From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Thu 02 Feb 2006 - 13:29:50 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "re: new review of memetics/sociobiology/EP"

    Hiya. Here's a fairly standard thing that I don't have time to research. It has long been my supposition from observing other parents' offsprings' birthdays that most people conceive in winter and have kids the following autumn. This mini study backs that up as I'm sure other stuff does:

    So #1, my background 'control' question; in the tropics is there an effect (I'd hope not)?

    And #2, the really interesting one; what about Australia/S.Africa/NZ? To what extent does the demonstrable cultural synchronisation with the northern climate survive the move; does the environment (seasons reversed) have an immediate and total impact? What was the delay from first colonisation to shift in the peak month for births? An immediate effect would seem likely.

    Factoring in the analysis from the tropics [most likely a flat distribution..?] for say Darwin one might expect less overall effect, maybe more persistence of the old synchrony with boreal seaonality. Whereas Hobart would provide a real driver for the shift to the opposite cycle as they have proper winters.

    Given that the 'meme' to pass the time by doing something fun with a close one appears as a result of spending lots of time inside and bored rather than there being some sort of obviously marked tradition of conception ("Son/daughter, if you're gonna do it, be a good boy/girl and do it in winter to make your mother and me proud", or God said to X, "Liest though with thy woman when the snow lieth thickest on the ground", which puzzled X some as it didn't really snow so much in Judea...[issue]).

    The real _killer_ would be if there was still a peak in August-October in the temperate/subarctic southern hemisphere. Ignoring Lupercales (a Roman fertility fest* in Feb that was transformed into Valentine's day, both licencing a lot of shagging basically) there is little in the way of a tradition of conceiving in late winter, so how hidden would this hand have to be..?

    Cheers, Chris.

    * Something to do with a she-goat(!), some Clintonesque sex and Romulus and Remus...


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