Divine intervention? A Cochrane review on intercessory prayer gone beyond science and reason

Ref ID 14
First Author K. J. Jorgensen
Year Of Publishing 2009
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2728094/pdf/1477-5751-8-7.pdf
Keywords Cochrane
Complimentary & Alternative
Problem(s) Interpreted without considering certainty or overall quality of the evidence base
Weaknesses identified in some Cochrane reviews
Perpetuates citation of poor quality primary study data
Review question not justified / important
Non-financial conflicts of interest of review authors
Number of systematic reviews included 1
Summary of Findings The authors highlight that the review question involves three assumptions that are all unlikely to be true. First, the existence of a god; second, that prayer can somehow travel in space and reach this god, or that it works through another mechanism unknown to science; third, that this god is responsive to prayer and can influence at a distance what would otherwise have happened. The authors of the Cochrane review reportedly mix theological arguments with scientific reasoning, are logically inconsistent and do not relate crucial information about the included trials to the reader. The authors did not detect that the largest "trial" was meant to amuse rather than being scientific evidence, and that a suspicion of fraud has been raised against another large trial included in the review. Features which question the validity of several of the included trials are discussed, which were not highlighted by the Cochrane review authors. The authors of the Cochrane review declare Christian and Muslim backgrounds as potential conflicts of interest.
Did the article find that the problem(s) led to qualitative changes in interpretation of the results? Not Applicable
Are the methods of the article described in enough detail to replicate the study?