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Can Quantum physics one day explain Super natural phenomenon

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If it's ok I borrowed this from Rixon Stuart and Richard Stone!

 

Science has probed into the mechanics of matter as deeply as it can, achieving stunning results in every field. It is therefore not surprising that it has become the paramount belief system; in effect it has become a modern day religion.

 

But science has reached a sticking point and unbeknown to many this sticking point was reached a long time ago. In the earlier part of the last century scientists explained the mechanics of the atom, which was once considered the irreducible unit of matter. We were all taught about the proton, the neutron, and the electron but even in Einstein�s time, as early as the 1930�s, scientists were discovering the more convoluted world of the sub-atomic particle: particles even smaller than the atom such as the quark, the photon, the neutrino. Ever since then scientists have been engaged in with this challenging research: called �Quantum Physics,�� Sub-Atomic Physics� or �Particle Physics,� it has largely been ignored by the general public in favour of the more spectacular scientific endeavours like space shots.

 

Yet research into particle physics is revealing a world far stranger than that yet encountered by space research. In this strange and elusive world there are particles with energy but zero mass (photons); there are also uncharged, unreactive particles with so little mass that they can fly through the earth as easily as a machine gun bullet passes through a bank of fog (neutrino).

 

In one notable experiment a particle was shot through a screen with a hole in it, the particle would go through the hole but scientists found it very difficult to say how often � but if two holes were made it actually seemed to pass through less often. One researcher remarked that �it is though it knew what we were up to�; indeed the researchers concluded that they could not conduct the experiment without becoming part of the experiment themselves.

 

Pinpointing the location of sub-atomic particles is also notoriously difficult. Some of them cannot be precisely located even though they are known to be present, but this is not for lack of method � it is the nature of the particles themselves. It is even thought that some particles have the ability to appear, and then disappear.

 

These almost magical qualities seem to defy logic, turning the laws that govern sub atomic physics into something that wouldn�t be out of place in Tolkien�s �Lord of the Rings�. The Chaos Theory, which is a way of explaining the behaviour of sub atomic particles, is a case in point; essentially it states that even very small occurrences can cause massive changes later on in a chain of interlinked events. Thus, say proponents of the Chaos Theory, the flapping of a Butterfly�s wings can ultimately lead to a tornado.

 

At this point the man in the street probably parts company with the scientists, who are after all supposed to be the high priests of our earth bound logic. Yet many of these scientists have separately come to one similar and rather disconcerting conclusion: namely that the neat mechanical logic of Newtonian physics breaks down completely when science is confronted with the world of sub-atomic physics.

 

Could it be that this mysterious, puzzling world is in fact the world of the spirit � the spiritual world that saints and mystics throughout history have sought to explore and reveal?

 

 

I truly believe that Logic can come to a truth. I just don't believe science will be able to come to a truth until it is willing to engage in the fact that what people are sensing as a spiritual presence and supernatural phenomenon is real and tangible! If science always discards it as

myth than science in no way can prove it wrong otherwise but each has a right to their belief. I personally believe that there is a science behind the super natural that one day will be discovered. Now its all belief and speculation for me because well I don't know jack about science and two, its a mystery to all who do!

As sub atomic particles are broke down they become a mystery of coming in and out of existence. If you take it the other way we observe an expanding universe!I believe there is a force from tiny particles going in and out of existence all the way to the expanding universe.(An atomic force of some sort) It is going in a direction and everything is in the path of the direction and therefore has a sense to it if you will. Maybe intuition plays a part in staying in line with this force (i have no scientific term) and the more we step out of alignment the more resistance we feel(religion may call this sin)! Animals may stay in alignment through natural instinct but humans have evolved the ability to step in and out of alignment by free will.(actually fear and faith)

My personal belief is that as he steps out of alignment with this force I described the resistance takes a toll on the body and as he steps back in alignment balance starts to reoccur! I believe faith works our intuition to step in and out of alignment!

Belief in God works as a truth system and you will not convince a true Christian otherwise no matter how illogical he has to be because what he senses is spiritual is more real than the natural and does in many cases bring to truth super natural phenomenon as we know and understand it to be and thus is the case in many hospitals! Now I have been told that there is no force but to put my mind at ease I am looking for proof as I believe that the sense of a force is real and searching science for the truth of it! The positive outcome is I am learning science.So is it possible that atomic energy can play a role in this force and possible expansion of universe and big bang! I understand science is in a box and if something is outside of the box than it is discarded as hokey but if you can find a logical perspective out of fun to do away with a logical belief system based on what I base on science, please set my mind at ease for I came from a place of believing in God to now believing there is a scientific (logical) explanation for what is truth.

I believe as of now what I am saying can stand in the balance of not being able to be proved logically true or untrue and as science stands something must be proved true or otherwise discarded as false is actually sciences very own limitation to coming to truth! I am only looking for scientific reasons to maybe even prove it false or show logical reasons to be false like you are with a moral God! I am learning a lot as I search through the sciences to take my stance from a religious one to a scientific one!

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I think Psychology and Neurobiology do a FAR better job at explaining supernatural phenomenon than QM ever will, but that's just my take.

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I think Psychology and Neurobiology do a FAR better job at explaining supernatural phenomenon than QM ever will, but that's just my take.

 

There have been some physicists who believe that the way particles appear to us is dictated by our sub-conscious (Kaku and others), Although I would agree that Psychology and Neruobiology explain super natural phenomenon better, if we were able to link the sciences of the brain with quantum physics it would have some very interesting implications.

