Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .

Stop blaming the moon
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Apr 01, 2015

The absence of a lunar influence on human affairs has been demonstrated in the areas of automobile accidents, hospital admissions, surgery outcomes, cancer survival rates, menstruation, births, birth complications, depression, violent behavior, and even criminal activity.

"It must be a full moon" is a common refrain when things appear more hectic than usual. The moon is even blamed when things get crazy at hospital emergency rooms or birth wards. "Some nurses ascribe the apparent chaos to the moon, but dozens of studies show that the belief is unfounded," said Jean-Luc Margot, a UCLA professor of planetary astronomy.

Of course, the moon does not influence the timing of human births or hospital admissions, according to new research by Margot that confirms what scientists have known for decades. The study illustrates how intelligent and otherwise reasonable people develop strong beliefs that, to put it politely, are not aligned with reality.

The absence of a lunar influence on human affairs has been demonstrated in the areas of automobile accidents, hospital admissions, surgery outcomes, cancer survival rates, menstruation, births, birth complications, depression, violent behavior, and even criminal activity, Margot writes. His study was published online by the journal Nursing Research.

Even though a 40-year-old UCLA study demonstrated that the timing of births does not correlate in any way with the lunar cycle, the belief in a lunar effect has persisted. A 2004 study in a nursing journal, for example, suggested that the full moon influenced the number of hospital admissions in a medical unit in Barcelona, Spain.

But Margot identified multiple flaws in the data collection and analysis of the 2004 research. By re-analyzing the data, he showed that the number of admissions was unrelated to the lunar cycle.

"The moon is innocent," Margot said.

So why do the erroneous beliefs live on in spite of the evidence?

Margot cited what scientists refer to as the "confirmation bias" - people's tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms their beliefs and ignore data that contradict them. When life is hectic on the day of a full moon, many people remember the association because it confirms their belief. But hectic days that do not correspond with a full moon are promptly ignored and forgotten because they do not reinforce the belief.

Margot said the societal costs of flawed beliefs can be enormous.

In just one current example, the recent measles outbreak appears to have been triggered by parents' questionable beliefs about the safety of the measles vaccine.

"Vaccines are widely and correctly regarded as one of the greatest public health achievements, yet vaccine-preventable diseases are killing people because of beliefs that are out of step with scientific facts," Margot said.

A willingness to engage in evidence-based reasoning and admit that one's beliefs may be incorrect will produce a more accurate view of the world and result in better decision-making, Margot said.

"Perhaps we can start by correcting our delusions about the moon, and work from there," he said.


Related Links
University of California - Los Angeles
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Extent of Moon's giant volcanic eruption is revealed
Durham UK (SPX) Mar 22, 2015
Scientists have produced a new map of the Moon's most unusual volcano showing that its explosive eruption spread debris over an area much greater than previously thought. A team of astronomers and geologists, led by experts in the Institute for Computational Cosmology and Department of Earth Sciences at Durham University, UK, studied an area of the lunar surface in the Compton-Belkovich Vo ... read more

Soyuz Installed at Baikonur, Expected to Launch Wednesday

Soyuz ready March 27 flight to deploy two Galileo navsats

UAE Moves to Purchase Russian Spacecraft Launch Platform

Russia Launches Satan Missile With S Korean Kompsat 3A Satellite

Media Spun Up on NASA Cutting-edge Mars Landing Technology

Flash Reformatted and Marathon Completed

Curiosity Sniffs Out History of Martian Atmosphere

Curiosity Eyes Prominent Mineral Veins on Mars

Soft Landing on the Moon an Extraordinary Challenge

Stop blaming the moon

Extent of Moon's giant volcanic eruption is revealed

Yutu Changes Everything We Thought We Knew About Our Moon

New Horizons Sampling 'Space Weather' on Approach to Pluto

Help Name New Features on Pluto

Name the features on Pluto and its moon Charon

Science Shorts: Why Pluto?

Earthlike 'Star Wars' Tatooines may be common

Planets in the habitable zone around most stars, calculate researchers

Our Solar System May Have Once Harbored Super-Earths

SOFIA Finds Missing Link Between Supernovae and Planet Formation

IXV test flight total success says operations manager

ESA's spaceplane back on dry land

Falcon 9 Evolves

Lockheed Martin buys high-speed wind tunnel

Chinese scientists mull power station in space

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

China's Yutu rover reveals Moon's "complex" geological history

China's Space Laboratory Still Cloaked

OSIRIS-REx Mission Passes Critical Milestone

Scary times for Europe's comet-chaser Rosetta

Next Steps on Journey to Mars: Progress on Asteroid Initiative

NASA plans to bring boulder into moon orbit

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.