Lunar Effects on Behavior

The influence of the moon on the earth has fascinated mankind throughout history. Prior to the present scientific age the moon was considered to have strange and occult powers that could influence human behavior and events in a multitude of different ways. For example, the effects of the moon have been said to influence human sanity and mental stability and also to have various negative effects on human nature. "The full moon has been linked to crime, suicide, mental illness, disasters, accidents...and werewolves." (Carroll R.T.

2005) the idea of the moon as the cause of the changes in the human condition, such as the change from a human into a wolf or " werewolf" has been the subject of many imaginative stories and works of fiction. Other more positive aspects that have been linked to the influence of the moon in human myth, is that it has a direct and discernable affect on birthrates and fertility.

However, scientific research cannot substantiate any of these claims and there is in fact almost no evidence that the moon has any real or actual affect on human life and nature in any way. The few lunar influences that do affect the earth, for instance the fact that the moon has a minimal affect on the temperature of the earth's environment, have "... been found have little or nothing to do with human behavior..." (Carroll R.T.

2005)

In scientific terms there is simply no evidence for the claims that the moon can influence human behavior and events.

A nothing significant has been replicated sufficiently to warrant claiming a probable causal relationship." (Carroll R.T.

2005)

The most conclusive proof that the moon does not have a significant effect on human life comes from solid scientific investigation. Scientific research counters allegations that the phases of the moon influence crime rates and the frequency of homicides and states that these assertions are pure conjecture. Researchers such as Ivan W. Kelly of the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan, and others, have undertaken extensive studies that have "... failed to show a reliable and significant correlation... between the full moon, or any other phase of the moon..." And various aspects such as homicide rate, birth rates, and various other factors that are related to the moon in social myth and legend. (Carroll R.T.

2005)

Kelly states that, "My own opinion is that the case for full moon effects has not been made..." (Roach, John, 2004)

The question therefore arises as to why certain behaviors have been ascribed to the phases and changes of the moon. The answer to this question in fact reveals the falsity of many lunar myths. One answer is that these myths have their origins in ancient folklore and legends that have been continued in various forms to the present time. For example, the myth about the way that the moon can influence human birth rates can be traced back to the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian beliefs which state that, "A woman is fertile according to the moon." (Carroll R.T.

2005)

These views are therefore based on unsubstantiated and pre-scientific opinions of the world and nature and can therefore be seen in the same context as the belief that the world was flat and not round.

In the present century these beliefs, legends and fragmenst of ancient folklore are perpetuated by the media and, as often happens, fiction sometimes assumes the appearance of reality. Another reason is what is termed " selective memory." As one scientist explains this phenomenon; "When something unusual happens and there is a full moon, people might…