medicine and spirituality

I heard at the UWA Atheists stall that there are no positive results from prayer and healing. I also heard on the grapevine (aka FB) that there are 1500 scholarly studies on the relationship between spirituality and medicine. So I googled it and stopped at 500. I read quite a few. Apparently the high prestige UWA medical school has heard about them too because they have had a lecturer onto this for a few years. That was enough for me.

Rev Dr Ian Robinson

Chaplain, University of Western Australia

+618 6488 5895 or 0417 687 746

Room G.36 Law Link Building

Ian.robinson

www.spirituallife@uwa.edu.au OR

http://www.uwa.edu.au/chaplaincy

MaxDoubt

Twitter : UWAUCAchaplain

Facebook and Google+

Interfaith Online information pages

Consultant, Tall Trees ReSource

www.talltrees.org.au

idtr@westnet.com.au

“A church that does not provoke any crisis, preach a gospel that does not unsettle, proclaim a word of God that does not get under anyone’s skin or a word of God that does not touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed: what kind of gospel is that?”

Oscar A. Romero

RARE EARTH RESEARCH

Does life exist beyond Earth? Not surprisingly, searches of the solar system yield no evidence because the only planet (or moon) located in the right place is Earth. However, the discovery of exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) boosted researchers’ enthusiasm for finding life beyond Earth. Thus far, our technology lacks the sensitivity to detect any signatures of life outside of our solar system, but scientists continue to make progress. While these advances reveal additional indicators that Earth may be rare (or unique) in its capacity to support life, they also provide a way to genuinely test the rare-earth hypothesis.

Using current telescope technology, scientists can measure only orbits, masses, and sizes of exoplanets. Over the next decade, advances will permit the detection of life signatures from stars in the neighbourhood of the solar system, which will allow powerful tests of the rare-earth hypothesis. An article published in the journal Astrobiology highlights one of those tests.

Read the article at http://www.reasons.org/articles/search-for-earth-analogues-reveals-design

1500 MEDICAL STUDIES SHOW THAT PRAYER WORKS

1500 MEDICAL STUDIES SHOW THAT PRAYER WORKS

“Atheists can sneer at faith all they like, but they can’t assume science is on their side.” Researcher Tom Knox, who abandoned his atheist beliefs after discovering first-hand the power of prayer. Ask most Christians and they’ll tell you “absolutely” God honours prayers for healing. Not every time, of course, but enough to combat the notion that He doesn’t. And, these same Christians will tell you that not only does God heal, but He brings joy, grace and favour into the lives of those who trust in Him, often extending their lifespan as well. More than 1,500 “reputable” medical studies now back up these claims.

Dr. Harold G. Koenig of Duke University says results from the huge number of studies on the subject “indicates people who are more religious and pray more have better mental and physical health.” “There’s a lot of evidence out there,” he adds. Researcher Tom Knox, a former atheist who became a Christian after studying the medical benefits of prayer, agrees. “Over the past 30 years,” he says, “a growing and largely unnoticed body of scientific work shows religious belief is medically, socially, and psychologically beneficial. Religious attendance is associated with adult mortality in a graded fashion. There is a seven-year difference in life expectancy between those who never attend church and those who attend weekly.”

Source: Newsmax

FULL ARTICLE BELOW

Science Proves the Healing Power of Prayer

Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 05:19 PM

http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Headline/prayer-health-faith-medicine/2015/03/31/id/635623/

For the devout, there never has been any question that prayer has the power to heal.

Now, more and more medical research from leading hospitals and universities across the U.S. has shown conclusively a belief in God really IS good for you, making you healthier and happier, and helping you live longer.

“Studies have shown prayer can prevent people from getting sick — and when they do get sick, prayer can help them get better faster,” Duke University’s Harold G. Koenig, M.D., tells Newsmax Health.

An exhaustive analysis of more than 1,500 reputable medical studies “indicates people who are more religious and pray more have better mental and physical health,” Dr. Koenig says.

 

“And out of 125 studies that looked at the link between health and regular worship, 85 showed regular churchgoers live longer.

“There’s a lot of evidence out there.”

Dr. Koenig — director of Duke’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health and the author of several authoritative books on faith and healing — says a striking study published in the Southern Medical Journal demonstrated that prayer has a remarkable effect on patients with hearing and visual deficiencies.

After prayer sessions, “They showed significant improvements based on audio and visual tests,” Dr. Koenig said.

He added: “The benefits of devout religious practice, particularly involvement in a faith community and religious commitment, are that people cope better. In general, they cope with stress better, they experience greater well-being because they have more hope, they’re more optimistic, they experience less depression, less anxiety, and they commit suicide less often.

“They have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, and probably better cardiovascular functioning.”

The proof of the power of prayer is overwhelming, says researcher and writer Tom Knox, a one-time atheist who became a regular worshipper after doing in-depth study of the medical benefits of faith.

