Thursday, August 03, 2006

Police pray to solve crime

It seems that some police departments over in Lincolnshire in the UK are having trouble with solving petty crimes like burglaries and vandalism. Only about 1 in 10 such crimes are solved.

So if the police can’t fix things, who ya’ gonna call?

God of course!

Police departments are now handing over info to churches to pray over, seeking guidance for the cases. Personally, I have no problem with this. It certainly can’t hurt anything, so why not give it a try.

However, I’m not expecting to see any significant increase in the number of crimes solved beyond the placebo effect uplift that officers working on prayer powered cases get. But it seems that the Lincolnshire Christian Police Association was expecting such a skeptic response.

“I know that praying can make a difference in my work,” said Andy McManus, inspector for the LCPA, “but it's all a question of faith.”

Interesting. Faith is inherently blind, so claiming to “know” anything is a bit audacious.

Meanwhile, other officers have claimed to see the power of prayer citing “plummeting” figures in road deaths during the winter on roadways after the Bishop of Lincoln began blessing roadways. I’d be interested to see just how far outside of the standard deviation the fatality rate is. Should there actually be a significant change, I’d also be interested to see what other factors were contributing, such as stricter standards of automobile production, or a mild winter without as dangerous of driving conditions.

2 comments:

Paul Decelles said...

How would one conduct a controlled experiment on the effects of a bishop's blessing on road deaths? I know! Have some one who is not a bishop bless certain stretches of road, but have him in bishop's robes etc doing the exact same thing as a real bishop. If the people don't know who is who this becomes the religious equivalent of a placebo.

tongue firmly in cheek.

Paul Decelles said...

How would one conduct a controlled experiment on the effects of a bishop's blessing on road deaths? I know! Have some one who is not a bishop bless certain stretches of road, but have him in bishop's robes etc doing the exact same thing as a real bishop. If the people don't know who is who this becomes the religious equivalent of a placebo.

tongue firmly in cheek.