kiryan wrote:homeopathy... there are people profiting on this,
The alt-text for the comic is "Not to be confused with 'making money selling this stuff to OTHER people who think it works', which corporate accountants and actuaries have zero problems with." There's a difference between "it works, so we use it to make money" and "people think it works, so we sell it to them."
prayer... lots of evidence prayer is effective... most research centers around a placebo effect
Placebo effect, and generalization bias. Generalization bias says that when you pray for something and it happens, you note that the prayer was effective. When you pray for something and it doesn't happen, you rationalize a reason and disregard the evidence of failure. It's the same phenomenon behind superstition... baseball players who don't wash their underwear during the playoffs, or people who play their "lucky numbers" in the lotto. Something works once or twice, you get it in your head that it works, and then it fails a hundred times and your faith is unshaken because you're already convinced it works.
The authors of the bible were already aware of generalization bias. They attempted to prevent people from performing scientific studies on prayer by including that bit about "do not put your Lord God to the test." That bit is actually one of the more ingenious passages from the entire bible... they have millions of people believeing "this works, unless you test it, in which case it doesn't work by design."
A: "Prayer works!"
B: "Prove it."
A: "Can't. God says if you try to make him prove it, he'll ignore you."
B: "Doesn't that mean it doesn't work?"
A: "Only if you try to prove that it does."