Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Astronomy, not Astrology

When I see Mike Huckabee talk about "needing to bring the Constitution in line with the word of the living God" and other such nonsense, I'm reminded of how Nancy Reagan used to bring an astrologer into the White House to determine when the President of the United States of America would be allowed to, I dunno, give speeches and sign things. I'm connecting the two of them because it always floors me that there isn't an abundance of ridicule and outrage directed at people who seem to have ridiculous ideas. Tolerance is fine, but sometimes too much tolerance means you have, well, people doing crazy shit on the public dime. Nancy might have her reasons for having done so, and Huckabee might be running for the highest office in a country where he simply doesn't understand the rule of law or how we govern ourselves. My question is--can we afford to have that in the future? Can we afford to let the misguided superstitions of people become legitimate ideas for debate and discussion? Can you let things like this actually go without mocking them for what they are?

Have you ever had to explain to people that "astronomy" is a science and that "astrology" is inane, utter bullshit practiced by the insane and the deranged?

Sometimes, you have to break it down for people.

This is an image of the planet Mercury, and it includes some features that have never been seen by human eyes until now. This is astronomy, and this is science:

This is astrology, and never the two shall meet:

[a tip o' the hat to Bad Astronomy for the juxtaposition of these things...]

No comments: