Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Miracle cures?

Just read an article that our Belgian Father Damian (a noteworthy Hansen's disease (leprosy) worker who died of the disease himself, unfortunately also a priest) might be declared a saint this year if the claims are accepted by the catholic church that a woman who prayed to this man has had a "spontaneous regression of cancer".

As a skeptic I immediately see some problems, "spontaneous regression of cancer" is common and can have many reasons, much more noteworthy cases have occurred.
Do a search for it on Google or read this
Coley's Cancer-Killing Concoction

The final operation could only partially remove the huge mass, leaving an open wound that subsequently became infected. The unfortunate immigrant was deemed a terminal case. Yet four and a half months later, the man was discharged with no trace of disease.

It is like intelligent design, you can't disprove an alien super technology planting DNA in the primordial soup or adding a few strands here or there but there's no reason for it and not a shred of evidence.

In this instance the doctor just states the facts, others add the miracle claim and in the end it is a popularity vote.

But there are dangers with it, the woman got lucky, she refused treatment and her cancer healed itself, how many die because they think they can do the same?
Contrary to (credible) reports about Mother Theresa, Father Damian did provide comfort and medical aid to the people he cared for and regardless of his beliefs his work was and is noteworthy and I think should he be alive today he would not advocate refusing cancer treatment in lieu of prayer.

No comments: