Astrology and astronomy were, more or less, united as a discipline right up to the 17th Century. Prior to this, especially during the late medieval period, astronomy was treated as the foundation upon which astrology operated. It wasn't until the 18th Century that the two fields started to become regarded as completely separate disciplines.
It is for this reason that astronomy is, today, widely considered a true science whilst astrology has been relegated to the status of a form of divination and superstition, and a pseudoscience at best.
Whilst this distinction seems obvious to us today, it is important to understand astrology's importance in the story of mankind. Belief in such things pushed humanity forward to observe and contemplate the world outside of day to day mundane existence.
It is, in a sense, one of the cornerstones of the development of human ingenuity. Whilst its utility as a means of prediction is long past its sell-by date, it should be cherished like an old family heirloom. We have already explored the difference between astronomy and astrology, but what about cosmology?
Modern cosmology is dominated by the Big Bang theory, which brings together observational astronomy and particle physics.
What Will Scientists Discover Next?
It is, in this sense, a subdiscipline of astronomy but a well defined and large one at that. Cosmology has gained a lot of impetus since the 20th Century and has led to some of the most fascinating insights into the universe at large. Prominent scientists the likes of Stephen Hawking , a beloved and missed British cosmologist, have pushed human understanding to its breaking point. But even his incredible work is not even the tip of the iceberg with regards to understanding the universe at large. Whilst belief is usually associated with the realm of Religion, it can be argued that it is also true for scientists.
Astrology vs. Astronomy: Why Only One Is Considered Science
This leads to older, long-held to be true theories, and concepts to be completely abandoned in favor of better explanations for natural phenomena. In fact, Scientific study is littered with examples of completely wrong theories, like the "Aether" for example. And so, as we have seen, astronomy and astrology have some overlap and common shared history. In the sense that both disciplines observe and study the motion of celestial bodies, it can be said that it is true that astronomers 'believe' in astrology.
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- The Difference Between Astrology & Astronomy?
But that is as far as the similarity ends. The vast, vast majority of astronomers , hands-down, reject the rest of astrology as having any real credibility. At least for now Since astronomy is "t he branch of science which deals with celestial objects, space and the physical universe as a whole", the simple answer is no. But as we have seen, the two disciplines share a common ancestry and some aspects of each do overlap. Both astronomy and astrology were once united in a single discipline whose history is probably as old as human civilization.
Many ancient societies were completely obsessed with the motion of planets and other celestial bodies and it can be argued little has changed today. Ancient Egypt and Babylon are notable examples of civilizations that placed a heavy emphasis on the study of the night's sky. But all civilizations throughout history have been completely enthralled in one sense or another about the 'heavens'.
Astronomy vs. Astrology: How Are They Different?
Today they are widely considered to be two completely separate fields altogether. Astronomy is the study of stars, planets and other celestial bodies that are evident in the universe and is classified as a science because of the endless possibilities of new discoveries in outer space. For as long as humans have walked the earth they have gazed in amazement at the star-studded sky to ascertain what effects the movements of the planets have on our everyday lives.
Throughout most of our human history, we have had no real knowledge of the outer space that we have wondered at and treated the movements of the planets as having some divine power that has control over our lives.
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With the modern technology available to us today we are now in a position to study the wider universe and almost every month we hear of a new discovery even though we are penetrating deeper and deeper into the unknown. Our thirst for knowledge of how we arrived on earth and if it is possible for life on other planets to exist is insatiable and scientists believe it may only be a short time before we have those answers.
Astrologers , however, look at the universe in a completely different way even though it is only about years since formal records of astrology have existed. The constantly changing sky and the movements of the planets with the meteor showers have led to the belief that this sparkling world above our heads had a bearing with controls over our lives.
Special significance has been attached to the belief that our individual human fate is dictated and controlled by the heavenly bodies above us.
How do Astronomy and Astrology Differ?
The Mayan empire and Greeks through to Ancient Chinese and Egyptians saw special significance in astrology with western doctrines dating back some years. This is seen as particularly useful if a person is wanting to know if a relationship will be long-lasting or not. For several thousands of years, astrology has been considered in a scientific context along with other natural sciences like astronomy and geology.