Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer - New York TimesDoes praying for a stranger anger God? Does all prayer annoy Him, or just Christian prayer? Perhaps multiple deities are involved...
.... The study also found that more patients in the uninformed prayer group, 18 percent, suffered major complications, like heart attack or stroke, compared with 13 percent in the group that did not receive prayers.
Or perhaps the effect is only a statistical fluke, as many scientists and theologians, as well as all atheists, would expect. Catholics, for example, allow for miracles, but I think among mainstream catholic theologians prayer is thought to be about asking for wisdom and the strength to bear what comes, not a plea to a mercenary deity.
Personally I find the result disquieting, but I'm betting the P value is not significant. Note, however, a harmful result is just as suggestive of supernatural intervention as a beneficial result would have been. Both outcomes are a matter for contemplation.
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