I have a plan.
We can statistically prove the existence of God. I think.
The plan is open to debate and if someone has the resources to do it, that would be appreciated.
I will make some initial assumptions:
God is all powerful.
Most people who regularly pray, say grace.
God answers prayers.
Blessed food is better for you.
So all we need to do is find a population of people who are theist and a population of people who are not but have similar lifestyles.
We would then compare their life expectancy and bowel health.
The reason I wish to relate the occurrence of bowel disease is that one of the most common prayers would be “grace”, said before eating and normally the prayer is “Please bless this food”.
Another of my assumptions is that blessed food is better for you, if it was not then why would people ask God to bless it?
If prayer works, we should see a marked decrease in bowel disease amongst Christians who say grace.
If prayer is ineffective then the results should be the same for a population with similar lifestyle.
This method I do believe will avoid the “do not put the Lord to the test” clause that dilutes the results of so many other studies for the effects of prayer as we are not forcing God to answer a specific request at a specific time. We are only testing for a visible effect, that has already happened across a huge population.
It would be unfair in the least to assume that God would not answer the prayer of a child living in 1986 because data about his bowel health would be used in 2012 to prove prayer exists.
I will admit there still remains the get out of jail free card of “He works in mysterious ways” and I have no answer to that.
However the fundamental question remains.
Can we detect via statistical analysis, the impact of prayer across a population group?