The Full Moon....

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Aemilius
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Re: The Full Moon....

Postby Aemilius » 20 Jan 2012, 10:47

Hello Red Raven....

Red Raven "Thank you for the kind sentiment but the fact that I chose not to embark on an academic course after full time education hasn't left me with an inferiority complex, as people who know me can confirm."

Well then, that makes two of us Red Raven, because I dropped out of school when I was sixteen years old (sort of a family tradition), and it hasn't left me with an inferiority complex either, as people who know me can confirm!

Strength to you Red Raven.... Emile
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Red Raven
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Re: The Full Moon....

Postby Red Raven » 20 Jan 2012, 10:59

The sun causes the electromagnetic field of the EARTH to warp, and that creates a sort of magnetic tail aimed away from the sun.
When the Moon passes through that tail (which happens during the full moon, when she faces the sun) the lunar surface gets a bit static.

But what happens on the moon is much to weak to influence the earth.
With respect, the fact that it is measurable confirms it's potential. Its potential influence therefore, is subjective depending on what framework you choose to use.

RR
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Re: The Full Moon....

Postby Heddwen » 20 Jan 2012, 10:59

These are my experiences in working in ER-

The myth has become so profound that some nurses would swop shifts on the following;

1. The full moon

2. especially a full moon on Friday 13th

3 The night shift on 31.12.99

Taking into account the confirmation bias of both staff and mental health patients, it appeared that locally there were more attendences from this group during these periods. Of course, this is not a scientific claim, just my mere observations. Guess who ended up working these night shifts? :grin:

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Re: The Full Moon....

Postby Aemilius » 18 Feb 2012, 04:14

I've been ruminating on all this for a while, and since I have the time I just wanted to review/comment on the whole thread up to this point....

Muddy Fox "Ok, I have had a cursory glance at Lily's scientific links on this thread and IMO neither are 100% conclusive, with apparent flaws in the research methods of each."

I think that's an excellent point. Evidence gathered from studies and statistical analysis have certain drawbacks associated with them just as personal anecdotal evidence does, so neither can really be considered as being any kind of "gold standard" or final word.

Lily "to be honest with you? I don't think this research has been done...."

Agreed, the research has not been done. This thread wasn’t started to announce any supportable finding of fact though, it was started to ask questions and explore further the idea of how the action of electromagnetic radiation (visible or not) might possibly be used to explain the mechanism of operation in the anecdotally observed phenomena and its effects on those prone to mental or psychological instability.

Lily "....and we certainly cannot come to a conclusion in this druid forum. but please prove me wrong."

Right, no conclusions. But then, I can't find one thread in any forum topic I've read or participated in since going on line three years ago that reached any conclusion or unanimous consensus amounting to proof of anything. Does this mean that questions shouldn’t be asked or that possibilities can't be discussed?

Lily “I find this article.... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10820695

Thanks for that Lily, I believe that’s the study I was looking for but couldn’t find.

Lily “I would have liked to see something more detailed, such as having them keep a diary.”

I agree, a more in depth examination would have been useful, but even though it doesn’t begin to rise to the level of anything that could be considered proof, it (the article you found) may still be a valuable clue or piece of the puzzle. Another possible clue here....

http://fampra.oxfordjournals.org/conten ... abstract-1.

Lily “Let's not get personal. I was really trying to be neutral, aiming at nobody, it's not my fault if someone does not want to have their world view challenged.”

Right, that “firecracker” remark was inappropriate (sorry again), but I’m going to confine my apology to that alone, and I’ll explain why.

Lily “....wouldn't e.g. artificial lighting interfere with that? considering that we probably get hours more exposure to indoor light per day than to the light of the full moon. imagine neon tubes, don't they flicker at 60 Hz?
Also light pollution by outdoor lighting comes into play as well... another different spectrum (think those orange street lamps)....”


