The study without a prayer

According to Bruce Flamm, long-time critic of one of the best known studies that claimed real effects due to intercessory prayer, further reasons to be dubious of the study authors’ work has surfaced, in the form of one being caught in plagiarism.

In summary, the man who designed and supposedly conducted the prayer study resides in federal prison, and the man originally listed as lead author admits he knows nothing about the alleged research. The only remaining author has now been charged with plagiarism. . . This may be the first time in history that all three authors of a randomized, controlled study have been found guilty of fraud, deception, and/or plagiarism. Even more remarkable is the fact that the JRM has steadfastly refused to retract its physics-defying paper.

More interestingly, Flamm asks

One must therefore wonder if the Columbia researchers and the JRM editors have been blinded by religious beliefs.

Flamm’s full article has more details.

Mind you, given the history of parapsychology in general and intercessory prayer studies in particular, we’re sure to eventually get yet another study purporting to establish the efficacy of intercessory prayer, and we can be doubly sure that the media will trumpet the “amazing new results” while neglecting to give refutations any prominent play.

(Thanks to Keith Augustine for bringing this to my attention.)