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March 31, 2006

Prayer Worthless! -- 2

A few additional notes:

-- $2.4 million was spent on this study to see if strangers praying for you could actually improve your chances when having heart surgery. Perhaps it was worth it just to get the headlines in the papers today (USA Today: "Study shrugs off prayer's power to heal"), but surely there is more worthwhile medical research to be done.

-- The funding for the study came primarily from the Templeton Foundation. Will they soon be supporting expeditions in search of Noah's Ark?

-- According to the New York Times, the US government has spent "$2.3 million on prayer research since 2000."

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at March 31, 2006 2:53 PM


I'd be interested to learn exactly what the money was spent on. as i said, it's not unreasonable that knowing that someone is praying for you or praying yourself can have effects. all tests show large placebo effects for most diseases. i don't think it's wrong for science to test that, even using government funds. its policy implications are questionable, but i think it's probably useful enough for science to be worth it. however, testing whether someone else's praying for you helps, independent of your knowledge of it, is so absurd. unless some people in the government wanted to do this to calm down the religious fervor in our country, such research really makes me want to move to singapore... not that it takes much for me to want to move to singapore.

Posted by: seth at March 31, 2006 4:36 PM

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