Bright Moon on the Rise

Every so often someone trots out various anecdotal and statistical evidence to the effect that lunar phases have some sort of “mysterious” influence on human behavior, with crime rates and emergency room visits demonstrably peaking and sloughing with the waxing and waning of the moon. The obvious connection to the werewolf legend is either expressed or implied, and we’re all led to wonder at the mysterious forces at work in this cosmos which science so vainly strives to illuminate.

Hooey, I say.

1. When the moon is full the night is brighter and people can see better.

2. When people can see better they are more likely to engage in nocturnal mischief.

There’s doubtless a correlation between nighttime military operations and full moons, as well, and yet no one who wanted to be taken seriously would put forward the idea that this correlation is somehow due to some sort of “mysterious influence” of the moon on human behavior. Humbug and phooey.

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