The science of astronomy dates back thousands of years. It is one of humanity's oldest scientific disciplines, with ancient monuments such as Stonehenge a testament to its importance to cultures around the world. But consider this: a rising number of high school students cannot tell you what their star sign is. More than half of them don't know what a star sign is. And a full 95% are unable to pair the appropriate sign of the zodiac with a given date!
How did this sad state of affairs come to exist?
It began long ago when astrology was artificially divided from astronomy, making it effectively a "second class" science. Today, the subject is barely mentioned in classrooms.
At most, Children "learn" that constellations are "random groupings of stars." So a group of stars just happens to look like a lion? Or a virgin? Or a balance scale? Really, what are the odds of the sky being filled with such pictures by random chance? But these questions are not brought up in astronomy class. No, children are taught the names of the constellations, but not what they mean.
The subject of teaching the astrological component of astronomy in school gets the usual "blah blah" from scientists in the pocket of special interest groups and corporations, but what about the evidence? The fact that a study years ago showed that the position of Mars heavily impacts the birth rate of successful athletes? Analysis of the same data by another group turned up the same results, confirming it. I thought the point of science class was to teach children to respect replicated studies like this?
And what about the fact that 90% of general-interest newspapers (as well as other important periodicals, like "TV Guide") run horoscopes every day. Do you think that these publications, publications that have the power to turn the tide of politics with their reporting, would print something they did not believe in? And more importantly, do we really want our children receiving an education that isn't even preparing them to read a newspaper!
As a first step to remedying the situation, we recommend that astronomy textbooks and science textbooks that discuss astronomy have a sticker placed on their cover that reads, "Stellar evolution is a theory, not a fact. Educators impel you to seek out other explanations for the movement of the stars and to look for their influence in your life."