Posted by Matthew on Friday May 26, 2006 @08:56PM
from the I-got-better dept.
Matthew writes: In an effort to assess the power of Prayer, the John Templeton Foundation funded a 2.4 million dollar study into the effects of divine intervention.
By assigning prayer teams of 70 individuals to pray for 1800 heart bypass patients, the size and scope of the study is more than large enough to firmly assess whether intercession actually occurs. Four groups of patients were created: Those prayed for who did not know it, those prayed for who did know it, those not prayed for, and those cursed.
Interestingly, the study showed no benefit for either those prayed for or for those not prayed for, but did determine that 59% of those cursed showed significant post-surgical complications, including arrhythmias, subsequent heart attacks, and at least two instances of patients turning into newts (although both subsequently recovered).
“We know that high levels of adrenaline from the anxiety response can make fibrillation worse.” Says Charles Bethea, a physician at Integris Baptist Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City, “But we had no idea that it could turn you into a newt. That was an unanticipated patient outcome.”