"Darwin's cousin Francis Galton was the first to analyse scientifically whether praying for people is efficacious. He noted that every Sunday, in churches throughout Britain, entire congregations prayed publicly for the health of the royal family. Shouldn't they, therefore, be unusually fit, compared with the rest of us, who are prayed for only by our nearest and dearest? Galton looked into it, and found no statistical difference. His intention may, in any case, have been satirical, as also when he prayed over randomized plots of land to see if the plants would grow any faster (they didn't)."
Anyway, the results of the 1800-patient scientific double-blind study, was: (the patients were divided into 3 groups):
- Group 1: Received prayers, but were not told about them. This tests if prayers helped them recover more than normal patients. Their recovery was average.
- Group 2: Received no prayers, and were not told so. This tested if there was something about the experiment that was affecting the results. Their recovery was also average.
- Group 3: Received prayers and were told so. This tested the psychosomatic effects of knowing that one is being prayed for. This group "suffered significantly more complications".</p>