Como fuimos de una astronomia seria a los juegos de ni/nos de predecir el futuro con los signos zodiacales no lo se. Debe ser parecido al camino de la quimica primitiva y la alquimia.
De una ciencia seria a esto a lo de los signos astrologicos y como las estrellas dirigen nuestro destino hay un gran trecho. Clasicamente los doce signos se basan en estaciones y solsticios como este poema resume:
- The Ram, the Bull, the Heavenly Twins,
- And next the Crab, the Lion shines,
- The Virgin and the Scales.
- The Scorpion, Archer, and the Goat,
- The Man who holds the Watering Pot,
- And Fish with glittering scales.
Me entro la curiosidad, como se distribuyen los signos zodiacales? Ironicamente han hecho aproximaciones basadas en el censo de Estados Unidos y Canada. Se las despacho al costo, parece haber una distribucion bastante pareja. Miren las dos tablas debajo para que las vean.
The unofficial U.S. censusBy Tom Heymann
Mas estadisticas curiosas aqui:
Esta pone la mayoria de la poblacion en la segunda mitad del a/no:
|Table 2.||Population Distribution Born Between 1979 and 2000 by Month of Birth and Period of Birth, in Percentage, Vital Statistics and 2001 Census, for Canada – 20% Sample Data|
|Month and Period|
|May 1 to May 14|
|January 1 to May 14|
|May 15 to May 31|
|May 15 to December 31|
|Note:||The 20% data were used for this table in order to select only those persons who were born in Canada.|
Estas graficas salieron de una discusion relacionada a la composicion del Congreso de los Estados Unidos. Aqui lo dejo:
Estupideces, si me preguntan a mi.
Comence este articulo pensando en como reaccionar a la presencia del nuevo signo zodiacal del cargador de serpiente (Ofiuco). El signo no es nada nuevo y no debe cambiar toda una tradicion de pseudo ciencia. Creemos lo que queremos creer. Como toda moda, comienza cuando un periodista que da copy y paste a comunicados de prensa de la web repite un articulo de Minnesota que reprodujeron las principales telecadenas estadounidenses.
ENadie lee ni investiga. Hoy es dia de aclaraciones, comencemos con el diario de Minnesota que revolco el avispero. Veamos de ENDI.com:
MINNEAPOLIS - Un profesor de astronomía de Minneapolis dijo estar sorprendido por la atención que generó su comentario de que los signos del zodíaco están equivocados.
El profesor Parke Kunkle había dicho en una entrevista con un diario que la órbita cambiante de la Tierra significa que el planeta ya no está alineado con las estrellas en la misma posición que cuando los signos fueron creados.
Aqui Walter Mercado defiende su finca:
Aqui algo de Rukmini, que tambien resta importancia a este tema:
En realidad los signos son arbitrarios y creados en folklore mas que logica. Por ejemplo, kottke reporto esto desde 1999:
los escepticos lo reducen a un juegho. Un tipo de muletilla mental:
Y quizas algunos animaniacos recordaran a Los Caballeros del Zodiaco:
Hay mas de un sistema astrologico, y mas de una manera de ver las cosas. Desde el punto de vista serio me voy gaga con imagenes de libros antiguos. Asi que aqui incluyo links de manuscritos persas y arabes de los sistemas astrologicos, cortesia de Bibliodessey:
En temas relacionados los orientales tienen su propio sistema de constelaciones que es distinto al de los animales que vemos cada vez que comemos pepper steak con arroz frito y papitas. Aqui una introduccion al tema:
The Twenty-Eight MansionsThe zodiac is listed below,
|name||pinyin||lit. translation||vicinity in western sky|
|The Azure Dragon of the East|
|角||Jiǎo||Horn||Spica (α Vir)|
|The Black Tortoise of the North|
|The White Tiger of the West|
|The Vermillion Bird of the South|
|張||Zhāng||Growth, Extended Net||Crater|
|軫||Zhěn||Strongly (as of emotion), Chariot||Corvus|
El tema es fascinante y le tome interes viendo una serie japonesa llamada Fushigi Yuugi (Mysterious Play). Era empalagoso como novelon mejicano, pero tenia una animacion y dibujo excepcional. Mas del sistema astrologico debajo.
In many ways, these associations reflect the mirror or "shadow" relation of earth to sky... human to nature... nature to cosmos... that was so prominent in pre-scientific cosmologies in this part of Asia. At times we are looking at earth from the perspective of the emperor; that is, we are in the North, South is opposite, East is to the left, and West is to the right. At other times, we are looking toward the North, from the earth, and reading the signs of stars relative to our previously defined "earthly" directions.
