of lunar exploration and irate astrologers
There’s a reason why your horoscope is usually in the entertainment section of your local paper or the search portal you use for a quick rundown of the headlines. Astrologers, it seems, can be a source of immense and unexpected amusement as shown by Phil Plait. Though amusement may not be the right word in this case. In her post for the National Examiner, Satya Harvey was very upset about the idea of crashing a robot into the surface of our natural satellite to end its fruitful mission with a final burst of data gathering…
There is a Japanese lunar orbiter named Kaguya that is scheduled to crash into the moon today at 2:30 pm ET. Scientists hope to learn something about the moons composition by observing the debris that is kicked up. Did these scientists talk to the moon? Tell her what they were doing? Ask her permission? Show her respect?
Now, where to begin here? Probably to ask how exactly the Moon’s sex was determined. Sure the tradition in New Age spiritualities is that the Moon has a connection to the feminine, but I think it might be a good idea to check before we start assigning genders to celestial bodies. Of course since we’ve been to the Moon, we are well aware that it’s a huge, sexless, lifeless rock. Which brings us to another question. How exactly do you get a huge spherical boulder to give permission for, well… anything?
And that’s not the only insight into the wonderful world of woo that our impassioned astrologer can provide. As it turns out, she also intends to play celestial PETA to those inconsiderate scientists.
Purposefully crashing something into the moon just to watch what happens is akin to a schoolboy cutting a live frog to see what makes it jump. It is an example of the domination of the left-brained rational scientific approach over the intuitive.
Funny enough, when I talked to Greta Christina about New Ageism in some progressive communities, she voiced a concern that those spiritually focused practitioners seem to see science and empirical studies done in a clinical way as tools of The Establishment and reject them in favor of the intuitive. But the problem here is that evidence-based science and clinical, left-brained ways to look at the world are very useful and to throw an important part of how humans see and process their world out the window on a personal whim, is a bad idea.
And I completely agree with Greta in that regard. If anything, I’d rather see left-brained rational science trump self-important spiritual meanderings intended to elicit warm fuzzies than the other way around for the same, exact reason. Last thing I want to see on the news is scientists voicing concerns over violating Pluto’s privacy with the New Horizon’s spacecraft since its position on the outer edge of the solar system must be a sign that it doesn’t want to be disturbed by overly curious humans.