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I think you may have missed my subtle snark. ;)

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I think Psychology and Neurobiology do a FAR better job at explaining supernatural phenomenon than QM ever will, but that's just my take.

 

REPLY: I am not inclined to belief in the super natural. But I did see that regular sized bowl half full of sugar move rapidly all about that table top in all sorts of different ways: sharp rapid turns, reversing directions,and such. about one foot at a tme. I picked the bowl up and checked for water,moisture,there was none. My girlfriend at that time was there with me and watched in amazement along with me. We had both just gotten out of bed and I was heading off to my boring job loading and unloading truck and car tires. I threw that in because I remember with certainty both of us were totally sober. And neither of us had ever used any sort of psycho-active drug. This was around 1996 and they were not in wide usage where we lived at that time. In the city were living in there never was a subway system, we were nowhere near any railroad train.

I was never inclined to think in terms of the super natural. It is the one event that occurred in my lifetime that I cannot explain. Please do not take this as some effort on my part to open up an old rift between us. I think you know me better than that by now. I surely hope so. Regards, ...Dr.Syntax

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There have been some physicists who believe that the way particles appear to us is dictated by our sub-conscious (Kaku and others), Although I would agree that Psychology and Neruobiology explain super natural phenomenon better, if we were able to link the sciences of the brain with quantum physics it would have some very interesting implications.

 

I believe all sciences will link together in the end and it will all be the beauty of simplicity!

Doesn't God use the simple things to confound the wise???

Also not sure how psychology and neurobiology will be able to explain how a persons faith or whatnot can have an affect on another which is also an observed phenomenon especially in the medical field!

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...a persons faith or whatnot can have an affect on another which is also an observed phenomenon especially in the medical field!

 

What is your evidence of this claim? Please provide a source.

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Now we can go back and forth all day long and find studies that prove prayer has an affect and proving it does not.

 

I happen to know through experience that prayer and positive thinking play a major role in you external surroundings but that won't mean a hill of beans to you especially if your skeptic! I am still leaning toward science for an explanation! I believe it can have something to do with energy from sub atomic particles going in one direction possible from big bang and continuing as the universe expands Giving people a sense of being guided in one direction by a loving God especially if we can sense this force of an expanding universe! I know people are sensing something they call God and makes more sense then God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scientific Research of Prayer: Can the Power of Prayer Be Proven?

 

By Debra Williams, D.D.

 

1999 PLIM Retreat, © 1999 PLIM REPORT, Vol. 8 #4

 

Theme: Inner Journey, Part 5

 

Feel free to copy and circulate this article for non-commercial purposes provided the Web site and author are mentioned.

 

See Related Articles in MEDITATION AND THE POWERS OF THE MIND

 

Introduction

 

Throughout time, the power of prayer has been questioned by science. The analytical mind of the scientist calls for proof of the existence of a higher being. These scientists, both the faithful and nonbelievers alike, have produced studies into the affects of prayer on our physical as well as spiritual well being. Although most of us, who possess the belief that prayer can and does work, do not require physical, quantitative proof of the power of prayer, it is interesting to read the results of these studies.

 

Was a scientific study of prayer and its effect on heart patients done?

 

One of the most quoted scientific studies of prayer was done between August of 1982 and May of 1983. 393 patients in the San Francisco General Hospital’s Coronary Care Unit participated in a double blind study to assess the therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer. Patients were randomly selected by computer to either receive or not receive intercessory prayer. All participants in the study, including patients, doctors, and the conductor of the study himself remained blind throughout the study, To guard against biasing the study, the patients were not contacted again after it was decided which group would be prayed for, and which group would not.

 

It was assumed that although the patients in the control group would not be prayed for by the participants in the study, that others-family members, friends etc., would likely pray for the health of at least some of the members of the control group. There was no control over this factor. Meanwhile all of the members of the group that received prayer would be prayed for by not only those associated with the study, but by others as well.

 

The results of the study are not surprising to those of us who believe in the power of prayer. The patients who had received prayer as a part of the study were healthier than those who had not. The prayed for group had less need of having CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) performed and less need for the use of mechanical ventilators. They had a diminished necessity for diuretics and antibiotics, less occurrences of pulmonary edema, and fewer deaths. Taking all factors into consideration, these results can only be attributed to the power of prayer.

 

Did prayer lower blood pressure?

 

The August 31, 1998 issue of Jet Magazine questioned whether prayer could lower blood pressure in high blood pressure sufferers, Again the obvious conclusion was reached. The magazine reported of a study conducted by Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. This study had over 4,000 participants over the age of 65. The study found that those who pray and attend religious services on a weekly basis, especially those between the ages of 65 and 74, had lower blood pressure than their counterparts who did not pray or attend religious services. They found that the more religious the person, particularly those who prayed or studied the Bible weekly, the lower the blood pressure. According to the study these people were forty percent less likely to have high diastolic pressure or diastolic hypertension than these were who did not attend religious services, pray, or study the Bible.

 

Dr. David B. Larson, president of the National Institute for Health Care Research in Rockville, MD, who co-authored the study, also says that prayer can lower high blood pressure. "The at-risk population of people with illnesses, such as the elderly seem to be helped if they have faith and religious commitment." Dr. Larson states: "Faith brings a calming state which helps decrease nervousness and anxiety with coping with day to day stress."

