Short Of The Mark

What a peculiar article by Robert P. Crease on page 9 of the March 6, 1989, issue of The Scientist (Top Scientists Must Fight Astrology—Or All Of Us Will Face The Consequences”). Crease advises scientists to actively debunk astrology as “...the largest component of a larger phenomenon—the growing receptivity to irrational spiritual doctrines and practices, such as channeling and crystal-gazing.” This statement is misleading. In truth, the largest component is none other than mainstream organized religion, nearly all of which involves “engaging in magical thinking.” Why has Professor Crease drawn the line so short of its mark? One would hope by unintentional oversight. This is, though, as he reminds us, a country where the ex-president’s schedules were sometimes governed by the stars, and it is also a country where an unprecedented fraction of the scientific community professes a belief in a supernatural being who is actively...

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