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#14380 - 04/03/06 06:55 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Justine wrote:
"The conclusions of this study shook me up a little over the weekend because I had heard there were studies that proved the opposite. I've been trying to find some studies to compare through google, but seems like so many sites want me to order a book or order an ebook to get a look at anything."

You are correct. Earlier studies had a different result. The problem though was that the earlier studies were put together rather shabbily. This is the first such study, of which I am aware, that was more rigorous in its design.

The other thing about this study that I am sure you noticed was the those that put together the study were, if anything, personally expecting a very different result.

I believe the journal article has references to the earlier studies.
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DA Morgan

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#14381 - 04/03/06 08:01 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Easy Life Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Glasgow - Scotland
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Easy Life wrote:
"As scripture says 'Do not test the Lord your God'"

When my wife was dying from cancer members of her family and church prayed for her.

In retrospect, looking at your statement, it appears god ignored their prayers as it was obviously just a well disguised test.

She recovers ... one result.
She dies ... the other.

Now if I had just know this a decade ago I could have saved her life by forbidding her family to pray.

Has it occurred to you that the reason some unknown writer put that into the text was precisely because he knew WHY nothing would happen?
-------------------------------------------------

So you now show your distinct lack of knowledge of how scripture came to us. No doubt you think you can add Bible Scholar to your list of extensive areas of expertise. And once again you use subterfuge to wriggle out of an argument.

1. This experiment is not science.
2. God is not a constant that can be experimented upon. He simply cannot be predicted and neatly boxed up. How laughable is your presumption?
3. You would not accept a study that went the other way.

As I said, the last opens you to the charge of hypocrit, for instance just googled a few...

http://www.plim.org/PrayerDeb.htm
http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/religionhealth.html
http://altmed.creighton.edu/prayer/Scientific%20Review.htm

From last...(Then, in 1988, Byrd published a famous, randomized, controlled, double-blind trial of intercessory prayer conducted on patients in the coronary care unit at San Francisco General Hospital. He took volunteer patients between August 1982 and May 1983 (393 total patients) and randomly divided them into two groups - a prayed for group and a not prayed for group. Each patient being prayed for had a group of three to seven intercessors praying for them daily. The intercessors were chosen based on being ?born again Christians? who were already practicing an active Christian life with daily devotional prayer and active participation at a local church. The intercessors were all told to pray for rapid recovery, prevention of complications and death, and any other prayers they believed would be beneficial. The hospital staff, doctors, patients and Byrd, did not know which patients were being prayed for in the study. The results showed that there was no difference between the two groups in the length of stay in the hospital, in the mortality rate (death rate), or in the number of medications prescribed upon leaving the hospital. However, he found that the prayed for group had significantly less congestive heart failure, fewer cardiac arrests, less pneumonia, less use of diuretics and antibiotics, and less need for intubation and mechanical ventilation than the not prayed for group. As another way to measure outcomes, Byrd developed a scoring system that would rate a patient?s hospital course as good intermediate or bad based on adverse events that occurred during the hospital stay. The results showed 85% of the prayer group had a rating of good versus 73% in the not prayed for group. An intermediate rating was given to 1% of the prayer group and 5% of the no prayer group and a bad rating was given to 14% of the prayer group and 22% of the not prayed for group. Byrd concluded from these results that ?intercessory prayer to a Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a coronary care unit?.)

But I wouldn't try to prove anything from this study. Science cannot get at it.

Aye, Easy.

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#14382 - 04/03/06 10:45 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Easy life wrote:
"
1. This experiment is not science.
2. God is not a constant that can be experimented upon. He simply cannot be predicted and neatly boxed up. How laughable is your presumption?

What is the basis for either of these statements?

Did you read the original research paper? What is your source of information on whether god is a constant? You made the comments ... back them up with something other than hyperbole.

Love your links though. Two of sites with zero credibility and the third, Creighton University, is not bad given that it is a Jesuit School but did you happen to review the page you linked?

An 1872 medical study? You've got to be awfully desparate to have to cite a study that is 134 years old. But then I guess if it doesn't conflict with the official church doctrine it is fine.

This is, you recall, the same church that determined that the Capybara, a rodent, was a fish.

