Astronomy or Astrology

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Submitted By astro1
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Astronomy or Astrology?

Have you ever finally just gave in to the temptation and read your horoscope in the newspaper on Sunday morning? Sure, we all have. For most of us, itís a curiosity, an amusement to see what they say our day will be like based on the sign of the zodiac that we were born under. Sometimes we forget that this little diversion is actually part of an ancient science called astrology that has had a powerful effect on many cultures dating back to centuries before Christ.

That is not to say that astrology is a dead art today. It is easy to find astrology advocates in every town, advertising in the newspaper and on television trying to convince us that they can tell our fortune, our future and help cure our ills by exploring the mysteries of astrology.

When you are a lover of astronomy, the confusion between astronomy and astrology by those who donít really understand the differences can get pretty aggravating. And in early civilizations, the two disciplines were not separate. Astrology was just the religious side of the science of astronomy. So what changed?

The most significant shift that set in motion the separation of the two lines of thought began in the first century when Ptolemy wrote the very first book on astronomy called the Tetrabiblos. In it, he began to suggest that astronomy should be considered a separate science from astrology. It was quite a revolutionary book because it also was the first scientific document to suggest that the earth was not the center of the universe and that astronomy should be focused strictly on the observation and recording of events in the cosmos.

Over the next 2000 years, we have come a long way. Not only has science and religion completely gone their separate ways since Ptolemy but the science of astronomy makes tremendous strides every year that are so phenomenal, Ptolemy would be…...

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