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The foreword to
Turning The Solomon Key
by Katherine Neville
Listen to Robert read from
Turning The Solomon Key
Why Research Astrology?
A Theory of Dowsing
How Radio Works
Newton's Rules of Logic
Calculation of Ionicspheric Turbulence
The Solomon Key Symbol
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The rules Sir Isaac Newton developed for the scientific study of unknown phenomena

In his case it was to study gravity. I used his rules to study Masonic Astrology.

Robert Lomas

Newton tackled a similar problem to the one which I had set myself in Turning the Solomon Key when he began to study gravity. He had a set of observations which told him how celestial objects moved in the sky but nobody knew why they moved as they did. When Newton approached the problem of predicting the movements of the solar system, astrology was considered a respectable science to study at University. Then Newton created modern astronomy and in the process destroyed astrology as a science.

Practitioners of astrology soon turned to the new science of astronomy and built on Newton’s work to create the present day level of expertise, where the astronomical events can be predicted to an accuracy of seconds for many years in advance. The prophecies of no other science can compare with those of astronomy. Its predictions have achieved a brilliant success, so brilliant that astronomical forecasts are taken for granted and astronomers feel greatly abused if the predicted occurrence does not take place precisely at the time foretold - to the nearest fraction of a second, and in the exact place.

Yet when Newton started his studies little was known about what governed the movements of the planets and just a few years earlier Galileo had dismissed as astrological nonsense the notion that the movements of the moon could possibly govern the state of the tides.

As part of his book “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy” or Principia Mathmatica as it was called in Latin, Newton not only proved that the gravitation pull of the Moon was responsible for the tides he showed how to predict tides with an enormous degree of accuracy from the movements of the Moon but when he began his investigation he had no idea what force made astral bodies attract each other.

Newton laid down four rules of reasoning for his investigation into the law of gravity. He did this because, when he started his work, he knew he was unable to draw upon any causative principle which would enable him to predict how gravity might work.

I was in exactly the same position. I had a limited set of observations which as first sight seemed to give statistical evidence to suggest there might be a phenomena to investigate but I had no model of science to guide my investigations, or to suggest particular experiments. In similar circumstances Newton had laid down a method of proceeding which served him well.  I decided to  use his rules to guide my own quest.

Here are the rules of reasoning which Sir Isaac laid down in 1686 and I adopted for my own investigation:

Rule 1

We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

To this purpose the philosophers say that Nature does nothing in vain, and more is in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.

This rule means that I will base any explanations only on forces known to physics. “Teluric” forces, PSI or unknown 'Cosmic influences' are not allowed as a means of linking the stars and the individual.

Rule 2

Therefore the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign to the same causes,
As to respiration in a man and in a beast; the descent of stones in Europe and in America; the light of our culinary fire and of the sun; the reflection of the light of the earth, and in the planets.

Any effects I use in my attempts at explanation must not need any special arguing to fit the circumstances, e.g.. I can not assume that “thought waves” travel faster than light unless I can show that such behaviour is part of accepted scientific theory.

Rule 3

The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intensification nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies with the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

For since the qualities of bodies are only known to us by experiments, we are to hold for universal all such as universally agree with experiments; and such as are not liable to diminution can never be quite taken away. We are certainly not to relinquish the evidence of experiments for the sake of dreams and vain fictions of our own devising; nor are we to recede from the analogy of Nature, which is wont to be simple and always consonant to itself.

This rule insists that if observational or experimental evidence conflicts with any theories I have put forward then I must accept the evidence of observations and experiments, it also implies that if a simple and a complex theory explain the evidence then I accept the simpler option.

Rule 4

In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypothesis that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.

This rule we must follow, that the argument of induction may not be evaded by hypothesis.

This rule says that I must make my theories fit the facts and not try to adjust the facts to fit my theory.

To ensure fair play between the conflicting demands of science and astrology I decided to adopt Newton’s four rules of reasoning as my own and to use them to guide my collection of evidence and my analysis of causes. The results of this study can be found in Turning the Solomon Key.