The study without a prayer

According to Bruce Flamm, long-time critic of one of the best known studies that claimed real effects due to intercessory prayer, further reasons to be dubious of the study authors’ work has surfaced, in the form of one being caught in plagiarism.

In summary, the man who designed and supposedly conducted the prayer study resides in federal prison, and the man originally listed as lead author admits he knows nothing about the alleged research. The only remaining author has now been charged with plagiarism. . . This may be the first time in history that all three authors of a randomized, controlled study have been found guilty of fraud, deception, and/or plagiarism. Even more remarkable is the fact that the JRM has steadfastly refused to retract its physics-defying paper.

More interestingly, Flamm asks

One must therefore wonder if the Columbia researchers and the JRM editors have been blinded by religious beliefs.

Flamm’s full article has more details.

Mind you, given the history of parapsychology in general and intercessory prayer studies in particular, we’re sure to eventually get yet another study purporting to establish the efficacy of intercessory prayer, and we can be doubly sure that the media will trumpet the “amazing new results” while neglecting to give refutations any prominent play.

(Thanks to Keith Augustine for bringing this to my attention.)

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12926686938547386110 Deacon

    “and we can be doubly sure that the media will trumpet the “amazing new results” while neglecting to give refutations any prominent play.”

    –that shouldn’t be anything new considering that secularists consistently do this in regards to evolution, pro-life advocates, etc. The media is constantly attempting to persuade the public one way or another, depending on who’s paying. We aren’t taught in school any refutations for evolution and anyone that is not for gay marriage is blasted as being intolerant. The media being skewed is a given, but you have to admit it happens and will continue to happen on both sides, unfortunately.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    There are no refutations of evolution to teach in school.

    What controversies exist within evolutionary science are generally of a technical and specific nature which makes them appropriate for college or graduate school discussion, as few, if any elementary and high schools cover evolution at sufficient depth.

    Advocates of creationism and intelligent design make arguments which are not appropriate for teaching in elementary or high schools even according to most of those advocates themselves.


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