Anecdotal Medical Evidence and Prayer
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
23-08-2012, 10:36 AM
Anecdotal Medical Evidence and Prayer
In my methods of political inquiry class, we read this article.

Did anyone else see a connection between the problem of medical anecdotes and prayer?

[Image: pudalo15fa2.png]

Blog.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-08-2012, 08:49 PM
RE: Anecdotal Medical Evidence and Prayer
If you mean the factors of medical anecdotes which the author states are some of the reasons why scientist do not accept those anecdotes as fact, then yes I see a connection. All of the factors that the author listed like Confirmation bias, most illnesses are self-limiting, or vague outcome measures, just to name a few, strike me as uncanny between the two.
Both are unreliable as they are subjective or can be affected by events and a person's view and beliefs, also both are not controllable especially if retrospective and are then subject to the distortion of memory.

Not sure if that's what you were looking for, that's just my take on it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-08-2012, 09:02 PM
RE: Anecdotal Medical Evidence and Prayer
When/if I have a heart attack, PLEASE, do NOT pray for me.
If you do, I will hunt you down. You will probably harm me.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/200...133554.htm

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Bucky Ball's post
23-08-2012, 09:26 PM
RE: Anecdotal Medical Evidence and Prayer
(23-08-2012 08:49 PM)Badbrew Wrote:  If you mean the factors of medical anecdotes which the author states are some of the reasons why scientist do not accept those anecdotes as fact, then yes I see a connection. All of the factors that the author listed like Confirmation bias, most illnesses are self-limiting, or vague outcome measures, just to name a few, strike me as uncanny between the two.
Both are unreliable as they are subjective or can be affected by events and a person's view and beliefs, also both are not controllable especially if retrospective and are then subject to the distortion of memory.

Not sure if that's what you were looking for, that's just my take on it.

Well, that is interesting indeed.

But what I meant was that these seem to be some of the same reasons why people believe that praying works. Check this out:

"Regression to the mean: This is a statistical phenomenon whereby any extreme variation is likely to be followed by a more average variation – by chance alone."

Prayer mirrors this in that crises are merely ever-changing life circumstances, and people that pray to try to help themselves are subject to this same variation.

"Multiple treatments: Often people will try multiple treatments for a disease or ailment making it impossible to tell which treatment had a beneficial effect, if any. Multiple treatments may be taken all at once, or sequentially."

This is exactly what happens with prayer. People pray and then try to remedy their predicament (say, the flu). Then, the person takes medicine for influenza. If the person improves in health, they are more likely to thank God than to validate the affect of the medicine.

"Dead men tell no tales (the problem of reporting bias): Cancer survivor groups do not contain people who died of their cancer. Those who die of a disease are not around to give their anecdotes. There is therefore a built in reporting bias."

Today, the world is full of immaculate stories of divine intervention. Those who die without their prayer being answered are not acknowledged.

These are the types of similarities I have noticed. There are other aspects of the article I did not mention on this elaboration, but even those have similarities to prayer.

[Image: pudalo15fa2.png]

Blog.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: