Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thou shalt not test the Lord thy God...really...I mean test.

So I read this article (link).


Does praying for a sick person's recovery do any good?

In the largest scientific test of its kind, heart surgery patients showed no benefit when strangers prayed for their recovery.

And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications. Doctors could only guess why.


Let me say this, I do not believe that God said, "I'll mess with the people testing me." But I find the whole study screwy. And I'm not the only one:

Several scientists questioned the concept of the study.

Science "is not designed to study the supernatural," said Dr. Harold G. Koenig, director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at the Duke University Medical Center.

The researchers emphasized that their $2.4 million study could not address whether God exists or answers prayers made on another's behalf. The study could look only for an effect from the specific prayers offered as part of the research, they said.



2.4 Million dollars. Ok...so the people who were not being prayed for. You at least made sure no one was praying for them...right:


The researchers didn't ask patients or their families and friends to alter any plans they had for prayer, saying such a step would have been unethical and impractical.

I agree there. But these results are shocking, according to experts...right?


Koenig, of Duke University Medical Center, who didn't take part in the study, said the results didn't surprise him.

"There are no scientific grounds to expect a result and there are no real theological grounds to expect a result either," he said. "There is no god in either the Christian, Jewish or Moslem scriptures that can be constrained to the point that they can be predicted."

Well, they did learn something for 2.4 million dollars right:

The study "did not move us forward or backward" in understanding the effects of prayer, said Dr. Charles Bethea, a co-author and cardiologist at the Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. "Intercessory prayer under our restricted format had a neutral effect."

ok So the final verdict of the people in charge:


"Do we control God through prayer? Theologians would say absolutely not. God decides sometimes to intervene, and sometimes not," he said.

As for the new study, he said, "I don't think ... it's going to stop people praying for the sick."



Oh yes...thousands of years of faith would collapse with a second totally crackpot study that had no constant and three variables. The thing is, I know I'll hear about this from every person who wants to disprove God. Sigh...and all I have to counter with would be something as flimsy as the internationally renowned medical research from Lourdes (link). Or the Miracles of Zietun. Or...wow, actually there are thousands of medically researched miracles over just the past 300 years. Huh...it is almost as if you can not test God. I read that somewhere.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Good post, good response to a stupid study.