Swiss Ephemeris

Adriaan Renting renting at
Mon Apr 10 06:50:01 EDT 2017

There are at least two other packages with Python bindings that allow
ephimerides calculations.

1) PyEphem
2) Pyrap (This needs a
very big casacore c++ library and thus a pain to compile, but can give
second level accuracy if you use updated IERS tables).

As to the ancient's (Greek/Roman) nature philosophy. We still use some
of it today, especially in the fields of mathematics, mechanics and
observational astronomy, but their understanding of biology and
especially the human body was entirely incorrect.

Western/Islamic medicine largely followed Hippocrates for nearly 2000
years (although the ideas are originally from Indian Ayurveda) and some
of the methods had some merit, but overall the treatments were often
worse than the disease, for example George Washinton was almost
certainly killed by his doctors.
Only with the application of the scientific method to medicine after
the enlightenment have we started to make any real progress. The most
important of which is blind trials in which a treatment needs to show to
be better than a placebo.

One of the most important things that modern medicine has shown is that
a placebo can have a real effect and cure people. Some people do get
better after you give them a sugar pill or its equivalent.
As humans we're also very good at seeing correlation and causation when
none might exist. Matt Parker has a very entertaining talk about this


Adriaan Renting

P.S. I had an uncle who died of cancer 2 years ago who was a firm
believer in all kinds of non-mainstream cures and tried all kinds of
alternative cures from accupuncture to yoga to Gc-MAF. In the end the
only results I saw were that these people got many 10.000s euros from
him and he died very disillusioned and poor as these were not covered by
his health insurance. I learned a lot about magazines like "What doctors
don't tell you" - which use the images of people in white labcoats to
sell you things that doctors don't tell you about because they are known
to be ineffective or even bad for you. I understand that a lot of people
have a problem with authority and/or look for alternatives if mainstream
medicine can't help them. And sometimes the methods seem to work and
those are the stories you hear, as the other people end up like my
uncle, who's not here any more to tell his story. Don't end up like my

> Fully recognizing that most of what you wrote was tongue-in-cheek, I
> just want to say that regardless of the wonders of modern medicine,
> a pity they learn so little about successful medicines other than
> own. In other academic scientific disciplines such as physics and
> chemistry it's not uncommon to see history of science courses in the
> curriculum. But not in medicine. I learned what I know about ancient
> Greek science from a university physics professor, though I doubt he
> would ever have guessed that one of his students would someday
> new life into that ancient science by attempting to ressurrect it.
> great ancients were no less endowed with intelligence than we are,
> simply directed it to different ends.
> Rick Johnson wrote, on Sunday, April 09, 2017 9:00 PM
>> On Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 8:52:44 PM UTC-5, Deborah Swanson
>> > PS. I've been using medical astrology to look ahead at my medical

>> > condition for years in advance. And being off by a day or 
>> so doesn't 
>> > matter that much when you're looking at trends over the course of

>> > years and decades. I also have a little software widget to 
>> look at the 
>> > planetary data in graphical chart form at any particular 
>> second, also 
>> > based on sweph, which has been quite astoundingly accurate in
>> > following the rather complex kaleidoscope of my symptoms
>> > during the course of a day. (Though it doesn't do you a bit
>> > of good if you forget to look! Which is my entire
>> > motivation to get it encoded and available with a few
>> > clicks.) And it is quite useful to know in advance what
>> > will be happening when, and most importantly when it will
>> > stop. Knowledge is power!
>> It's simply amazing what technology can do these days. And
>> with medical diagnosis now just a few clicks away, someone 
>> really should tell those medical students to stop wasting 
>> time and money at university.
>> > Caveat. This kind of precision and accuracy is only found
>> > in the specific forms of astrology which relate to pure physical 
>> > phenomena, and most of what you see these days masquerading as 
>> > astrology is pure hooey, almost entirely invented on a 
>> large scale in 
>> > the Middle Ages and flowered in the Renaissance.
>> Whadda coinicidence, as did alchemy!
>> > By pure physical phenomena, which is the only phenomena
>> > that is at least debatably influenced by physical planetary 
>> forces, I 
>> > mean things like the moon's tides, sunspots, plant and 
>> animal activity 
>> > throughout the year, and supremely, the inner workings of the
>> > body, the first wholly Western medicine devised by the 
>> ancient Greeks. 
>> > (The ancient Greek physicians are an excellent fallback if
>> > modern medicine is failing you - if you can find enough
>> > that remains today of their art.)
>> Yeah, just uh, be sure to avoid te hemlock, mmmkay? ;-)
>> -- 

Adriaan Renting        | Email: renting at
Software Engineer Radio Observatory
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