Thursday, May 22, 2008

God, I.D.

Last week Fr. Fernando Suarez celebrated a healing Mass in Los Angeles, California. Some 14,000 attended. Well you're in for a surprise (or for skeptics, a yawn). Apparently the Christian deity messed up and failed to lick one woman's cancer the first time around:
[Teresita] De la Cruz had been “healed” by Fr. Suarez in a healing Mass in San Pedro, California last year. She attended Saturday’s healing event because her cancer recurred, invading her brain this time.
"ID" used to mean to Inefficient Designer. Now it also stands for Incompetent Doctor.

I've just begun reading Rose Shapiro's Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All. Replace "Alternative Medicine" with "Faith Healing" and the title would be just as spot on. Then again I regard FH as being part of alt med.

Richard Sloan in his Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine delves into the various studies and tells us that not only are there that not many studies on the subject of health and religion but that those which are scientifically sound don't lead to the conclusion that religion (including being religious and praying) has health benefits. However, the lack of any good evidence that supernatural beings or deluded and puffed-up blokes like Suarez or religious beliefs (faith) can cure or have any therapeutic effect (apart from placebo effects) isn't going to deter the thousands (or millions) from seeking and availing of free magical panaceas.

As it's been been said, there's only one type of medicine--one that actually works, one whose efficacy is grounded in good evidence.

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