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Prayer, healing and science?

Leukemia and blood cancer discussion.

Prayer, healing and science?

Postby pablo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:47 am

I have seen a few post claiming that prayer has been scientifically proven to heal and that religious people live longer, healthier lives. I have never seen any references to back of these claims.

To quote from http://www.skepdic.com/essays/healingprayer1.html
"studies shares much in common with the history of the PK studies. Many studies are too small to justify drawing conclusions from them; many are poorly designed or controlled; statistical formulas are misused; data have been massaged after the studies are completed; some of the studies have looked for correlations of prayer to so many factors that it was inevitable that they would find some statistically significant relations in their data just by chance"
and
"(1.) Francis Galton’s 1872 article “Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer.” Galton looked at the effects of prayer in the clergy on British sovereigns and found no salutary effects. He chose this subject because the Anglican clergy pray for their sovereigns on a daily basis. Unfortunately, Galton found: “The sovereigns are literally the shortest lived of all who have the advantage of affluence. The prayer has therefore no efficacy, unless the very questionable hypothesis be raised, that the conditions of royal life may naturally be yet more fatal, and that their influence is partly, though incompletely, neutralised by the effects of public prayers.” (2.) In C. R. Joyce and R. M. Welldon’s 1965 study of rheumatics, the prayer group fared better in the first half, "but in the second half the control group did better" ("The efficacy of prayer: A double-blind clinical trial," Journal of Chronic Disease, 18:367-377, 1965). (3.) And in 1969, P. J. Collipp's findings regarding prayer and leukemia "did not reach significance" ("The efficacy of prayer: A triple blind study," Medical Times, 97:201-204, 1969)"

Do you have any references for articles that have been published in reputable (peer reviewed) journals etc?
pablo
 
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Prayer, healing and science?

Postby graent » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:53 am

I have seen a few post claiming that prayer has been scientifically proven to heal and that religious people live longer, healthier lives. I have never seen any references to back of these claims.

To quote from http://www.skepdic.com/essays/healingprayer1.html
"studies shares much in common with the history of the PK studies. Many studies are too small to justify drawing conclusions from them; many are poorly designed or controlled; statistical formulas are misused; data have been massaged after the studies are completed; some of the studies have looked for correlations of prayer to so many factors that it was inevitable that they would find some statistically significant relations in their data just by chance"
and
"(1.) Francis Galton’s 1872 article “Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer.” Galton looked at the effects of prayer in the clergy on British sovereigns and found no salutary effects. He chose this subject because the Anglican clergy pray for their sovereigns on a daily basis. Unfortunately, Galton found: “The sovereigns are literally the shortest lived of all who have the advantage of affluence. The prayer has therefore no efficacy, unless the very questionable hypothesis be raised, that the conditions of royal life may naturally be yet more fatal, and that their influence is partly, though incompletely, neutralised by the effects of public prayers.” (2.) In C. R. Joyce and R. M. Welldon’s 1965 study of rheumatics, the prayer group fared better in the first half, "but in the second half the control group did better" ("The efficacy of prayer: A double-blind clinical trial," Journal of Chronic Disease, 18:367-377, 1965). (3.) And in 1969, P. J. Collipp's findings regarding prayer and leukemia "did not reach significance" ("The efficacy of prayer: A triple blind study," Medical Times, 97:201-204, 1969)"

Do you have any references for articles that have been published in reputable (peer reviewed) journals etc?
No, they do not. The Harvard and Mayo Clinic studies proved that prayer has no effect on survival rates or healing speed, and in fact that those who were prayed for but were UNAWARE of it (i.e. unable to be subject to the Placebo Effect) actually did WORSE than the control group.

http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=no-prayer-prescription
graent
 
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Prayer, healing and science?

Postby yasuo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:01 am

Basically, prayer and healing are completely unrelated subjects. Prayer is the pseudo-science of talking the God/Jesus. Healing is the biological process of getting well. The two cannot and do not relate.
yasuo
 
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Prayer, healing and science?

Postby treffen » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:04 am

interesting question...
treffen
 
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