Astrology and healthcare? No thank you.

Michelle Collins Feb 26, 2015

According to the Conservative Member of Parliament, David Treddinick, there is a simple way to remove pressure from the National Health Service in the UK: by including/prescribing(?) astrology and more homeopathic medicine. Now, you may think this sounds ridiculous, but Mr. Treddinick would argue that this makes you "racially prejudiced". According to him, your opposition to using astrology to diagnose your medical conditions is the result of "superstition, ignorance and prejudice" (something he states non-ironically). And institutions like the BBC are biasing our debates about this by seeking to "promote the science perspective" on astrology, as opposed to... I don't know... the  superstition angle?

So, is he right? Can we use astrology to help us with our medical ailments?

Answer: No. Obviously not. And I say that as an astronomer, i.e. a person whose day-to-day business is all about studying the stars in the sky. I can guarantee you, if there was a way to use the stars for medical purposes, we would already be pushing astrology, because that would have significant real world benefits coming from our research. And that would lead to more grant money, more jobs and greater visibility for the field (as well as fewer sick people). The reason we don't endorse astrology for anything is because IT IS NONSENSE. And people in positions of power are playing a stupid, dangerous game by even suggesting otherwise.

If only we could convince Mr. Treddinick, a man who serves on both the UK governments Health committee, and Science and Technology committee of this. Or, have him removed from his positions here. EIther way works for me.