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Mark E. Smith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:05 AM
Original message
Healing Power Of Prayer Doubted In Patient Study
Researchers say people benefited from bedside therapies like music and touch before surgery, but congregations' blessings had no effect.

By Brad Wible, Los Angeles Times 7/16/05

Prayers from distant congregations did not effect patients' recovery from coronary artery procedures, but bedside therapies using music and touch before surgery reduced stress and offered a slight advantage in survival, scientists reported Friday.

The study, published in the Lancet medical journal, looked at 748 patients at nine U.S. medical centers.

Patients were randomly chosen to receive off-site prayer, bedside therapy, both treatments or none.

"This is a test of whether medicine can help people do what they've already been doing for thousands of years in virtually every culture in the world," said Dr. Mitchell W. Krucoff, a cardiologist at Duke University medical center in North carolina and the study's lead author.

Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist congregations were given patients' names and prayed for them for five to 30 days.

Survival rates did not differ among those who received prayer and those who did not, the study found.

http://www.latimes.com/features/health/medicine/la-sci-...
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. healing works, but only
if the person is open to healing. Fear and doubt are barriers that cannot be surmounted until they are taken down.

I have been told is to proper to ask someone if you can pray for them for healing; perhaps this study shows why.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Healing? Like laying on of hands healing?
You're not really serious, are you?
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. I think the article is referring to "healing" as praying for recovery.
I don't think the praying is to be considered an exclusive type of therapy even among those who practice it. My parents and other church persons I know believe in praying for healing, but it is an adjunct to medical care.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. I refuse to pray that way.
There is no "combining" prayer and medicine. Here's what happens when you do both: If you pray and apply medicine, and the patient gets better, it's because God healed him. If he doesn't, it's because medicine failed. Once God is involved, He always "wins." No one ever says, "Wow, God sure let him down. Darn God."

If there is a God, and he is all-powerful and in control of everything, he certainly doesn't need my prayers.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. you mean the top god has no ego that needs honoring?
don't forget how young the universe is.
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rogue_bandit Donating Member (105 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #14
37. Great phrase
I never thought of young people as needing honoring. I am ashamed to admit the thought never entered my mind.

I have thought of giving them compliments and praise. But never honoring.

Honoring has a slightly different flavor to me that I really like. To honor someone just because they are, rather than praise or compliments for soemthing they did.

John
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bigluckyfeet Donating Member (559 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
45. I Believe In the Power of Prayer
For healing and otherwise.
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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #45
70. I don't
But that's what's great about this board, isn't it?

As for prayer, I think it has a psychological effect on those that believe it in. That effect could help in recoveries, but for serious illnesses that effect is probably minimal if anything.

As for prayer helping other people, I don't see how that mechanism could work.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #45
108. I believe in evidence.
So far there is no evidence that prayer heals.
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #45
131. Christianity is only 2K years old. I believe in the sky people that have
been around a lot longer than that. When they get pissed off,
lightning falls out of the sky and a big noise happens.
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #14
119. Welcome to DU antifaschits
:hi:
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. Right. When someone credits "prayer" or "God" for a child's recovery
I always wonder what about the child in the next bed who didn't make it? Did his/her parents not "pray" as hard? God didn't like that child? What?

People have a "right" to believe whatever they like, of course, but plants don't listen to us, distant prayer doesn't cure us, and the earth isn't flat.
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reprobate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Interesting study about talking to plants I saw long ago.


The study reported that they did find that plants that were talked to and sung to on a regular basis grew better than plants that were not.

The scientific explanation was that plants that were talked to recieved more carbon dioxide from the breaths of the participants and therefor grew better than plants that just took it from the atmosphere.

Makes sense.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #25
50. Hey, that's cool AND scientifically sound!
Well, as far as I know, anyway. Thanks for the tidbit.

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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #25
66. so to the plants, we are god?
and to the best behaved plants, they get better water and food rations?
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #66
87. Are plants sentient? And how do plants "behave", exactly?
NT!

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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #87
92. My plants behave badly
by dying.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #92
101. we be in a drought here
and the sight of short corn and brown grass is a bit saddening.
even the rain feels dry the few times that it falls.

I suspect that even if I preyed over them, they would still lose all semblence of green.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #13
24. I'm a nurse. I guess I'm not religious enough anymore
to give God credit. To me, it's about making the sick one feel more positive about the good forces in the world on his or her side.
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AlwaysQuestion Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #13
55. I like the way you think
I agree with what you said. I also think that prayer is self-aggrandizing. Even though I am not a believer in organized religion, I once used to pray to god on health issues until I realized one day how pretty damn important I felt myself to be. Why? Because I knew damn well that as I was praying for whatever, others were starving by the hundreds of thousands, others were being unspeakably tortured; and still others were in other types of horrendous pain--and all praying to their god for relief. Could I believe even for a split second that I would be the one whose prayer would be honoured by god? For what possible reason? The answer was patently clear, for no good reason. So now, I just takes my chances and hopes for the best.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. One Would Think That A Deity Could Overcome Such Minor Obstacles ...
<< Fear and doubt are barriers that cannot be surmounted until they are taken down. >>

like "fear" and "doubt".

<< I have been told is to proper to ask someone if you can pray for them for healing; perhaps this study shows why. >>

Wouldn't that be like telling someone in a double-blind drug-testing that they are actually receiving the REAL medicine? The placebo effect is proven and that's WHY we have double-blind testing.

By TELLING someone (asking permission) that they are being "prayed over"... and if they believe in such things... the placebo effect may come into play.

Indeed, this study DOES show why believers think it's "proper" to ask (and therefore inform) someone that they are being prayed-over... otherwise it won't "work" without the patient's knowledge (and their belief that it might work).

