Negative Results: Average Height, Weight, BMI among Male Pro Soccer Players Do Not Vary by Sun Sign
[Edit: this study was subsequently repeated with NFL player data, and the same negative results held and in the same way.]
It was a topic of conversation: does body mass index (BMI) or even height or weight vary among the sun signs?
Ayurveda would say that they may vary by Ascendant, not particularly the sun sign, but getting good data on the Ascendant is a notable difficulty, because the Ascendant depends on the birth time of day.
Getting tens of thousands of charts with that level of precision is nearly unheard of.
A psychology prof from France named Michel Gauquelin compiled thousands of charts in the 1950's and 1960's that included birth time and hence Ascendant information. I am a little skeptical of the quality of these charts, as many are from the 1800's and more worringly, many use Local Mean Time, which if you back-engineer, describe the birth time as being at 10 am or 11 am on the dot.
So, I feel I can not use Gauquelin's data. I am always on the lookout, then, for credible birth or event data, scouring data science competition sites like Kaggle for the elusive ideal data set.
I came across SoFIFA.com in that way. It gives very good data on the various thousands of professional male soccer players associated with FIFA, including their birth date and height and weight. Birth time and place are not given.
However, if I could just "scrape" that data, that would give me a way to test the conjecture that BMI or even height or weight may vary by sun sign. So, that is what I did.
You can download the scraping program here. It is in Python.
The resulting data file is the following for all the stats of 17,630 pro male soccer players. Someone else may also find fertile ground with all of this data.
My next step was to pull out the heights, weights, and birth dates. I used an astronomy function in Mathematica to compute the Sun's right ascensions for each date at noon in London, U.K. and divy up the right ascensions into arcs of thirty degrees each, where the first arc corresponds to Aries, the second to Taurus, etc.
If the degree of solar right ascension is at a multiple of 30, then that man's Sun sign is too close to a cusp, and so it was discarded. Besides the interpretive difficulty of a cusp, this was done also to acknowledge the ambiguity in birth place and time. That man could have been born anywhere in the world, and so he could have been born with a prior or latter Sun sign then at noon in London, U.K..
Next, the BMI was calculated via the CDC's formula and the results charted:
The pink diamonds allow a kind of visual t-test for the data. If they were to not overlap, then a difference in mean BMI for the two non-overlapping sun signs would be demonstrated.
That is not the case, though. All pink diamonds overlap. An ANOVA was also performed with non-significant results.
The weights alone and heights alone were also treated this way. They also had overlapping and non-significant results.
Moreover, Sidereal placements were similarly calculated with similarly overlapping and non-significant results.
If you would like the Mathematica code used for analysis and charting, here it is.
Finally, just for fun, because the photos were included for the soccer players, I set up a neural net to see: if I fed in the photos, could the computer learn to identify what the sun sign is based on a player's photo. The results were not better than chance or choosing the most common Sun sign of Aquarius for all players.
The code for the neural net is included in the Mathematica notebook immediately above.
Some final thoughts: maybe I am being too stringent in relying on working professional male soccer players, since there is kind of a self-selection for body type. Perhaps American football players will show more difference in body type. The NFL does release their players' stats in a similar fashion.
Second, again, the Sun sign is not particularly identified with body type. Until we can get that elusive data set with birth minutes and birth places, we may be like the drunk looking under the wrong lamp post for his keys, only because the light is better there.
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Renay Oshop - teacher, searcher, researcher, immerser, rejoicer, enjoying the interstices between Twitter, Facebook, and journals.