The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'prayer'
A recent study into the healing power of prayer (conducted in the US, where such things are an important issue to enough people to justify such studies) has found, surprisingly enough, that praying for someone doesn't appear to help them recover. Even more strangely, of the 1,802 patients in the study, those who were prayed for did slightly worse than those who weren't:
Among the first group -- who were prayed for but only told they might be -- 52 percent had post-surgical complications compared to 51 percent in the second group, the ones who were not prayed for though told they might be. In the third group, who knew they were being prayed for, 59 percent had complications.
"Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on whether complications occurred (and) patients who were certain that intercessors would pray for them had a higher rate of complications than patients who were uncertain but did receive intercessory prayer," the study said.
There is "no clear explanation" for the latter finding, it added.The moral of this story is: if someone you care about is fighting for their life, for God's sake, don't pray for them. Or perhaps it isn't.
You've probably read about the scientific studies proving that praying or being prayed for is beneficial to one's health. According to skeptic Michael Shermer, these studies are deeply flawed, suffering from faults such as failure to eliminate other factors (such as socioeconomic status, lifestyle differences, and people in poor health being less likely to attend church). There's also the small matter of one of the authors of one study being a fraudster. (via FmH)
A lot of stuff is being outsourced to India these days; call centre work, programming jobs, Catholic prayers...