Being "proper" has absolutely nothing to do with it.



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pop goes the weasel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
20. the ugly flip side to that
is the belief that people who do not recover or who remain disabled don't have faith or are spiritually weak or in sin some how. I think we all have to admit to knowing people who rationalize the "failure" of prayer that way.

There may be benefits to congregational and private prayer, but I doubt they come through praying for miracles, which is what a prayer for healing is. Better than a prayer for healing is a neighbor with a casserole and a friend keeping watch over one's children. That's prayer in action, and it matters not the religion or any religion of the practioner--the good that is done is permanent and benefits the whole of humanity.

This is why touch and music are found in this study to be helpful. They are prayer in action, a direct transference of the desire for better things through an effort for better things. I had a doctor once who brought a cd-player into the surgery room, with a stack of cds. When he left to run the biopsy, he let me choose a playlist to pass the time until the results came back. I don't know if that doctor was religious at all, but I do know that I was not forgotten and was not alone and that George Thorogood and the Destroyers really take your mind off the pain breaking through as the anesthetic wears off.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
26. Prove it. EOM
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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #26
44. Prove it to yourself....you can't ask another to do it for you....
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #44
51. Uh, you can when they make an unproven assertion.
The burden of proof is on the poster who asserted that faith healing works (a poster I like very much, but disagree with).

Sometimes there's no way to prove anything to yourself, because what's being debated ISN'T REAL. That's why it's seen as incumbent on the one making the assertion to prove it.

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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #51
61. Who can prove it?
You noted "Sometimes there's no way to prove anything to yourself, because what's being debated ISN'T REAL. That's why it's seen as incumbent on the one making the assertion to prove it."

This can be applied to anything - who can say what is real and what isn't? It has more to do with the person who is saying something is real, than "reality" itself.

When I said they had to prove it to themselves...I said that coming from an understanding that a "healing" is only verifide by the person who is receiving the healing. So long as the healing is real to them...than it is real to them. How can that be proven by another.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 03:35 AM
Response to Reply #61
64. Well, you're describing the placebo effect...
..a scientifically-understood phenomenon. So in a sense, I understand your point, but it didn't address the other poster's point, which was in reply to an unsubstantiated assertion.

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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #61
113. Provable things can be proven.
The effects of penicillin can be proven.

The effects of morphine can be proven.

They are not verified only by the person who receives them.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #44
74. No, you made the claim, you prove it.
I didnt ask you to do anything for me.

You are stating it as a matter of fact that prayer works.

Prove it.
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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #74
76. Disease and other things that require healing...
....the effect of healing on them, have to be measured by the person who has or has not been healed....the fact is, you never really know where it came from...the reality of where it came from is whatever the person being healed wants it to be...another poster mentioned the 'placebo' effect. The placebo effect is, an effect...right? However it comes, the reality is always prescribed to certain degree by the person that is being healed.

Another words, if you want to receive a healing...you must submit to it yourself and then measure it yourself...it's not hard to do and there are 'healers' within and outside of religion...some healers are more like 'Quantum Physicians' then your typical Benny Hinn type showman faith helers.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #76
84. You are muddling the facts.
"Disease and other things that require healing...the effect of healing on them, have to be measured by the person who has or has not been healed"

That is simply not true. A viral infection is cleared when the virus is gone. A bone ceases to be broken when it fuses. In the large majority of medical situations the patient has no way of knowing whether the treatment has been successful or not. The patient can only attest to those symptoms they are concious of. Often the symptoms last after the treatment has been successful. Someone who just had heart surgery might not feel better than they did before the surgery. It doesnt mean they still have the same heart problem.

"The placebo effect is, an effect...right? However it comes, the reality is always prescribed to certain degree by the person that is being healed."

No the reality is not prescribed by anyone. Reality is reality. it is not prescribed. The placebo effect is not mystical. People who recieve treatments tend to report lessened symptoms regardless of the efficacy of the treatment. Which actually contradits your point that patients know when they are healed.

"Another words, if you want to receive a healing...you must submit to it yourself and then measure it yourself...it's not hard to do and there are 'healers' within and outside of religion...some healers are more like 'Quantum Physicians' then your typical Benny Hinn type showman faith helers."

No, if I want to ACTUALLY be healed, I do not measure it myself. I know that doing so would be foolish because my ability to measure my health status is very poor since I lack the knowledge and equipment to do so.
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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #84
85. I can't argue with that....
....I don't really have enough time to go into to much detail...I am not sure how open you are to new ideas...watch (with a skeptical mind as I did) a movie called "What the Bleep"...link: http://www.whatthebleep.com /

All I can say is have an open mind...and welcome to the "New Paradigm" :)

another link for similar ideas: http://www.wie.org/
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powwowdancer Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #85
97. beware the movie "What the *** do they know"
That particular movie has been thoroughly dealt with (i.e., de-bunked), by both Skeptic magazine and Skeptical Inquirer. Here's a link to S.I.'s review. Bottom line?

...the movie is a hodgepodge of all kinds of crackpot nonsense dressed up as modern science.

and don't get me started on the "Ramtha" lady. Here's an excerpt from the Skeptics Dictionary about J.Z. Knight and her non-corporeal "friend."

...she also owns the copyright to Ramtha and conducts sessions in which she pretends to go into a trance and speaks Hollywoods version of Elizabethan English in a guttural, husky voice. She has thousands of followers and has made millions of dollars performing as Ramtha at seminars ($1,000 a crack) and at her Ramtha School of Enlightenment, and from the sales of tapes, books, and accessories. Her big break came when her son, Brandy, developed "an allergic reaction to life." He had to have a few shots but he was allergic to the allergy shots. Fortunately, "the Ram" (as Knight calls her spirit invader) came to the rescue and taught her therapeutic touch. She healed Brandy with prayer and her touch "in less than a minute," greatly reducing her medical bills.