"When Spanish missionaries first found Capybaras in Brazil during the 16th century, they wrote to the Pope for guidance, saying "there is an animal here that is scaly but also hairy, and spends time in the water (the capybara has webbed feet to facilitate its aquatic habit) but occasionally comes on land; can we classify it as a fish?" The question was significant, as the Catholic faith forbids eating meat during Lent. Having a second hand description of the animal (and not wanting the petitioners to turn away from Catholicism), the Pope agreed and declared the Capybara a fish."

Source:
http://www.mirabilis.ca/archives/001155.html
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14383 - 04/03/06 11:28 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Easy Life Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Glasgow - Scotland
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Easy life wrote:
"
1. This experiment is not science.
2. God is not a constant that can be experimented upon. He simply cannot be predicted and neatly boxed up. How laughable is your presumption?

What is the basis for either of these statements?

Did you read the original research paper? What is your source of information on whether god is a constant? You made the comments ... back them up with something other than hyperbole.

Love your links though. Two of sites with zero credibility and the third, Creighton University, is not bad given that it is a Jesuit School but did you happen to review the page you linked?

An 1872 medical study? You've got to be awfully desparate to have to cite a study that is 134 years old. But then I guess if it doesn't conflict with the official church doctrine it is fine.

This is, you recall, the same church that determined that the Capybara, a rodent, was a fish.

"When Spanish missionaries first found Capybaras in Brazil during the 16th century, they wrote to the Pope for guidance, saying "there is an animal here that is scaly but also hairy, and spends time in the water (the capybara has webbed feet to facilitate its aquatic habit) but occasionally comes on land; can we classify it as a fish?" The question was significant, as the Catholic faith forbids eating meat during Lent. Having a second hand description of the animal (and not wanting the petitioners to turn away from Catholicism), the Pope agreed and declared the Capybara a fish."

Source:
http://www.mirabilis.ca/archives/001155.html
-------------------------------------------------------

2. Like QT, the act of observing him (experimenting upon him) may change his actions. As I said if he wanted to give you proof on your terms he would have done so.


And 1872? Chronological snobbery! You've already shown us that you discount anything done before the advent of the PC. LOL. You amaze. Wake up!!! Shall I discount Einstein or Darwin? And don't come back citing all of the work that's been done since then to back them up...My point is that you don't have to have lived in the eighties onwards to be reliable. And you discount the others because of what? They cite real studies that are just as reliable as your mumbo-jumbo i.e. not reliable, and I wouldn't make a point from any of them, though you seize upon them like a fat kid spotting candy. And you discount the ones I posted because they were by non-atheists? Well I discount yours for the same reason, why should atheists be any less value driven?

You just have it any which way you want it dontcha?

The only reasonable people to comment on this experiment...

'Critics said the question of God's reaction to prayers simply can't be explored by scientific study.'

And as for the church and the Capybara? So what? As if it has any connection.

Again, subterfuge, sleight of hand, misdirection...the very best weapons of the intellectually dishonest.

AND...

"back them up with something other than hyperbole."

LMBFAO. Pot, Kettle anyone? You're the past Master!


Easy.

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#14384 - 04/03/06 11:49 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Easy Life Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Glasgow - Scotland
This good enough for ya? Done after the end of the Dark Ages (1979).

Prayer, Noetic Studies Feasible; Results Indicate Benefit to Heart Patients

... http://dukemednews.duke.edu/news/article.php?id=5056

(Other authors of the study include: Cindy L. Green, Ph.D., Arthur C. Maas, MD, James D. Lane, Ph.D., Karen A. Loeffler, Kenneth Morris, MD, and Thomas M. Bashore, MD. )

Oh, and this should upset you...

"In US medical schools, one of the fastest growing areas of study is the healing power of... prayer.

Seventy-nine of the nation's 125 medical schools now offer courses on prayer and spirituality. A decade ago, only three medical schools offered such classes."

Wahey!!! So funny!!!

"Researchers have conducted approximately 200 scientific studies on prayer and health. About two-thirds of these studies have shown positive results in patients with chest pain, heart attack and AIDS."

http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com/blpnet/article.html?article_id=30204

Doesn't it just get better and better? You may want to think twice before you enlist science as your bulldog.