Like myths and traditions in Western cultures, these views still wield influence in the daily life of people in China, Korea, and Japan... this despite quite prominent scientific literacy. However, it should be pointed out that astrological divination in China, Korea and Japan was and is rather complex. It took and still takes into account many "elements" of sky and earth, an elaborate geomancy including but certainly not limited to the position of some celestial body within a given constellation at a person's birth. It is difficult to argue that the system is not intellectually rich, and it no doubt had pragmatic use in both affairs of state and "common" person. However, it is somewhat sad that in the long history of China, not to mention the curious but rather isolated Japan, such concentration on astrological matters held attention much longer than in the West, thus retarding at times significant scientific advances in astronomy (see Calendar Reform in Japan). Many gifted minds were and perhaps still are wasted in such divination.
That said, lore related to moon stations is one of the most interesting aspects of Asian Ethnoastronomy. Somewhat similar to Chinese but perhaps even more, Japanese interpretations of these associations tended to revolve around agricultural needs and animistic views of nature. Unlike many Western myths and traditions, there were few if any perceptions in the myths of "active" god(s) creating or wreaking good or bad on the cosmos and/or humankind. Rather, especially in Japan with its Shinto base, gods like the talismanic animals were seen as manifestations of nature... stars and celestial events were signs of change in season, life, politics, etc... perhaps most often portending "bad" but sometimes "good" as well.
El anime toma muchos elementos mitologicos orientales y los convierte en personajes de series. Por ejemplo, el sistema celestial oriental se basa en cuatro animales protectores (o dioses) que incluyen el ave de fuego, la tortuga, el dragon y el tigre. Algo del tema de los cuatro dioses del sistema sideral aqui:
Y una sinopsis de Fushigi Yuugi aqui:
El punto es que la base de ambos sistemas es comun. Sistemas Persas basados en sabios hindues. La ruta de interpretacion tuvo muchas vertientes, que incluyen hasta la presencia de los Padres Jesuitas y sus teorias geocentricas. Algo discutiendo ese tronco comun y su influencia en la astrologia china aqui:
The development of Astronomy is believed to come from Babylonia around 1400-1000 B.C. with the Ea-Anu-Enlil tablets. Then came the records of celestial events and algebraic tables of celestial motions. The zodiac of Babylonia evolved around 420 B.C., before Berossos, Kidinnu, Naburiannu, and the Seleucid Babylonians appeared.
China projects 1400 B.C. for the beginning of eclipses, then comet records, Calendars, and star catalogues. Some propose that they influenced Mexico.
Astronomy in Europe began around 600 through 300 B.C. with the pre-Socratic speculations, then Aristarchus (heliocentric theory), Eratostenes, Hipparchus and Ptolemy.
Ptolemy and Babylonia influenced the Arabs and India which led to the term manazil. The term manazil is an Arabic expression derived from an ancient Akkadian word that literally means 'Mansion'. In Antiquity it was used in reference to the so-called 'night residences' of the Moon and these 'signs' formed the Semitic Lunar Zodiac consisting of 28 manazils, each one being 12 degrees and fifty-one minutes wide.
Mansion or mansions also see house as any one of the 28 divisions of the moon's monthly path [Middle English, a dwelling, from Old French, from Latin mansio, mansion-, from mansus, past participle of manere, to dwell, remain].
The names of the stars date back hundreds or even thousands of years, and after the collapse of the Greco-Roman civilization, this knowledge was preserved by the Arabs. During the Renaissance, the Europeans adopted many of these names and terms from the Arabic sources, which is why a majority of star names are Arabic in origin. In 1603, German astronomer Johann Bayer (1572-1625) instituted a system of assigning Greek letters to stars (Bayer designation), consisting of a lowercase Greek letter followed by the genitive name of the constellation. The letters are usually assigned to the stars in the order of their brightness within a given constellation.
Por aquello de ser inclusivo, un poco del sistema egipcio aqui:
Tecnologias antiguas fueron necesarios para desarrollar toda esta ciencia. El astrolabio, cuadrante y otros instrumentos fueron desarrollados para calcular la posicion exacta de los planetas, el sol y las estrellas. Los persas eran los unicos que tenian el grado de conovimiento necesario para desarollar los engranajes de tan alta precision. Les hago referencia a un articulo que salio recientemente discutiendo el mecanismo antikythera. Una calculadora de posiciones astrales basados en un sistema analogo de discos y bielas. Un regalo de los sabios Griegos al mundo.