Again, bottom line, no matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney.

:dem:
powwowdancer out
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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
43. You must always get permission...
...also the healing needs to be specific from what I understand...
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #43
112. Why must you get permission or be specific?
Yuo don't need permission to benefit from penicillin.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
49. I love your posts, but respectfully, can you offer proof of this claim?
Suggesting that it doesn't work because of the intended recipient's alleged fears or doubts, without a shred of evidence to prove that, is nothing more than guesswork.

Maybe it doesn't work because it never actually works. As far as I'm aware, there is zero evidence that prayer or laying on of hands or any similar mystical treatment actually has an effect (either positive or negative) on patients.

Believing that it helps is fine. Asserting that it helps with no proof that it does is not accurate.

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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #49
62. being an orthodox-non-mystic is pretty extreme.....
...it is so hard to prove anything either way...don't you think?
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 03:38 AM
Response to Reply #62
65. I'm not what you label me as.
There is no orthodoxy to my life or my beliefs (or, in the case of the existence of gods, lack of belief).

It's is impossible to prove a negative, but those asserting supernatural things as real, tangible things should back those assertions up.

I'm perfectly willing to review what anyone has to offer, but "I believe" simply doesn't prove anything to anyone outside of the person doing the believing.

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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #65
81. I wasn't trying to label you....
... I was only trying to show you that people design labels for themselves. The problem with healing and trying to prove it to someone else is...that it is not something that needs proving. It's like trying to explain to someone that you talk to your dead mother at night before you go to bed. Who can prove such a thing? With the placebo effect and every other factor that goes into why a person says that they are healed...there is no way to accurately measure a 'healing'. I personally have seen what I thought was a healing...because I can not prove this...does not deny the reality of it...it just means that the people asking me to prove it don't believe it.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #81
86. "does not deny the reality of it" - nor does it prove it actually happens.
Do people get mysteriously healed? Yes. Does the fact that someone was praying or whatever at the same time mean the prayer had some effect? Not necessarily.

Could it have helped? Maybe, but studies such as the one in the OP suggest it does not have any effect.

I'm sorry to harp on this, it's just very important that we understand that while faith healing may at some point be found to be effective, to this point there is no evidence it is, and I think to assert that it does without any evidence of such is inaccurate and potentially dismissive of real, proven methods of healing.

I look at those who refuse to undergo medical treatment and choose the faith healing route, and I marvel that people can place so much faith in unproven methods over science shown to heal people.

Not all believers in prayer/faith healing do that, of course. And I'm not saying there will never be studies that show that such methods work - just that it's false to state they do work as a matter of fact at this point in time.

Best that can be said is that the jury's still out. People will of course continue to believe that it works, and if that helps them heal via a placebo effect, swell. I'm all for people getting better!

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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #86
89. People refusing any sort of healing...
...out of stubbornness and fear is a problem. Turning down traditional western medicine for a 'faith' based healing, because medicine is 'evil' or it shows a lack of faith is doing nothing but displaying a closed heart and mind. It is different when a choice has to be made between a treatment and the possible side effects. That's essentially what it comes down to...a choice. Choose healing period. If I felt that I could get healed by having a man in a chicken suit crack a dozen eggs over my head...more power to me...whether or not it works is a different story.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. True enough.
NT!

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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
2. Just another scientific study to ignore and belittle in support
of a new emerging dark age in the US.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Precisely.
Edited on Sat Jul-16-05 08:27 AM by arwalden
Religionists and magical-thinkers are happy to embrace Medieval thinking, superstitions, and practices.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. It won't matter. Charismatics who believe
this stuff won't be swayed no matter how many studies are done. They are defiantly "unscientific" in their worldview. And damn proud of it. :crazy:
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powwowdancer Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #8
71. BINGO!
That's right... the people who could benefit the most from this study will dismiss it outright, (remember, the universe is only 40,000 years old! god planted dinosaur bones to test the faithful!), and those of us who understand it don't require much further proof that flapdoodle is indeed so much flapdoodle. I was in the sauna at the local "Y" with a coupla guys were smugly cheney-sneering at the whole concept of evolution. After listening to about as much silly blather as I could stomach, I piped up and said, "If all it takes to kill your god is a little good science, you'd better get him in the ground before he starts to smell." The problem with the dominant culture in this country is that many of 'em have farted around and made god in man's image. For too many americans, god is a venal, irate white guy, (does he have a penis? If not, how do you know he's a he? Cause "he" doesn't have tits? Does he wear pants? Does "he" have to go potty? If he does, it would certainly go a long way towards explaining certain parts of Kentucky), who is in desperate need of anger management therapy. Jesus was a liberal Jew. Selah.

:dem:
powwowdancer out
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. Anything people know of and believe in will work, somewhat.
It's called the "placebo effect" when doctors do it.
And, sometimes, it's better than the "medicine" they give you instead.
But it's no silver bullet.
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Loki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
4. As a nurse for over 20 years and a parent for many more
I have always believed that touch is a form of prayer. But, then that's just my observation.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
52. "touch is a form of prayer" - that's a very sweet notion.
I like it, because it gives credit to those like yourself who actually do heal others, rather than passing off your efforts as the work of some unproven mythical being.