 

How does prayer effect people who lack health care?

 

In the Essence Magazine May 1997 issue, Allison Abner writes that African-Americans have historically turned to faith in times of illness and other crises. She cited Luisah Teish who states: "Because of limited access to quality health care and our distrust of the medical establishment we have occasionally relied on spiritual healing through such practices as prayer and the laying on of hands, Most of us, at some time have used prayer chanting or proverbs as ways to guide, direct, and heal ourselves." "Now," states Allison, "Our beliefs are being backed by medical research," Science is setting out to prove what most of the faithful already know--prayer does work.

 

Has a prayer study been done on the life of twins?

 

The December 1998 issue of Mc Call’s Magazine raised the question: How does prayer heal? The article notes a study done at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, which studied 1,902 twins. They found that those who were committed to their spiritual lives tended to have less severe depression and a lower risk of addiction to cigarettes or alcohol. The healthful lifestyles of the spiritually rich and faithful clearly contribute to their well being, They tend not to smoke or drink or not do either excessively. Their marriages are more stable and their spiritual communities form a network that can catch and support people when they are ill.

 

What effect does prayer and religion have on life?

 

To delve into religious attitudes and their impact on health, Koenig and his co-researcher, Kenneth Paragament, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, studied 577 hospital patients age 55 and older. One 98-year-old woman with pneumonia and congestive heart failure looked upon her illness as God’s plan for her. She prayed often for the health and well being of her family and friends. These attitudes were associated with a serene response to stress and low levels of depression. All signs of well being that nurture joy in living might even extend one’s life.

 

While positive feelings toward a higher power seemed to foster well being, negative thoughts about a deity had the opposite effect. For example, a woman in her late 50’s with lung cancer left her church in her 20’s, became involved with drugs, and now feels her illness must be a sign of divine disapproval. She got poorer scores on tests that measured quality of life and psychological health than the 98-year-old woman.

 

What do atheists think about prayer?

 

Noted atheist Dan Barker, a spokesperson for the Freedom from Religion Foundation says the findings of the above research are no big surprise. Prayer and religious beliefs can have a placebo effect, just like a sugar pill. Barker, who was once a Christian Fundamentalist preacher before developing serious doubts about his religion, states that one of the strongest factors in recovery from an illness is a sense of connectedness with a community and people who care about you. Even if we mumble our prayers only when we are ill or if there is no God to hear them, the new research indicated that religious thoughts could help to heal.

 

Dr. Larry Dossey writes about the placebo effect mentioned earlier by Dan Barker and physicians who have looked at the tremendous amount of scientific studies on prayer. As Dr. Dossey states: "That is difficult to do considering that bacteria, fungi, and germinating seeds are not generally considered to be susceptible to suggestion."

 

Does prayer effect plant seeds?

 

In a study on germinating seeds done by Dr. Franklin Loehr, a Presbyterian minister and scientist, the objective was to see in a controlled experiment what effect prayer had over living and seemingly non-living matter. In one experiment they took three pans of various types of seeds. One was the control pan. One pan received positive prayer, and the other received negative prayer. Time after time, the results indicated that prayer helped speed germination and produced more vigorous plants. Prayers of negation actually halted germination in some plants and suppressed growth in others.

 

In another experiment two bottles of spring water were purchased. One container was used as a control, receiving no prayer; a group prayed for the second. The water was then used on pans of corn seeds layered in cotton, with one pan receiving the prayer water and the other receiving the control water. The pan receiving the prayer water sprouted a day earlier than seeds in the other pan. The prayer seeds had a higher germination and growth rate. The experiment was repeated with the same result each time.

 

What effect does prayer have on microorganisms?

 

Dr. Dossey, in his book, Be Careful What You Pray For, looks closely at experiments with microorganisms. He states, "Skeptics who do not believe in the effects of distant intentions say that any observed result must be due to the expectation of the subject- or the power of belief and thought." Dossey argues that if bacteria respond to outside intentions by growing more slowly when prayed over, than control groups not receiving prayer, then one cannot dismiss this result by attributing it to negative suggestion.

 

Bacteria presumably do not think positively or negatively. Another major advantage of microorganisms in studies of distant mental intentions has to do with the control group. If the effects of intercessory prayer, for example, are being assessed in a group of humans who have a particular illness, it is difficult to establish a pure control group that does not receive prayer. The reason is that sick human beings generally pray for themselves; or outsiders pray for them, thus contaminating the control group, which by definition should not receive the treatment being evaluated.

 

In studies involving microbes, this notorious "Problem of Extraneous Prayer" is totally overcome because one can be reasonably certain that the bacteria, fungi, or yeast in a control group will not pray for themselves. And that their fellow microbes will not pray for them.

 

If the study involved negative intentions instead of positives, the advantages remain the same. The thoughts of microorganisms do not influence its outcome.

 

Jean Barry, a physician-researcher in Bordeaux, France, chooses to work with a destructive fungus, Rhizoctonia Solani. He asked 10 people to try to inhibit its growth merely through their intentions at a distance of 1.5 meter.

 

The experiment involved control Petri dishes with fungi that were not influenced in addition to those that were. The laboratory conditions were carefully controlled regarding the genetic purity of the fungi and the composition of the culture medium, the relative humidity, and the conditions of temperature and lighting.

