Friday, 12 April 2013

godandscience.org and the lies I

I cam across what is surely one of the most horrifying websites on the internet godandscience.org A website that claims to show scientific evidence for the existence of god. So I thought I would do the favour and point out some of the very blatant lies that exist on these pages. It should be evident that most of it is not scientific, but there are also very deceptive parts.

The second page that made my blood boil, was also the second page I read on their sight. It has to deal with prayer and the evidence for it actually working.
http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/prayer.html#coronary1

 So lets look at some of this evidence that is claimed to be so strong. Most of the time the author is honest and says there is no link that shows prayer works, but then goes into statistics all through the paper showing that statistically it does. Herein in lies problem 1, and it is simple the author does not tell us what p is. Let me enlighten you, p is a randomly chosen value of what you deem significant! So when the author claims its significant, it mean its significant to the author, not statistically.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-value

In the 2nd study, there is the claim that "However, the overall effect was statistically significant, with a P value of 0.04, meaning that the result was likely to occur by chance in only 1 out of 25 times the experiment was repeated." But this is not true as when we look at the only statistic that should count, that is does prayer work (read does no patient die) we see a different statistic.
Prayer deaths: 42/466 =9.01%
Control deaths: 46/524 = 8.78%
So should we be saying prayer is worse for you?

The last study claims that no significant effect is observed with prayer or the control group. The author then goes on to say  
"The prayers were given to them by the study coordinators to "standardize" the prayers. The discussion section of the paper suggested that at least some of the intercessors were dissatisfied with the canned nature of the prayers. In attempting to standardize prayer, I believe the study introduced a serious flaw, since most intercessors tend to pray as they are led by the Spirit, instead of praying prepared scripts. Jesus told His followers not to pray repetitiously, since God would not hear those kinds of prayers"
However the author forgets to mention that even in this case the only group that actually did worse was the group that got told they were being prayed for! So again should we come to the conclusion that prayer does not work?

This is dishonesty on a massive scale, and trying to sell pseudo science. But that’s what we expect from religion. Lets keep them honest.