As I said somewhere above, I referred J.M.'s query about remarkable cures to the 'answer man' at the Committee for the Scientific Investgation of the Paranormal. Here's the reply. This is rather sketchy; maybe if J.M. can cite a more recent specific case which has been written about in the media, the Answer Man would have more to go on. [img]http://220.127.116.11/ubb/smile.gif[/img]
Firstly, is it possible that people can experience rapid and unexplainable
healing? Yes. But can this be linked conclusively to faith or some spiritual
powers? Not really.
Regarding Lourdes, I'd say the following:
D. J. West (a physician with special qualifications in psychological
medicine) wrote the book "Eleven Lourdes Miracles" (London: Duckworth, 1957)
as an investigation of the amazing events that were alleged to have
occurred. Among his conclusions was: "The rarity of the cures, and the
incompleteness of the medical information on most of the cases put forward
as miracles, makes any kind of appraisal exceedingly difficult. As far as it
goes, and taking the documents at their face value, the evidence for
anything 'miraculous' in the popular sense of the expression is extremely
If he thinks Lourdes is a good example of the type of healing he's talking
about I would question his investigative skills. I don't know what type of
evidence he claims to have but it is very difficult to keep track of every
possible variable in a person's recovery. Simply stated, there is little
evidence that anything other than proven remedies (and sometimes unproven)
and the natural healing process of the body is responsible for its recovery,
whether fully understood or not.
We apologize for the delay in responding to your message.
Answer Man http://www.csicop.org