Mike Adams (aka Health Ranger) is….interesting. He believes that every disease can be cured with vitamins, supplements and diet. And, of course, he believes that Big Pharma is evil.
So I was surprised to follow a link via Twitter to find a Mike Adams’ blog post about new scientific evidence for Astrology. I was surprised because I did not realise I could add Astrology to the list of reasons to dislike him.
His blog post is titled:
“Principle of astrology proven to be scientific: planetary position imprints biological clocks of mammals”
So I started reading his blog post. In his very first sentence he discusses skeptics:
“Mention the word ‘astrology’ and skeptics go into an epileptic fit.”
So, the tone of the blog post had been set. He had discovered a scientific paper that will shut up the “so-called ‘scientific’ community” once and for all. [And later I'll get on to what the research findings actually were...]
The article continues with a sub-title:
“Researchers demonstrate scientific principle of astrology”
He goes on to explain that skeptics will be bewildered by Vanderbilt University research published in Nature Neuroscience; and that the research unintentionally provides scientific support for the fundamental principle of astrology:
“Namely, that the position of the planets at your time of birth influences your personality.”
I was intrigued by his use of the word “unintentionally”.
The post is sprinkled with links to “research”, “findings” and “science”; links I assumed went to the paper or article he was referring to. I was wrong – they just go to pages on his own website. It is almost as though he didn’t want his readership to find the actual press released he was referring to.
What is particularly striking about our results is the fact that the imprinting affects both the animal’s behaviour and the cycling of the neurons in the master biological clock in their brains,” said Ciarleglio. This is one of the core principles of astrology: That the position of the planets at the time of your birth (which might be called the “season” of your birth) can actually result in changes in your brain physiology which impact lifelong behavior.
Now I had to find the paper. The paragraph above stinks of quote mining.
So, what does the paper actually say?
After a few minutes Googling (thankfully Adams’ provided the university name and name of the author of the research) I found the actual press release from Vanderbilt University. It is titled:
“Babies’ biological clocks dramatically affected by birth light cycle”
I searched for the word ‘astrology’ and here is what I found:
“It’s important to emphasize that, even though this sounds a bit like astrology, it is not: it’s seasonal biology!”
Unsurprisingly, the word “planet” does not appear in the press release!
I read the full press release. It is interesting research and it neatly summed up by the introduction:
“The season in which babies are born can have a dramatic and persistent effect on how their biological clocks function.”
Mice (yes mice, not humans) were raised from birth in artificially simulated summer or winter light. Then, once mature, they were placed in total darkness to see what their activity patterns would be.
Well done, Mike. A scientific paper examining how the varying amount of sunlight during the winter and summer seasons affects mice has been twisted into “astrology works”.
The seasons are produced by the yearly orbit of the Earth around the Sun, and the tilt of the Earth’s axis relative to this plane of revolution.
Please tell me, Mike: how does this affect the influence of, say, Mars or Jupiter at the time of my birth. How do the seasons on Earth affect the positions of the other planets?
The answer you’re looking for is: they don’t.
Related posts (not automatically generated)
Clearly the Mike Adams’ post annoyed a few people. Here are some related skeptical blog posts: