Home > Skepticism > British MP Wants Astrology To Play A Part In Health Policy

British MP Wants Astrology To Play A Part In Health Policy

<rant>

Conservative MP David Tredinnick has recently spoken about his belief in astrology, and the fact that he thinks it should be integrated into UK health care.

It’s worth saying at the outset that astrology is bullshit.

The MP for Bosworth, Mr Tredinnick, is well known for his whacky beliefs, so much so that he is often referred to as the MP for Holland and Barrett, the high street purveyor of supplements, homeopathic remedies, and flim-flam.

What makes Mr Tredinnick’s comments so worrying is that he sits on the health committee and the science and technology committee in the House of Commons.

What makes this even more worrying is that these posts are elected by other MPs, so this believer in all things pseudo-science was deliberately placed on these committees by his fellow MPs.

It’s hard to imagine anyone less suited to judging the merits of health and science policy than a man who thinks that the stars and planets somehow influence our lives. This is a pre-scientific notion, and has no place in a modern society.

Mr Tredinnick has attempted to head off criticism from the reality-based community by referring to those rationalists and skeptics who disagree with his fanciful notions as “bullies” who had “never studied the subjects”.

On the contrary, most astronomers have studied the universe to a far deeper degree than most astrologers, and have come to the realisation that:

  • there are no mechanisms by which the stars and planets can influence our lives
  • one only needs conjure up a new mystical mechanism to account for astrology if there is significant evidence that it works
  • there is no evidence that astrology works: none

</rant>

  1. DazTheDJ
    July 25, 2014 at 15:58

    We know the moon can effect water on Earth. Humans are made up of mostly water so maybe the moon can influence our lives.

    • July 25, 2014 at 17:30

      Hi Daz,

      That’s a common argument put forward by those defending astrology but it doesn’t hold any water, if you pardon the pun.

      The moon doesn’t “effect” water on Earth. The gravitational forces exerted by the moon create tidal forces on the Earth’s surface, which over large distances (the size of oceans or seas) can cause tides to rise and fall. Tidal forces don’t matter over small bodies of water like lakes, puddles and people.

      The gravitational pull exerted by the moon on your brain is about the same as the car that just drove past you, which is to say utterly negligible.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • DazTheDJ
        July 27, 2014 at 12:49

        I was just playing Devil’s Advocate and that was a great reply. Thanks

  2. Terry McGowan
    July 25, 2014 at 19:44

    In a way, it’s oddly comforting to know that there are nut cases in places other than ours (which does seem to have more than its quota) where unqualified people get to make important decisions. But, it’s tragic and I’m sympathetic.

  3. Mark
    August 12, 2014 at 09:12

    There’s the human intellect (the ego) which ‘thinks’ it knows everything based on logical reason and fact through its extremely limited perception. Then there’s a frequency of knowing beyond the utter speck of human perceived significance, it’s comforting ego, which knows we as human beings, know nothing at all.

    The human ego (intellect) within each human being, is equivalent to one grain of sand on an enormous beach. The correlation here; Why do we exist? Why are YOU here? If you ‘think’ you have the answer packaged into a neat little scientific formula, your perception of life and death is equal to that of an inconsequential, insignificant, speck of sand.

    “Bullshit” exists among little minds full of fear, limiting beliefs and arrogance; the ones who are afraid to question a topic they are ignorant of, yet seem to “know” all the answers. Bullshit exists on the T.V and in social media. I don’t see your astute evaluation lambasting that illusion of science. See? Little .

    • Mark
      August 12, 2014 at 11:33

      The ‘influence’ of social media absolutely dominates the human race. Do you need “evidence” to support this phenomena? Does this phenomena work? Take a good look around you. What fleeting, inane subjects are people identifying with vicariously through what they experience via a man-made myth; celebrity, status, narcissism, social segregation, hate and fear.

      My comments have nothing to do with validating astrology. You are who you are. I am what I am. My comments have everything to do with questioning. Questioning what masses of people hypnotised by mass media, consider ‘true’ to them, amid a relentless and illusory, as you put it, “Modern” existence.

      • August 12, 2014 at 21:45

        Um, who brought up social media?

        This whole questioning thing annoys me, as if wooly thinkers are noble crusaders seeking pure truth while the benighted scientists toil away in darkness with blinkers on their eyes. No one questions more than scientists, and no world view leads to questioning better than the reality-based one, but crucially we know when to stop questioning, when time and again flim flam has been shown up for what it is: bullshit.

    • August 12, 2014 at 21:42

      Yes, very good. The “little” minds of the reality based community can’t begin to compete with the illuminated minds of those who aren’t afraid to question blah blah blah.

      For the record I am fearless in my questioning of astrology and other such nonsenses, and am far from ignorant on the matter. I don’t know all the answers, but I know some of them, and one of them is: astrology is bullshit.

      • Mark
        August 12, 2014 at 22:47

        I brought up social media. Do I need your permission for that?
        Influence, is the principal of your argument. Not the validity of astrology. Is that concept to difficult for you to understand?

        Social media was raised as a clear example in response to your opinion that astrology does not influence humans. I see this discussion is futile.:) All the best trying to sell your book.

  4. September 13, 2014 at 22:57

    I’ve encountered David before – the press portray his Astrological interests as from Whackville I found him quite informed and knowledgeable about both astrology and it’s analysis/interpretation.

    Not that such knowledge will save him from the hounds of the UK press.

    • September 13, 2014 at 23:09

      He’s not informed enough about it to realise it has no place in modern science or policy making.

  5. November 5, 2014 at 21:32

    Agreed, but he has a deep personal interest and that seems to have been overlooked

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