When you threw artificial lighting into the discussion without specifying any wavelength, adding that they all flicker at 60 Hertz, a frequency of oscillation far removed from those being considered, along with the idea you repeatedly mention of one frequency “dominating” or “covering up” another, it led me to believe that you didn’t have a clear understanding of the circumstances under which waves of various frequencies do or don’t interact. So, when I wrote “You have to ask? No offense Lily, but if a high school dropout is here having to explain to you the fundamentals of physics I don't know how you expect to make any kind of meaningful contribution to this topic.”, I was really only challenging the premise of your remarks at that point, characterizing them (in so many words) as an “irrational interjection”, and an irrational interjection put conversationally is no less irrational.

As far as artificial light goes and the part it may or may not play in the whole thing.... the vast majority of the (anecdotal) evidence has come to us from thousands of years of observation by people from various cultures around the globe preceding the advent of artificial lighting, so I’m not sure if it will be productive to continue considering its effects.

Lily “so basically we have the schizophrenia and the epilepsy left for the future discussion?”

Right, I’d like to just focus on schizophrenia for now (the impetus behind my original post). The example I mentioned of the effect that strobing lights can have on epileptics was used only to illustrate the point that there is already in place at least one well known observed effect (I believe the actual mechanism of operation is still unknown, open to correction) by which light can have a significant impact on the brain physiologically by means of the eye, an extension of the brain itself that is directly exposed to the environment.

Explorer “wowwwwww - Aemilius, I realise that you don't know all the faces around here yet, but Lily is one of our very few genuine scientists here.

Well, she says she doesn’t want to discuss academics. As a ninth grade high school dropout it’s a non-issue for me, but (if you read this post) has she ever mentioned to you what branch of science she specializes in?

Explorer “Don't insult her like that please.”

In hindsight, I really don’t think I insulted her (aside from that “firecracker” remark), I just challenged what seemed to me to be an obviously irrational interjection.

Explorer “But, and I think this is the flaw in the logic... we are not telescopes that are able to distinguish one frequency from the other.
Even when all those different wavelengths of light reach us, and even enter our eyes, it will be the strongest visible light wavelenghts that will trigger our optical nerves and the asociated parts of the brain. So even when all of the moonlight will hit us at full force, we won't be able to notice it when there are brighter lights.”


Right, we are not telescopes, but I don’t think that necessarily means there is no unconscious or automatic physiological reaction to exposure on some level by another as yet unknown mechanism of operation.

Lily “What is your theory then, again?
correct me if I am wrong… as I understand it (from your original posting)

- The light of the moon has some effect on human physiology, particularly those mentally susceptible.
- Could be beyond the visible spectrum.
- a couple paragraphs earlier you hypothesise at one point that it may be the optic nerve which would be the conduit of whatever effect moonlight has.


I think that sums it up nicely, except “has some effect” could be replaced by “may have some effect”.

Lily “Since the rods and cones in our eyes are triggered by a breadth of wavelengths it could be that most of the light from the moon is covered up by light pollution ....
when we are blinded, yes, that's true, then we won't even see the moon.


Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but I’m still having trouble with one kind of light “covering up” another. Anyway, even now with artificial lighting, people are rarely if ever walking around for any length of time blinded by bright light(s) to the point where this scenario could be seriously considered in connection with the observed phenomena. Besides, on a clear day when the sun is high in the sky I can still clearly see the moon. One would have to look directly at the sun or other bright light in order to be blinded to the point where the moon couldn’t be seen.

Lily “But consider the theory that light from a certain part of the spectrum has a physiological effect e.g. on mental health - that might not be wired through the visual cortex at all. The pineal gland is also affected by light and it's wired from the retina, but not through the visual cortex.”

This is a good point and perhaps an important clue.... pineal gland abnormality in the form of unusual melatonin secretion in particular has been implicated in connection with schizophrenia....

