Thursday, March 30, 2006

Science Meets Religion: The follow up

An update: Perhaps not coincidentally, moments after I got the press release I mentioned in my previous post, I got a second press release announcing the results of a multi-institutional study (of more than 1800 heart bypass patients), which failed to prove that prayers have healing power. A group of Catholics and Protestants did the study's praying -- they received the names of patients, and specific prayers to say for them immediately before surgery and for two weeks post-op.

In contrast to Sauvage's study, this study was "never intended to address the existence of God or the presence or absence of intelligent design in the universe." They were simply looking at the healing power of prayer (though, as they pointed out, it is difficult to distinguish "study prayer" from the "background prayer" of family and friends). As reported by Reuters, the results were perplexing: "some of the patients who knew they were being prayed for did worse than others who were only told they might be prayed for -- though those who did the study said they could not explain why."

Surely Sauvage knows why ... they should text him and ask.

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