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Artifacts in data
Often wrongly seen as evidence for astrology

Geoffrey Dean

Abstract -- The controversy over astrology is largely about artifacts, or whether the claimed results could have ordinary explanations. Artifacts are fake effects due to hiccups in data (this article) or in reasoning (see the article Artifacts in reasoning). They are never mentioned in astrology books yet they occur throughout astrology, leading to wrong conclusions that astrology works. You will be led seriously astray if you learn about astrology without first learning about artifacts. This article looks at artifacts in the data, as when sun sign counts are not corrected for the earth's elliptical orbit (the sun spends two days longer in Cancer than in Capricorn). Some artifacts in data became famous in their day as the best claimed evidence for astrology. They include Nelson's correlation between planets and radio quality, Brown's lunar effects on oysters, Bradley's Jupiter Pluvius rainfall effect, Jung's astrological experiment with married couples, Vernon Clark's matching tests, John Addey's harmonics, the Mayo-Eysenck zodiac zig-zag, and Gauquelin's planetary effects. All have taken considerable time (decades) for their artifacts to be uncovered. So we should be cautious about any new astrological "proof". Of course the presence of artifacts does not deny the existence of genuine effects. But unless research can confirm such effects when artifacts are controlled (which so far is not the case), we have good reason to suspend belief. Artifacts of data and reasoning have always raged out of control in astrology. 27 references.

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