Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Power of Prayer

Via Atrios (http://atrios.blogspot.com/)

Prayer works miracles, you know – that’s been scientifically proven!

Here’s what your Fundie neighbor down the street is talking about when he tells you so:


It involves a blind study in which prayer groups prayed for Korean women who were undergoing fertility treatments.

The Korean women didn’t know they were being prayed for. The people doing the praying – so the study claimed – didn’t know the Korean women in question: they just had pictures of them. The women being prayed for got pregnant at a significantly higher rate than those not prayed for, yap yap yap, the control group got pregnant at the regular rate, this proves the power of prayer, and so forth.

Trouble is, the guy who set up these prayer groups? The only one who knows who was in these prayer groups and how often they prayed and if these prayer groups even actually existed?

Here’s the guy:

The third man is Capitola researcher Daniel P. Wirth. Federal court papers say he is a Santa Clara University law school graduate who is also known as John Wayne Truelove, Rudy Wirth and Rudolph Wirth. He was sentenced in November to five years in prison for embezzling more than $2 million from communications giant Adelphia. Now he is en route to a federal prison camp in Atwater, where he will be known as inmate No. 99442-111.
Wirth was the person entrusted with setting up the study's prayer groups. No one knows if he actually did, and Wirth did not respond to a Mercury News request for an interview.

``There is no reason to think that Mr. Wirth would have been motivated not to organize prayer groups when such groups are his area of interest,'' Cha wrote in his letter to the journal.

But others aren't so sure.

When Wirth was studying for his master's degree in parapsychology at John F. Kennedy University in Contra Costa County, his professor Jerry Solfvin was so impressed with him that he asked him to join his research team. Wirth went on to publish several studies on ``complementary healing therapies,'' including therapeutic touch and untraditional prayer.
But Solfvin, now an adjunct associate professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, said he had his doubts about the truthfulness of some of Wirth's earliest research long before the ``Miracle Study'' was ever released.

The other two researchers affiliated with the study have taken their names off it – don’t want to be associated with it anymore.

The journal that published the results is still standing stoutly by the article though.

Here’s why:

Journal of Reproductive Medicine editor Dr. Lawrence Devoe defended the publication of the study in an e-mail to the Mercury News.

``The journal specifically states in each issue that `the opinions and statements in this journal are those of the authors and are not attributable to the sponsor, publisher, editor or editorial board of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine,' '' he wrote.

``I do not know Mr. Wirth and am not prepared to comment on his problems,'' Devoe said. And, he added, ``There are no plans to retract the study at this time.''

So many questions remain about the research, its methodology and its authors that some experts say the study carries very little credence. Such uncertainty, they say, is bad for both the public and the scientific process.

``People desperately wanted this to be true,'' Flamm said. ``Wouldn't it be wonderful if it were?''

Yes, that’s right. To hell with reality. To hell with facts. Let’s just start inventing the truth, shall we?

After all, it worked for Bush.

So much less destructive than blow jobs.

1 comment:

zelda1 said...

The power of prayer, hmmm, just this morning, I received a spam from the American Family place that is hosted by very right wing religious nuts. They are wanting people all over the world to pray for these men and women who were demonstrating during a gay pride like festival. Now, they were not just demonstrating but were yelling hate messages to the gay members and all those who were around to listen to their awful slurs. Here is the message: Today at 12:30 Central, 1:30 Eastern, AFA Report will discuss a Philadelphia case involving the arrest of eleven Christians during an annual “gay pride” event known as “Outfest.” Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, is defending the Christians.

Four of the Christians are facing up to 47 years in prison and a $90,000 fine for preaching and calling homosexuality sex a sin, which the prosecutor and judge deemed “fighting words” under Philadelphia’s “hate crimes” law. (Let me interject here that I doubt it was peaceful nor was it just saying homosexuality is a sin. I have not researched this but the law was broken and now these people are praying for a miracle from the man who preached love and tolerance to give them a free pass over their preaching of hate!) The charges include three felony (criminal conspiracy, ethnic intimidation, and riot) and five misdemeanor charges.(The laws were broken, and this isn't Christian hate or persecution, it is to keep the Christians from spewing hate and persecuting Homosexuality. I doubt very seriously if the mob who stands to go to jail has many true Christains in it. I know a few very devout Christians, and they would not demonstrate outside a gay fest, abortion clinic, or anywhere else where violent people stand and yell hate or throw bombs.)

The article continues: This is the clearest example of anti-Christian bigotry by city officials in the last century! The efforts by the city of Philadelphia to silence a message it deems offensive grossly violates the First Amendment, and this injustice should call all those who value their freedom of speech to arms. (Is this a calling for a revolution. Calling for arms!)

For more information on the Philadelphia case visit the Philadelphia Four website.

Please join us today on KARG, 91.7 FM at 12:30 pm CST, 1:30 EST, or on the Internet at afr.net as the AFA Report discusses the resounding ramifications of the Philadelphia case on the Christian community and society as a whole.
My point was how people rely on prayer to get them out of messes however it has turned into something much more. How dare these people to turn around what they were doing and make it where they are the victims. As Gomer Pyle would say, "For shame. For shame. For shame."