All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
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01-03-2013, 03:26 AM
All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
I often hear atheist claim that scientific studies of prayer show that it doesn't work. I cringe that people actually put faith in studies which are obviously fatally flawed. How do you test God? How do you control that variable?

Suppose I am a researcher looking for evidence for the "power of prayer". I ask my participants to pray for a certain group of heart patients. Does God actually consider those prayers to be prayers or merely elements in a "scientific" study? Maybe God has decided he will not be tested and ignores those prayers or maybe he decides to apply the "graces" from those "prayers" to people not under the scrutiny of the researcher.

There is a reason researchers will often keep the true purpose of a study away from the test subjects....they don't want the study to influence the actions of thier subjects. With God that is impossible to do. A researcher studying the power of prayer has to hope that his subject, God, will cooperate in the study...he can't trick God into cooperating.

Scientific studies of prayer are bad science.
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01-03-2013, 03:31 AM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
How about you finish up on your last epic failure of a thread before starting another. Did Bucky make you cry and run off?

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01-03-2013, 03:35 AM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2013 03:44 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
Simple, it shows that intercessory prayer has no observable effect. This can lead to a number of conclusions.

1 - God does not exist.
2 - God does exist, but is capricious.
3 - God does exist, but doesn't care enough to intervene.
4 - God does exist, but does not answer prayer.
5 - God does exist, but has other higher priorities.
6 - God does exist, but is not powerful enough to intervene.


Occam's Razor favors the simplest explanation, simply that God does not exist.


I don't think that any of those are the conclusions being sought by those who are filling the churches and synagogues on the weekends. To fit in with the typical view of 'God', you'd want a study that shows that prayer actually worked. It wouldn't be proof for the existence of God, but at least it wouldn't rule out a caring and all-powerful one.


Also, I think you're missing the purpose of the studies. The point is not to test God, he is irrelevant. The point is to test prayer, to see if it had a beneficial effect, regardless of what the intervenes force or power actual is. If the studies had shown that prayer did help, then religious people would be debating over which god was responsible, so that's not the point. Does prayer help? No, it does not. Maybe they're praying to the wrong god. Maybe there is no god. Regardless, prayer (and whatever force may cause it to work) does not appear to do anything, and thus any agent of causation has no evidence for their existence.


In the end, your OP amounts to nothing more than mental masturbation, and should be regarded as such.

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01-03-2013, 03:43 AM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 03:35 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Simple, it shows that intercessory prayer has no observable effect. This can lead to a number of conclusions.

1 - God does not exist.
2 - God does exist, but is capricious.
3 - God does exist, but doesn't care enough to intervene.
4 - God does exist, but does not answer prayer.
5 - God does exist, but has other higher priorities.
6 - God does exist, but is not powerful enough to intervene.


Occam's Razor favors the simplest explanation, simply that God does not exist.


I don't think that any of those are the conclusions being sought by those who are filling the churches and synagogues on the weekends. To fit in with the typical view of 'God', you'd want a study that shows that prayer actually worked. It wouldn't be proof for the existence of God, but at least it wouldn't rule out a caring and all-powerful one.


In the end, your OP amounts to nothing more than mental masturbation, and should be regarded as such.

If the studies are fatally flawed they cannot be relied upon to show anything. If you want your point to stand, you have to demonstrate that such studies are reliable and can overcome the flaws I pointed out.
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01-03-2013, 03:45 AM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 03:43 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(01-03-2013 03:35 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Simple, it shows that intercessory prayer has no observable effect. This can lead to a number of conclusions.

1 - God does not exist.
2 - God does exist, but is capricious.
3 - God does exist, but doesn't care enough to intervene.
4 - God does exist, but does not answer prayer.
5 - God does exist, but has other higher priorities.
6 - God does exist, but is not powerful enough to intervene.


Occam's Razor favors the simplest explanation, simply that God does not exist.


