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(The Atlantic)   If your doctor asks "What's your sign?" he or she isn't trying to hit on you; new studies indicate that your birth month can determine what maladies you may be struck with   (theatlantic.com ) divider line
    More: PSA, philosophy of science, life chances, Hippocrates, social behavior, developmental disorder, developed country, births, sleep disorders  
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7682 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Nov 2013 at 9:06 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-16 10:22:35 AM  

optimistic_cynic: So you don't think it's at all possible that a fetus may develop differently at different times of the year? That's really all this is saying.


Lets assume your statement here is true. Even so, the "time of year" according either our arbitrary calendar, seasons, or even the moon cycle, is completely uninfluenced by stars or their positioning in the sky
 
2013-11-16 10:22:47 AM  

optimistic_cynic: So is you issue only with the word astrology being used? If they said people who were fetuses during from march through December may be more prone to X, would you still say it was bullshiat?


My issue is that astrology is taking an interesting observation and trying to use it as existential justification and vindication. It's a principle known as the "Vindication of all Kooks", a subset of the theory of crank magnetism.

If someone had that, it's an interesting hypothesis. What it would need, however, would be studies which control for cultural and dietary factors, normal physiological processes, and environmental factors to demonstrate it as being true.
 
2013-11-16 10:23:15 AM  

TelemonianAjax: You live in a sad, mechanistic world, don't you? At least the scientists on your world have figured out every thing about everything. Here on Earth, we're still figuring out what we can and can't see and what's important. Heck, we haven't even got a clue how our brains or conscienceness works, mich less the actual dynamics of mental states, prosecces or illnesses. Its not like we don't approve wonder drigs for use before we know what they do. Kids think the grownups have the world all known and under control. It's a mark of maturity to acknowledge things in this universe are far more complicated and interconnected than a child such as yourself sees them as being.


Maybe. But many of our top thinkers have discovered the ability to correctly spell words in our language.
 
2013-11-16 10:23:22 AM  
The ancients knew about the Precessional Cycle which is 25,920 years. So we've been looking at these damn constellations for a long time for some reason.
 
2013-11-16 10:25:04 AM  

Lost Thought 00: optimistic_cynic: So you don't think it's at all possible that a fetus may develop differently at different times of the year? That's really all this is saying.

Lets assume your statement here is true. Even so, the "time of year" according either our arbitrary calendar, seasons, or even the moon cycle, is completely uninfluenced by stars or their positioning in the sky


Have you ever taken an astronomy class? What you said made no sense.
 
2013-11-16 10:26:39 AM  

hardinparamedic: >Reads Article.

Oh, it's just astrology trying to remain relevant by disguising itsself as "alternative medicine".

This is such crap, I'm tempted to print it out just so I can wipe my ass with it.


You wipe your ass with crap?

/You eat pieces of crap for breakfast?
//Unhappy Gilmore
 
2013-11-16 10:27:43 AM  

hardinparamedic: optimistic_cynic: So is you issue only with the word astrology being used? If they said people who were fetuses during from march through December may be more prone to X, would you still say it was bullshiat?

My issue is that astrology is taking an interesting observation and trying to use it as existential justification and vindication. It's a principle known as the "Vindication of all Kooks", a subset of the theory of crank magnetism.

If someone had that, it's an interesting hypothesis. What it would need, however, would be studies which control for cultural and dietary factors, normal physiological processes, and environmental factors to demonstrate it as being true.


Ok I can get behind that, but I was thinking they were using astrology as a reference as most people know it, I didn't think that they may be trying to justify astrology.
 
2013-11-16 10:33:34 AM  

optimistic_cynic: I didn't think that they may be trying to justify astrology.


That's how they get you. It's called a wedge strategy, after the paper by the Discovery Institute proposing it's use to get people to teach intelligent design.
 
2013-11-16 10:35:24 AM  

hardinparamedic: optimistic_cynic: I didn't think that they may be trying to justify astrology.

That's how they get you. It's called a wedge strategy, after the paper by the Discovery Institute proposing it's use to get people to teach intelligent design.


