Reference > Praying Doesn't Help
Description :: Does prayer have a statistically verifiable result?
Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina have run a study to see if praying for sick people makes any difference. Apparently it doesn't. 'Before their operations, they were randomly split into two groups, and half were prayed for by Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Muslims. However, checks revealed they had fared no better than those not prayed for.'

There have been quite a few such studies over the years, with different results. Aside from the article from Duke itself, I think it's important to read through comments posted to this discussion. Can we control god through his obligation to answer prayers? Will god refuse to answer an honest prayer because he's being watched by scientists? (Several contributors complained that the test was unscientific, as we are instructed not to test god, and that therefore the results would presumably be skewed by god being purposefully contrary.) Is god distinguishable from background statistical noise, or is this a hit-and-miss fallacy (that is, counting the hits and not counting the misses?)

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Owned by Unordained - Created on 11/23/2003 - Last edited later the same day
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