>The problem is in the details. The Mars Effect is at best a rather
>tiny deviation in the distribution of the positions of Mars in the sky
>at people's births. The Mars Effect is supposed to work with sports
>champions only. For other eminent professionals similar effects are
The "Mars effect" (=Mars-related deviations of birth frequencies)
has been reported to be present in samples of sports champions,
business executives, military heroes, physicians.
Other planets showing relationships are Jupiter (actors,politicians)
Saturn (scientists), the Moon (writers, politicians).
The above are "positive" frequency deviations. The Gauquelins
reported negative frequency deviations (less births than expected
by chance) for Mars (Musicians, painters,writers), Jupiter (scientists)
Saturn (painters,writers). This sounds confusing. I calculated
a cluster analysis of the entire planetary sector information
provided by 11 different professional samples. The resulting order
does not make only sense but is nearly identical to the cluster
of the professions based on similarity groupings ("free card sorting").
Details on request.
>There have been two more or less independent tests: one Belgian
>(535 subjects) and one American (409 subjects). The Belgian test
>confirmed the Mars Effect, the American test disconfirmed it.
There were three independent tests (new data) conducted by
skeptics groups, the third group was the French CFEPP. Since CFEPP
did not yet report results of data analysis (we have been waiting now
for two years) Arno Mueller and I analysed the data. The Mars
effect hypothesis has been corroborated even though the eminence
of sports people in the CFEPP sample is appreciably lower than
in the former Gauquelin sample (eminence by citation counts).
>Ertel's contribution is (A) the discovery that among the
>sportsmen (oops, sportspersons) that Gauquelin had in his
>files (but never published about) there was an anti-Mars effect,
>which indicates some kind of bias in Gauquelin's procedure
>and (B) that there was nonetheless a trend that Gauquelin couldn't
>have faked, namely more famous athletes show a clearer Mars effect.
Gauquelin had exempted from analysis and publication
sports people of less renown. The criteria however, were
subjective (he decided after reading competition records
in respective reference books but apparently also AFTER having
obtained birth data and Mars sector position for these people).
Gauquelin gave me this data when I visited him in Paris. I then
did an analysis using Gauauqelin's published as well
as unpublished data. The total sample had been divided into
subsamples of increasing eminence (citation counts). Result:
The Mars percentages increased steadily from the least
eminent to the most eminent subsample. The great majority of the
unpublished data were contained in the subsamples of least success,
so the eminence slope was steeper for the entire sample than for
published data only. The trend upwards was very significant,
the significance of the trend being independent of the level
the entire sample. Interestingly,I found a near-significant
trend upwards even with the U.S. athletes data whose general
Mars level did not show positive deviations.
>I think that Gauquelin
>did something like that, thereby introducing a subtle bias that
>he was unaware of himself. More precisely, I think that Gauquelin
>might have determined the criteria for "championship" AFTER knowing
>the athlete's Mars sectors. Initially he was quite liberal in
>accepting someone as champion (there are hundreds of Italian aviators
>in his files), but gradually tightened the conditions: after the U.S.
>test he complained that only Olympic Gold Medal winners were good
>enough. Others have turned this complaint into a suspicion that
>the U.S. Skeptics are actually a kind of crypto-neo-astrologers,
>because they ruined the test on purpose by slipping in semi-cripples
>like mere Silver Medal winners (I hope you understand that I am
>exaggerating a little here).
When Kurtz et al. had published their negative U.S. result (i.e., no
Mars effect) Gauquelin travelled to California in order to collect birth data
of U.S. athletes on his own. I compared the Kurtz and Gauquelin
U.S. samples using citation counts (18 reference sources). I found
a remarkable difference between the two samples, Gauquelin's athletes
having much more citations than Kurtz' athletes.
>One development has been that Ertel and Mueller have found that
>among the extremely famous (sportsmen and otherwise) there is
>also a kind of anti-Mars effect.
This is more complicated. It sounds as if these studies will
produce one contradictory result after another.
There are puzzling results (see my article in Skeptical Inquirer,
Winter 1992). But I can't help. The Gauquelin planetary effects
is one of the most solid findings in the field of anomalistics.
A comment to R. Nelson's "claims of the enthousiasts". You need
not be enthousiastic about making such a claim. If the evidence
is convincing you must yield to it, perhaps grudgingly, your
affective response doesn't matter.
A comment to Mc Grath's "triviality of the Mar's effect" (is
this misspelling intentional?): Opinions about the possible
importance about the Mars effect differ among skeptics.
CSICOP astronomer George Abell said:" The Mars effect, to be real,
would require new physics beyond anything that science can at
present understand...It would be a very interesting challenge
to find positive evidence that such a surprising effect was real."
He also said: "To be sure, a lack of an explanation for a phenomenon
is not in itself a sufficient reason to reject it; but it is reason
for checking it out with great care."
Institut fuer Psychologie