more on astrology nonsense

yes, astrology is bunk. but, like i was saying a couple of weeks ago (prompted by hail’s musings), there might be a little something to it all, i.e. that das folk happened to notice that people born during different times of the year were, on average, kinda different in their personalities.

here’s the sort of thing i’m thinking of — some research from a couple of years ago:

Season of Birth and Dopamine Receptor Gene Associations with Impulsivity, Sensation Seeking and Reproductive Behaviors

Season of birth (SOB) has been associated with many physiological and psychological traits including novelty seeking and sensation seeking. Similar traits have been associated with genetic polymorphisms in the dopamine system. SOB and dopamine receptor genetic polymorphisms may independently and interactively influence similar behaviors through their common effects on the dopaminergic system….

Winter-born males were more sensation seeking than non-winter born males. In factorial models including both genotype and season of birth as variables, two previously unobserved effects were discovered: (1) a SOB×DRD4 interaction effect on venturesomeness and (2) a DRD2×DRD4 interaction effect on sensation seeking.

“Conclusion

“These results are consistent with past findings that SOB is related to sensation seeking. Additionally, these results provide tentative support for the hypothesis that SOB modifies the behavioral expression of dopaminergic genetic polymorphism. These findings suggest that SOB should be included in future studies of risky behaviors and behavioral genetic studies of the dopamine system.”

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what’s your sign?

a while ago, hail wrote an interesting post about astrology and how there might be a little something to it.

i’ve thought this, too, from time to time — that there might be a kernel truth or “folk wisdom” at the bottom of all the astrology hocus-pocus nonsense. clearly our fates are not written in the stars — and i highly, highly doubt that our personalities are affected by the positions of the planets when we are born (unless there’s some really weird, quantum physics, interconnectedness sh*t going on…).

no. what i think that people over the ages might have noticed is that there are some differences in the frequencies of personality types and|or psychological conditions depending on what time of the year people are born.

for instance: “Studies have indicated that children born during certain times of the year (winter and early spring) have a higher than normal incidence of schizophrenia.”

if das volk happened to notice over the centuries that more joan-of-arc type people were born in late winter, they may have sought an explanation. that they latched on to a wrong one just shows how most people don’t think logically and scientifically — but they may have noticed some genuine patterns out there!

the other interesting astrological system is the chinese one which varies over the course of 12 (or 48) years. i’ve wondered for a long time if this is somehow connected to the length of generations in humans (especially if women in a society start giving birth at around the age of 12) — each generation following the next behaving somewhat differently from its predecessor. ?? dunno. just wondering.

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