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He Finds Entertainment in the Stars

July 28, 1985

I realize that the astrology column is considered by most editors to be an entertainment and not a factual report. Although it's not my idea of entertainment, I don't have a serious quarrel with this perspective.

The real nature of astrology is blurred, however, in the minds of many with astronomy and science. Because there is no scientific basis for astrology, I believe the distinction should be kept clear. Science is a tool--no more, no less, and it is important that we understand the nature of our tools and how to use them. Our survival, in fact, depends on that.

Because so many people are unaware that astrology is a belief, and not a scientific system of knowledge, the appearance of the astrology column in the newspaper suggests it has a factual basis, along with most other features and news. Belief in astrology is essentially a religious response, and I don't believe in intruding on other people's religions. But most informal presentations of astrology drape its magical system of thought in scientific jargon and astronomical imagery, and this undermines public understanding of science.

May I suggest, then, that (readers bear in mind) the following line (when considering the) astrology column.

"Astrological information is not based on scientific fact, and horoscope columns should be recognized as entertainment only."

E.C. KRUPP Ph.D.

Director

Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles

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