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powwowdancer Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #52
72. Unless you're an altar boy...
Or a guest at neverland. Sorry. I'm in smartass overdrive today. I shall be sternly disciplined. :spank:

:dem:
powwowdancer out
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
7. How does the study affect those who pray for our troops in Iraq? n/t
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. I haven't seen that prayer is helping them that much, but maybe I'm too
much of a pessimist. I haven't prayed for anything bad to happen to anyone, just for our troops to come home and the killing to stop. So much for that after three years.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. You and I have been praying for the same thing, so much for prayer. n/t
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DanCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
10.  I fully support prayer and medicine in combination with each other.
Edited on Sat Jul-16-05 09:03 AM by DanCa
If something gives a person a sense of calm and hope and belonging and peace etc I am all for it. I will never knock an "individual's" right to pray so long as they dont force me to believe in what there praying for and vice er versa. Sometimes when a person is termnially ill all they have left is faith and I am not going to be the one to break no matter how much I may or may not disagree with them.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
27. Did you read the article?
Edited on Sat Jul-16-05 02:35 PM by K-W
They arent talking about patients personal prayers. They are talking about having congregations pray for patients.

Nobody is suggesting patients cant do whatever makes them comfortable. This just shows that there is no effect of prayer outside of whatever comforting and placebo effects it might have if the patient is aware of it.
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DanCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #27
31.  Yes I read the article (nt)
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #27
38. The congreations just didn't pray hard enough to help, that's why
there was no statistical showing for the power of prayer. Next time
they will have to say 5 more Hail Mary's each.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
16. do you mean I've been putting my hands on the tv for nothing? n/t
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powwowdancer Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #16
73. No, no, no... yer not doing it right...
First, be sure it's plugged in, write a check to your fave televangelist and mail it, then reach around behind your TV and grope vigorously until you FEEL THE POWER!

halleluia!

:dem:
powwowdancer out
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geckosfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
17. You are being unamerican and unpatriotic by repeating these lies. n/t
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
18. Memphis Minnie said it best:
crying won't help you
praying won't do you no good...

Yet, fools persist
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
21. Nothing fails like Prayer.
I have first-hand knowledge of that. That's when I took a hard look at what I was trying to believe and said "Y'know, this makes about as much sense as praying to a plush Winnie-the-Pooh doll...."
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
22. Fleecing
Edited on Sat Jul-16-05 10:48 AM by davekriss
In western science, a hypothesis to be accepted as "true" needs to be demonstrable and repeatable, so it is perfectly reasonable to set up an experiment to test the hypothesis that prayer heals. However, the religious literalist would reply that this is an example of fleecing, and under the new covenant God will not be fleeced.

Fleecing: Some old testament figure, I think Gideon, tested the veracity of what he was being told by challenging the angel before him, 'If what you say is the word of God, then let this fleece be dry tomorrow morning when all the ground is damp with dew.' Next morning, the fleece was dry as a stone in the sun. But that wasn't good enough for Gideon, so the next day he challenged the angel again and asked that the fleece be damp and the ground around it dry, and it was so.

Unfortunately for us I think Jesus tells us God will not respond to crass requests for fleecing. God will not be tested. So running a test, an experiment, seems at cross-purposes and is likely to be defeated. Instead, I think the new covenant says we are to test our theories against the word (the bible), and the word tells us that we are healed by the stripes of Christ (the whip marks Jesus received on his way to the cross). But none of the blessings of Christ are received without faith. Believe, and it will be done; ask, and you shall receive; knock and the door will be opened.

(At least that's how I think it goes, I'm hardly a scholar on these matters.)

    Whatever we leave to God, God does and blesses us; the work we choose should be our own, God lets alone.
    -- Thoreau

I think I've seen pass through here a number of links to statistical studies that show a positive effect on survival, healing, and quality of life for those with faith vs. those without. A difference between those studies and the experiment here is that the former are not examples of fleecing, they were statistical studies after the fact, observations of uncontrived outcomes (not isolated into the experimental petri dish of the scientific method).

Of course, on this subject, there is no reason for any of you to listen to me, an anarcho-syndicalist-neo-buddhist-charismatic-christian, or blissfully-confused for short! ;)


On edit: To sum up, I think the religious literalist would assert that there is a spiritual Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in effect here. The exact position/time of quantum events cannot be known because the attempt to measure changes the course of events, or something along those lines.
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Domitan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
23. What I find interesting here
is the mixed results regarding the effects of prayer. Here's one study that has been published and suggests some prayer effects:

Harris WS, Gowda M, Kolb JW, et al. 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.

You can find it online along with followups...but you will have to register

http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/search?fulltext=kolb+h...

There's still debate even within that journal about what the study truly showed, and if there were significant flaws.

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Endangered Specie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
28. God is an HMO
;) :evilgrin:
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #28
88. Wow, I did a double-take, thought it said HOMO.
*blinkblink*

:D

That reminds me of the time I posted a poll asking if the man described as Jesus was gay. Hoo boy, there were some heated replies...!

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RaRa Donating Member (705 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
29.  I vaguely recall a cover article in Utne Reader
that seemed to have the opposite results.
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Fiona Donating Member (993 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #29
53. Yes
there was a very famous study regarding people praying for fertility in others.

It showed, surprisingly, that congregations halfway around the world had a positive effect on the fertility of couples trying to conceive. It came from Columbia University - it shook things up real good.

Until....

http://www.randi.org/jr/121704no.html#2
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
30. It's amazing that money is still being wasted on this
Though it surprises me not in the slightest that the lead researcher is from North Carolina...
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #30
121. whaaat??? ...
Edited on Mon Jul-18-05 05:29 PM by marions ghost
whatever you think of this study, it has not a damn thing to do with being "from North Carolina..."

