On November 9, 2001 (two months after the 9/11 attacks), I was a participant in the plenary session on "Prayer at a Distance: Medically
Effective?" at the Center for Inquiry–International
(now CFI Transnational) conference in Atlanta on "Science and Religion:
Are They Compatible?"
my presentation and the Q&A that followed this session:
NOTE: IF THE AUDIO PLAYER DOES NOT WORK PROPERLY ON YOUR BROWSER,
If you listen to nothing else, I'm sure you will enjoy the prayer test that I conducted during my talk (9:45 to 11:20 of Part 1). The disappointing result is divulged in the Q&A period.
The moderator of that session was Prof. Ray Hyman, and the speaker who preceded me (whom you will hear participating during the Q&A period) was Prof. Hector Avalos.
My letter of invitation noted that also invited as presenters were two of the three individuals about whose works I would be speaking: Drs. Larry Dossey and Randolph Byrd. Neither accepted the challenge, but that just offered me a few additional opportunities for humorous interludes.
All of my published writings on the scientific study of prayer can be found here. To see only the documents discussed in my talk, here they are:
My review of Dossey's book
My column about NBC's coverage of Dossey's book
The Byrd study and my critique
The Harris study and my critique
Notes: The technical glitch from 00:47 to 00:49 of Part 2 resulted in an incomplete sentence in which I had simply noted that Dr. Dossey's search for additional proof of the efficacy of distant/intercessory prayer had been spurred on by Dr. Byrd's study. Also, in my later reference to testing with a half-deck of playing cards, I should of course have specified using just the blacks or the reds (i.e., 26 possibilities) rather than a random half-deck (still with 52 possibilities).