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1305641

Something else that’s interesting (from the link you posted Lily) with respect to the threshold intensity needed to elicit a response alluded to earlier in the thread.... “the graph of the rod absorption spectrum is not to scale; it’s included solely for comparative purposes. Rods are far more sensitive, and show a many-fold stronger response to light than cones.”....

http://www.unm.edu/~toolson/human_cone_ ... pectra.gif


So we now have a second example (thanks to Lily), in addition to the first mentioned earlier (epilepsy) of a known mechanism of operation whereby light can have a measurable physiological impact on the state of the brain (in this case the pineal gland), as well as a second route taken by the light generated impulses to another distinctly different light sensitive area of the brain where effects have been observed. Not only that, the route the light generated impulses from the retina take on their way to the pineal gland from the retina is curiously circuitous. In other words it’s not a direct connection from the retina to the pineal gland, but instead one that touches on a variety of other areas of potential significance on its way there, opening the door to even more possibilities with respect to explaining novel mood altering interactions that may be experienced by those susceptible to its influence....

http://accessscience.com/loadBinary.asp ... FG0010.gif

Lily “now if the theory above was true, any effect of moonlight on human behaviour would have to be nixed if there is bad weather during the period of the full moon...”

Are you sure? You know, there are also wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation capable of penetrating cloud cover (ultraviolet and microwave radiation come to mind for starters).

treegod “For statistical science individuality sucks, lol.”

Hah! Good one.... but for individuality statistical science really sucks!

DaRC “1) Why is there such verbal evidence (from Police & Nurses) that a full moon on a weekend is not the time to be working nights?
The apocryphal stories are that people in general are a wilder on those nights and that A&E will be significantly more busy. As most of this would be in an urban environment full of light-pollution would moonlight alone be enough to have an effect?”


Unless the light pollution is of a similar frequency capable of interfering with the wavelength(s) of moonlight causing the effect, it would be just the same as if the artificial light weren’t there at all, incredible numbers of different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation routinely occupy the same space without affecting, interfering or cancelling each other out.

DJDrood (in response to DaRC) “Confirmation bias?”

Followed by....

Lily “confirmation bias, yes, this paper specifically calls it the Transylvanian effect....”

Or could there be a little “denial bias” on the part of those conducting the studies, compiling the statistics and calculating the probabilities? I’ve noticed the scientific community generally loathes dealing with or confirming anything they can’t readily explain and wrap up in a nice neat little package. An example that immediately comes to mind is “rogue waves” up to forty meters in height (height open to correction) reportedly rising up from relatively calm seas under clear skies without warning reported by mariners for centuries. This was all dismissed by the scientific community as being nothing more than folklore and tall tales (sound familiar?).... until recently. Once video and other evidence emerged confirming the reality of them, the scientific community was forced to reverse itself, jumping into action to come up with all sorts of theories to explain them, calculating the statistical probability of the frequency of occurrence and greatest likelihood of where they would occur, etc., etc., etc., there are other examples of this sort of thing too. Just a thought.

Lily “all I can do is repeat myself... before looking for explanations, look for evidence of an effect... and that isn't there, really, at least not at nearly the magnitude that popular myth has it....”

I couldn’t help but notice your passing over this portion of my post made just prior to your making that comment Lily....

“For about the last twenty years now I've been taking care of my now fifty-eight year old clinically diagnosed schizophrenic eldest brother who, when he moved in, was so severely affected by this condition he had become socially dysfunctional in the extreme, engaging in bizarre unpredictable behaviour, unable or unwilling to speak for days at a time. What caused me to initially make a connection with the Full Moon was the spontaneous outbursts of yelling at all times of the day and night that occurred on only three particular days each month like clockwork - the day before, the day of, and the day after the Full Moon. This went on for about ten years which established a definite recognizable pattern (in my opinion).”

I know it’s anecdotal evidence from everyone else’s point of view, but from my point of view this constitutes substantial and compelling evidence of an effect, and so I’m looking for explanations. Confirmation bias won’t do for an explanation either (at least in this instance). It’s not like somehow I might have selectively “tuned out” my brother yelling his head off the rest of the time, noticing it only during the full moon.

Lily “we still only have one small study indicating a possible phenomenon in a very limited population, compared to a great popular myth.”

