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The Question:

Is there any correlation between full moons and child birth?

The Answer:

For years people have tried to blame the full moon for increasing just about everything from the birth rate to the aggression of professional sports athletes.

No scientific study has conclusively proved that child births go up around the time of a full moon. Also, no study has proved that crime, suicide, or emergency room visits increase either.

The theory seemed to gain momentum briefly in 1978 when Dr. Arnold Lieber published a book called The Lunar Effect, which introduced the world to the "biological tides theory." Lieber argued that the moon affects the human body (which is 80% water) in much the same way as it does the world's oceans.

Critics blasted the book and the theory. Astronomer George Abell reviewed the book in 1979 and said the moon's gravitational pull on the human body was in total less than that of a mosquito.

Despite the studies, the idea of the lunar cycle and the moon casting mysterious spells on humans survives as a popular myth today.

Scientists fielding this question usually take the opportunity to point out that the word "lunacy" is derived from "luna," the Latin word for moon.

Here are links to sites that have further researched this topic:

—The Editors


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