Duke University Medical Center is one of the tops in the country--currently in cardiology it is ranked #4. Other researchers around the country have studied the effects of a patient's support system and naturally that would include questions about the possible effects of prayer. Obviously long-distance prayer is debatable, but if you tell the patient that groups are praying for them, it could have some effect. You have to do the study to find out. Duke is ahead of other medical centers in being receptive to alternative therapies as an adjunct to traditional medicine. It's a very progressive place, but you want to associate it with backward beliefs. This study was conducted at NINE medical centers around the country--these studies are team efforts conducted by researchers from all over the map. I can see you're not up on medical research, but how about giving NC a break instead of a knee-jerk put-down.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #121
123. It's not a knee jerk
I've spent a lot of time in the research triangle and have heard so many jaw dropping things from otherwise educated people that very little that comes out of that region surprises me- not the least of which is ridiculous repetitive research that one would have hoped had been settled many decades ago....
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #123
125. let me get this straight
...you feel that the research triangle is a place where there are more questionable things going on than ANYWHERE else in the country !?! LOL, that would be difficult to imagine. And anyway, the triangle is a melting pot--a large percentage of the population comes from somewhere else. (So are u saying it ATTRACTS losers?)

Can you give an example of one of these things that have caused jaw-dropping? Seriously I'm interested. At least in understanding exactly what you're saying.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #125
129. The triangle acts like any other community
Edited on Mon Jul-18-05 06:31 PM by depakid
It's a system or rather a network whose members affect other parts of the system and network. What might seem a perfectly sane notion and heard often in say, an area with a sizable Southern Babtist population, would seem absurd in most West Coast cities. (The reverse is also true, of course- many West Coast attitudes toward say, land use planning or urban permaculture seem outlandish to North Carolinians).

Religion and ethnic matters aside (I could cite dozens of these) let me give you an example. My Niece and her husband (who live in Cary, NC and who are otherwise kind and caring) went on a rant at one point about crime and spouted off aout how "criminals" are coddled and how they ought to be put on chain gangs and forced to do hard labor in the sweltering sun.

That was easy enough to blow off- chain gangs are a southern tradition (see how the network thing affects people- even those who work in animal shelters?). They then got into how criminals should have access to TV. Welp, I told them- TV isn't there for the inmates, per se- it's for the protection of the correctional officers. It's used as part of a token economy- as a privilege that can be taken away to keep people in line.

It's also meant to keep the inmates calm and their attention directed at the box- and not at each other, paticularly when they're being moved around in dayrooms and being processed and so forth. It's to keep fights from breaking out- and that would not only be dangerous to other inmates but to the officers who had to break the fights up.

Now, these are both engineers with degrees from NC State- and one would expect that they might see the logic in this. Nope. Their drive to punish in accordance with the prevailing values of the region prevented them from looking at the situation in any other way.

The prayer thing is similar. No matter how much research (and most of it as I mentioned is decades old) disproves the remote prayer/healing "hypothesis" some types of people (particularly from certain regions) just won't accept it.

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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #129
135. OK well...
thanks for reply. I guess we shouldn't go into an all-out west coast vs. south debate here. The NC or CA forum might be the better place for it. I take issue with your touting CA as a noble example of good land-use planning. Because CA is such an extreme urban nightmare might be why some ideas to try to salvage it are popular.

Your casting of prisoners in the South seems straight out of that movie 'O Brother Where Art Thou?' set in the 40's. What I do know about the prisoners in the South today--they are NOT in "chain gangs"--they work in work crews under the same conditions as any crew on roads, cleanup etc. and I believe they make some money or tokens for the work. It might be more beneficial than TV (which I'm sure they have access to also). I don't know enough about it to know if this is different from other regions, but I don't believe it is less humane than other forms of correction. Guess we should take a poll of prisoners across the country? I mean this sincerely--I'm sure they'd have some definitive opinions.

Let's go elsewhere if u want to continue this. Peace, mg
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
32. Misleading headline, to say the least
It should have specified "received prayer".
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
33. Give me one pair of working hands
of 1,000 pairs of praying hands any day.

:toast:

Julie
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. We're to be doers of the word, not just hearers
Somewhere (now don't test me!) Jesus says we will do greater works than He. Today average life-span has doubled, we transplant organs from one person to the next; we cure diseases that we're killers just a few years ago. We cure the blind and raise the near-dead. Do these things not fulfill Jesus' prophesy? Are we not doing His promise that we'd do more than He?

Just a thought. Maybe how things have worked out are how He wanted them to be -- His word working through us in (relevant to the topic of this discussion) the form of Science and Medicine?
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #35
41. Could it be the natural progression?
Considering each step of progress and each invention is basde on that which came before it, seems to me that humanity's progress is all part of the evolutionary chain we are a part of.

IMO if we'd have followed Jesus' advice of "give no thought to the 'morrow" we'd have achieved none of these things.

Just sayin'

Julie
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #41
93. It is/was a natural progression
I would be one of those that say God works His will out through the natural, through us. We are His ambassadors. The more we know Him and do His word, the more glory to Him and peace for us.

I think you wholly missed the message of the Sermon on the Mount.

Gotta' run (I'm catching a plane).
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PittPoliSci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
34. this just in! cancer still not cured by well-wishing.
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Lilli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
36. And you can find other studies that say the opposite
And studies that just concentrating your thoughts on someone works...
You can find a study for just about everything :)
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Fiona Donating Member (993 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #36
54. Can you find us some?
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Lilli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #54
56. BBC
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #36
57. But can you find a study with good methodology that can be replicated?
That's the question.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #57
122. If people put major medical institutions
(such as Duke) down merely for being part of such a study--as they have in this thread
--how do you expect to get good methodology or replication?
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #122
124. Oh boo hoo, I'll bet they're all in fear of the mockery on DU.
Let's see the studies, but let's see the methodology and replication.

