Don’t even try to tell me that science and religion are compatible — Phil has just encountered a perfect example of why they aren’t. He’s irritated that the jury at a trial used prayer to help them come to a decision, and he comes right out and says it: prayer doesn’t work. That’s an empirical and logical conclusion, and the efficacy of prayer is something that has constantly failed any test, and further, has been the subject of some egregiously bad testing. Prayer is an excellent example of religion trying to claim their metaphysic has real world consequences, and it has been consistently slapped down as nonsense.
Now the sad part: a number of his readers are very upset that he dared to criticize a religious concept (this is probably not the subset of readers we share; I drove those blitherers away screaming, long ago) and some are even saying they won’t read the Bad Astronomy blog any more. You know me, always kind and generous and helpful, and willing to encourage infidelity wherever I see it, so I’ll just step in and urge any of the readers here who aren’t regulars at Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog to head on over there and fill in the gaps left by the few fleeing Christians. It’s worth it for the science, and no, Phil doesn’t impose any doctrinal demands on you, so you can read it if you’re a rational Christian too.
(Why do I feel a little bit like the Wicked Witch urging my minions to “fly, my pretties, fly!” as I do this?)