More Trouble For Authors of Prayer Study

In 2001 a study published in The Journal of Reproductive Medicine reportedly showed that strangers’ prayers could double the chances that a woman would get pregnant using in-vitro fertilization. The results of the study have been questioned since its publication and now The Chronicle of Higher Education casts some doubt on the reliability of these findings:

In the years that followed, however, the lead author removed his name from the paper, saying that he had not contributed to the study, and a second author went to jail on unrelated fraud charges.

Meanwhile, many scientists and doctors have written to the journal criticizing the study, and at least one doctor has published papers debunking its findings.

Now the third author of the controversial paper, Kwang Y. Cha, has been accused of plagiarizing a paper published in the journal Fertility and Sterility in December 2005. Alan DeCherney, editor of Fertility and Sterility and director of the reproductive biology and medicine branch at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said on Monday that it was clear to him that Dr. Cha, who has since left Columbia, plagiarized the work of a South Korean doctoral student for a paper he published on detecting women who are at risk of premature menopause.

Fraud among those who advocate prayer. How shocking.

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