And as you're playing silly games with scientific study and religion...remember the joke about the scientists that scale the mountain of knowledge and find the theologians sitting there already...

The art and science of forgiveness

http://mednews.stanford.edu/stanmed/1999summer/forgiveness.html

Forgivness...at the heart of the Christian message...setting people free since before science was in diapers.

I can keep going.

The last word on the silly subject...

(Dr. Harold G. Koenig, director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at the 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."

Within the Christian tradition, God would be expected to be concerned with a person's eternal salvation, he said, and "why would God change his plans for a particular person just because they're in a research study?"

Science, he said, "is not designed to study the supernatural.")

Easy.

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#14385 - 04/04/06 02:21 AM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Easy wrote:
"Science, he said, "is not designed to study the supernatural."

The study wasn't a study of the supernatural. It was a study of whether patients benefited from appeals to the supernatural.

Thanks for some decent links. A few of these are new to me anda few I've read before. If you read the current study you will see that they specifically address the inadequacies in some of these studies.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14386 - 04/04/06 04:45 AM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Rusty Rockets Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 175
Originally posted by DA Morgan:


The study wasn't a study of the supernatural. It was a study of whether patients benefited from appeals to the supernatural.



I'm still not sure I understand; what do you hang the experimental results on? In all other scientific experiments, where there is a differentiation between percentages, researchers try and explain them. Are we to conclude from this experiment, since you say that the experiment was to see "whether patients benefited from appeals to the supernatural," that praying has a negative effect?

Since the placebo and other psychological effects are not factored in, the underlying assumption of the experiment is that a supernatural effect alone will have either a positive or negative effect.

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#14387 - 04/04/06 09:13 AM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Easy Life Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Glasgow - Scotland
Mr Morgan, you just don't get it do you?

Look, it's obvious that you, like Dawkins, want science to be the surgical knife that cuts away the cyst of God Delusion from the human race, but it just ain't gonna cut it. You fail to see that these silly experiments prove zilch, zero, nothing, nada, except in the minds of atheists. JJW004 looks like a good agnostic and I'm sure he ain't fooled by this.

And I have no problem with the methodology of your study, and if it could be got at, this study would probably be wearing the rosette and sipping champagne in the winner's enclosure. But it fails to take into account that God is slightly more complex that a slot machine...you puts your prayer in and gets your healing out. It's not a chemical reaction. He's an intelligence who knew he was being trussed up like a pig and placed on the spit roast by people like you if he didn't perform like a good 'un. I imagine he might think..."you want your proof of my non existence...well have at it". The rest of us know you won't find it here.


Och aye, Easy.

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#14388 - 04/04/06 01:54 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
Thanks, Easy Life for the links.

Here's one more link to another article on the recent prayer study with a few more details:

http://www.stnews.org/News-2754.htm

One thing we really need to pay attention to in comparing the study by Duke University Medical Center with the recent Harvard Study is that the Harvard Study only studies offsite prayer from strangers.
The Duke University had the offsite prayer IN COMBINATION with onsite Alternative therapy like Healing Touch. That's really comparing just apples to apples AND oranges. I have no doubt in my mind that there will be a degree of improved recovery in someone who has personal bedside attention from another human being. There are so many wonderful additional factors to be considered. Psychologically, the patient may experience increased feelings of worthiness and value because someone is spending their time with them, or there could be a transference situation based on the age and gender of the healer that could heal psychological wounds that would benefit the patient. And side-by-side prayer or healing touch can help bring someone into a meditative state that induces different brain activity that can influence health.

The Stanford Forgiveness Project also...amazing and worth the effort. Thank you for that link.
With forgiveness there doesn't have to be a religious link. I also believe forgiveness to be one of the most beneficial internal actions a person can do for themselves. Wonderful stuff...but this isn't apples or oranges as we've defined them. We're getting into peaches or something here.

If we compare all these studies...I regret to have say this, but it does prove that God doesn't have anything to do with the benifits of prayer, hands on healing, or forgiveness. Ok that's incorrect. God has something to do with benefitial prayer as an inactive object of adoration, and a place to put trust. God is not the active ingredient...other people who are in the room are the active force of kindness and love and they are the ones that influence the patient.
The study doesn't disprove God...but it does prove God is completely hands off in our reality.
God, if such an entity exists, only works through the heart and hands of real people.
_________________________
~Justine~

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#14389 - 04/04/06 02:10 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
There's just one more point I want to post. Just to work through this for myself.