 

“What I discovered astonished me,” admits Knox. “Over the past 30 years a growing and largely unnoticed body of scientific work shows religious belief is medically, socially, and psychologically beneficial.”

Study after study backs up the benefits of having faith, especially in prolonging life.

In 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live.

“Religious attendance is associated with adult mortality in a graded fashion,” says Knox.

“There is a seven-year difference in life expectancy between those who never attend church and those who attend weekly.”

The American Journal of Public Health studied nearly 2,000 older Californians for five years and found that those who attended religious services were 36 percent less likely to die during that period than those who didn’t.

A study of nearly 4,000 older adults for the U.S. Journal of Gerontology revealed that atheists had a significantly increased chance of dying over a six-year period than the faithful.

Crucially, religious people lived longer than atheists even if they didn’t go regularly to a place of worship.

The American Society of Hypertension established in 2006 that church-goers have lower blood pressure than non-believers.

Scientists have also revealed believers recover from breast cancer quicker than non-believers, have better outcomes from coronary disease and rheumatoid arthritis, and are less likely to have children with meningitis.

Research at San Francisco General Hospital looked at the effect of prayer on 393 cardiac patients. Half were prayed for by strangers who had only the patients’ names. Those patients had fewer complications, fewer cases of pneumonia, and needed less drug treatment.

They also got better quicker and left the hospital earlier.

Concluded Knox: “Atheists can sneer at faith all they like, but they can’t assume science is on their side.”

© 2015 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Disparities in evolutionary theory between molecular and morphological trees

Is There Any Scientific Controversy Over Darwinian Evolution? Part 2

From Tough Questions Answered: Posted: 20 Feb 2015 06:00 AM PST

evo2_2210436b.jpgAfter writing part 1 of this blog post almost 3 years ago, I received several comments along the lines of, “Just because one scientist, James Shapiro, disagrees with the idea that natural selection acting on random mutations is the main engine of evolutionary change, does not mean there is a controversy.”

My goal in quoting Shapiro was not to state merely that Shapiro diverges from evolutionary orthodoxy, but to encourage the reader to go off and do some more reading to see that there are many more dissenting scientists, just like him. To help along that process, I’ve quoted from an article below that lists several more examples of the controversy. This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but is meant to lead truly curious readers to do more reading themselves. For those of you who have already decided that there is no controversy, don’t waste your time reading any further. You’ll just get more upset.

Here is Casey Luskin in an article he wrote for the Christian Research Journal titled “The New Theistic Evolutionists.” Luskin notes that

highly credible scientists doubt the neo-Darwinian view that natural selection acting on random mutation was the driving force building the complexity of life. Lynn Margulis, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, explained that “neo-Darwinists say that new species emerge when mutations occur and modify an organism,” and admitted, “I believed it until I looked for evidence.”

In 2008, sixteen leading biologists convened in Altenberg, Austria, to discuss problems with the neo-Darwinian synthesis. When covering this conference, Nature quoted leading scientists saying things like “evolutionary theory has told us little about” important events like “the origin of wings and the invasion of the land.”

That same year, Cornell evolutionary biologist William Provine explained that “every assertion of the evolutionary synthesis below is false,” including: “natural selection was the primary mechanism at every level of the evolutionary process,” “macroevolution was a simple extension of microevolution,” and “evolution produces a tree of life.”

Luskin adds:

The following year, leading biologist Eugene Koonin wrote that breakdowns in core neo-Darwinian tenets such as the “traditional concept of the tree of life” or that “natural selection is the main driving force of evolution” indicate “the modem synthesis has crumbled, apparently, beyond repair.” . . . Koonin mentioned growing skepticism over the “tree of life,” and the technical literature contains numerous examples of conflicting evolutionary trees, challenging universal common ancestry.

An article in Nature reported that “disparities between molecular and morphological trees” lead to “evolution wars” because “evolutionary trees constructed by studying biological molecules often don’t resemble those drawn up from morphology.” Another Nature paper reported that newly discovered genes “are tearing apart traditional ideas about the animal family tree,” since they “give a totally different tree from what everyone else wants.”

A 2009 article in New Scientist observes that “many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded.” So severe are problems that a 2012 paper in Annual Review of Genetics proposed “life might indeed have multiple origins.”

Again, if you want to argue that there is no controversy, you are simply ignorant of what’s going on. Instead of trying to shout down any one who says there is a controversy, your time would be better spent spend studying the differing views on evolution so that you can truly understand the issues involved.

Related Posts

1. Is There Any Scientific Controversy Over Darwinian Evolution? Part 1

2. Is Darwinian Evolution Falsifiable?

3. Is Junk DNA Evidence for Darwinian Evolution?

4. What Questions about Evolution Have Really Been Answered?

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What Are the Limits of Physics?

