Proud To Be A Fringe Theorist

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by David Cochrane


Ask an astrologer what transiting Mars square natal Uranus and transiting Uranus square natal Mars in Aries exact on the same day means. Unless the astrologer practices Vedic or classical astrology, we can be almost certain that the astrologer will mention accident proneness or sudden changes.

Even if astrology is fundamentally divinatory or psychological in nature, astrologers do make statements of an objective nature that are measurable and amenable to scientific research. I do not think there is any way to skirt around this fact. Even if the research studies must be large and elaborate in order to test astrological claims, the studies can be conducted. Despite the many reasons that astrologers give for the failure of astrology to be validated through research, the research could in theory be conducted. This fact combined with the fact that there is no solid scientific support for astrological ideas nor is there a solid theoretical basis for astrology are reasons why astrology is deservedly considered at best a fringe theory by academics. If astrologers accepted the fringe status of astrology and that there are many different views of astrology even among astrologers, then astrology would make a big step towards maturing and developing as a serious study.


Fringe theory is a term that is sometimes used in a derogatory manner, but it need not be. Many things in nature have a Gaussian distribution and a Gaussian distribution is not quite normal without 1% out on in the tails. A critical analysis of fringe theories is needed for several reasons:

  1. Fringe theory may address anomalies or inconsistencies in current theory,
  2. Fringe theory may introduce new insights,
  3. Fringe theory may breed wild conspiracy theories, foolish ideas that are taken seriously by many people, with consequent negative social consequences. A critical analysis of fringe theories helps prevent these negative developments.


Kepler described the potential of fringe theory, specifically astrology, in an extraordinarily eloquent way:

"It should not be considered unbelievable that one can retrieve useful knowledge and sacred relics from astrological folly and godlessness. From this filthy mud one can glean even an occasional escargot, oysters or an eel for one's nutrition; in this enormous heap of worm-castings there are silk-worms to be found; and, finally, out of this foul-smelling dung-heap a diligent hen can scratch up an occasional grain-seed - indeed, even a pearl or a gold nugget."
Johnnes Kepler, Tertius Interveniens

Amazingly, 400 years after Kepler made these statements, his wisdom is still not fully appreciated or understood. If we keep digging, the pearls and nuggets will surface. I believe that we are now well on our way to making what we can subjectively perceive demonstrable, and the pearls and gold are glorious indeed. We can be proud to be fringe theorists.

David Cochrane AUTHOR: David Cochrane