(articulo de Nature aqui, detras de un paywall)
An ancient piece of clockwork shows the deep roots
of modern technology
WHEN a Greek sponge diver called Elias Stadiatos discovered the wreck of a cargo ship off the tiny island of Antikythera in 1900, it was the statues lying on the seabed that made the greatest impression on him. He returned to the surface, removed his helmet, and gabbled that he had found a heap of dead, naked women. The ship's cargo of luxury goods also included jewellery, pottery, fine furniture, wine and bronzes dating back to the first century BC. But the most important finds proved to be a few green, corroded lumps—the last remnants of an elaborate mechanical device.
The Antikythera mechanism, as it is now known, was originally housed in a wooden box about the size of a shoebox, with dials on the outside and a complex assembly of bronze gear wheels within. X-ray photographs of the fragments, in which around 30 separate gears can be distinguished, led the late Derek Price, a science historian at Yale University, to conclude that the device was an astronomical computer capable of predicting the positions of the sun and moon in the zodiac on any given date. A new analysis, though, suggests that the device was cleverer than Price thought, and reinforces the evidence for his theory of an ancient Greek tradition of complex mechanical technology.
Michael Wright, the curator of mechanical engineering at the Science Museum in London, has based his new analysis on detailed X-rays of the mechanism using a technique called linear tomography. This involves moving an X-ray source, the film and the object being investigated relative to one another, so that only features in a particular plane come into focus. Analysis of the resulting images, carried out in conjunction with Allan Bromley, a computer scientist at Sydney University, found the exact position of each gear, and suggested that Price was wrong in several respects.
In some cases, says Mr Wright, Price seems to have “massaged” the number of teeth on particular gears (most of which are, admittedly, incomplete) in order to arrive at significant astronomical ratios. Price's account also, he says, displays internal contradictions, selective use of evidence and unwarranted speculation. In particular, it postulates an elaborate reversal mechanism to get some gears to turn in the right direction.
Since so little of the mechanism survives, some guesswork is unavoidable. But Mr Wright noticed a fixed boss at the centre of the mechanism's main wheel. To his instrument-maker's eye, this was suggestive of a fixed central gear around which other moving gears could rotate. This does away with the need for Price's reversal mechanism and leads to the idea that the device was specifically designed to model a particular form of “epicyclic” motion.
The Greeks believed in an earth-centric universe and accounted for celestial bodies' motions using elaborate models based on epicycles, in which each body describes a circle (the epicycle) around a point that itself moves in a circle around the earth. Mr Wright found evidence that the Antikythera mechanism would have been able to reproduce the motions of the sun and moon accurately, using an epicyclic model devised by Hipparchus, and of the planets Mercury and Venus, using an epicyclic model derived by Apollonius of Perga. (These models, which predate the mechanism, were subsequently incorporated into the work of Claudius Ptolemy in the second century AD.)
A device that just modelled the motions of the sun, moon, Mercury and Venus does not make much sense. But if an upper layer of mechanism had been built, and lost, these extra gears could have modelled the motions of the three other planets known at the time—Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. In other words, the device may have been able to predict the positions of the known celestial bodies for any given date with a respectable degree of accuracy, using bronze pointers on a circular dial with the constellations of the zodiac running round its edge.
Mr Wright devised a putative model in which the mechanisms for each celestial body stack up like layers in a sandwich, and started building it in his workshop. The completed reconstruction, details of which appeared in an article in the Horological Journal in May, went on display this week at Technopolis, a museum in Athens. By winding a knob on the side, celestial bodies can be made to advance and retreat so that their positions on any chosen date can be determined. Mr Wright says his device could have been built using ancient tools because the ancient Greeks had saws whose teeth were cut using v-shaped files—a task that is similar to the cutting of teeth on a gear wheel. He has even made several examples by hand.How closely this reconstruction matches up to the original will never be known. The purpose of two dials on the back of the device is still unclear, although one may indicate the year. Nor is the device's purpose obvious: it may have been an astrological computer, used to speed up the casting of horoscopes, though it might just as easily have been a luxury plaything. But Mr Wright is convinced that his epicyclic interpretation is correct, and that the original device modelled the entire known solar system.
Cierro con la introduccion de la serie Fushigi Yuugi...