What Are the Limits of Physics? Posted: 06 Feb 2015 06:00 AM PST

Reprinted from Tough Questions Answered

Contrary to the disciples of scientism, physics has limits. Philosopher Ed Feser gives a quick run-down which is worth passing along. Feser writes,

As I have emphasized many times, what physics gives us is a description of the mathematical structure of physical reality. It abstracts from any aspect of reality which cannot be captured via its exclusively quantitative methods. (emphasis added)

Let’s stop here because this is important. What Feser is saying is that when the methods of physics are applied to any object, any event, any piece of the world around us, the method only addresses the parts of that object, event, or piece of the world that can be mathematically quantified. Physics ignores any parts of the world that cannot be mathematically quantified.

One reason that this is crucial to keep in mind is that from the fact that something doesn’t show up in the description physics gives us, it doesn’t follow that it isn’t there in the physical world. This is like concluding from the fact that colour doesn’t show up in a black and white pen and ink drawing of a banana that bananas must not really be yellow.

In both cases the absence is an artefact of the method employed, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the reality the method is being used to represent. The method of representing an object using black ink on white paper will necessarily leave out colour even if it is there, and the method of representing physical reality using exclusively mathematical language will necessarily leave out any aspect of physical reality which is not reducible to the quantitative, even if such aspects are there.

But maybe all of reality is just composed of mathematical structure. Feser argues that this cannot be the case, that other aspects of reality must be there.

The quantitative description physics gives us is essentially a description of mathematical structure. But mathematical structure by itself is a mere abstraction. It cannot be all there is, because structure presupposes something concrete which has the structure. Indeed, physics itself tells us that the abstraction cannot be all there is, since it tells us that some abstract mathematical structures do not fit the actual, concrete material world.

For example, Einstein is commonly taken to have shown that our world is not really Euclidean. This could only be true if there is some concrete reality that instantiates a non-Euclidean abstract structure rather than a Euclidean abstract structure. So, physics itself implies that there must be more to the world than the abstract structure it captures in its purely mathematical description, but it does not and cannot tell us exactly what this concrete reality is like.

Physics is one tool, a powerful one certainly, in our toolbox for describing reality. But to think that it is the only tool in the toolbox is just silly.

Related Posts

1. Can the Mind Be Explained by Physics?

2. Why Is “Scientism” False? Part 1

3. Why Is There a Mind-Body Problem? Part 1

4. Why Is There a Mind-Body Problem? Part 2

Jennifer Wiseman – woman of faith and science

Jennifer Wiseman USA

Dr. Jennifer Wiseman is a senior astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where she serves as the Senior Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. She previously headed the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics. She studies star forming regions of our galaxy using radio, optical, and infrared telescopes, with a particular interest in molecular cloud cores, protostars, and outflows.

Director of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program. Dr. Wiseman studied physics for her bachelor’s degree at MIT, discovering comet Wiseman-Skiff in 1987.

After earning her Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University in 1995, she continued her research at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Wiseman also has an interest in national science policy and has served as an American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow on Capitol Hill. She is also a public speaker and author, and enjoys giving talks on the excitement of science and astronomy to schools, youth and church groups, and civic organizations. She is a Councilor of the American Astronomical Society and a former President of the American Scientific Affiliation.

On the divide between seminary training and scientific knowledge she said:

“AAAS is committed to the idea that scientific advancements must benefit society, and we believe that integrating modern scientific advancements into seminary education will benefit professors, students, and ultimately those in the pews who often appreciate and struggle with the discoveries and implications of science. While clergy need not become professional scientists, a study on the Book of Genesis, for example, could be enhanced by conversations on our incredible evolving universe, the findings and accuracy of radiometric dating and genome mapping, and responsible earth stewardship in light of climate change realities. As scientists continue to investigate the complexities of the human brain and genetic programming, religious communities must grapple with what this information says about our origins, consciousness, behavior, and free will. Mood-altering drugs and surgeries for personality disorders are becoming more pervasive, compelling people to explore who they are and who they are meant to be. And complex ethical choices regarding personal medical care or even national policy call on the wise counsel of trusted and well-informed religious leaders. By integrating science into the core training of these leaders, AAAS and its partnering schools are enabling seminaries and religious congregations to build atmospheres that promote informed dialogue and a positive understanding of science.”

Reference: http://www.aaas.org/page/equipping-tomorrow%E2%80%99s-clergy-engage-science

As a Christian, I conclude that humankind is significant, not only because of the sustainability of life on Earth, but also because, through Jesus Christ, God has revealed his willingness to have a relationship with us. http://www.rejesus.co.uk/site/module/faith_v_science/P4/

Rosalind Picard – Woman of Faith and Science

Rosalind Picard 1962- USA

Rosalind Picard is a Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, director and also the founder of the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, co-director of the Things That Think Consortium, and chief scientist and co-founder of Affectiva.