 

The control petri dishes and the influenced dishes were treated identically, except for the negative intentions directed toward the latter. A person who was blind to the details of the experiment handled various manipulations. The influences simply took their stations at the 1.5 meters and were free to act as they saw fit for their own concentration. For 15 minutes each subject was assigned five experimental and five control dishes. Of the ten subjects three to six subjects worked during a session, and there were nine sessions.

 

Measurement of the fungi colony on the Petri dish was obtained by outlining the boundary of the colony on a sheet of thin paper. Again, someone who did not know the aim of the experiment or the identity of the Petri dishes did this. The outlines were then cut out and weighed under condition of constant temperature and humidity. When the growth in 195 experimental dishes was compared to their corresponding controls, it was significantly retarded in 151 dishes. The possibility that these results could be explained by chance was less than one in a thousand.

 

Dr. Daniel I. Benor, who has evaluated all the known experiments in the field of distant healing in his landmark work healing research, calls this study "Highly significant."

 

Does physical distance effect prayer?

 

The researchers William H. Tedder and Melissa L. Monty from the University of Tennessee replicated the experiment. The goal of this study was to inhibit the growth of the fungus from the distance of one to fifteen miles. Two groups participated. Group one was made up of Tedder and six others who knew him and frequently interacted with him over a year and a half. Group 2 consisted of 8 volunteers who either did not know Tedder or did not interact with him frequently.

 

When the growth differential between the experimental and control dishes were compared, group one was highly successful. The likelihood of explaining their results by chance were less than 3 in 100,000. Group two was less successful. Their likelihood of a chance explanation was 6 in 100. Why was group one more successful? The researchers theorized that because of their established rapport with Tedder they might have had greater expectation and more motivation of a positive outcome than group two had.

 

In a post-experiment questionnaire, the group one subjects indeed responded more positively to questions about how they perceived their ability to inhibit the fungal cultures at a distance. Note: This is a clear example of faith in prayer verses doubt.

 

The fact that prayer is non local, that it functions at a distance, and that spatial separation does not diminish the affect means that it does not have to be intrusive. There is cross-cultural evidence that prayer does work. The factors that seem to affect the outcome of these studies are qualifies of consciousness, like caring, compassion, empathy, and love. When you take these qualities away the outcome of the study is changed. In, fact according to Dr. Dossey, if you flip these "empathetic, warm feelings" to the negative, frequently the subject is affected. In experiments a bacterium died and plants withered when subjected to the negative influence.

 

Conclusion

 

These studies have shown conclusive evidence of the power of prayer. Time after time the outcomes of these tests have shown the reality of the force of a higher being and our ability to communicate with Him.

 

We have also learned from viewing the results of these studies that the expectations we have while praying factor into the outcome of our prayers. Though the faithful will always believe that there need not be any physical evidence of the power and effects of prayer, science has come a long way toward showing just that-prayer is real, and it works.


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One other point of interest you might want to observe is how cows are lining up from google satalite pics to the magnetic field of the earth. I originally assumed this is what we as humans sense too in the way of a God and how they are studying the affects of powerlines and how they throw the cows off alignment!Would it really be too far fetched for us to sense this field also as we are made of energy and mass would not a magnetic field affect us somehow?

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I decided to do some research into the "study" that you listed.

 

Maybe it would help if you found a study that was not funded and conducted by members of the Universalist National Memorial Church.

 

It is somewhat a conflict of interest. Especially considering these are their goals as stated on their website:

"We create a loving community

for worship and service

in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

 

We welcome all

and respect individual beliefs

as we grow together."

 

This study is not peer-reviewed or published either, it is essentially part of a PLIM Retreat Report, and PLIM is a not a very credible source either. This is also from their website:

 

"PLIM INC is a a 501c(3) nonprofit, metaphysical, philosophical, biblical, research, and educational organization."

 

Furthermore here is the link to the groups website:

http://www.plim.org/indexgraphic.htm

 

After reading just a little bit from their website it is easy to see PLIM is not a credible scientific source. According to my opinion they even seem a little crazy.


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One more thing, I noticed on the original post you cited Rixon Stuart. Here is a link to his website so that the members of this forum can take a quick look. I think most, like me will conclude he is somewhat off the deep end.

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=10440

 

It is important to take in knowledge from more credible sources and not crazy conspiracy theorists.

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I am going to assume that there is no way to do an unbiased study on the effects of prayer!How do you prove who ever is praying even believes? It is neither here nor there for me! I understand the different effects of being positive or negative can have! I am more interested in the sensation people feel or sense as a God and a scientific reason behind it!

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I am going to assume that there is no way to do an unbiased study on the effects of prayer!How do you prove who ever is praying even believes? It is neither here nor there for me! I understand the different effects of being positive or negative can have! I am more interested in the sensation people feel or sense as a God and a scientific reason behind it!

 

Its not about biased or unbiased its about credibility. I do not think that the majority of the scientific community would find Rixon (who believes Obama is part of the occult) or PLIM (who believes 911 was a sign that Armageddon is upon us).

 

Furthermore the study you cited is not even a study, they are reports from a religious retreat. That is hardly scientific.

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Now we can go back and forth all day long and find studies that prove prayer has an affect and proving it does not.

Or, I could just point you to where I've already demonstrated unequivocally that... Not only does prayer NOT work, but it is often detrimental.

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/forum/showthread.php?p=510242post510242

 

 

Just because people keep repeating the lie that prayer works does not make it a valid or true assertion.


