Peter Della wrote:
How do you explain that in double-blind scientific studies, religious people who ask God to heal them actually heal more quickly than non-religious people? (both groups have same diagnoses, same medical treatment, same level of disease, etc.)
You don't seem to understand what a "double blind" trial is - its not possible to conduct a proper one in this case, because the point of double-blind trials is to control for the "placebo" effect.
In a "double-blind" trial, there is a real treatment measured against a placebo (pretend) treatment. Neither the patient, nor the person directly administering the treatment knows which is which, hence "double blind".
This is necessary because patients who believe they're getting an effective treatment tend to experience some benefits even when they're not actually getting any treatment at all.
That explains why you can't double-blind trial the patients' own prayer - because you can hardly ask them to pray and not tell themselves that they're doing it.
It also explains why the religious people you mention experience some benefit, they believe they're getting an effective treatment. (Regardless of whether or not they actually are.) Placebo.
Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with a placebo - just because its fake medicine doesn't mean it can't have real effects.
Its a treatment that was actually often used before we questioned our doctors to the degree we do now. Back in the 50's it wasn't uncommon for British GPs to actually send someone to a pharmacist with a prescription for a placebo, and the pharmacist would dispense sugar pills.
Of course you can do a proper double blind trial where someone else prays on the patients' behalf. Its been done quite a few times, and shows that prayer has no effect.
How do you account for the fact that God hates amputees
edit: Hey, Erik... SNAP!