And they'd better be clear about how they can possibly have a control group.

Incidentally, what is the ethical position on including patients in a study without their consent?
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #124
130. OK
this study had a standard design meaning that all patients were informed of the risk and benefits of the study. You can't do a study at a major medical research center without following NIH guidelines for the protection of human subjects (in effect since the 1970's). So the patients knew they were in a study, but neither they nor the researchers knew who was being prayed for and who wasn't (this is a standard "double blind" study). An independent statistical group assigns the patient numbers randomly so nobody knows who the control group or the intervention group is until the results are in. Obviously this is a methodology that CAN be replicated. Unless you do more than one study, you can't have the assurance of replication, which is why it often seems that medical studies are redundant. The fact that nine research centers were involved replicates the study design across different sites and checks for anomalies.

I'm sure the researchers aren't worried about any mockery on DU, (they've gotten enough of that elsewhere probably) but they might be surprised that so many here seem to be against exploring the variables that may influence patient outcome above and beyond standard medical treatment. This study in question is a natural outcome of studies in behavioral medicine and cardiology where a correlation has been shown between stress reduction and patient survival.
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powwowdancer Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #36
126. there's studies, and then there's studies...
Pseudo-scientific piffle can attempt to mask itself in a sleazy polyester cloak of credibility by claiming to be backed by a "study," to be sure. (Free speech and all that). Give me a peer-reviewed, published study in Nature or some other reputable science media, and I'll consider it. Otherwise, you've got some numb-nuts "proving" that random piles of sand and rock are an "alien face" on Mars, bigfoot raped my dawg, aliens stole my pig mutilated my cows and that water has memory. My point is, there are studies, and then there are nutty-goo-goo-burgers who vigorously manipulate their nether-regions publicly and call it a "study." Take the Amazing Randi's million dollar challenge!! You take his money and I can almost guarantee that'd get me out in the woods on a bigfoot hunt with my favorite psychic in one wicked hurry! Calling some nut-jobs' deranged ravings a "scientific study" don't make it so, hence the need for peer-review. Just 'cause yer standing in a garage don't make you a car.

:dem:
powwowdancer out

*At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. The JREF does not involve itself in the testing procedure, other than helping to design the protocol and approving the conditions under which a test will take place. All tests are designed with the participation and approval of the applicant.

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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
39. A quote or two....
Edited on Sat Jul-16-05 07:00 PM by chknltl
"I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be religious--except he purposely shut the eyes of his mind & keep them shut by force."
"There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity's mind and were willing to reveal it."
both: Mark Twain

Interesting topic, here is my 2 cents: The fact that science has not discovered "GOD" neither confirms or denys "GOD's" existence.
So if there is a power/lack of power to prayer, does this confirm/deny
a "GOD"? I think not.
Why couldn't the power/lack of power of prayer be attributed to the human mind?
Is it possible that there is some sort of collective human connection which we have yet to discover?
Is it possible that we each have a symbiotic inner spirit which comes to the rescue when it deems necessary to further its' own agendas?
Is it possible that there really is some kind of "GOD" but the power/lack of power of prayer has absolutely nothing to do with this "GOD"
I accept that there are many things possible which may explain the supposed "power of prayer"
The fact that we do not know how/where/when/if something works, for me, neither confirms or denys its existence.
I like that science has looked and likely will continue to look into this and other attributes of religion.
Will they someday discover that we have a soul? Is it autonomous, can we chat with it? Does it reincarnate? Is it an alien? Do we control it or does it control us or is it just along for the ride?
Are we just pieces in a giant Dungeons and Dragons style game put out for the benifit of this soul? That should be some interesting science.
There that should be worth about 2 cents.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
40. Even from a theological standpoint, I wouldn't expect this prayer to work
I mean, basically they separated patients into two groups, one that was prayed for by strangers and one that wasn't. The recovery rates of the two groups was not statistically different.

Imagine if God really was swayed by the numbers of people praying for someone, drawn on a lottery basis like this. This is more like magic than religion. It amazes me that religious people take stuff like this seriously.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
42. Yes, but astrology works wonders!
Booga-booga-booga!

Superstition is amazing, isn't it?

Reality is harsh stuff, all right, but clinging to fantastical guesses is not worth the passing comfort it provides. Well, maybe for some...

Still, religion is a guess, not a fact, and whenever subjected to empirical studies, it seems to lose.
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usregimechange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
46. Why even study it? What about the smurf factor?
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UncleSepp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #46
99. Huh? Smurf factor?
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
47. Why Prayer Works
Prayer works because it serves to relax the person who's doing the praying. Similarly, if someone is sitting beside you praying (and you believe that prayer works) you relax just like you would if you were praying yourself.

No one who believes in prayer prays in a pissed-off mood. They enter a "reverent" state. Their heartbeat and breathing slow, their mind becomes at ease, they become one with (your deity here). And the longer they pray, the longer it continues.

Surprise, folks; relax for an hour or so a day--not "go out and shoot golf for an hour," not "go out and get ripped for an hour" but "sit on your ass and, for one hour, don't think about George Bush or the assholes at work"--and your health and general outlook on life will improve more than you can imagine. And this is what the little poems we call prayers are all about. If you pray the Rosary, you're gonna be pretty damn relaxed at the end of it. They know this. That's why they have you do it.

You don't even need a deity to get this to work. Look at the meditators. Cross your legs, put your palms up, close your eyes and say "om" for an hour or so. You will be as relaxed as someone who's praying to Jesus.

