There is already some scientific evidence of the influence of the planets on human behavior and events on earth
I AM not a firm believer in astrology as a determinant of human behavior and destiny, and I certainly agree with Shakespeare when he said in ?Julius Caesar,? ?It is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings.?

But astrology cannot be dismissed lightly, not only because of its millions of followers around the world, but also because of some scientific evidence showing the influence of the planets on human behavior and events on earth. According to one encyclopedic work on the supernatural, ?Today, some orthodox scientists are coming to share (the astrologers?) point of view. The very people who have long been most skeptical of astrology are now providing evidence to suggest that the ancient art of astrology may be founded on fact.? Here are some of the amazing findings of serious researchers:

1. In 1960, an American scientist, Dr. Leonard Ravitz of Duke University, showed the direct link between human madness and the moon. The term ?lunatic,? in fact, comes from the Latin word ?luna? meaning ?moon.?

Ravitz worked with the mentally ill and a control group of healthy people, and discovered that the body?s electrical potential changed according to the phases of the moon. The most marked changes occurred when the moon was full, and the more disturbed the patient, the greater the extent of the change. Ravitz was therefore able to predict emotional changes in his mental patients, and confirmed that the moon does tend to provoke crises in people who are already mentally unbalanced.

2. The rhythms of the moon also have some effect on human birth. In 1938, a Japanese scientist studied planetary factors in 33,000 live births. He found that high numbers of births occurred during the full and new moons, and low numbers?one or two?before the moon?s first and last quarters. In 1967, an American gynecologist confirmed these findings from a study of no less than 500,000 births.

3. A woman?s menstrual cycle, with its average duration of 28 days?the length of time between two full moons?follows the moon?s rhythm. At the beginning of the century, Swiss chemist Svante Arrhenius studied 11,000 women and found that the onset of menstruation reached a peak during the new moon. In the 1960s, two German scientists who kept a record of the onset of menstruation of 10,000 women over a 16-year period came to the same conclusion.

4. Bleeding crises following surgical operations were also found to occur between the moon?s first and third quarters.

5. Biological clocks, also known as circadian rhythms, exhibited by all life forms, appear to follow certain movements of the planets, according to Dr. Frank A. Brown, professor of biology at Northwestern University. Over a 16-year period, Brown and his associates ran experiments on the movements of bean plants in the night, the behavior of caged rats, the sleep pattern of flies, the opening and closing of oysters? shells, and changes in the color of fiddler crabs.

The researchers discovered that all these phenomena followed not some internal clock, as previously believed, but cosmic influences, notably those of the sun and the moon. For example, rats living under controlled conditions in darkened cages were found to be twice as active when the moon was above the horizon than when below it.

Equally surprising was the behavior of oysters. When they are in their natural habitat, oysters open and close their shells according to the rhythms of the tides. At high tide, they open their shells to feed, and at low tide they close them as a protection against dying out. While the tides are, of course, produced by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun, it had always been assumed that the movement of the tides alone caused the opening and closing of the oyster shells. No one had ever thought that the oysters may be responding directly to the moon and the sun. Yet, Brown discovered, by transferring the oysters a thousand miles away from their natural habitat, that they were apparently doing just that.

Many other phenomena on earth have been shown to be directly linked to the position of the planets. Yet, as far as man is concerned, I maintain that astrology is merely an influence on human destiny and not a determinant, for man?s will is forever free and inviolate.

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