I suppose, I'm just used to discarding the supernatural aspect of it so I didn't give it a second thought.
 
2013-11-16 10:41:57 AM  

hardinparamedic: >Reads Article.

Oh, it's just astrology trying to remain relevant by disguising itsself as "alternative medicine".

This is such crap, I'm tempted to print it out just so I can wipe my ass with it.


Alternative medicine- that's the keyword on facebook for the local weed dealer.
 
2013-11-16 10:47:49 AM  

Voiceofreason01: "Hippocrates, whose namesake oath is, to this day, still sworn to by all who enter the field, has been attributed to the saying "a physician without knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician."

Hippocrates also believed in humorism and probably contributed significantly to many of his patients deaths.


So maybe laughter is not the best medicine?
 
2013-11-16 10:56:27 AM  
As a scorpio I'm more likely to have a venom-related illness.
 
2013-11-16 10:58:22 AM  

hardinparamedic: >Reads Article.

Oh, it's just astrology trying to remain relevant by disguising itsself as "alternative medicine".

This is such crap, I'm tempted to print it out just so I can wipe my ass with it.


I've never thought of loading my printer charmin.
 
2013-11-16 11:00:36 AM  
Not surprised. The ancients knew not to look at an eclipse either, they just thought it was because it was incest between the gods.

/ancients had thousands of years to observe patterns and links. They may not have known why, but I'm willing to give them the benefit sometimes
 
2013-11-16 11:08:07 AM  
He's a water sign and I'm an earth sign together we make mud.
 
2013-11-16 11:19:38 AM  

Peki: Not surprised. The ancients knew not to look at an eclipse either, they just thought it was because it was incest between the gods.

/ancients had thousands of years to observe patterns and links. They may not have known why, but I'm willing to give them the benefit sometimes


Ancients had a lot of spare time to notice patterns. But they still lacked the knowledge to attribute these patterns to the things that might have actually been causing them to happen. It seems pretty reasonable to think that the time of year a fetus gestates would have a significant effect on development. More so in the past than now I would think. These days we have climate control and diets that aren't nearly as seasonal, but there would probably still be some effect.
 
2013-11-16 11:31:11 AM  

Cpl.D: Peki: Not surprised. The ancients knew not to look at an eclipse either, they just thought it was because it was incest between the gods.

/ancients had thousands of years to observe patterns and links. They may not have known why, but I'm willing to give them the benefit sometimes

The scientific method is the gold standard.  Astrology fails when tested.  Every.  Single.  Time.  It's because it's just systematic bollocks.


Yes, but there are some places the scientific method doesn't hold up so well. It's not like you can actually control for weather phenomena. The only thing you can do is constantly write shiat down, and every once in a while go back and go, "Oh hey, when it's like this, it does this. Let's see if it does it again?"

Foxxinnia: Peki: Not surprised. The ancients knew not to look at an eclipse either, they just thought it was because it was incest between the gods.

/ancients had thousands of years to observe patterns and links. They may not have known why, but I'm willing to give them the benefit sometimes

Ancients had a lot of spare time to notice patterns. But they still lacked the knowledge to attribute these patterns to the things that might have actually been causing them to happen. It seems pretty reasonable to think that the time of year a fetus gestates would have a significant effect on development. More so in the past than now I would think. These days we have climate control and diets that aren't nearly as seasonal, but there would probably still be some effect.


I think I read in Freakonomics where they found that a spike in birth defects was directly related to what time Ramadan occurred during gestation. There are lots of factors that influence human life.

I actually practice Biblical agriculture, not because I'm a follower of the Abrahamic traditions, but because it's good sense! If you let your tree grow for six years without fruiting, the sucker gives out a higher yield and bigger fruit when you finally do. But the idea that the ancients were ignorant hillbillies with no sense of anything is stupid. Even a hillbilly knows how to plow a field (and could do it better than this city girl!).
 
2013-11-16 11:35:57 AM  

Fourstring: I bet the subby/author is a Libra.


LMAO

/thank you
 
2013-11-16 11:37:54 AM  
www.levity.com

"Know that the philosopher has power over the stars, and not the stars over him."
 