The distant prayers had no effect because distant prayers do not relax you. Only prayers prayed at your side, or by you, do this. (I could also point out that nowhere in God's job description is "switchboard operator"--he doesn't route prayers to their intended recipient. He can't now anyway--the Republicans have him too busy.)
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
48. Duh?
I mean, there is no verifiable scientific evidence that prayer or any form of supplication to unproven gods helps, why is this a surprise?

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progressivebydesign Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
58. So one patient has tons of prayers...dies. Another with none.. lives.
The whole prayer thing is such a cute notion, but frankly I'm beginning to fear that we are moving back into the dark ages. I'm sick of religion, I'm sick of people trying to shove their religion down our throats, I'm sick of people who, when something turns out well, proclaim that it was because of prayers answered. Well folks, lemme tell ya, if God was running around handing out favors, I think that he'd be more inclined to save the lives of tsunami victims, and less inclined to grant you a new job.


As I said.. I alway am bemused by the notion that someone is handing out favors from above to a select few, while ignoring the pleas of others.

I'm not sure what to make of this study, as I had read of another compelling study that showed that relaxation techniques BEFORE surgery actually were detrimental to patients recovery... after the fact would be good, but apparently the study showed that you're better off being anxious going in.
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The Traveler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
59. Spiritual power
can achieve healing, but if it is your inner will to pass, then pass you will.
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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #59
83. It must come from the individuals higher self....
....the "spiritual power" you mention, is only for the asking.
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The Traveler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #83
95. Exactly so
Or so it seems from my perception/experience. Not all phenomena are amenable to scientific examination.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #59
107. Now if someone could just provide evidence to support the claim.
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The Traveler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #107
137. Evidence? There is plenty
Edited on Mon Jul-18-05 10:00 PM by The Traveler
What is difficult to establish is experimental control. The significant factors in this case have much to do with quality of subjective experience yielding a result, and that is difficult to quantify and impossible to control.

Consider, for example, the case of the Sioux medicine man Fools Crow. In the seventies, a man was diagnosed with terminal cancer ... had a tumor in his gut about the size of a football. He visited Fools Crow, a healing was done, and he was re-examined a day or two after the first batch of (cancer positive) films were taken. They were unable to discover any evidence that a tumor had ever existed.

Scientifically, we put these cases in the category of "spontaneous, unexplained remissions". This is not, as some claim, a case of scientists ignoring data that does not fit in with their models. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that a) the phenomena cannot be reliably repeated under controlled conditions and b) there is no way to apply the scientific method given the available information.

This is the flip side of the Genesis/Evolution debate. Genesis and other creation myths are not scientific documents. The body of work based on Darwin does not pertain to metaphysics. The apparently contradictory statements address different realms of human experience. Confusion occurs when we require that our models of these different realms agree.

Goedel's Theorem teaches us that there are fundamental limits to the power of human reason. We can develop formal systems that are complete (e.g. algebras) or we can develop formal systems that are consistent. We cannot develop a formal system that is both complete and which produces no contradictory statements.

This provides a fascinating clue ... we expect to be able to explain all of human experience through rational means, through the development of formal systems. But our study of formal systems shows that cannot happen ...

One is forced to the conclusion that our brains are too small to understand it all. But it is still fun and profitable to try, to explore, to understand ... we will probably never know the answers but we can certain improve our understanding.

One of my favorite writers on this subject is the Ranier Rilke, who observed that the really important questions have no answers ... so you must learn to love the questions anyway.
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
60. Think healing has more to do with
caring (which might be considered as prayer) and also, when it is time to go it is time to go! The only thing one can hope for is a quick peaceful death.
I have seen a few deaths.
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Trajan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
63. No Surpise ....
Not for me at any rate ....
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
67. Fascinating discussion!
I have always had an interest in this sort of thing and that led me into quite a bit of research. The self serving aspects of most of the "true believers' " notions, such as the common insistence that the testing of "God's" will automatically disables the test, preclude forever any rational "scientific" study (thank god) of religious leanings.
My own research indicated that, although prayer had no discernible effect on the object of the prayers, the very act of praying, apparently stemming from the act of divesting oneself of the responsibility for causation or outcome, produces a very salutary effect on the actor-the one doing the praying.
Many reviews of the effectiveness of the Alcoholics Anonymous program seem to point to the importance of establishing, creating or acknowledging the existence of a supreme being or some sort of "more powerful than I" force.
There is still much to be done in the study of this phenomenon and the final word is certainly not in, but the benefits of prayer, in all cases, seem to go to the one doing the praying.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #67
127. I agree
Edited on Mon Jul-18-05 06:15 PM by marions ghost
I have personally known three people with different forms of terminal C who prayed for themselves very specifically(in the case of two of them, it was non-Christian form of longterm meditational retreat, the other was non-fundie Christian)--in all three cases the doctors stated that they had given them no treatment that would have cured the cancers in any way. In all cases the cancers went into remission, and in the one case where exploratory surgery was done, no live cancer was found, though where it had been was very clear.

Whether this is the effect of prayer, or a strong will to live, or coincidence, or the effects of stress reduction--the number is too small to draw any real conclusions. But it's enough for me to say that it's probably a good idea to pray for oneself or do whatever "inner work" one can manage (if not spiritually inclined)--along with whatever medical treatment is offered.

Doctors see things like this enough to be asking questions--what other factors are involved when someone beats cancer? What other factors may enhance surgery success? These questions are progressive, not part of some kind of fundie agenda to try to prove that "prayer" (which has many definitions)"works" and therefore we should all pray.
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stevebreeze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
68. my favorite comment on prayer comes from Emo Phillips
"I used to pry to God to make me rich. Then I realized God doesn't' work that way. Now I steal what I want and pray for forgiveness"
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #68
132.  Ahhhh! - You've discovered the secrets of Repuke success!
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Darwins Finch Donating Member (110 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
69. Why intercessionary prayer?
Of all the religious observances, intercessionary prayer is one of the most primitive I've seen. It requires a god that one must grovel before in order to achieve a personal boon, whether that boon be alleviation of a medical condition or a good run at the slot machine.

