(Non-talking) dog bites man

I don’t know who pays for nonsense like this (the article indicates, at least, that it’s largely a private foundation rather than the taxpayers) but in a story sure to bring a smile to our former co-blogger the Raving Atheist, it seems that a (long-awaited!) scientific study of heart patients has shown that the power of other people’s prayer is… wait for it… of no help whatsoever, and in some cases, there were worse results than for people for whom others didn’t receive any prayers from others. (This is entirely distinct from people praying on their own for their own health; the placebo effect in medicine is well-documented– having a good attitude is a very important factor in healing– and one’s own prayers might be a reflection of that– is a different matter entirely. This is a different kind of science… like the study of stars and s**t– you know… astrology…)
I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you. Soon, we’ll find out that praying for rain and praying for victory for your favorite sports team are ineffective as well, and that the attitude of a citizen of a democracy who opposes their government’s actions, say, its decisions to have a war, is of no effect whatsoever on the outcome of those policies. What will they think of next?
The only thing astounding is that there are people who reasonably believed that any other outcome was possible. But that would probably be the overwhelming majority of Americans.