By: David Rice To: Jesse Hornbacher Re: Prayer +gt;MG+gt; Prayer is worse than useless. It

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By: David Rice To: Jesse Hornbacher Re: Prayer >MG> Prayer is worse than useless. It is a waste of time. JH> Not only are you insensitive, you are ignorant. Prayer has JH> been more SCIENTIFICLY proven than evolution. Science doesn't do proof, silly. JH> This (the effectiveness of prayer) was reported in the New JH> York Times, among others. It was found that distance made no JH> difference and that general prayers were more effective than JH> specific requests. Specific religions were not found to make JH> a difference. This was a double-blind study with all of the JH> proper methods used. Think about it. Funnny how you don't offer ANY valid references. As usual, what we find in reality is drastically different than what Fundy Christians wish to make us believe. From Bay Area Skeptics Information Sheet Vol. 8, No. 7 The report, "Positive Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer [IP] in a Coronary Care Unit Population," was published in updated version in the "Southern Medical Journal", vol. 81, No. 7, July 1988. The author and researcher, Dr. Randolph Byrd, MD (himself a fundamentalist Christian), conducted his study at San Francisco General Medical Center in the coronary care unit over a period of 10 months (from August 1982 to May 1983). The study drew 393 patients, 192 in the study group and 201 in the control group. The conclusions of this work apparently stirred national attention and were mentioned on Paul Harvey's broadcast. During the ten-month period, Dr. Byrd requested all patients in the CCU to participate in the study, a total of 450. Fifty-seven (14.5%) declined for various reasons. Those who agreed to take part were told the nature and purpose of the study, and they signed mandatory informed consent agreements. A random generator then assigned each patient to either the study group (those for whom IP was to be offered in addition to regular procedures) or to the control group (those receiving only "traditional" therapies), and both the medical staff and patients were blinded as to the membership of each group. Finally, Byrd chose "intercessors" on the following basis: They were "born-again Christians (according to the Gospel of John 3:3) with an active Christian life. . . ." These intercessors were then randomly assigned a patient in the study group for whom they were to pray daily, outside the hospital, until the patient was discharged. [Large cut by me, David Rice, concerning the selection of the Real True Christians, and not Reprobate False Little christian (small "c") Scum, to do all the praying. Also cut is a pontification on why god would not heal the poor bastards who were randomly selected to NOT receive intercessory prayer.] Byrd failed to set up proper controls to counter the Placebo Effect. Of 26 different heart problems, only six types showed better than control group improvement: while significant to the oh-five level, these numbers are well within study count fluctuations (i.e. more studies will yield different results). BASIS also notes that several other studies HAVE been done. The bottom line is this: individuals who were told they were being prayed for did better than individuals who were told they were not being prayed for---- REGARDLESS OF IF THEY WERE BEING PRAYED FOR OR NOT. In other words, individuals who were told they were being prayed for but WERE NOT and individuals who were told they were being prayed for AND WERE, did better than individuals who were prayed for and NOT TOLD and individuals who were not prayed for and were not told. The study produced evidence that the BELIEF in prayer is benefitial to heart patients, and the actual prayer IS NOT. One may tell people they are being prayed at, and then not do so, and they will show improvement over a control group. When Christians claim a study demonstrated that prayer has been scientifically demonstrated to be benefitial to heart patients, they are either commiting a lie, are ignorant of the facts, or do not understand how a proper study is performed. Amen!

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