2013-11-16 11:40:44 AM  
I got your horrorscope right here, Subby:

i651.photobucket.com
 
2013-11-16 11:41:22 AM  

Peki: I think I read in Freakonomics where they found that a spike in birth defects was directly related to what time Ramadan occurred during gestation. There are lots of factors that influence human life.


it wouldn't surprise me, Muslims fast during Ramadan.
 
2013-11-16 11:46:29 AM  

Cpl.D: Peki: Yes, but there are some places the scientific method doesn't hold up so well. It's not like you can actually control for weather phenomena. The only thing you can do is constantly write shiat down, and every once in a while go back and go, "Oh hey, when it's like this, it does this. Let's see if it does it again?"

That's insufficient data, not a failure of the scientific method.


Feel free to correct me, but I'm pretty sure at some point the scientific method requires experiments in a controlled setting.

/I'll wait while you figure out how to do that with global weather
 
2013-11-16 11:48:10 AM  

born_yesterday: Bucky Katt: bullshiat

I could tell by the individual bumps on your skull that you'd say that.


Additionally, the subjects skull holds more or less mustard seeds than the mean.
 
2013-11-16 11:53:42 AM  
Pisces - sign of the big mouth. First to speak up in any crowd.
 
2013-11-16 11:54:12 AM  
Peki:Feel free to correct me, but I'm pretty sure at some point the scientific method requires experiments in a controlled setting.

"To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence..."

The scientific method is about empirical and measurable evidence and repeatable methodology, it does not necessarily have anything to do with beakers and test tubes and dudes in white coats. The guy that the conservative media got all up in arms about who is doing a NSF study on duck penises is doing science, all the crap you see on CSI is not science.
 
2013-11-16 11:54:41 AM  

Cpl.D: Peki: Yes, but there are some places the scientific method doesn't hold up so well. It's not like you can actually control for weather phenomena. The only thing you can do is constantly write shiat down, and every once in a while go back and go, "Oh hey, when it's like this, it does this. Let's see if it does it again?"

That's insufficient data, not a failure of the scientific method.


Fine, there are some places where the scientific method is great in theory but next to impossible to effectively apply, such as when there is insufficient data or ethical reasons for not conducting an experiment.
 
2013-11-16 11:55:59 AM  

Cpl.D: You heard it here, folks.


Hyperbolize much? You look like an idiot when you do that, you know that right?

/just because I think science has its flaws means I toss it completely. That's why I'm on a computer. . .right. . .
 
2013-11-16 12:00:47 PM  
So I read the article and aside from a bunch of astrology stuff the author stuck in supposing this and that, the main body is that researchers noticed that there are statistically higher numbers of people with certain ailments born in a certain season. Not in a certain astrology sign but a season such as spring, summer, fall, winter.

So a bunch of other people read the article, see the word "astrology" and dismiss the entire thing as bullshiat when the actual research said nothing about astrology, only seasons. Things like "People born in March/April/May have a higher incidence of mental illness compared to those born in September/October".

Some may be dismayed that 1 in 4 Americans beleive in astrology. I'm dismayed most people have no reading comprehension.
 
2013-11-16 12:01:46 PM  

Cpl.D: bglove25: Cpl.D: Peki: Yes, but there are some places the scientific method doesn't hold up so well. It's not like you can actually control for weather phenomena. The only thing you can do is constantly write shiat down, and every once in a while go back and go, "Oh hey, when it's like this, it does this. Let's see if it does it again?"

That's insufficient data, not a failure of the scientific method.

Fine, there are some places where the scientific method is great in theory but next to impossible to effectively apply, such as when there is insufficient data or ethical reasons for not conducting an experiment.

Quite true.  But in those circumstances, pretending to do magic never gets you better results.


Who said anything about doing magic?  Making the observation that in some very specific contexts, a prior system of knowledge largely discredited actually observed a phenomenon  that modern science also observes isn't saying that therefor the old system was right about everything and magic is real.  No one is saying that the proposed mechanism that astologers used to explain the world is correct, just that maybe, in a broad sense, they weren't completely off base about everything (whether they understood why or not).
 