I understand the human need to turn to wards some greater power that will help them out when they feel helpless themselves. And I understand that a lot of religious people view god as just a bigger and more powerful human, who shares their concerns and way of reasoning. But frankly, if god is omnipotent and omniscient, and still won't lift a finger to help you unless you beseech him with all your heart (and often not even then), then he's nothing worthy of worship. He's just an egomaniac who creates your suffering so that he can *maybe* spare you from it later.

And this is being people call "absolute love"? I think not.
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bcbarrett Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
75. In the immortal words of Joan Crawford
"Don't you DARE ask God to help me!"
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
77. "Study shows magic spells, charms not effective"
I'm starting to have my doubts about most potions and amulets, too.

:eyes:
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #77
133. What about frogs? Frogs and leeches?
No wait - leeches have shown a lot of promise in the treatment of things like plastic surgery.

OK, so I'm not good at this sarcasm and condensation stuff.

Besides, I wanted argument - which room is that again?
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
78. "You are No Longer Brainwashed!"
Tadah.......
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CGrantt57 Donating Member (245 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
79. Why, oh why, do y'all hate Jesus???
My mother had it right....

"Jesus, Michael, you're such an agitator."

hehehehe....

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #79
90. Hell, I'm not even convinced Jesus existed.
The evidence is thin, outside of the bible itself (which of course does not count as a credible source).

Hard to hate a guy who I'm not even sure existed, and who if did purportedly said a few very cool things.

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
80. "did not effect"
Sheesh! Affect, Affect!
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Dervill Crow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #80
94. Effect is correct, as in "effecting a change." n/t
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AngryWhiteLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-05 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
82. Opens suggestion that "distance prayer" effect was "deluted"
Of course, what most of these religious types will note as a possible flaw in the study was the inclusion of other religous groups in the "distance prayer" experimental group.

I can see the christofascists complaining that the reason NO EFFECT was found for "distance prayer" group was that their effective prayers were deluted by the prayers of those following "false gods."

JB
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Bigmack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
96. The three words that make me doubt,,,
prayer and all the Occult mumbo-jumbo.

"Pediatric Oncology Ward"

If all those dying kids and praying parents are part of some Great Plan... it's a fucked plan!!
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
98. Healing vs curing
Healing is spiritual, curing is medical. Healing can help with the curing, but is really a state that can't always be measured, success stories on "The 700 Club" aside.

You can be healed, and still die of cancer. Healing is what happens when God shows you that disease has no power over your spirit, even if your body fails. Sometimes, spiritual healing leads to a physical cure. Sometimes, the attitude of being healed helps doctors with their treatment.
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UncleSepp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #98
100. Beautifully put!
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #98
134. Hey, you're gonna die, and you look and feel like shit.
But the good news is, your "spirit" is gonna do just fine!

Shame on you for asking for food, medicine and help with to ease your pain!

Even the pope taught us how great it is to suffer! Isn't that "wonderful"!

See - we don't need no more stinkin social security, universal health care - and we get to keep OUR money and take yours and still feel good about it all!

Hmmmm - sounds an awful lot like repuke thinking to me.

Thanks, but I want to be comfortable and happy in the HERE AND NOW - and LIVE TO TELL ABOUT IT!
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wallwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
102. How 'bout the healing power of affordable health care?
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #102
103. *snicker*
That's the most sense I've seen on this thread!
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wallwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #103
104. Thanks. I've also got some wacky ideas about
honesty in government. But the Repukes would rather have Liars for Jesus...
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
105. what a stupid study
Edited on Mon Jul-18-05 04:40 PM by kineta
"Patients were randomly chosen to receive off-site prayer"

probably helps if the people 'praying' have some motivation - like they actually know and care about the person. if it even works at all.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #105
106. Why? Does knowing the person change the outcome?
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #106
109. No.
They still die.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #109
111. Heh! I always laugh at those "prayer heals" phony studies.
They're really appallingly bad "science" anyway. How on earth could you get a control group that you can reasonably know is not getting ANY prayer.

In addition, if the hospitailzed are unaware they are being prayed for, are they being included in a study without their consent?

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Timmy5835 Donating Member (325 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
110. This really has little to do with religion
What they are actually referring to is energy transference. Considering we only use 10% of our brain power this just may be possible. Just think, if we could just tap into a fraction of the 90% of the brain we don't use, the things we could do.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #110
114. The "only 10% of your brain" thing is bogus and untrue.
And there is no known example of people "transferring energy" in this way.
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #110
115. That we use only 10% of our brain power was disproved 20 years ago. nt
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Timmy5835 Donating Member (325 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #115
117. link, please
Can you give me a link to that data?
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #117
120. Three sourcesfor you
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put out Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #120
136. Thank you. n/t
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
116. The study is flawed. They didn't put an L. Ron Hubbard pamphlet on
Edited on Mon Jul-18-05 05:14 PM by VegasWolf
the patient's head per Tom Cruise's instructions. That would
have cured cancer, schizophrenia, mumps, and boils all at once.
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
118. Healing works, but ONLY
if you put your hand on the T.V. and send me a nice fat donation. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
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hexola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
128. Haven't they watched Benny Hinn??
He heals people all the time...right on TV.

Surely...some(or even one!) of the thousands of people he has healed can testify??
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