Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shady "study" produces results opposite to famous Harvard Medical School study

HuffPo (yes, I trolled through there today; someone has to) has a big article about a study that says intercessory prayer is just fabulous. The article has subheads like "Bringing God into the Picture" and "Divine Care". Gee, I wonder if a religious lunatic wrote it.

Here's an excerpt:
Adults who receive such prayer were significantly more likely to be optimistic about the future, Schafer found in his analysis of the study data. Having friends who are not family members pray for them was especially associated with high rates of optimism.
I especially like this:
What makes prayer unique -- the appeal to a transcendent higher power -- also provides a special source of hope to many individuals, twits observers say.

Consider that more than three-quarters of respondents to the 2007 Baylor Religion Survey believe God is concerned with their personal well-being.
Yes, I consider that all the time. It's positively frightening that so many people think fairytales are the "real" reality, and that their personal lives are the focus of a "god". I don't think we need to wonder if this "study" is the work product of religious loons who were predisposed to reach a particular conclusion.

The article caught my eye because it stands in direct opposition to a professional study done by Harvard Medical School on the same topic. That study was titled: "Largest Study of Third-Party Prayer Suggests Such Prayer Not Effective In Reducing Complications Following Heart Surgery". You can read the Harvard Medical School press release here.

One of their findings:
"[I]ntercessory prayer had no effect on recovery from surgery without complications. The study also found that patients who knew they were receiving intercessory prayer fared worse.
Religious people will never face reality. They love to gather "scientists" to produce "studies". But all they're doing is talking to themselves in a dark room. If only we didn't have to hear about it, didn't have to deal with them, we could let it slide. But we do have to deal with them, which is why I keep blogging.

The article at HuffPo was written by David Briggs, by the way. He works for the Association of Religious Data Archives. I guess he couldn't get a real job.