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I am going to assume that there is no way to do an unbiased study on the effects of prayer!How do you prove who ever is praying even believes?

See my link above, and the links contained within.

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Or, I could just point you to where I've already demonstrated unequivocally that... Not only does prayer NOT work, but it is often detrimental.

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/forum/showthread.php?p=510242post510242

 

Your "unequivocal" is not as solid as you seem to think. There are several studies showing an effect of intercessory prayer. Not only that, but the study by Benson et al. did not show a detrimental effect of prayer.

 

What you have done is read blurbs about the papers and not the papers themselves. Let me illustrate. The atheist community made a big deal about the Benson et al. paper, claiming that it definitively showed that intercessory prayer (IP) had no effect. What did the paper actually say?

 

"Almost all subjects believed that friends, relatives, and/or members of their religious institution would be praying for them—group 1 (95.0%

[574/604]), group 2 (96.8% [579/597]), and group 3 (96.0% [577/601]). "

 

So already you have only 5% or less of people NOT receiving prayer.

 

However, there was a detected effect of prayer:

 

"Eighteen percent (109/604) in group 1 versus 13% (80/597) in group 2 (relative risk 1.18, 95% CI 1.03-1.35, P = .027) had at least one major

event within 30 days of CABG."

 

The prayer group had a decrease in major events that was significant at p <0.05 (p = 0.027).

 

Finally, you need to read the Discussion of the paper:

"Possible explanations for the lack of effect of intercessory prayer itself

include the following. First, intercessory prayer may not be effective in reducing complications after CABG. Second, the magnitude of the reduction could be smaller than the 10% that our study was powered to detect. Third, the occurrence of any complication within 30 days of surgery may not be appropriate or relevant to the effects of intercessory prayer."

 

That second one is the killer. In statistics there is a type II error -- failure to detect an effect that is actually there. You do a power analysis before you do the study to find the number of subjects you need to detect a difference. Here they did the calculations based on a 10% difference -- that means that 10% of the patients had to change.

 

BUT, we saw that only 5% of patients were not receiving outside intercessory prayer. Thus, even if every one of those patients did better (or worse), it was not enough to be a large enough difference to be detectable in their study. The study was flawed.

 

They chose CABG because there are a huge number of minor complications. But these minor complications do not threaten the health of the patient and all are easily treated and corrected. But there are a small number of major complications that are serious threats to life and health. As we saw above, the background rate for those in the non-prayer group was 18%. This was reduced to 13% in the IP group, which was a statistically significant difference.

 

So, we are stuck with numerous studies that document an effect of IP. Does this mean the supernatural exists? We don't know. Remember what was tested: IP. The cause of an effect of IP was never tested.


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I am going to assume that there is no way to do an unbiased study on the effects of prayer!How do you prove who ever is praying even believes?

 

That's not the case. You can do a scientifically unbiased study on intercessory prayer. That is, you can do a randomized double-blind experiment. Several of these have been done. The problems arise not because of the supposed faith (or lack of it) of the intercessors, but because:

 

1. You can't stop prayer for people in the control group. The patient himself, family, friends, churchmembers, etc. can/will be praying for him. What you are trying to deal with are a) the small number of patients who are not prayed for (evenly distributed in the 2 groups) and b) a possible effect of a small bit of additional prayer by the intercessors in the experimental group. All this tends to cover up any possible effect.

 

2. Modern medicine is pretty good. So the number of instances where prayer would be needed to work where modern medicine would not are very small. Again, this tends to cover up any effect of IP. You need huge numbers of patients because you are trying to detect a very small difference.

 

Both of these tend to cover up a possible effect and make it indetectable. That is why negative studies in this area (like so many other areas in science) don't tell you much and are not definitive. There are alternative hypotheses to explain a negative result. So that makes the studies finding an effect so noteworthy. And, despite iNow's assertion, there are a number of such studies:

 

14. Byrd, RC, Positive theraputic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care population. Southern Med Jour 1988 81(7):826-29. http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/smj1.html http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/smj.doc

15. WS Harris, M Gowda, JW Kolb, CP Strychacz, JL Vacek, PG Jones, A Forker, JH O'Keefe, BD McCallister, A randomized, controlled trial of the effects of remote, intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients admitted to the coronary care unit. Arch Intern Med. 1999;159:2273-2278 http://archinte.ama-assn.org/issues/v159n19/rfull/ioi90043.html

15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1627000/1627662.stm A study at North Carolina

17. http://health.medscape.com/viewarticle/405270 IP for infertile women

18: Dusek JA, Sherwood JB, Friedman R, Myers P, Bethea CF, Levitsky S, Hill PC,Jain MK, Kopecky SL, Mueller PS, Lam P, Benson H, Hibberd PL. Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP): study designand research methods.Am Heart J. 2002 Apr;143(4):577-84.

19: Leibovici L. Effects of remote, retroactive intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients withbloodstream infection: randomised controlled trial.BMJ. 2001 Dec 22-29;323(7327):1450-1.

20. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/324/7344/1037

21. Herbert Benson, MD, Jeffery A. Dusek, PhD, Jane B. Sherwood, RN, Peter Lam, PhD, Charles F. Bethea, MD,b William Carpenter, MDiv,c Sidney Levitsky, MD, Peter C. Hill, MD, Donald W. Clem, Jr, MA, Manoj K. Jain, MD, MPH, David Drumel, MDiv, Stephen L. Kopecky, MD, Paul S. Mueller, MD, Dean Marek, Sue Rollins, RN, MPH, and Patricia L. Hibberd, MD, PhD Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) in cardiac bypass patients: A multicenter randomized trial of uncertainty and certainty of receiving intercessory prayer. American Heart Journal, Volume 151, Number 4, 934-942, 2006.

