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

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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.

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Why Can’t Science Explain Consciousness?

Why Can’t Science Explain Consciousness?

Posted: 16 Feb 2015 06:00 AM PST from TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED

DirtRugBroom.jpg?mtime=1336685474It is not uncommon these days to hear something like the following: “Science has explained just about everything else in the world, so it is inevitable that science will explain the mind and consciousness.” This kind of comment always makes me roll my eyes because the people who make this comment are making a colossal error, but an error that can be hard to see.

Philosopher Ed Feser gives a brilliant analogy that makes the error more obvious. He calls it the “lump under the rug” fallacy.

Suppose the wood floors of your house are filthy and that the dirt is pretty evenly spread throughout the house. Suppose also that there is a rug in one of the hallways. You thoroughly sweep out one of the bedrooms and form a nice little pile of dirt at the doorway. It occurs to you that you could effectively “get rid” of this pile by sweeping it under the nearby rug in the hallway, so you do so. The lump under the rug thereby formed is barely noticeable, so you are pleased.

You proceed to sweep the rest of the bedrooms, the bathroom, the kitchen, etc., and in each case you sweep the resulting piles under the same rug. When you’re done, however, the lump under the rug has become quite large and something of an eyesore. Someone asks you how you are going to get rid of it. “Easy!” you answer. “The same way I got rid of the dirt everywhere else! After all, the ‘sweep it under the rug’ method has worked everywhere else in the house. How could this little rug in the hallway be the one place where it wouldn’t work? What are the odds of that?”

What is wrong with using the “sweep it under the rug” method to get rid of the dirt under the rug?

Naturally, the same method will not work in this case, and it is precisely because it worked everywhere else that it cannot work in this case. You can get rid of dirt outside the rug by sweeping it under the rug. You cannot get of the dirt under the rug by sweeping it under the rug. You will only make a fool of yourself if you try, especially if you confidently insist that the method must work here because it has worked so well elsewhere.

So what does the “sweep it under the rug” method have to do with the issue of whether science will explain the mind and consciousness some day?

Now, the “Science has explained everything else, so how could the human mind be the one exception?” move is, of course, standard scientistic and materialist shtick. But it is no less fallacious than our imagined “lump under the rug” argument.

Here’s why. Keep in mind that Descartes, Newton, and the other founders of modern science essentially stipulated that nothing that would not fit their exclusively quantitative or “mathematicized” conception of matter would be allowed to count as part of a “scientific” explanation. Now to common sense, the world is filled with irreducibly qualitative features — colors, sounds, odors, tastes, heat and cold — and with purposes and meanings. None of this can be analyzed in quantitative terms.

To be sure, you can re-define color in terms of a surface’s reflection of light of certain wavelengths, sound in terms of compression waves, heat and cold in terms of molecular motion, etc. But that doesn’t capture what common sense means by color, sound, heat, cold, etc. — the way red looks, the way an explosion sounds, the way heat feels, etc. So, Descartes and Co. decided to treat these irreducibly qualitative features as projections of the mind.

The redness we see in a “Stop” sign, as common sense understands redness, does not actually exist in the sign itself but only as the quale of our conscious visual experience of the sign; the heat we attribute to the bathwater, as common sense understands heat, does not exist in the water itself but only in the “raw feel” that the high mean molecular kinetic energy of the water causes us to experience; meanings and purposes do not exist in external material objects but only in our minds, and we project these onto the world; and so forth. Objectively there are only colorless, odorless, soundless, tasteless, meaningless particles in fields of force.

In short, the scientific method “explains everything else” in the world in something like the way the “sweep it under the rug” method gets rid of dirt — by taking the irreducibly qualitative and teleological features of the world, which don’t fit the quantitative methods of science, and sweeping them under the rug of the mind. And just as the literal “sweep it under the rug” method generates under the rug a bigger and bigger pile of dirt which cannot in principle be gotten rid of using the “sweep it under the rug” method, so too does modern science’s method of treating irreducibly qualitative, semantic, and teleological features as mere projections of the mind generate in the mind a bigger and bigger “pile” of features which cannot be explained using the same method.

And there you have it. The very way science does its work is to exclude the qualitative features of reality as experienced by human consciousness. To lump the phenomena of consciousness in with the phenomena of gravity, cellular division, and star formation, is to try to get rid of the dirt under the rug by sweeping the dirt under the rug! It won’t work, ever.

Related Posts

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

2. What Are Four Things Science Will Never Explain? – #1 Post of 2011

3. Is Science Dependent on Other Disciplines?

4. Is There a War Between Religion and Science?

YARPP

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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

Reasons for God: Alvin Plantinga

Hi Ian,

Who would you recomend as a credible philosopher who can talk about faith and science sensibly? Has to be in English, sorry. I hear that eastern churches don’t have the issues that the western world has in this, but…apart from saying ‘thank you’ in Indonesian and Japanese I am illiterate.

Max

 

Gday Max,

You surprise me sometimes with the things you know. Centre for Public Christianity does a decent job of spreading the news about sensible women and guys. Here’s one about a great philosopher.

Simon Smart interviews Alvin Plantinga    · November 30, 2009: Topic: Atheism, Suffering and Evil, Evolution

· Professor Alvin Plantinga is a leading American philosopher, from the University of Notre Dame, where he is something of an institution having been there since 1982. He is especially well-known for his work in the philosophy of religion. Plantinga is one of the key reasons why we are experiencing a renaissance of interest in a philosophical defense of Christianity.

His argument, made in the 1970s, that established that there is no ‘logical’ inconsistency in believing in an all-powerful loving God despite the reality of suffering, was something of a turning point in Philosophy.

Plantinga is the author of numerous books, and others write books about him and his work.

In this series of interviews at Notre Dame, Simon Smart talks to Plantinga about God, Richard Dawkins and personal faith. Plantinga provides a summary of his evolutionary argument against Naturalism, as well as giving a personal reflection on the highs and lows of a life of faith.

Videos

Plantinga explains why he believes there is a God and gives us a summary of his argument that says naturalism cannot be rationally believed. http://vimeo.com/7509884

Plantinga suggests that Dawkins is not only weak in argumentation, but that his conception of human nature is unlovely and dispiriting. http://vimeo.com/7510264

Why faith makes sense even though we can’t ‘prove’ its worth and truth. http://vimeo.com/7510757

Plantinga responds to the criticism that God is a moral monster. He describes the difficult and wonderful aspects of being a believer. http://vimeo.com/7511804

Evolution, God and the problem of evil

Hi Ian,

I read you profile on Mary Anning a Christian who was into paleobiology before anyone could spell the word. Was that it? Did the old earth science gradually burn off the Christians going into geological or paleo science? Who is doing that now?

Max

 

Hi Max,

Try this guy. Simon Smart interviews Simon Conway-Morris  August 25, 2014 Topic: Suffering and Evil, Evolution

Simon Conway Morris holds a Chair in Evolutionary Palaeobiology at the University of Cambridge. His research interests include the study of Burgess Shale-type faunas, the first appearance of skeletons, and the Cambrian explosion. He is published in Nature and Cell, among other peer-reviewed journals, and is the author of two books, The Crucible of Creation and Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe. His interests extend to the public understanding of science and, as a convinced Christian believer, in the place of faith in an age of science.

Video: http://publicchristianity.org/library/evolution-god-and-the-problem-of-evil