Thursday, May 03, 2007

PC(USA) News: Spiritual impact on wellness often beyond the grasp of science

PC(USA) News: Spiritual impact on wellness often beyond the grasp of science:
"by Dave Parks
Religion News Service

TUSCALOOSA, AL — A blossoming body of research is showing that religion can have an impressive impact on health, but scientists are also finding limits in their ability to study this benefit, says a leading authority on the subject. ..."
This article is generally well written, but I need to point out that the assertion in the above paragraph should come as no surprise to anyone who understands the methods and limitations of the scientific method. God, by his nature, is outside our abilities to touch, feel, measure, confine, or experiment. Assertions of a small number prominent scientists notwithstanding, you can not use the methods of science to prove the existence of God, much less claim that science has proven that God does not exist.

(OK -- my buttons got pushed here. Moving right along...)

This article highlights the work over the past 20 years of Dr. Harold Koenig, a Duke University researcher, whose interest is the link between religion and health. The article summarized Koenig's main findings in three areas:
  1. People with strong religious beliefs tend not to get depressed as often as people lacking such beliefs, and if they do, they tend to recover quicker.
  2. People who attend worship weekly had indicators of a stronger immune system
  3. People with strong religious beliefs have statistically lower incidence of hypertension and slower mental decline associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Since depression is a major factor in the course of other, unrelated diseases, the first finding may have far-reaching significance.

At a recent conference Koenig was asked why disease and poor health were so high in the region commonly referred as the "Bible Belt". Koenig's reply was that religion was not a cure for inactivity, stress or poor diet.

More information can be found at the Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health website.

1 comment:

John said...

I agree with this completely, thanks for the post.