In a study to be released on Tuesday, Aug. 22, and simultaneously published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Harvard Institute on Human Sexuality will report that children conceived during the maximum point in a total solar eclipse are seven times more likely to have an I.Q. of 140 or higher than other children of the same age.
The study offered no explanation for the phenomenon. However, anonymous sources connected with the study speculated that people of higher intelligence tend to stay inside during an eclipse because it is impossible to engage in their favorite outdoor tasks such as gardening because of the darkness. "Watching an eclipse appeals to those of lesser intelligence, who are amazed by matters they don't understand," one source said.
The study's release was delayed at the request of a variety of businesses counting on the money to be made from the massive migration of people to the areas where the total solar eclipse will be at its peak. Timing of the release was also affected by fear expressed by population control agencies who anticipated an enormous increase in the birth rate next spring if the study was published sooner.
Ralph E. Shaffer is professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly Pomona