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How long you think it would take me to find the methodological flaws in those, or the alternative explanations which make more sense?


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The atheist community made a big deal about the Benson et al. paper, claiming that it definitively showed that intercessory prayer (IP) had no effect. What did the paper actually say?

Except, that wasn't the only thing I cited, nor is the "atheist community" some homogeneous block.

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I truly believe that Logic can come to a truth.

 

Logic alone cannot come to a truth. What you also need is experience of the universe. Science has found that many things that should be "logically" true simply aren't.

 

I just don't believe science will be able to come to a truth until it is willing to engage in the fact that what people are sensing as a spiritual presence and supernatural phenomenon is real and tangible! If science always discards it as myth than science in no way can prove it wrong otherwise but each has a right to their belief.

 

Let's try to clarify this. Science deals only with intersubjective experience: experience that is the same for everyone under approximately the same circumstances. Personal experience of deity is NOT intersubjective. Therefore it is outside the domain of science. So it is not science that reject the experiences. Science is agnostic about them and can't comment. It is atheists claiming to use science that reject the experiences as myth or otherwise invalid. Science gets a bad rap from atheists misusing science for their own belief.

 

I personally believe that there is a science behind the super natural that one day will be discovered.

 

If that is so, then wouldn't that show deity not to exist? That is, aren't you supposing that science will find an explanation other than deity for those phenomenon?

 

However, what you are engaging in now is bad theology. What you are saying is that deity is to be found only where science cannot explain. Standard Judeo-Christian theology says that what science does explain -- the natural -- is just as much due to the "supernatural" as what science does not explain. I suggest you read the Fontispiece to Darwin's Origin of Species to find an excellent summary of this theological position.

 

I understand science is in a box and if something is outside of the box than it is discarded as hokey

 

That is not the case. If something is outside the limited domain of science, it is simply outside that domain and science cannot comment. What you are doing is mistaking the misuse of science by some individuals/groups for science itself.

 

I believe as of now what I am saying can stand in the balance of not being able to be proved logically true or untrue and as science stands something must be proved true or otherwise discarded as false is actually sciences very own limitation to coming to truth!

 

That would be if that were how science works. But science actually works the opposite of how you say. Unless an idea is falsified, it is possible. It is impossible to "prove" by either inductive or deductive logic. However, you can absolutely disprove by deductive logic. Therefore what science does is disprove, or falsify, hypotheses/theories. If we can't disprove it, we can't discard it.

 

Also, although science uses both inductive and deductive logic, science knows that logic itself is insufficient to either "prove" or disprove. The essence of science is to test our ideas -- including those ideas that result from logic -- against the actual physical universe. If the universe shows the ideas to be wrong -- no matter how good the logic -- then the idea is wrong. Period.


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How long you think it would take me to find the methodological flaws in those, or the alternative explanations which make more sense?

 

Go ahead. I have been looking for the methodological flaws for a number of years now and haven't found them. I also haven't found an alternative hypothesis to IP to explain the results.

 

Except, that wasn't the only thing I cited, nor is the "atheist community" some homogeneous block.

 

What you cited were incorrect criticisms of some of the earlier papers that I referenced. As I noted, because of the limitations of studies on IP, negative results don't mean anything: there are too many factors at work to cover up a real effect. This is a common thing in science, which is why negative results are so seldom reported.

 

The atheist community -- particularly the online atheist community -- has been very united in criticism of IP studies. Look at any of the major atheist websites, such as http://www.infidels.org, and you will find them. Ironically, their objection to IP studies is based not only on invalid criticism of the methodology, but also on a misunderstanding of what science can test. The atheist community, like you here, are assuming that an effect of IP automatically means the existence of deity/supernatural. If you had actually read any of the IP papers, you would have found this:

 

"Neither this study nor that of Byrd provided any mechanistic explanation for the possible benefits of intercessory prayer. However, others have speculated as to what they might be10; they generally fall into 2 broad categories: natural or supernatural explanations. The former explanation would attribute the beneficial effects of intercessory prayer to "real" but currently unknown physical forces that are "generated" by the intercessors and "received" by the patients; the latter explanation would be, by definition, beyond the ken of science. However, this trial was designed to explore not a mechanism but a phenomenon. Clearly, proof of the latter must precede exploration of the former. By analogy, when James Lind, by clinical trial, determined that lemons and limes cured scurvy aboard the HMS Salisbury in 1753, he not only did not know about ascorbic acid, he did not even understand the concept of a "nutrient." There was a natural explanation for his findings that would be clarified centuries later, but his inability to articulate it did not invalidate his observations.

 

Although we cannot know why we obtained the results we did, we can comment on what our data do not show. For example, we have not proven that God answers prayer or that God even exists. It was intercessory prayer, not the existence of God, that was tested here." WS Harris, M Gowda, JW Kolb, CP Strychacz, JL Vacek, PG Jones, A Forker, JH O'Keefe, BD McCallister, A randomized, controlled trial of the effects of remote, intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients admitted to the coronary care unit. Arch Intern Med. 1999;159:2273-2278

Edited by lucaspa
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Lucaspa - Many of your posts strike me as semantic quibbles. You're doing it here with me (again) and with GDG in another thread. We really both agree on much of what you said. I'll just leave it there. Our thoughts are not as disparate as you seem to suggest.