2013-11-16 12:08:41 PM  

FunkOut: So I read the article and aside from a bunch of astrology stuff the author stuck in supposing this and that, the main body is that researchers noticed that there are statistically higher numbers of people with certain ailments born in a certain season. Not in a certain astrology sign but a season such as spring, summer, fall, winter.

So a bunch of other people read the article, see the word "astrology" and dismiss the entire thing as bullshiat when the actual research said nothing about astrology, only seasons. Things like "People born in March/April/May have a higher incidence of mental illness compared to those born in September/October".


The article is about astrology and the author(Elijah Wolfson) makes a bunch of misleading(and a few outright false) statements about science and astrology. I'll admit that I didn't finish the article but the first study that is linked in the article isn't even about what Wolfson claims it's about, even going so far as to use a quote from the study out of context to say something that was never intended by the author of the study. Whether or not the research in the studies cited here are any good is irrelevant since Wolfson doesn't honestly or accurately represent what they say in making his point.
 
2013-11-16 12:08:45 PM  
Jesus Monkeys, right? Jesus Monkeys! ~Go-go Jesus-monkey dance, Gundam-style!~
 
2013-11-16 12:10:28 PM  
In the article he is focusing on season and in a real way that has an impact. We have many mental disorders that seem to correlate strongly with when a viral strain hits a population. The big nasties like schizophrenia have their roots in genetics however a virus can increase your chances if you catch it in the second trimester. People spend a lot of time with other sick people during the winter. So your crazy family may not have intended for you to be worthy of the fark politics tab.
 
2013-11-16 12:29:25 PM  

Voiceofreason01: FunkOut: So I read the article and aside from a bunch of astrology stuff the author stuck in supposing this and that, the main body is that researchers noticed that there are statistically higher numbers of people with certain ailments born in a certain season. Not in a certain astrology sign but a season such as spring, summer, fall, winter.

So a bunch of other people read the article, see the word "astrology" and dismiss the entire thing as bullshiat when the actual research said nothing about astrology, only seasons. Things like "People born in March/April/May have a higher incidence of mental illness compared to those born in September/October".

The article is about astrology and the author(Elijah Wolfson) makes a bunch of misleading(and a few outright false) statements about science and astrology. I'll admit that I didn't finish the article but the first study that is linked in the article isn't even about what Wolfson claims it's about, even going so far as to use a quote from the study out of context to say something that was never intended by the author of the study. Whether or not the research in the studies cited here are any good is irrelevant since Wolfson doesn't honestly or accurately represent what they say in making his point.


I've read the research before about season affecting fetuses and health. I'd like to see research into comparison between countries close to the poles and countries on the equator. Finland versus Ecuador.

It's typical web journalism to spin a bit of information with a bunch of crap or opinions to make content. About as annoying as slideshows.
 
2013-11-16 12:35:29 PM  

Voiceofreason01: Peki: I think I read in Freakonomics where they found that a spike in birth defects was directly related to what time Ramadan occurred during gestation. There are lots of factors that influence human life.

it wouldn't surprise me, Muslims fast during Ramadan.


Not after sundown.   Still, it disrupts normal eating patterns so there may be something to it.
 
2013-11-16 01:38:36 PM  

Bedstead Polisher: So?
Most of those things can't be prevented anyway. I would blame genetics on any ailments I have before my birth month.

/April.
//list is BS


Me, too. Seems like BS to infer that being born in April makes us more susceptible to personality disorders -- and yet, here we are.
 
2013-11-16 01:39:15 PM  
Can modern medicine actually learn from stars and seasonality?


Long answer?

No.

Short answer?

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-11-16 01:54:31 PM  

ComaToast: Voiceofreason01: "Hippocrates, whose namesake oath is, to this day, still sworn to by all who enter the field, has been attributed to the saying "a physician without knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician."

Hippocrates also believed in humorism and probably contributed significantly to many of his patients deaths.

He was obviously a hypocrite.


