Saturday, May 01, 2010

Solar Activity and Human Behavior: a link?

In response to an earlier post I did about Solar Flares and GPS disruption, someone commented about the affects that solar activity can have on human behavior.

Having read more about it since then, it seems that there are some interesting correlations. Here are some links I found on the subject:

Sunspots and Human Behavior
This article was published in the year 2000, just after the last Solar Maximum:
The recent Solar Maximum gives us a wonderful opportunity to observe the Sun in action. Borderland Sciences has been investigating the relationship of the Sun and human behaviour for many years, and we are quite confident that we can predict behaviours based on sunspot fluctuations over very short and long durations within the Solar Cycle of 11 years. Historically, research has been conducted to link the 11 year cycle of the sun to changes in human behavior and society. The most famous research had been done by professor A.L. Tchijevsky, a Russian scientist, who presented a paper to the American Meteorological Society at Philadelphia in the late 19th century. He prepared a study of the history of mass human movement compared to the solar cycle, beginning with the division of the Solar cycle into four parts: 1) Minimum sunspot activity; 2) increasing sunspot activity; 3) maximum sunspot activity; 4) Decreasing sunspot activity. He then divided up the agitation of mass human movements into five phases:

1) provoking influence of leaders upon masses

2) the “exciting” effect of emphasized ideas upon the masses

3) the velocity of incitability due to the presence of a single psychic center

4) the extensive areas covered by mass movements

5) Integration and individualization of the masses

By these comparisons he constructed an “Index of Mass Human Excitability” covering each year from 500 B.C. to 1922 A.D. He investigated the histories of 72 countries in that period, noting signs of human unrest such as wars, revolutions, riots, expeditions and migrations, plus the number of humans involved. Tchijevsky found that fully 80% of the most significant events occurred during the years of maximum sunspot activity. He maintained that the “exciting” period may be explained by an acute change in the nervous and psychic character of humanity, which takes place at sunspot maxima.

Tchijevsky discovered that the solar minimum is the lag period when repression is tolerated by the masses, as if they lacked the vital energy to make the needed changes. He found that during the sunspot maximum, the movement of humans is also at its peak. Tchijevsky’s study is the foundation of sunspot theory on human behavior, and as Harlan True Stetson, in his book Sunspots and Their Effects (available from BSRF), stated, “Until, however, someone can arrive at a more convincing excitability quotient for mass movements than professor Tchijevsky appears yet to have done, scientists will be reluctant to subscribe to all the conclusions which he sets forth.” Stetson did acknowledge that the mechanism by which ultraviolet radiation is absorbed was still a puzzle biologists had to solve. [...]

It's interesting, but I want more proof. Which leads to the next website, which goes into specific examples:

The Evidence: Historical Events During Sunspot Cycle Heights (1750-2000)

1905-08 German miners, Hottentots, Turks, Indians, Honduras, Russians revolt

1916-18 World War I, Irish and Indian revolts, Russian Revolution

1927-31 Mussolini and Hitler build power on economic unrest; revolts in Vienna, China; formation of Red Army; Spanish Republic formed; mass civil disobedience in India

1937-40 US steel strike, Spanish Civil War, Germany and Japan start World War II, mass civil disobedience in India

1947-51 Greek Civil War, First Israeli-Arab War, Indian-Pakistani riots, Red Army conquers China, Vietnam revolts, Korean War

1957-60 Israel invades Sinai, Hungarian uprising, Cuban revolution, civil rights movement in US, French-Algerian war, MauMau revolt, Iraq revolt, numerous African nations gain independence [...]

The website is maintained by Carol Moore, who gives many more examples like this, with graphs, which appear to support professor A.L. Tchijevsky's research and theory. She gives examples from 1770 up until 2009. Also on her site:

A. L. Tchijevsky’s Theory of Sunspot Activity and Human Activity
[...] Tchijevsky did not believe solar disturbances caused discontent as much as they acted as detonators that set off the smoldering discontent of the masses--discontent often channeled into war by their rulers. Nor did he deny that even during minimum solar activity some people would rebel against intolerable conditions or that nations would seek advantage through war and conquest. Some have since noted that the number of sunspots during any period may not be as significant as whether there is a rapid increase in the numbers, triggering unexpected passions. [...]

Ms. Moore has a lot more on her site. If the subject interests you, be sure to visit her webpage, she has a lot of source material for you to consider.

So the correlations make the theory more interesting, but what do we actually know, scientifically, about the affects of the sun's magnetic field on human beings? This site looks into that question:

Could Cycles of War or Peace Be Tied to Cycles of the Sun?
[...] Like weather patterns found on Earth, solar wind patterns can change rapidly. Luckily, our planet's magnetosphere quickly responds to the threat and absorbs the impact, wiggling and jiggling in the process. Geophysicists call this reaction a geomagnetic storm, but because of how it disrupts the Earth's magnetic field, it could also be called electromagnetic pollution.

These storms, although minute, affect brain waves and hormone levels, causing a number of different reactions, predominately in males. While a few women may also experience changes during these storms, they generally seem less affected by the Sun's behavior.


Reacting to changing hormone levels, some men may become increasingly irritable and aggressive, while others may instead become more creative. An increase in solar activity is found to increase psychotic episodes in individuals who already suffer from unstable psychological states. While we might relate such behavior to a full moon, in 1963, Dr. Robert Becker and his colleague, Dr. Freedman, demonstrated that solar changes also lead to a noticeable increase in psychotic activity.

Yet these reactions are not simply isolated to a few particularly sensitive or unlucky individuals. Evidence indicates that wars and international conflicts most often break out when sunspots are rapidly forming or rapidly decaying, as these are times when there are more intense geomagnetic storms. [...]

So do I believe it? I don't know. I can't verify all these claims. And I would like to see it investigated with a more solidly scientific method. But how does one "prove" that 80% concurrence of wars and solar storms is not a random coincidence? I'm not discounting it as a theory, but I think as a theory it has yet to be proven. For me it remains... interesting!


Anonymous said...

A great blog post.

Since 2008 i have had inexplicable anxiety attacks, tremors in the body and a new appreciation of nature in general that i never had before. I originally linked it to geopathic stress, which is of course triggered by the suns activity affecting the earth.

I think the maya were trying to say, 'hey, on 2012, there will be leap forward in consciousness for humanity' and i think the sun, as a consciousness will influence our consciousness to develop and grow, like anything else in the universe. Wars and revolutions are ultimately purges, which enable new growth to take place. WW2, terrible though it was, enabled population growth, new technology, cultural development as a result of the new system that came out of it.

I think we will see a move towards more sustainable methods of living on the planet that are healthy and joyous.

CarolMooreReport said...

Glad to see some people coming to an understanding of this phenomena. Having been aware of it since the mid 1970s and been a political activists in now the fourth cycle maximum since then, I can testify that there is a great difference in activity between solar minimums and solar maximums. I am updating my site right now since it is missing so much new material; and some older material as well. We are going to live in interesting times!

Chas said...

This is a fascinating topic. Thanks for posting Carol, I look forward to reading the updates on your website. It's definitely a subject I'll be following closely as this solar maximum continues.