Vivekanand Vellanki

I need scientific proof before I believe in something - but, that's me. Quite a few people dont need scientific proof - for them, anecdotal evidence is enough. There is no scientific proof that stars influence our destiny. But, lets study this a little more.

There will be lot of anecdotal evidence that shows that stars influence our destiny.

What is anecdotal evidence?

Lets examine: "If a cat crosses our path, it causes bad luck".

I am sure there are a lot of examples where this statement is true - i.e., a cat crossed the path and there was bad luck. This is anecdotal evidence - an example that supports the claim.

However, this is not enough. For the above statement to be true, the burden of proof is higher. It should show that "Every time a cat crosses our path, there will be back luck". Also, if you notice "bad luck" is vaguely defined - so falling down may be defined as a "bad luck" - however, other people may not agree that falling down is "bad luck". Such statements have vague enough claims to skew results in favour of this statement.

The statement can be changed to "If a cat crosses our path, the chances of bad luck are higher".

Again, for this to be true - one needs to do the following:

  • For a given individual, find the chances that the individual had bad luck on any given day. This can be easily measured - lets call this P(BL).
  • Now, measure the probability of bad luck when a cat crossed the individual's path - P(BL/CC). Probability of bad luck given that a cat crossed the individual's path
  • If P(BL/CC) is significantly greater than P(BL), this is considered evidence that for this individual, a cat crossing signifies bad luck. Note that scientific proof requires it to be significantly greater. For e.g. if P(BL/CC) = 0.011 and P(BL) = 0.01, this is not enough. The difference has to be significant to ensure that there are no errors in measurement
  • For the statement to be true for all (or many) individuals, one needs to do the same for many individuals and show that for a significant number of number of individuals P(BL/CC) > P(BL)

Scientific proof is hard. And, unfortunately no one has taken the effort to prove or disprove such claims.

Coming back to the statement, I think it is easy to find anecdotal evidence supporting the claim. However, there would be no proof - not good enough to convince people like me.

However, I have been thinking about this for a long time and looking at it differently - assuming the statement is true, how can a star influence our destiny?

One statement I thought about is the following: One's birth zodiac sign influences one's personality.

How is this even possible? I could not find an answer that is convincing.