Re: Scientific study of the effects of prayer

From: Bryan Moss (
Date: Mon Oct 01 2001 - 15:09:16 MDT

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> > > Um. Then why would they do it?
> Because they weren't as confident as you and I that the
> universe just doesn't work that way.

I'm not sure that this experiment can be considered scientific
at all though. That is,

"One group received pictures of the women and prayed for an
increase in their pregnancy rate. Another group prayed to
improve the effectiveness of the first group. A third group
prayed for the two other groups."

The real fun would begin if you had yet another group pray for
the experiment to turn out positive. Indeed, perhaps they did
have such a group and it's simply not documented. It's
possible that the scientists spouses and/or friends prayed for
the experiment to turn out positive (or, more likely, just for
the scientists to be successful) without the scientists
knowing. The problem, for me, is that the conjecture - that
prayer is effective or that people can influence the outcome
of events from a distance - undermines the experiment if true.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:11 MDT