Home » Atheism, Culture, Intellectual freedom, Intelligent Design » But what happens when you try praying to science?

But what happens when you try praying to science?

The diverting New Scientist tells us that atheists turn to science in times of stress:

Some caveats: the effect was modest, the team didn’t measure whether the rowers’ stress levels went down, and the subjects – competitive athletes who follow a rational training regime – are probably already scientifically minded. However, the findings reflect a growing body of psychological evidence that people find comfort in times of threat by moving closer to certain aspects of their world view – conservatives become more conservative, for example, liberals more liberal, religious believers more devout.

And this is big news?

Why would anyone waste time on a study that demonstrates that when people are under threat, they turn to what they really believe?

From news writer O’Leary: When civil rights were deteriorating in Canada some years ago, I used to comfort myself listening to the national anthem, of all things (“the true North, strong and free”), thinking — if Canada isn’t free, we had better do something about that, and soon.

We can’t allow claims about legal offenses that make no sense under English Common Law (the supposed crime of disrespect for some historical figure like Mohammed, for example), to be tolerated in our courts. (We won that one.)

The big problem is what DO people really believe? On what evidence? And how will it help them? And what will the outcome be?

Denyse O’Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

3 Responses to But what happens when you try praying to science?

  1. I don’t know about praying to ‘science’, but praying has ‘scientifically’ been shown to be effective. In the following video, Candy Gunther Brown exposes some of the ways that atheists have tried, and failed, to manipulate prayer studies to give the a priori result they want, whereas when the prayer studies are conducted properly, she shows that a consistent positive result is obtained,,, sometimes quite remarkable results from prayer.

    Testing Prayer: Science and Miraculous Healing – Candy Gunther Brown at Boston College – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRfLooh3ZOk

    Related notes:

    Study Of The Therapeutic Effects Of Proximal Intercessory Prayer (PIP) On Auditory and Visual Impairments In Rural Mozambique – 2010
    CONCLUSIONS: Rural Mozambican subjects exhibited improved audition and/or visual acuity subsequent to PIP. The magnitude of measured effects exceeds that reported in previous suggestion and hypnosis studies. Future study seems warranted to assess whether PIP may be a useful adjunct to standard medical care for certain patients with auditory and/or visual impairments, especially in contexts where access to conventional treatment is limited.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20686441

    A Systematic Review of the Empirical Literature on Intercessory Prayer – March 2010
    Excerpt: Meta-analysis indicated small, but significant, effect sizes for the use of intercessory prayer,,
    http://rsw.sagepub.com/cgi/con.....t/17/2/174

    Miracles: Keener’s Reflections – video playlist
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ature=plcp

    Are Religious People Happier Than Atheists? – 2000
    Excerpt: there does indeed appear to be a link between religion and happiness. Several studies have been done, but to give an example, one study found that the more frequently people attended religious events, the happier they were; 47% of people who attended several types a week reported that they were ‘very happy’, as opposed to 28% who attended less than monthly.
    In practical terms, religious people have the upper hand on atheists in several other areas. They drink and smoke less, are less likely to abuse drugs, and they stay married longer. After a stressful event like bereavement, unemployment, or illness, those who worship don’t take it as hard and recover faster. All of the above are likely to be beneficial to a person’s happiness. Additionally, religious people, as a result of their beliefs, have a greater sense of meaning, purpose and hope in their lives.
    http://generallythinking.com/a.....-atheists/

    Atheism and health
    A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.[4][5]
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_health

    Gallup Poll of 676,000 shows the most religious Americans have highest well-being – February 2012
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ell-being/

  2. Some health experts recommend prayer as treatment for depression and stress. While it may be true that a quiet moment of prayerlike reflection may relieve stress, much the same could be said about certain sounds of nature or even a back rub. True Christians do not trivialize prayer by viewing it as just a feel-good therapy. We view prayer as reverential communication with the Creator. Prayer involves our devotion to and confidence in God.

  3. Barb

    Did you get the email I sent you?

Leave a Reply