In Defense of Astrology

Roughly 75 billion newspapers today have started carrying variations of this story from the Globe and Mail: Why your zodiac sign might have changed. Lots of ink so far has been spilled about the "new horoscopes" and the "extra zodiac sign". Here's a typically inaccurate story by NECN in Boston:

It's one of the things people ask -- "what's your sign"? Astronomers say because the earth's alignment is different from where it was three thousand years ago when the study of astrology began -- the Zodiac signs are different.

New reports out from the Minnesota Planetarium society say the stars' alignment was pushed by about a month, because of the moon's gravitational pull on the earth.

In fact, there's now a 13th sign.

The new dates for Capricorn are January 20th through February 16th.
For Aquarius, it's February 16th through March 11th.
Pisces: March 11th through April 18th.
Aries: April 18th through May 13th.
Taurus: May 13th through June 21st.
Gemini: June 21st through July 20th.
Cancer: July 20th through August 10th.
Leo: August 10th through September 16th.
Virgo: September 16th through October 30th.
Libra: October 30th through November 23rd.
Scorpio: November 23rd through November 29th.

The new sign, Ophiuchus is for people with birth dates between November 29th and December 17th.

Sagittarius is now December 17th through January 20th.
Of course, when you start examining other articles you start finding out that when they talk about astronomers they are actually talking about a single guy named Parke Kunkle (who, admittedly, is possibly an astronomer). Who, you might wonder, are the Minnesota Planetarium society? The legal owners of the zodiac? No, in fact, they're a bunch of folks in Minnesota trying to raise money to build a planetarium. This certainly wouldn't be a shameless attempt to get media coverage, would it?

Probably the funniest reaction to this story has been people upset they now have the wrong tattoo on their flesh. If you're dumb enough to put a symbol claiming your personality is set based on what time of year you were born, you really have no right to bitch if we randomly decide to move them all around.