Friday, July 15, 2005

don't pray for me

Save your breath and don't pray for me (not that you would). Researchers at Duke have concluded from their study that there is no discernible health benefit from having strangers pray for you.

Obviously, constructing such a study is tough -- for example, what is the daily recommended dose for a prayer? How does it vary? Do 50-year-old men need a different daily prayer quotient than 30-year-old women? Precisely how much prayer is need to make a cancer clear up? How much to make hair grow again on a bald guy's head? Is a devout Muslim's prayer the same as a Buddhist's or Baptist's?

A reverend at a New York hospital took exception that the study has disproved the power of prayer. He said "... to think that you can research it (prayer) is inconceivable to me. Prayer is presumably a way of addressing God, and there's no way to scientifically test God. God is not subject to scientific research."

He's probably right. Similarly, you can't scientifically test creationism (or intelligent design, to use the orwellian alternative) -- so it shouldn't be taught as a "science."