I do believe there is great value in prayer for each individual. I think there is a part in each of our psyches that is God and prayer draws on that internal gift of peace, strength and comforth within our own subconscious. The patient's prayers adds courage, faith in the very real possibility of positive outcomes, and the aptitude to let go of mental energy that instead of fueling stress can let go of that activity and, instead, lend that energy to the healing process.
Prayer can keep the family members in a peaceful and positive frame of mind and enable them to stick with the patient and stay in the room with them through the process and staying in the room I think has been proven to make a difference.
Internal prayer of the healer can keep them in a state of peace and attentiveness towards the patient.
So the study did not disprove the power of prayer. It only disproved the power of distance prayer from strangers. And in fact, there was no mention on whether the strangers benifitted from praying for someone else's recovery and I have a feeling they probably did, well, until the results came in. I hope they aren't devistated at this point. I would pray for them if I thought it would help...but it won't.
_________________________
~Justine~

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#14390 - 04/04/06 02:20 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
Something amazing just happened. I reread my post and realized I typed something completely unconsiously. At the begining of the last post I thought I typed "internal peace strength and comfort" but when I reread my post it says, "internal gift of peace strength and comfort"

So...I really do think God is in my own subconscious. I have an internal gift in my own subliminal mind. Just like everyone else does.

I know this may be going to far down the rabbit hole for some of you...and don't worry, I did take my medication last night and I'm not in a psychotic episode smile
_________________________
~Justine~

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#14391 - 04/04/06 03:06 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Easy Life Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Glasgow - Scotland
Quote:
Originally posted by Justine:

1. The study doesn't disprove God...but it does prove God is completely hands off in our reality.
2. God, if such an entity exists, only works through the heart and hands of real people.
The second statement's inconsistent with the first. You aren't talking aboot wether he's hands off but you are talking aboot his method of working or did you expect a big incorporeal hand appearing? What would hands on be? IMO the studies show nothing. Except they may show God is hands off when his actions are being experimented upon. They show more aboot scientists who seem to think God is predictable and repeatable and has also decided to forego faith and start revealing himself to anyone with a clipboard and PC instead of those wi' a contrite heart. If scientists think this means anything they are full of carp and if the religious are involved they are morons.

Easy.

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#14392 - 04/04/06 05:29 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Justine wrote:
"I know this may be going to far down the rabbit hole for some of you...and don't worry, I did take my medication last night and I'm not in a psychotic episode [Smile]"

Nice defense. Clearly demonstrates consciousness.

I find it interesting that pretty much everyone, at one time in their life or another wonders if when they see the color red they are seeing the same thing as everyone else (or something similar).

What is less often expressed is that I don't believe that most human beings are truly conscious. Or mean the same thing when they describe being conscious. I see little evidence that my many of my planets cohabitants are capable of critical thinking, Boolean logic, originality. It seems most consider their ability to parrot something they heard and to brush their teeth all that is required.

Is it possible that a planet populated by 6,000,000,000 sentient beings could make the same mistakes over and over and over again and not learn from them? I think not.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14393 - 04/04/06 10:03 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Chaoslillith Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 137
The short answer DA, contrary to your answer is yes. Repetition without learning is what makes us like lemmings.

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#14394 - 04/04/06 11:50 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
And lemmings would fail most test of consciousness. Though I personally believe some of them are more intelligent than some of us.

BTW: Just to put some science back into this squalid thread ... lemmings do not, contrary to popular myth, throw themselves off of cliffs or perform other suicidal acts.

To read more:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/moments/s1081903.htm
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14395 - 04/04/06 11:58 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
Chaoslillith Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 137
Darn it DA, go and ruin a great metaphor!!!

(Wanders of muttering to herself about scientific folk taking themselves too seriously.....)

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#14396 - 04/05/06 08:07 PM Re: Power of Prayer ... Or the lack thereof
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Don't take it personally. I figure part of the reason the moderators haven't chopped me off at the knees is that in addition to railing against ignorance I, from time-to-time, actually post stuff related to SAGG.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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