 

Implicit in the claim that "prayer helps or heals" is the idea that it is some cosmic sky pixie doing the helping or healing. We are aligned on the point that this is not discussed in the studies.

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REPLY: I am not inclined to belief in the super natural. But I did see that regular sized bowl half full of sugar move rapidly all about that table top in all sorts of different ways: sharp rapid turns, reversing directions,and such. about one foot at a tme. I picked the bowl up and checked for water,moisture,there was none. My girlfriend at that time was there with me and watched in amazement along with me. We had both just gotten out of bed and I was heading off to my boring job loading and unloading truck and car tires. I threw that in because I remember with certainty both of us were totally sober. And neither of us had ever used any sort of psycho-active drug. This was around 1996 and they were not in wide usage where we lived at that time. In the city were living in there never was a subway system, we were nowhere near any railroad train.

I was never inclined to think in terms of the super natural. It is the one event that occurred in my lifetime that I cannot explain. Please do not take this as some effort on my part to open up an old rift between us. I think you know me better than that by now. I surely hope so. Regards, ...Dr.Syntax

 

REPLY: I meant this happened in 1966 NOT 1996. Sorry for any confusion I may have caused about this iNow. Regards, ...Dr.Syntax

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What is to keep me from praying for (or against) everyone in the world, skewing the results of any double blind test?

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As I said in my initial post i am not schooled in the sciences and am searching for help from those who are.It has become a toss up for the average layman to know where to turn for answers!I don't know which scientific studies to trust and not trust. I see studies like sugar plays no part in hyperactivity in children and it makes me sick! As far as I know they stuck a bowl of sugar beside him and said yep!! This confirms it!

Anyone with common sense can cut back on sugar intake and and substitute fresh fruits and vegetables and observe a change in a child's behavior. Science is becoming such an abuse of power that the average person is completely loosing faith in its integrity all in the name of the almighty dollar!

At least religion keeps(some) people feeling positive and loved and moving in a positive direction so people will stick with it no matter how illogical it is! But even religion has it's quirks and will take advantage of peoples emotions for money as well!

If you don't think positive energy affects your physical world I can show you with just good ole common sense!

This is coming from someone just seeking honest help! I am looking for those who can see a glass half full and not half empty because I do know how positive energy in someone has in impact! I am not looking to just be slammed down with someone who tries to use power behind knowledge( not aimed at anyone but just experience in all science forums I have been in)!

I understand these rooms are for open debate but just looking for integrity behind the debate! I feel integrity will always take someone where knowledge can't. If you want to discredit me just ask a scientific question!

Please note again that this is not pointed in anyone's direction at all but stating a simple fact there is a lot of learning and growing humans can do even outside of the sciences and logic can never be the ends to all means!


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If that is so, then wouldn't that show deity not to exist? That is, aren't you supposing that science will find an explanation other than deity for those phenomenon?

 

I am not using a bad theology but am am suggesting what you are saying here!

I believe logic will explain the supernatural.

 

In other words maybe the cows lining up with a magnetic field might sound a little hokie to a skeptic but could there possibly be something to this sense and could even humans have a sense of a force (magnetic field or what ever...)

and create many different kinds of religions and belief systems off of this.

Could our sense of right and wrong come from are ability to stay in line with

the north and south poles magnetic fields maybe through intuition! When we step out of bounds our body gets out of balance(cause of health problems) and when we get back in bounds the body starts to heal and get back in balance! Could prayer be one way to try and hold in balance,positive thinking possibly another, ways to alleviate stress another and etc...! Could all religions and beliefs and so forth all fall back onto one source which is just a natural (logical) occurrence of nature!

Can it be logical since we are created with energy and mass are are able to produce energy( even if its static ) that we could sense the existence of magnetic field. Can there be deep studies in this. When some people get motion sickness and others don't ,can it be because of being a little out of alignment of magnetic field and what not.

I know this might sound out there but is it more plausible then a God!


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If that is so, then wouldn't that show deity not to exist? That is, aren't you supposing that science will find an explanation other than deity for those phenomenon?

 

I am not using a bad theology but am am suggesting what you are saying here!

I believe logic will explain the supernatural.

 

In other words maybe the cows lining up with a magnetic field might sound a little hokie to a skeptic but could there possibly be something to this sense and could even humans have a sense of a force (magnetic field or what ever...)

and create many different kinds of religions and belief systems off of this.

Could our sense of right and wrong come from are ability to stay in line with

the north and south poles magnetic fields maybe through intuition! When we step out of bounds our body gets out of balance(cause of health problems) and when we get back in bounds the body starts to heal and get back in balance! Could prayer be one way to try and hold in balance,positive thinking possibly another, ways to alleviate stress another and etc...! Could all religions and beliefs and so forth all fall back onto one source which is just a natural (logical) occurrence of nature!

Can it be logical since we are created with energy and mass are are able to produce energy( even if its static ) that we could sense the existence of magnetic field. Can there be deep studies in this. When some people get motion sickness and others don't ,can it be because of being a little out of alignment of magnetic field and what not.

I know this might sound out there but is it more plausible then a God!


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Consecutive posts merged
If that is so, then wouldn't that show deity not to exist? That is, aren't you supposing that science will find an explanation other than deity for those phenomenon?