Right, one small study. The history of schizophrenia as a distinct mental disorder is fairly short, but if it has been with us for the last several thousand years, and I have no reason to believe it hasn’t, it actually could explain very nicely the “great popular myth” status we see currently. Just guessing here, but if a small percentage of the global population (even 1%) has been consistently observed reacting to the full moon by larger numbers of people making up the communities they live in or near, people could then very easily begin to project that behaviour onto others in the community who they perceive to be acting strangely around the same time, falsely attributing it to the full moon. Confirmation bias could then kick in, amplifying a small genuine effect into a widespread large one like we see now.

Emile
Last edited by Aemilius on 18 Feb 2012, 17:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Red Raven
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Re: The Full Moon....

Postby Red Raven » 18 Feb 2012, 11:27

Just thinking out loud here...

We know that animals, particularly insects, see things mostly in the ultra-violet range of light. Consequently their vision of flowers, when viewed in this range of light, are in many cases completely different from what we see. Are there cases of the distribution of cones in the eyes of humans varying? For example, a larger number of blue cones with a subsequent reduction of the red cones? If the light from a full moon has not the broad range of light that we get in "normal" daylight then is it possible that one contributing factor maybe the distinct change in lighting for some, more pronounced than the ordinary population experiences? One may consider it to be an otherworld experience, which would have a profound effect on the behavioural patterns of certain individuals.

RR
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Aemilius
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Re: The Full Moon....

Postby Aemilius » 19 Feb 2012, 06:27

Hello Red Raven....

Red Raven "We know that animals, particularly insects, see things mostly in the ultra-violet range of light. Consequently their vision of flowers, when viewed in this range of light, are in many cases completely different from what we see.”

I was thinking that same thing, and ultraviolet radiation also happens to be from a region of the electromagnetic spectrum capable of penetrating cloud cover too, which could (possibly) permit for the observed phenomena to take place despite prevailing meteorological conditions.

Red Raven “Are there cases of the distribution of cones in the eyes of humans varying? For example, a larger number of blue cones with a subsequent reduction of the red cones?”

That’s certainly a possibility, but, I’ve got to tell you, what really caught my attention was the rods more than the cones. The red, blue and green cones all together number approximately 6.5 million, and it’s estimated that only 2% of those are of the blue type. Rods, on the other hand, are far more numerous at approximately 125 million. They (rods) are also over 1000 times more sensitive to light than the cones. The thing about the rods is that though they are not known to be sensitive to color, their response curve nevertheless peaks in the blue region of the spectrum just as the blue cones response curve does, and under the right conditions rods can detect even a single photon... interesting....

Emile
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Al Hakim
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Re: The Full Moon....

Postby Al Hakim » 30 Apr 2012, 23:21

Hi folks,

after following all your posts I was wondering why everybody wishes to give an explanation where no scientific evidence exists at present. If someone would tell me that he feels under the full moon, I could accept it, and even use it to bring it through to him why he should behave in a certain way whenever he gets his strange moon feeling. - My understanding of this world is that there are still many secrets we do not know - and perhaps should not know. In that way I do appreciate Emile's questioning most scientific evidence. Let us not forget that for many a hundred years scientists "proved" that Earth is a disc!
Al Hakim

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Re: The Full Moon....

Postby Kishi » 19 Jun 2012, 09:54

"The pineal gland may contain a rodlike phototransduction cascade" That is, it can 'see' photons of light. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9756926
Pineal calcite microcrystals may be capable of piezoelectricity which could create an electromechanical coupling mechanism to external electromagnetic fields. "These crystals could be responsible for an electromechanical biological transduction mechanism in the pineal gland, due to their structure and piezoelectric properties." http://www.ursi.org/Proceedings/ProcGA0 ... /p2236.pdf
"The pineal gland converts the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin and, in turn, melatonin." http://www.healingtherapies.info/PinealGland1.htm
The melatonin release is closely correlated to our sleep-wake cycle - influenced by light. Decreased melatonin levels in patients is linked to disorders such as schizophrenia and epilepsy. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 540.x/full

But, I'm with Al Hakim. If we are meant to understand energy, and until we do, anecdote and conjecture are fine with me. I think biology is a science that's lost its way right now, and will remain so until physicists rescue it.
'Would to God that all the Lord's people were prophets' Numbers 11:29


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