[ExI] Capitalizing on "Life Extension"

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Mon Nov 3 01:49:51 UTC 2008

At 04:57 PM 11/2/2008 -0800, Spike wrote:

>Prayer for the sick only works if you believe.  Of course it is much easier
>to believe if you get better.

By protocol, the "you" who is the subject of the alleged distant 
treatment *does not know (by any normal means) if he or she is 
targeted*. That being so, if there's a significant difference in some 
medically relevant parameter at the end but not the start of the 
trial, patients' belief *can't* be the operative factor.

Anyone is free to deny that any such evidence can possibly exist, and 
refuse to look at it. As with cold fusion, I don't have a dog in this 
fight. If anything, I'm biased against the idea, because it could all 
too easily lend itself to a revival of lunatic witch-hunting and 
repudiation of empirical medicine and surgery. That bias acts to 
deter me from reading much of the documentation. But my declared 
ignorance of it thereby prevents me from blanket nay-saying, and 
meanwhile a whole lot of medicos and nurses do attest to such effects 
as demonstrated in apparently good experimental protocols (see the 
biblio I url'd). Does this mean I'm *frightened* to examine the 
alleged evidence? Maybe so.

>The person doing the prayer must also be a believer

That would seem highly likely. My working assumption, of course, is 
that "prayers of healing" or "therapeutic intent" etc, if they do 
work, DON'T do so by persuading some Vast Eternal All-Wise Cosmic 
Creator of the Cosmos to fuck about with the immutable laws He set 
up, or by reprogramming the Matrix Simulation. My guess is that it 
would have to be some kind of nonlocal field effect, where the 
informational state of the "healer" somehow directly interfaces with 
relevant portions of the patient's brain/body and tweaks its immune 
system, say, rather in the way a part of one's own mind/brain can do 
the same thing to oneself through meditation, hypnosis, relaxation, 
etc. A guess only, of course, since I am neither a physicist nor a medico.

Damien Broderick

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