“Part of the appeal [horoscopes] is, of course, entertainment. Horoscopes are about everyone’s favorite subject: ‘me’, and therefore they generate an undying appeal. Newspaper astrology is dynamic – it keeps offering new stories for readers and it is always, always comforting. In an ever-changing world in which many people have become less than a number, horoscopes offer a personal touch, something in which they can immerse themselves, something with which they can feel comfortable.” – Michael White, “Superscience”
The quote being so great I don’t feel the need to add something about the subject of popularity in horoscopes.
I must say, however, that even if horoscopes are done with great caution, they can’t be right. Contrary to popular belief, there are 13 signs of Zodiac, not 12; one – Ophiuchus [the snake-holder], between Scorpio and Sagittarius – was and still is ignored thus making a sign for each month. Normal people enjoy simple things like having everything in order, and number 12.
In a paragraph following, M.White gives yet another reason for horoscopes being so popular:
“And, like many aspects of the paranormal, astrology is also undemanding. Real science, the sort that moves civilization forward, the sort that has made all our lives infinitely better than it was for our ancestors is, to many people, hostile, frightening and difficult. To understand the universe via science requires either traditional training or the dedication to read books. Astrology is an easy route to what some feel to be an enlightened view, it is thought to bestow ‘mystical secrets’, which many people believe to be the real ‘keys to the universe’.”
I find it hard to believe that some people these days, when science has explained a lot of things, and none of it contain words like ‘miracle’ or ‘God Almighty’, still believe I them. Only explanation I can some up with is that they are ignorant to knowledge they don’t want to understand. It is easier to believe some God created the universe rather than figure out the might of the anti-matter.
Some believers, however, if they are truly deep believers, find horoscopes insulting to their religion (horoscopes can’t be done without stargazing, and stargazing requires a telescope, which is science), though some admit having guilty pleasures in reading them. (And I doubt most people, especially religious ones, would want to live without gears like computers or telephones. Try sending a post-dove these days.)
Even then, it is a soft option => reading Bible does not make you a believer, thus using a telescope to figure something out does not make you a scientist. People can be misleaded by more accurate gears than telescopes.
Bible was written by people who said the Earth was flat, and Pope has just recently agreed that it is, indeed, not the centre of the universe.
To avoid getting headache from too much thinking, have a comic strip about God:
(And I’ve never heard about dinosaurs being mentioned in the Bible. It must have been just another mad idea of Galileo, or Newton.)