Wednesday, January 31, 2007


A response to iDoubt's post on the latest research on lunar effects on life.

Independent article.

iDoubt's blog.

JAW's response:

>I’m quite the stickler for getting facts correct. <

No, you’re not. You’re not a stickler at all. Two paragraphs from this opening statement you bitch about ‘no citations’. The story you refer to was in the English ‘Independent’. Mainstream newspapers, even relatively responsible papers like the Independent, are not in the habit of providing ‘citations’. If you were a ‘stickler for getting facts correct’ you would contact the Independent, and get the sources used for the article instead of attacking research you, in fact, know nothing about. .

>There was a recent story out of London regarding new research that suggested the effect was again measured. Well, shut my mouth and call me skeptical, once again — I don’t buy it. I take exception to the subtitle that says “At last, scientists claim to have found a link between our satellite and human behaviour”<

Nobody calls you ‘skeptical’. You are a debunker. You have not read the research cited; you have not tried to acquire it – the simplest matter in the world, a phone call or email would get it for you. Yet there you are ‘taking exception’ when in fact you know nothing.

But you have good reason to respond to that article. When a paper as mainstream, un-New-
Agey and unsensationalistic as the Independent publishes a serious research-based article demonstrating lunar effect upon human behavior, it means that the atmosphere must be getting really hot, seriously hot, deep down under the rock where your Debunker Bunker is built.

>The news story mentions “recent” research but I haven’t found the citations. (If someone has them, I’d appreciate the info.)

You haven’t looked. If you’re a ‘stickler for getting facts correct’ the first thing you do is look for the alleged facts instead of just shooting your mouth off while waiting for someone to provide you with them.

>I did find a plethora of studies that have examined lunar cycle. Here are a few attempted correlations:
post operative nausea and vomiting
patient falls
admissions for gastrointestinal bleeding
surgery quality – complications, pain perception
stock returns
requests for appointments to a thyroid clinic
broodmare fertility
seizure occurrences
assisted reproduction conception rates
along with the frequently cited connection with suicides, emergency calls, births, etc.
Here’s the bottom line. For every positive correlation, you can find a negative one.< (my itals – jaw)

That’s not a ‘bottom line’ at all; it’s an asinine objection to begin with and actually, statistically, it furnishes conclusive proof of the validity of the effects of the moon.

If 50% of the studies undertaken provide positive results, that conclusion, (especially if subjected to Bayesian analysis) amounts to overwhelming proof of the validity of a lunar effect. Got it? No, silly question. Of course you don’t.

>Color me doubtful because researchers have a lot more ’splaining to do before I’m convinced.

This is an insistent and tiresome refrain\ ‘If they want to convince skeptics…’ Debunkers seem to think that those of us who oppose them want to ‘convince’ them. We don’t. Nobody really gives a damn what you think.

We recognize that you are psychically, emotionally and spiritually diseased and probably incurable (short of experiencing an NLE – Near Life Experience).

Through a combination of solid scientific evidence, argument and ridicule we want to prevent you from spreading even further your grotesque materialistic doctrine of meaninglessness, emptiness and despair (all in the name of ‘Reason’ and ‘Science’ of course).

In short, we want to put you to sleep (not physically of course, though I confess that would not disturb me, personally) as humanely as possible, just as we do with rabid dogs. We don’t want to ‘convince’ you about anything; we know that is impossible; we just want to prevent you from infecting everyone else. Comprende?

>Kelly, I.W., James Rotton, and Roger Culver. “The Moon was Full and Nothing Happened: A Review of Studies on the Moon and Human Behavior and Human Belief,” in J. Nickell, B. Karr and T. Genoni, eds., The Outer Edge (Amherst, N.Y.: CSICOP, 1996). Older versions of this article appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer Winter 1985-86 (vol. 10, no. 2) and in The Hundredth Monkey and Other Paradigms of the Paranormal, edited by Kendrick Frazier (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1991), pp. 222-234.<

You might enjoy my analysis of Culver and Ianna’s book THE GEMINI SYNDROME in my own book, THE CASE FOR ASTROLOGY, Viking Arkana 1991.


Steve LeMaster said...

>>This is an insistent and tiresome refrain\ ‘If they want to convince skeptics…’ Debunkers seem to think that those of us who oppose them want to ‘convince’ them. We don’t. Nobody really gives a damn what you think.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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