Picard says that she was raised an atheist, but converted to Christianity as a young adult. She does not believe there is a separation of the "material body and immaterial spirit" but that there is "something else that we haven’t discovered yet", and believes "that scientists cannot assume that nothing exists beyond what they can measure." She believes it likely that there is "still something more" to life, beyond what we have discovered, and sees DNA as too complex to have originated through "purely random processes". To her, the complexity of DNA shows "the mark of intervention," and "a much greater mind, a much greater scientist, a much greater engineer behind who we are."

She sees her religious beliefs as playing a role in her work in affective computing, and explains that when "Digging into the models of how the emotions work, I find I feel even greater awe and appreciation for the way we are made, and therefore for the Maker that has brought this about."

Picard is one of the signatories of the Discovery Institute‘s A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, a petition which the intelligent design movement uses to promote intelligent design by attempting to cast doubt on evolution.

Although her view about the complexity of DNA "sounds similar to the intelligent design debate", reporter Mirko Petricevic writes, "Picard has some reservations about intelligent design, saying it isn’t being sufficiently challenged by Christians and other people of faith." She argues that the media has created a false dilemma by dividing everyone into two groups, supporters of intelligent design or evolution. "To simply put most of us in one camp or the other does the whole state of knowledge a huge disservice," she said.

See her

and her story of Test of Faith Rosalind lives in Newton, Massachusetts with her husband and three energetic sons. She is co-founder of the MIT Graduate Christian Fellowship and is an active speaker at science and faith events, including Veritas forums. She interacts regularly with industry and has consulted for companies such as Apple, AT&T, BT, HP, i.Robot, and Motorola.

Middle Ages precursors of faith and science.

Middle Ages precursors of faith and science.

John Scotus Eriugena, a ninth-century Irish monk and philosopher taught for many years in France, and was commemorated on the Irish five pound note. He wrote, “Christ wears ‘two shoes’ in the world: Scripture and nature. Both are necessary to understand the Lord, and at no stage can creation be seen as a separation of things from God.”

He was not the only person of antiquity who started the rumour of marriage between faith and science. During late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, Aristotle’s approach dominated all inquiries on natural phenomenon. Some other ancient knowledge was therefore lost or obscured, but much of the general knowledge from the ancient world remained preserved though the works of the early Latin encyclopedists like Isidore of Seville. Also, in the Middle Eastern territories of the Byzantine empire, many Greek texts were translated into Arabic under Islamic rule, during which many types of classical learning were preserved and in some cases improved upon. (They would later return from Muslim care to the West and fuel the Renaissance.) Here are some of those early pre-modern thinkers.

Nemesius (?-c. 390) A bishop of Emesa whose De Natura Hominis blended theology with Galen’s medicine and is notable for its ideas concerning the brain. It also may have anticipated the discovery of the circulatory system.

John Philoponus (c. 490 – c. 570): His criticism of Aristotelian physics was important to Medieval science. He also theorized about the nature of light and the stars. As a theologian he rejected the Council of Chalcedon and his major Christological work is

Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – c. 636): Catholic Archbishop who preserved many scientific selections from the ancient worlds. His most popular work was Etymologiae which contained information on medicine, mathematics, astronomy, atomic theory, geography, agriculture, zoology, mineralogy, physiology, and other topics. His work was widely used throughout the medieval ages for its extent of research topics.

Rabanus Maurus (c. 780 – 856): Benedictine monk and teacher, he later became archbishop of Mainz. He wrote a treatise on Computus and the encyclopedic work De universo. His teaching earned him the accolade of Praeceptor Germaniae, or "the teacher of Germany."

Leo the Mathematician (c. 790 – after 869): Archbishop of Thessalonica, he later became the head of the Magnaura School of philosophy in Constantinople, where he taught Aristotelian logic. Leo also composed his own medical encyclopaedia. He has been called a "true Renaissance man" and "the cleverest man in Byzantium in the 9th century".

Hunayn ibn Ishaq (c. 809 – 873): Assyrian Christian physician known for translations of Greek scientific works and as author of "Ten Treatises on Ophthalmology." He also wrote "How to Grasp Religion", which involved the apologetics for his faith.

Qusta ibn Luqa (820–912): Melkite physician, scientist and translator. He wrote commentaries on Euclid and a treatise on the Armillary sphere. A Latin translation of his work ‘On the Difference between the Spirit and the Soul’ (‘De Differentia Spiritus et Animae’) was one of the few works not attributed to Aristotle that was included in a list of ‘books to be ‘read,’ or lectured on, by the Masters of the Faculty of Arts, at Paris in 1254, as part of their study of Natural Philosophy. He was known for medical works admired by Muslims as well, such as Medical Regime for the Pilgrims to Mecca: The Risālā Fī Tadbīr Safar Al-ḥa