Meetup: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Astrology, wft?
So I was looking at an e-mail from Meetup and saw a suggestion from the Six Degrees group. I was thinking that Meetup's recommendation algorithms could use some work because the last thing I saw in that group was someone pushing Reiki lessons. The title, science:space camp!, made me take a second look though. The mention of science had me wondering if I reached an opinion on this group early.
Initially I thought so. The list of topics started out well, but let's see if the one that triggered me sets off your alarms as well. So, the list of things you'll learn include; "astronomical amounts about space, astronauts, Mars, night photography, rocket science, astrology, star navigation, astronomy and astrophysics"
I don't know about anyone else, but "astrology" isn't science. In fact, to quote Dara O'Brien "Let's get this straight once and for all, Astrology is rubbish". To which Prof Brian Cox replied "in the interests of balance on the BBC, yes astrology is nonsense."
But it was only one item in the list so I read on.
I was pleased to find Elf Eldridge and Becky Bateman, both from Carter Observatory, on the list of speakers. Given the nature of the topics the only way I can see Astrology being on the list legitimately is if it is there for a talk on it's history, why people believed in it and the psycology of those that still cling to it.
Looking at http://www.meetup.com/sixdegrees though, it appears I may have been wrong to form an opinion of the group on the single meetup I saw. It actually sounds pretty good. Although there seems to be a little bit of woo getting into some of the meetups. The agriculture:permaculture course teaching bio dynamics, astrology in the science course, reiki lessons...
It'll be interesting to see what the comments on the event are like after the event.