Phoebe is investigating astrology, and she is intrigued.
Astrology tries to work out the future by studying the positions of the stars and planets in the night sky. It thinks a person’s future is partly decided by how these are arranged when a person is born. It involves lots of calculations and looks very scientific.
‘It’s just rubbish!’ declares Philip. Astronomy is the proper science which studies the stars and planets. Astrology is just mumbo jumbo!’
‘But look at its name, Philip,’ Phoebe replies. ‘It ends in “-ogy”, just like Geology and Biology, and they’re proper sciences. And anyway, it works out the future using very complicated maths. Look at this!’ And she produces someone’s horoscope, with page after page of complex calculations.
‘Just because it uses maths, that doesn’t make it a proper science,’ protests Philip.
‘Well, what is a proper science, then?’ ask Phoebe. ‘And how can you tell a real science from a pretend-science?’
Philip is not too sure about that. He just knows that astrology is bogus, that’s all.
* * *
Can you help Philip out? Can you explain to Phoebe why astronomy is a proper science whereas astrology is not, even though they both study the same thing – the stars and planets in the night sky?
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