I knew that Iraq post would be a bust comment-wise. The thousand or so we’ll get for this one should balance it out.
Here’s the abstract. The author looked at 17 studies over 40 years and found “significant improvement or favorable trends” among patients in 12 of them, according to the Arizona Republic. Approached for his reaction, a spokesman for an atheist group demonstrated once again why my kind is so widely respected and loved:
David Silverman, a spokesman for the American Atheists, said some of the research Hodge examined is flawed because the patients knew people were praying for them. That can have a placebo effect, or a positive outcome due to the patient’s expectations, he said.
“The Religious Right hates to admit they are wrong, and they hate to admit when it comes right down to it: Prayer does nothing,” Silverman said.
There’s video in the sidebar at the Republic site which suggests (but obviously doesn’t prove) that Silverman’s explanation doesn’t work in every case. Click the image to watch.