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September 02, 2003, by Léon Krijnen

Astrology and sex   

astrology.gifE-skeptic subscriber Greg Myers sent this interesting article about an astrology test that he performed on members of his family to the E-Skeptic. I suggest you should try this one in simular situations.
"I wanted to share with you an experience of mine yesterday that may make you smile. It involves my girlfriend's family, who I feel are very smart people who believe weird things. She has a large immediate family, and they are all firm believers of multiple fringe concepts, including astrology, ghosts, and psychic powers (and at least half of them regularly visit an iridologist). If I express any skepticism on these matters I am quickly stifled.

Anyway, my girlfriend's mother's birthday was yesterday, and they had a huge party at her house. I had recently finished reading your book and was motivated to try a small experiment. I found an astrology website on the Internet, and printed out 30 copies of the full 12 sign horoscope. However, I changed 15 of the copies on Microsoft Word so that the readings no longer matched up with the Zodiac sign. At the party, I passed all these out and had everyone rate how accurate their own readings were on a scale of 1 to 5. Of course I did not tell them that 15 of them were reading false horoscopes. Several members figured I was up to something, but they went along anyway. In the end, the average score for the correct horoscopes was 3.7, and for the non-correct 3.9.

When it was all over, I told them the truth, and showed them that the doctored horoscopes actually got a slightly higher rating. The response was alarming.

I was called a know-it-all by at least two people, overheard someone call me an asshole, and my girlfriend later informed me that her father was upset, and that I had to apologize. I found it very ironic that they were upset with me for "tricking" them, but failed to see that the evidence from the experiment showed that it was astrology doing the tricking.

My conclusion: skepticism is very intrinsically rewarding, but it has not been good for my sex life."

Greg Myers, greg14228@yahoo.com

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This is the E-skeptic for september 1, 2003 © 2003 Michael Shermer, Skeptics Society, Skeptic magazine, e-Skeptic magazine (www.skeptic.com and skepticmag@aol.com).
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Posted: September 2, 2003 04:34 PM (417 words).   

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