 

I am not using a bad theology but am am suggesting what you are saying here!

I believe logic will explain the supernatural.

 

In other words maybe the cows lining up with a magnetic field might sound a little hokie to a skeptic but could there possibly be something to this sense and could even humans have a sense of a force (magnetic field or what ever...)

and create many different kinds of religions and belief systems off of this.

Could our sense of right and wrong come from are ability to stay in line with

the north and south poles magnetic fields maybe through intuition! When we step out of bounds our body gets out of balance(cause of health problems) and when we get back in bounds the body starts to heal and get back in balance! Could prayer be one way to try and hold in balance,positive thinking possibly another, ways to alleviate stress another and etc...! Could all religions and beliefs and so forth all fall back onto one source which is just a natural (logical) occurrence of nature!

Can it be logical since we are created with energy and mass are are able to produce energy( even if its static ) that we could sense the existence of magnetic field. Can there be deep studies in this. When some people get motion sickness and others don't ,can it be because of being a little out of alignment of magnetic field and what not.

I know this might sound out there but is it more plausible then a God!

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This thread has no place in the Quantum Theory forum. Request move to GD or P&S.

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I happen to know through experience that prayer and positive thinking play a major role in you external surroundings but that won't mean a hill of beans to you especially if your skeptic!

 

I wanted to back this up since it is a strong statement and see how common sense can stand with scientific logic!

 

 

Can't positive thinking affect our performance, thus affecting our actions, thus affecting everyone's reaction?

Let's do a scientific study or actually one that has been done over and over!

Put yourself in a positive state through positive thinking and go ask a girl out!

Try again in a negative state and see if you get a similar reaction! Each of those reactions will continue on maybe even forever as it influences behavior passed on from one person to the next.You could end up married and in a whole complete physical world than the other. Suppose a friend of the girl sees you at night and is scared because she thinks your a freak from asking her friend out in a negative state so turns and runs and gets hit by a car!That affect will go on and on also since it might have caused a life to never be born and so on. Your positive and negative state affects your world tremendously and does not have to be supernatural.I believe we can communicate this energy somehow through intuition and even dogs and animals can pick up and be affected also but thats my own speculation!

 

Where has it been proven that picking lint does not help?

 

Where has it been proven that stepping over cracks in the sidewalk does not help?

 

Where has it been proven that whistling does not help?

 

Where has it been proven that abstaining from prayer does not help?

 

This being said maybe picking up lint can be proved to help if you feel lucky and positive for doing it! Just don't leave a bunch on your shirt when you ask out that girl because lint itself can cause the whole world to change!!!(smiling)! So be it to all other forms of belief!

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What you are refering to is the placebo effect right?

 

That, as far as we can tell, is just tricking your mind to feel a certain way, perform a certain task and whatnot.

 

As for the alternate universe thing, that happens all the time in every instant of time. Infinite possibilities ranging from the exact position of an atom to the random formation of a black hole.

 

The concept of your mind actually effecting your surroundings has not been proven yet and will not be proven in some time (if true at all).

 

As to the main purpose of this thread, I think it might. It might just be the tool needed to look past the appearence of super natural phenomenon and see the physics at play.

 

Think of it this way, if you were to print out a paper with green on it, a person who didn't know any better could say that green was its own color that could not be broken down.

 

Now there are two ways of proving this false and see the mecanics of this 'phenomenon'.

 

Experiment with paints to mix blue and yellow to create green.

 

Or Take a microscope to the paper to see dots of blue and yellow ink to make green.

 

Imo, the later way is science's way of proof. (In general I guess) And our 'microscope' to these phenomenon could be quantum physics.

 

The earlier though, would be the psycics, shamans, ect, way of proof. They 'experiment' and see the effects before finding the logic behind it.

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The concept of your mind actually effecting your surroundings has not been proven yet and will not be proven in some time (if true at all).

 

Not even going into this yet I was using a more obvious explanation that is basic logic.

 

If your actions are affected by how you think, then doesn't that in turn affect your surroundings?

If you are mad you may punch the wall.

If your happy you may sing.

It might be a very simple concept but the reality of the consequences of behavior will always leave us in uncertainty.

 

 

I believe the placebo effect is the effect of faith and is real and tangible.

 

Now I do believe that as they are observing weird behaviors in subatomic particles that the mind is having an effect but it's yet to be proved.

 

That, as far as we can tell, is just tricking your mind to feel a certain way, perform a certain task and whatnot.

Do you mean tricking your mind or turning skepticism or(fear) into faith?

I think its a belief system and not a thought process.

 

The earlier though, would be the psycics, shamans, ect, way of proof. They 'experiment' and see the effects before finding the logic behind it.

This is what I believe! Their is a science behind what people sense through intuition.

There is a science behind the placebo effect.

There is a science behind intuition itself.

I believe anything you can possibly observe with any of your senses is energy in a state of least resistance of either kinetic or potential and that this energy flows through the path of least resistance just like water!

I believe it is why we have creation and it to be the God of Spinoza and Einstein!

I believe if everything else was gone there would just be energy!

Edited by walkntune

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And I agree with you but how are you implying our minds directly affect the physical world? What is your reasoning? Indirectly like the situation you just posted, yes, it can and everyone here will (or should) agree with that. But that only occurs because our minds control our bodies that can affect the physical world. So the mind, as we can conclude thus far, can only affect this plane through our bodies.

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