Of Slight Increases and Solar Eclipses




Assume nine months of data have been collected, instead of only three.  Schank writes:  “Arden and Dye (1998) noticed this pattern [of increasing asynchrony] in the Bedouin family study and argued that it may be due to cycle variability.”


If the pattern of slight, but increasing asynchrony continued for the entire nine months of a study, would this warrant further investigation?  How would you determine whether cycle variability was the cause of the asynchronous trend, and/or other factors?


Consider the following description of how general relativity theory received confirmation (from www.levity.com/mavericks/general.htm):


“General relativity theory…predicts that the world line of a ray of light will be curved in the immediate vicinity of a massive object such as the sun.  To verify this prediction, scientists first chose to observe a star appearing very close to the edge of the sun.  Such observations cannot normally be made, because the brightness of the sun obscures a nearby star.  During a total eclipse, however, stars can be observed and their positions accurately measured even when they appear quite close to the edge of the sun.  Expeditions were sent out to observe the eclipses of 1919 and 1922 and made such observations.  The apparent positions of the stars were then compared with their apparent positions some months later, when they appeared at night far from the sun.  Einstein predicted an apparent shift in position of 1.745 seconds of arc for a star at the very edge of the sun, with progressively smaller shifts for more distant stars.  The expeditions that were sent to study the eclipses verified these predictions.  In recent years, comparable tests were made of radio-wave deflections from distant quasars, using radio-telescope inteferometers.  The tests yielded results that agreed, to within 1 percent, with the values predicted by general relativity.”


“1.745 seconds of arc for a star at the very edge of the sun” – doesn’t sound like it’s that big of a deal – yet this value confirmed the general theory of relativity.  Question:  In the context of the two theories (relativity and synchrony), which is proportionately larger:  “1.745 seconds of arc” or “1.16 days” (this being the total increase in asynchrony for “roommate-sisters” over the three months of the Bedouin families study).


Click here to go the final point of contention addressed in this MOLTXIBIT (but not the final point of contention between menstrual synchrony experts, by any means!)


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