Michael Wiik wrote:
> Researchers have found, for example, that religious people live, on
> average, about seven years longer than other Americans. Levin cites a
> study done by California's respected Human Population Laboratory that
> tracked 5,000 people for 28 years and found that those who frequently
> attended church were 23 percent less likely to die during the study
> period than people who didn't regularly go to church. "This holds true
> even controlling for the fact that religious folks tend to avoid such
> behaviors as smoking and drinking that increase the risk of disease and
> death," Levin reported.
The maxim "unless you use a double-blind, you really can't
draw valid conclusions" holds, I think. Other factors are
just too hard to control for. I'm frankly amazed at how
researchers almost never properly qualify their results.
Take one criticism of the above statistic: the really sick, the
generally unhealthy, the depressed---all will have a tendency to
both skip church and die early. Duh!
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