Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Columbia University 'Miracle' Study: Flawed and Fraud (Skeptical Inquirer September 2004)

There have been a number of attempts to demonstrate the efficacy of prayer through scientific research. Here's a fascinating case study of one such attempt -- an apparently rigorous controlled experiment showing miraculous improvement in an IVF program as a result of prayer. However, Bruce Flamm, the author of the above article, reveals some disturbing features of this study and concludes that:
The much-hyped Columbia University prayer study was flawed and suspicious from the start but now has been fatally tainted with fraud. The first-named author doesn't respond to inquiries. The 'lead' author said he didn't learn of the study until months after it was completed. And now the mysterious third author, indicted by a federal grand jury, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud. All his previous studies must now be questioned.

You can read the fascinating expose here.

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