Saturday, June 16, 2007

Astrology - In Our Time

This week's In Our Time started with an elegant quote from Shakespeare:
In Act I Scene II of King Lear, the ne’er do well Edmund steps forward and rails at the weakness and cynicism of his fellow men:
This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, - often the surfeit of our own behaviour, - we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity.

The effort was supposed to be to map the rise and fall of astrology. Its rise during the renaissance, with the works of Ptolemy and Abu Ma’shar and its fall -- when? This is where the shows turns really funny. Melvyn Bragg is intent on letting astrology fall. Surely it was after Copernicus? No! With Newton? No! Guest Lauren Kassell seemed to be defending astrology as a system until today. But surely astrology is no longer a subject at the university? Still it is being studied and reworked.

Were there secret believers among the guests? What a pity, once more, this podcast cannot go on for twice the time span.

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