More Christian Science

I’ve been kicking around some thoughts. There’s a lot of pseudoscience out there. It’s bull. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence can tell it’s bull. So I’d like to put forth a challenge. This specifically goes out to Christian Science. Offer me some good evidence that believing really, really hard can heal a person. I’m not talking about spiritual healing. It’d be silly and worthless to seek evidence of something which is actively hidden from evidence. I’m talking about physical healing – something real.

To be fair, asking for evidence of magic is, of course, silly. However, as long as there are people out there making claims – ones which are dangerous – I feel it necessary to ask for some evidence. Given the nature of the people who so readily accept pseudoscience, it may be helpful to define what evidence is not:

  • It is not correlation – correlation is helpful, but just because Jimmy got better when you started praying does not mean your prayers did anything
  • It is not declaration – claim does not make a ‘miracle’ so
  • It is not anecdote – saying Jimmy was healed due to prayer does not offer much evidence; this crosses into my first point
  • It is not mystery – because something is yet unexplained by science does not mean God Did It.

These few points I’ve listed are pretty standard. I’d assume something as ‘true’ as Christian Science could surely offer up evidence which held to such standards? Nay, it should be lightyears ahead it’s so real!

5 Responses

  1. a) This is probably covered earlier, but is “Christian Science” that you refer to the faith that has been around for about 130 years (+v-) or general Christian methodology?
    b) If the latter, there are already studies done, using large same sizes, and, most memorably, the lifespan of the UK’s monarch.
    c) Regardless of the answer to a), such a case would probably, given certain parameters on the severity of the disease and repeatability, be eligible for the $10^6 prize from James Randi.

  2. Christian Science, at least insofar as I’m concerned with it here, deals with the belief that prayer can cause physical healing. This is a more firmly held belief among Christian Science followers than other Christians. While it isn’t the outright rejection of medical science, it does manifest itself in harmful actions toward children.

  3. If prayer fixes medical problems, why don’t amputees regrow limbs?

  4. I was raised with the Science of Christianity and have had many healings of different nature, never with medical assistance, also true with my mother. I would be happy to give you testimony over the phone, 909-518-9454, after 12 noon PST. Christian Scientists love atheists, or at least they should, and are not offended by remarks of disbelief. Please visit a Christian Science Reading Room. You will find the bound volumes of our periodicals, over 100 years, all containing only a fraction of the testimonies people have experienced, many that had been given up by the MDs. There are even MDs that have given up their practice for the practice of CS on discovering the efficiency of prayer. Mary Baker Eddy said that human limbs could regrow, as a tail of the lizard, if thought was elevated and clear enough to see the possibility. CS are all on that path, in an effort to help not only themselves and their own families, but for the benefit of everyone.

  5. Two studies suggest that Christian Scientists who rarely consult doctors pay a high price for avoiding medical care. The first study, study published in 1989, compared alumni records from Principia College, a Christian Science school in Elsah, Illinois, with records from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. Even though Christian Science tenets forbid the use of alcohol and tobacco, the death rates among those who had graduated from Principia between 1934 and 1948 were higher than those of their University of Kansas counterparts (26.2% vs. 20.9% in men, and 11.3% vs. 9.9% in women). [6] The second study compared Christian Scientists and Seventh-day Adventists (who also are admonished to abstain from cigarettes and alcohol but use scientifically oriented medical care) and found even greater differences in the death rates [7].

    From http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/cs2.html

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