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Sloppy Science
20% Lower Chance of Dying! 
23rd-Nov-2008 02:16 pm
According to the British rag OK!, if you start going to church you have a 20% lower chance of dying!

Considering that currently your chance of dying at some point in your life is 100%, that means that regular churchgoing has a 20% chance of making you immortal!

Not that I expect any degree of statistical reality from a tabloid like OK!, but the least they could have done was say over what time period the churchgoers have a lower mortality rate. Some studies done on the effects of prayer for persons dying of terminal illness have shown that prayer has either no effect or a slightly deleterious effect on the afflicted's health.

A little research turned up the paper itself: The relationship between religion and cardiovascular outcomes and all-cause mortality in the women's health initiative observational study. I haven't read it, nor do I have the medical or statistical knowledge to make good judgments on their methodology. (Nor do I really want to start a flamewar on the value of prayer in medicine.)

That it comes from Yeshiva University, a religiously-affiliated university, is a little bit suspect. But then again, Yeshiva is a much more respected university than a place like, say, Bob Jones University.

But, let's not shift the blame for the tabloid article itself here. Come on OK!... do you actually read what you write?
5th-Dec-2008 09:07 am (UTC)
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