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Tests of Astrology
Two exciting new books are crammed with research

Acclaimed books

Forty years ago the books on left were acclaimed by both astrologers and scientists as the world's best surveys of evidence-based astrology (that is, serious astrology, not sun sign nonsense). Today there are new approaches, new data, and hundreds of new studies, but no new surveys. So the original authors working together for the first time have updated their surveys in the books on right. Both books are readable and fully indexed. For astrologers, scientists, school libraries, and general readers they are essential for understanding how astrology works (or doesn't work) and how its application can be improved. Most of the information is not available anywhere else, not in astrology books, not in science books, not even on any website. It is your chance to be really informed! More good news -- both books are available from the publisher at cost and are ready for immediate delivery. Please scroll down for details.

Cover of Astrology under Scrutiny Astrology under Scrutiny ISSN 0929-8614
Published July 2013. 364 B5 pages (176x250 mm), 201,000 words, 249 graphs/diagrams and photos. Indexes, hardcover, sewn binding.

Contents Brief history of Dutch research into astrology. Summaries of the best 110 articles from 27 years of Dutch research including every empirical study (about half of the total). Rudolf Smit describes his life as a skeptical amateur astronomer who became a prominent Dutch astrologer and then a skeptical doubter again. A memorial tribute to Michel and Francoise Gauquelin whose work inspired generations of researchers.

The main part (220 pages) covers meta-analyses of empirical tests, the astrological literature, history of research, polls of astrologers, prize competitions, symbolism, intuition, psychic ability, astrology as divination, role of non-chart factors, lessons for astrology (from graphology, palmistry, the Tarot, alchemy, phrenology, wrong charts that work), use of astrology in counselling, how astrology was discovered, future of astrology, case for and against astrology, and more.

Price 25 euros (about $A37). Postage and packing costs are the same as for the other book, as are details for ordering, see below.

What reviewers said about Astrology under Scrutiny:
"The most informed and informative book of its kind Correlation 2014.
"Future comments on astrology will hardly be possible without it" Zeitschrift fur Anomalistik 2013.
"Remarkable ... will be a staple for the indefinite future" D&J Parker, authors of The Compleat Astrologer
But that was before its international sequel was published, see next:

Cover of Tests of Astrology Tests of Astrology ISBN 978-90-824929-0-3
Published March 2016 same publisher. 484 B5 pages (176x250 mm), 350,000 words, over 1200 references, and nearly 600 visuals. Rare material is described in detail so access to originals is not needed.

Contents Unlike Astrology under Scrutiny this one is international in scope and more test oriented. If empirical testing is less relevant to your interests, choose the first book. Some material appears in both.

The longest chapter (230 pages) summarises hundreds of empirical studies 1927-2015 taken from 57 books, 52 journals, 15 PhD theses, and other sources such as conference reports and websites. Other chapters cover personl experiences, discovery of astrology, evolution of tests, why tests are needed, Gauquelin research, overviews of chart factors, meta-analyses, funnel plots, symbolism, meaning, hidden persuaders (artifacts), future of astrology, case for and against astrology, and more. Glossary, author and subject indexes, softcover, sewn binding.

Price 29 euros (about $A43). Postage and packing 5 euros in the Netherlands or 13 euros by air mail to all other countries. Please email orders and queries direct to the publisher, see below.

What reviewers said about Tests of Astrology

Review by Tim Trachet, Dutch skeptic journal Skepter, October 2016 (translated excerpts)

The bulk of this thick book consists of summaries of the studies that have been carried out on astrology in the course of time, altogether more than three hundred publications, in which the interested reader will find a wealth of information. The final chapters are particularly instructive for all who want to have a critical view of astrology. It discusses in detail the many psychological means by which an astrologer can convince his client -- cold reading, the Barnum effect, but there are many more. And some pointed observations about the failure of astrologers. The authors conclude that there is more to astrology than being true or false. They give a number of arguments pro and con. For skeptics, the book contains a lot of useful information.

