The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the federal government has spent almost a billion and a half dollars to explore politically popular but scientifically dubious claims such as $666,000 to determine if distant prayer could heal AIDS. It didn’t. I would be interested in how this was tested. I cannot get the image of Lyn Cassady praying at a goat in a secret military lab.
We have followed tragic cases where prayer was advocated as a better avenue than medication for AIDS and other ailments. However, that did not stop the funding of research into the question by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), part of the National Institutes of Health. NCCAM also spent $374,000 to determine whether inhaling lemon and lavender scents can heal wounds. It couldn’t.
From coffee enemas to massages as a cancer treatment, the NCCAM pursued an array of dubious projects. One billion dollars could go a lot further in pursuing real science. I understand that many believe many citizens believe that prayer and laying of hands can heal the sick. However, such beliefs remain personal and should not be funded as a public project.
Now, “Men Who Stare At Goats” . . . that is worth an investment.
Source: Chicago Tribune