No, he was just a product of his times and...oh...

www.sundriesshack.com
 
2013-11-16 02:02:17 PM  

jfarkinB: Bedstead Polisher: So?
Most of those things can't be prevented anyway. I would blame genetics on any ailments I have before my birth month.

/April.
//list is BS

Me, too. Seems like BS to infer that being born in April makes us more susceptible to personality disorders -- and yet, here we are.


*ahem* I was trying to ignore that part.
 
2013-11-16 02:28:16 PM  

hardinparamedic: HotIgneous Intruder: I'll betcha there's a tailored homeopathic remedy for each month, too, RIGHT?

/Gawd people are superstitious idiots.

Hey, say what you want, but homeopathy is an effective treatment for dehydration. :)


Not if you add homeopathic quantities of water to the water. Then it dehydrates you.
 
2013-11-16 02:40:57 PM  

optimistic_cynic: hardinparamedic: optimistic_cynic: So you don't think it's at all possible that a fetus may develop differently at different times of the year? That's really all this is saying.

Not at all. I'm saying it has nothing to do with astrological signs, or anything the article purports to assign to astrology as being vindication of it's legitimacy.

The astrological sign would determine when it was gestating. Sure they could have just said birthday and grouped days into groups but why go through that trouble when we already have that grouping system that people know called astrological signs?


Because Astrology also includes a bunch of other crap That you don't want to include, such as personality characteristics (which astrology predicts will change drastically when the sign changes). If the effect is seasonal why not use seasons to label, or even months rather than zodiac signs?
 
2013-11-16 02:55:21 PM  

Bucky Katt: bullshiat


I remember an article in a sceptic's magazine that showed how your date of birth relative to your school district's cutoff for determining when you begin school had effects on your subsequent education and career that could follow you for the rest of your life.
 
2013-11-16 03:02:41 PM  
Peki: Yes, but there are some places the scientific method doesn't hold up so well. It's not like you can actually control for weather phenomena. The only thing you can do is constantly write shiat down, and every once in a while go back and go, "Oh hey, when it's like this, it does this. Let's see if it does it again?"

Guess how I know you have never taken a climatology class.

 
No, there are some things that are too complex to model in a laboratory.  Can't make a black hole, or get enough volume to measure dark energy.

They are called numerical simulations. You figure out what physical laws apply and numerically model their affect. Then you adjust the drivers or strength of the drivers until the model matches a specific observation. Then you apply the initial conditions of other observations to see if your model can predict the known outcome. Finally, you make a prediction based on observed initial conditions and see if your predicted out come is correct. Between each step you add, subtract, or modify drivers to make it more accurate. Once it attains a certain level of accuracy, you let other people use it. Most weather forecasting is done this way.
 
2013-11-16 03:12:42 PM  

flondrix: Bucky Katt: bullshiat

I remember an article in a sceptic's magazine that showed how your date of birth relative to your school district's cutoff for determining when you begin school had effects on your subsequent education and career that could follow you for the rest of your life.


That's not really the same thing...like, at all.
 
2013-11-16 04:01:08 PM  

gfid: Interesting chart in the article.  I guess if you want your kids to be healthy, try to conceive so they'll be born in September.  (in the Northern hemisphere).

The sad thing is many people will look at that chart and if they suffer from any of those things or know someone who does who has the right birthday, they'll probably believe there's a stronger correlation and perhaps even a causation.

Also 1 in 4 Americans believe in Astrology?  We are dumb.


Actully what the chart is saying is that it is better to get pregnant in the spring and give birth in fall (so you are pregnant when there is a lot of abundant food, than to get pregnant in the summer and give birth in the spring. It is true that there are a lot of diseases and stresses in the winter months that aren't there in the summer months.
 
2013-11-16 04:16:20 PM  

CowardlyLion: "Can modern medicine actually learn from stars and seasonality?"

No.

/there, I just saved you over 1600 words of utter bullshiat


Aaand yet the studies done on mice are proving you wrong. Circadian rhythms, biatch.

