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The Sciences

Could have predicted this

Cosmic VarianceBy Sean CarrollJanuary 21, 2006 4:28 AM

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Man, I go away for a couple of days and all my co-bloggers choose to take a siesta. I'm going to have to give them a good talking-to, I tell you. Now I'm stuck in Philadelphia for one night more than planned, due to an unforeseen outbreak of weather back in Chicago. The City of Brotherly Love has greatly come up in the world since I grew up in the suburbs a couple of decades ago -- the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, where I'm staying, is a really lively and engaging downtown environment. Nothing of substance to report, so I'll point you to this takedown of astrology by Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy fame, which is worthy of some contemplation. We all know that astrology is nonsense, but it's worth the exercise to try to explain to people who aren't well-versed in science why we know that astrology can't work even without doing elaborate double-blind tests. Phil's argument is the same one that I've given before: we really do know something about the forces of nature, and there is absolutely no room to fit paranormal phenomena into what we know. There's much we don't know, and much we do; sometimes we even have a pretty good idea of where the boundary is.

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