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No. 55: Jan-Feb 1988

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The Scientific Basis Of Astrology

At a recent meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration, S. Ertel, a German scientist, reported on his inquiry into the so-called "Mars Effect," discovered by Michel Gauquelin. Here are two excerpts from his Summary:

"Since 1955 Gauquelin claims to have discovered planetary effects on human births: After rise of a planet and after its crossing of the meridian, birth frequencies of eminent men may either increase beyond or decrease below chance level.

"In order to find out how clean Gauquelin's database is, the author travelled to Gauquelin's Paris laboratory and checked the files, including data which had been separated from publication, especially athletes' data. Using all obtainable data, Gauquelin's strongest hypothesis was tested, that planetary effects are more pronounced the greater the person's professional success. This claim was objectified with the help of citation frequencies, a sensitive procedure Gauquelin himself had not yet used. The total of 2089 athletes was subjected to this procedure. The results clearly supported Gauquelin's eminence claim."

(Ertel, Suitbert; "An Assessment of the Mars Effect," The Explorer, 4:8, October 1987.)

Comment. Is all this simply astrology with scientific trappings? It certainly sounds likt it is! Debunking groups, such as CSICOP, have spent considerable effort trying to disprove the Mars Effect, without, according to Ertel, convincing results.

Reference. The "Mars Effect" is cataloged in BHB29 in Biological Anomalies: Humans I. To order this catalog, see: here.

From Science Frontiers #55, JAN-FEB 1988. 1988-2000 William R. Corliss