/Seriously, the science is solid, and there's a reason these traditions emerged: they  worked. Sure, far from perfectly, but if you didn't have the ability to synthesize valium, a nice cup of chamomile tea would work really damn well in its stead.
//Just because it's not in a pill form doesn't make it wrong.
 
2013-11-16 04:36:03 PM  

FunkOut: Voiceofreason01: FunkOut: So I read the article and aside from a bunch of astrology stuff the author stuck in supposing this and that, the main body is that researchers noticed that there are statistically higher numbers of people with certain ailments born in a certain season. Not in a certain astrology sign but a season such as spring, summer, fall, winter.

So a bunch of other people read the article, see the word "astrology" and dismiss the entire thing as bullshiat when the actual research said nothing about astrology, only seasons. Things like "People born in March/April/May have a higher incidence of mental illness compared to those born in September/October".

The article is about astrology and the author(Elijah Wolfson) makes a bunch of misleading(and a few outright false) statements about science and astrology. I'll admit that I didn't finish the article but the first study that is linked in the article isn't even about what Wolfson claims it's about, even going so far as to use a quote from the study out of context to say something that was never intended by the author of the study. Whether or not the research in the studies cited here are any good is irrelevant since Wolfson doesn't honestly or accurately represent what they say in making his point.

I've read the research before about season affecting fetuses and health. I'd like to see research into comparison between countries close to the poles and countries on the equator. Finland versus Ecuador.

It's typical web journalism to spin a bit of information with a bunch of crap or opinions to make content. About as annoying as slideshows.


That's two comments of yours now I whole-heartedly agree with.
 
2013-11-16 04:40:59 PM  
Makes me wonder if this sort of traditional assessment of people based on the season of their birth centers more on rainfall patterns in more equatorial places.

"Ravi was born during the Monsoon, he will be a fine warrior!"
 
2013-11-16 06:49:44 PM  

greentea1985: Actully what the chart is saying is that it is better to get pregnant in the spring and give birth in fall (so you are pregnant when there is a lot of abundant food, than to get pregnant in the summer and give birth in the spring. It is true that there are a lot of diseases and stresses in the winter months that aren't there in the summer months.


People have known this since, well, forever.  There is an ancient chant that goes something like:

"The first of May!  The first of May!  Outdoor farking starts today!"

 
2013-11-16 07:43:05 PM  

Peki: Cpl.D: Peki: Not surprised. The ancients knew not to look at an eclipse either, they just thought it was because it was incest between the gods.

/ancients had thousands of years to observe patterns and links. They may not have known why, but I'm willing to give them the benefit sometimes

The scientific method is the gold standard.  Astrology fails when tested.  Every.  Single.  Time.  It's because it's just systematic bollocks.

Yes, but there are some places the scientific method doesn't hold up so well. It's not like you can actually control for weather phenomena. The only thing you can do is constantly write shiat down, and every once in a while go back and go, "Oh hey, when it's like this, it does this. Let's see if it does it again?"


I had an experiment that was driving me crazy.  I'd do the experiment, and everything would show up at the same spot--the positive control, the negative control, and all the experimental lanes.  The next day, I would only do a series of controls, and it would work.  So the next day, I'd try to do the controls and experimental again...and it would fail.   We finally narrowed it down to the weather.  At room temperature, on a cold day, it was too chilly in the lab and everything would migrate at the same rate.  If I ran it a little hot, it always worked.

This is how random observations get turned into science.  We were racking our brains, and someone finally mentioned that it only worked on sunny days, mostly as a joke.  The key part is the next step:  We tested it by controlling the temperature, and found it to be true.

This article just finds correlations and then claims astrology must have something to it, though I think they meant to use astrology more as a convenient way to break up different birthday groups.  Until someone can show causal links, this could just be random noise.  How many diseases did they look at with no correlation?  There are bound to be some false positives.  I admit it's possible that there are common conditions that pregnant women go through in different months that can affect the fetus, but in the modern world, a lot of the seasonal variations are already compensated for.
 
2013-11-17 07:21:51 AM  

alinac: He's a water sign and I'm an earth sign together we make mud.


She's a water sign. I'm a fire sign. Together we make tequila
 
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