witnessing one of the greatest achievements in human understanding. Those who prefer to stay glued to their preconceived notions will miss the excitement of this revolution entirely. The rest of us can enjoy participating in another important step forward in our understanding of the world and of ourselves.
AUTHOR: David Cochrane