Reasons to Believe

Health Impact of Solar Cycle Indicates Divine Design

For thousands of years medical practitioners have speculated that human health may be impacted in some way by astronomical cycles, perhaps by lunar phases. Decades of research failed to show any correlation—at least not with the Moon. However, it now appears that a correlation does exist between health and the Sun.

A recent paper reports on the assessment of voluminous data from two long-term studies. In that data researchers found a small but noticeable connection between human vitality and the sunspot cycle (see figure 1).1 The first of the two data sets included results of nearly 1.2 million consecutive, serially independent Pap smears (taken for screening purposes) from Dutch women between January 1983 and December 2003. The researchers looked for any changes in the markers for infectious, premalignant, and malignant tissue.

The second data set represents the dedication of one healthy biomedical scientist. During the same time period when the Dutch were gathering Pap smear results, this man made and recorded five measurements per day of his body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, and lung capacity.

In the records of the Dutch women, researches noted a slightly deleterious change in the cervical cells a few months after each “solar maximum” (see figure 1).

Credit: Robert A. Rohde/Global Warming Art

Figure 1: Solar Flare and Sunspot Variations During Recent Solar Cycles
The vertical scales for irradiance, solar flaring activity, sunspots, and radio flux have been adjusted and overlaid to permit plotting on the same vertical axis.

The healthy biomedical scientist noted slight elevations in his temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate, plus a minor decrease in his maximum expiratory flow at approximately the same time as the Pap smear changes.

In each case the impact was only slightly deleterious, and to detect it required meticulous, accurate, and comprehensive medical measurements. Just to notice a pattern in their frequency—a pattern that correlates with the sunspot cycle—proved difficult.

From a creation perspective, the researchers’ findings may help explain, in part, the Creator’s timing. As figure 2 illustrates, if we humans had arrived any earlier (or later) in Earth’s history, we would have been exposed to a greater flow of harmful radiation due to greater solar flaring activity. In the present era, humanity faces a minimal, barely discernible health risk, while at any other time those risks would be significantly greater.

Figure 2: Flaring Activity Levels Throughout the Sun’s History
Background image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Note that minimum flaring activity occurs halfway through the sun’s hydrogen-fusion burning phase.

The correlation of human health with the sunspot cycle supports the notion that the timing of Adam and Eve’s arrival upon the terrestrial scene was no evolutionary accident. It appears the One who controls the past, present, and future guided the just-right star and shaped a just-right planet for orbit around that star at the just-right distance with the just-right atmosphere at the just-right moment to provide a safe home for humanity.

An expanded version of this article is available here.

1. William J. M. Hrushesky et al., “Sunspot Dynamics Are Reflected in Human Physiology and Pathophysiology,” Astrobiology 11 (March 2011): 93–103.

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.