I don't think that any of those are the conclusions being sought by those who are filling the churches and synagogues on the weekends. To fit in with the typical view of 'God', you'd want a study that shows that prayer actually worked. It wouldn't be proof for the existence of God, but at least it wouldn't rule out a caring and all-powerful one.


In the end, your OP amounts to nothing more than mental masturbation, and should be regarded as such.

If the studies are fatally flawed they cannot be relied upon to show anything. If you want your point to stand, you have to demonstrate that such studies are reliable and can overcome the flaws I pointed out.

Also, I think you're missing the purpose of the studies. The point is not to test God, he is irrelevant. The point is to test prayer, to see if it had a beneficial effect, regardless of what the intervening force or power actually is. If the studies had shown that prayer did help, then religious people would be debating over which god was responsible, so that's not the point. Does prayer help? No, it does not. Maybe they're praying to the wrong god. Maybe there is no god. Regardless, prayer (and whatever force may cause it to work) does not appear to do anything, and thus any agent of causation has no evidence for their existence.


So tell me again how the gap in our understanding is proof for your god?

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01-03-2013, 03:55 AM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
"All hundred plus studies done on this subject are fatally flawed! And I can state this authoritatively, based on my not having read one of them, and also completely missing the point of the studies because my paranoia assumes that anything that challenges my worldview in any way is a conspiracy solely to challenge my worldview! Also my clear biases, loose grasp of the scientific method, and total lack of knowledge of how a double blind study is conducted!"




Big news! Non-relativistic time dilation discovered! Evidence: this is getting old fast. Drinking Beverage

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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01-03-2013, 03:58 AM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2013 04:03 AM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 03:45 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(01-03-2013 03:43 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  If the studies are fatally flawed they cannot be relied upon to show anything. If you want your point to stand, you have to demonstrate that such studies are reliable and can overcome the flaws I pointed out.

Also, I think you're missing the purpose of the studies. The point is not to test God, he is irrelevant. The point is to test prayer, to see if it had a beneficial effect, regardless of what the intervening force or power actually is. If the studies had shown that prayer did help, then religious people would be debating over which god was responsible, so that's not the point. Does prayer help? No, it does not. Maybe they're praying to the wrong god. Maybe there is no god. Regardless, prayer (and whatever force may cause it to work) does not appear to do anything, and thus any agent of causation has no evidence for their existence.


So tell me again how the gap in our understanding is proof for your god?

How do you go about testing prayer without testing for the existence of God? If God decides He will not be the subject of a scientific study, what makes you think you can compel him to do so? God is an essential component to the prayer process.

Additionally if you claim the studies are a test of prayer and not test of God, you can never say prayer studies are evidence against the existence of any god.

Prayer studies are junk science at best. I hope you are not relying upon them to formulate your world veiw.
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01-03-2013, 04:02 AM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 03:55 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  "All hundred plus studies done on this subject are fatally flawed! And I can state this authoritatively, based on my not having read one of them, and also completely missing the point of the studies because my paranoia assumes that anything that challenges my worldview in any way is a conspiracy solely to challenge my worldview! Also my clear biases, loose grasp of the scientific method, and total lack of knowledge of how a double blind study is conducted!"

Big news! Non-relativistic time dilation discovered! Evidence: this is getting old fast. Drinking Beverage

How about you critique my argument....constructively. Maybe you could show how a prayer study could be designed which controls the God variable. It sounds like you've read them all so this should be a cake walk for you.
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01-03-2013, 04:07 AM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
How about no? It's clear from your other thread that you have no interest in having a conversation, only in dining on delicious herring. I find the red ones taste best, don't you? And afterwards, some felatious fallacious arguments.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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01-03-2013, 04:08 AM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2013 04:11 AM by Adenosis.)
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
You are incredibly dense. Take your head out of your ass and reread Evolutionkills first reply.

I'm assuming by worldview you mean our position on the question of the existence of a god. A scrap of evidence in favour might help. Not weakly constructed arguments from a bias half-wit.

I hope your not relying on a thousand year old book constructed by ignorant primitives for your world view, oh wait...

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