Review by Ray Ward, The Skeptical Intelligencer Volume 19(4), 8-9, Winter 2016 (excerpts)

Recent Advances in Natal Astrology (1977), perhaps the most frequently referred-to critical work on astrology, is now out of date and this book constitutes the most comprehensive summary of the subject. It includes personal stories of astrologers and believers who changed their minds; the discovery of astrology; the evolution of tests and why they are needed; a whole section on the Gauquelin work; hundreds of empirical studies over 1927-2015; test overviews; artifacts (including a good general discussion of why people see what they expect to see); the future of astrology; the case for and against; a glossary; and name, subject and book indexes. The book ends with a summary: there is no physical way astrology could work; hundreds of tests have shown it does not deliver useful factual truth; the claimed as above, so below links do not exist; charts are meaningful even when wrong; outcomes are explained by hidden persuaders; and claimed experience is unfounded because it is never tested under controlled conditions; hits are chosen, misses ignored, failures explained away, and unwelcome test results dismissed because, it is said, astrology cannot be tested.

Review by Professor Ivan Kelly, for many years chairman of the astrology subcommittee for CSICOP/CSI (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), Skeptical Inquirer 41(3), 58-60, 2017 (excerpts)

Perhaps the biggest challenge for investigators of astrology is actually finding empirical studies, which is where this important book, Tests of Astrology, comes in. It describes and evaluates hundreds or studies from books, journals and PhD theses since the 1920s, which is when empirical testing was getting under way. Most studies are in English; the rest are in Dutch, French, German, or Spanish. It includes studies conducted in 2015, so the period spans nearly a century. Most are individually described, not as brief abstracts but as English summaries with graphs and numerical results, plus critical comments where appropriate. For anyone unaware of the sheer extent of empirical studies, this book will be an eye-opener as well as a huge labor-saver.

The book ends with one-page summaries of the case for astrology (a great source of personal meaning) and of the case against (an equally great source of untruths), with a guide to forming a personal view (do you want meaning or truth?). As throughout the book, the compilers take no sides, leaving readers to make up their own minds. The outcomes "may or may not please astrologers, nor is it for us to say whether you should prefer meaning or truth, but the chips fall where they may". The amount of information packed between two covers is impressive. It is said to have taken the four specialist compilers eight years to prepare, and that is without including the time spent retrieving from astrology collections around the world information that is not online and probably never will be. The truth is that many critiques of astrology are weak and uninformed. For that, this book is a timely corrective. The expression "belongs on every skeptic bookshelf" is overused but applies in this case. Buy a copy for your library as well as for yourself.

Unsolicited comments

From the first nine readers:

"Very impressive ... Prodigious effort ... Should be the definitive account of astrology for the foreseeable future ... A high standard of professionalism in layout and editing ... An absolute boon to have such a huge amount of information collected in one source ... A perfect reference ... Impressive ... It is TERRIFIC, an astounding reference book ... Congrats on another magnum opus!"

From Colin Bishop, UK researcher and key associate of John Addey:

"I must say that I am very impressed with the printing. Each page is remarkably easy to read, even though it is dense with printed information. ... You have done an excellent job condensing large amounts of information into straightforward and easy to read paragraphs."

From long-time US researcher Therese Hamilton:

"I am greatly enjoying Tests of Astrology. The book is very attractively laid out, with an initial approach that is entertaining, humorous and factual. The background research required for the thousands of quotes and citations (articles, PhD theses, Internet links, personal communications, 600+ books) can only be called massive. Even if Tests of Astrology provides little or no support for astrology, I see this book as a 'must have' reference for serious researchers. At almost 500 pages of meticulously formatted text and graphics, it is actually several books bound into one volume. Congratulations on a Herculean task!"

Publisher logo Both books are non-profit and are published at cost. The sole aim is to show what modern scientific research into astrology has discovered. So neither book is available from retail booksellers because their profit margins would inflate the selling price.

How to obtain copies
You can pay by euro cheque, PayPal or ebank. Sorry, no credit cards. For how to pay via the above options, to check book availability, and to receive answers to any queries, please email the publisher wout DOT heukelom AT hetnet DOT nl. Books are in the mail within 3 days of receiving your payment.

Please tell your friends about Astrology under Scrutiny and its international sequel Tests of Astrology.

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