Conversation In Thin Air Continues
After finding a good place to make camp, the two of us, along with Tony, the Physics Professor, took off to climb one of the surrounding peaks. We were looking for a good place to watch the sunset and we weren’t disappointed. The sunset turned into an orange and yellow hued mountaintop spectacular, and things only got better after that. Back at camp, after eating our fill of Stan’s delicious stew, Noel, the Philosophy Professor, pulled a fifth of Crown Royal from his backpack. I wasn’t a big whiskey fan, especially straight from the bottle, but on that night, high in the mountains, sitting around a blazing campfire, and exhausted from a hard day of hiking, the whiskey was duly appreciated. In fact, we were all about to fall asleep when Tony pointed out the constellation, Draco. That reinvigorated the group, especially Peter, who, apparently, had an intellectual investment in the workings of the zodiac. When Tony began to treat the whole “zodiac thing” with disrespect, Peter got angry.
“You see,” said Tony, “identifying personality traits with the constellations is just plain stupid. The movement of the earth around the sun, and the movement of our solar system within the plane of the Milky Way galaxy, reconfigured the location of the stars relative to the observer on earth. A Greek born under the sign of Virgo in 300 BCE, today is born under the sign of Leo. Over a period of 2500 years the constellations have retrograded an entire sign. Astrologers do not take into consideration the changing plane of the rotating earth. A Leo is still a Leo to the astrologer, even though the Virgo of yesterday has become the Leo of today, and the Leo of tomorrow will become a Capricorn in the future. Change is pervasive. That’s just the way the universe operates.”
“You’ve got your signs out of order,” said Peter.
“Yeah, I probably do; but you still know what I mean,” responded Tony.
“Well maybe you’re wrong! How do you know that anyway?” said Peter. “If that’s the case, if everything changes anyway, maybe some day the zodiac will find its way back to where its supposed to be, to its original path above the earth.”
“You’re not following what I’m saying, “replied Tony, “what about the in-between time?”
“Isn’t the first law of physics the one that ties theory to evidence?” Peter shot back. “If that’s the case, then how do you explain the fact that zodiac people almost always answer in the affirmative when they’re asked if their sun sign fits the description of their personality?”