It’s not looking good for the authors of a study that evaluated the efficacy of prayer. The authors were Rogerio A. Lobo, Daniel P. Wirth, and Kwang Y. Cha, and now look at what has happened to them (link may not work if you don’t have a subscription to the CHE).
Doctors were flummoxed in 2001, when Columbia University researchers published a study in The Journal of Reproductive Medicine that found that strangers’ prayers could double the chances that a woman would get pregnant using in-vitro fertilization. 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.
Isn’t the explanation obvious? God really hates scientists who poke at him.