From Abracadabra to Zombies
reader comments: Eugen Jonas Method® - Natural Conception Control™
11 May 2002
The Jonas theory has worked for me. I have found that I can conceive instantly on my lunar phase even if it is only a few days before a period is due and so far I have six kids 3 boys and 3 girls all selected using the positive negative system each time.
reply: I can't think of a better testimonial for the Jonas method than yours. May I suggest, however, that you have done your part for Dr. Jonas and need not continue to conceive instantly to prove your point. We will take your word for it that you are part of a rare breed that can conceive instantly on your lunar phase. We will not ask that you try to conceive instantly at other times, as a check against this being a fluke. We are willing to grant your point as long as you agree not to have any more kids.
I have also helped other people who have been desperate to have a choice in the gender of their child. one Arabic friend was on the verge of marriage breakdown after having five daughters. Using the system, I gave her the dates for a boy. She used the first date, conceived instantly and now she has a son. I also helped a woman trying to have a child for ten years. I discovered that her lunar phase rendered her infertile most days of the year and, when I compared notes with her, found that she was menstruating on the days corresponding with her lunar phase. After she had intercourse on a lunar day that was during menstruation, she became pregnant.
reply: How kind of you to spread the wealth and help others have six children! You are a true benefactor of humankind. However, I think a more humane approach might have been to advise your first friend that daughters are wonderful and that she might praise Allah for giving her five of them rather than despair over the lack of a son (may he turn out to be a good human being).
Seriously, it may well be that for ten years your friend was avoiding intercourse on the very days she was fertile. It is a myth that women can't become pregnant during menstruation. Some do. This has nothing to do with lunar cycles, however.
I think it is wrong to smash an idea that has a positive potential purely because it does not have the scientific backup that a skeptic requires. Many of the greatest discoveries in science were attacked by skeptics before they were later accepted.
reply: True, and many more crackpot ideas that went nowhere were also attacked by skeptics.
Many great people were killed and destroyed by ignorant sceptics.
reply: Really? You should be more specific when making such claims.
There are so many brilliant ideas constrained by skeptics that the world has lost so many possibilities. Why don't you research it properly, talk to the people involved, research thousands of cases. This is a science that you can work backwards calculating dates of babies that have already been born with their mothers' lunar dates. You might find some very interesting patterns emerging. Don't put so much energy destroying other people's inventions. Use your energy to explore the possibilities. We need a diverse pool of knowledge to go forward. Lateral ideas are the only ones that are going to help us as we progress into the future.- yours sincerely.
reply: The studies have been done and nothing was found to support Dr. Jonas's theory of lunar astrology and fertility. But anecdotes like yours are very persuasive, until one stops and thinks critically about the data. (1) Since the lunar cycle repeats itself every 29.53 days and one can divide up the cycle into four phases or more, the odds are great that many women will conceive on some preconceived day that has lunar significance. (2) While you can know the moment of birth, more or less, you are always guessing when you assert the time of the exact moment of conception. (3) Women's fertility cycles are not all the same and unusual things, like getting pregnant during a menstrual period, do not require something extraordinary (like lunar astrology) to explain them. (4) Anecdotes are not proof of a theory, and it is not the duty of critics to do the research. That is the duty of the one proposing the theory. It is irrational to reject science and yet expect scientists to do your work for you. (5) One problem with anecdotes is that the hits are counted and the misses are ignored. Confirmation bias is a problem even under the best of circumstances, but when on is collecting anecdotes to prove one's theory the result will usually be conviction without justification.
21 Oct 1999
I was amazed to read about Dr Jonas' 'money-back guarantee' on determining the sex of your children before conception. Just such a scheme was proposed (as a thought experiment only) by Richard Dawkins in his latest work 'Unweaving the Rainbow'. As you correctly noted, Dr Jonas will make a tidy sum from the number of 'hits' he gets from satisfied customers, and lose nothing with his 'misses'.
Dawkins' scheme goes further and actually proposes that unsatisfied customers get 150% money-back. Based on a 50/50 distribution of 'hits' and 'misses', the provider of this 'sexing' service would still stand to make a tidy profit over the long term.
On reading the book, I was almost tempted to start up just such a service, but I'm afraid to say that I was cursed with such weaknesses as 'integrity' and 'scruples'. Ah well, back to earning an honest crust...
Please keep up your wonderful work - The Skeptic's Dictionary is one
of the most useful resources on the 'net and keeps my critical faculties
ticking over nicely.