Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology


Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology


Article excerpt

To the Editor:

I greatly enjoyed James McClenon's "Content Analysis of an Anomalous Experience Collection: Evaluating Evolutionary Perspectives" (JP, 66, 291-316).

Please permit a comment about his observation on page 310 that "no known data link fertility and psi." There may be reason to reconsider this.

Recently, a randomized controlled clinical study originating from Columbia School of Medicine demonstrated a statistically profound effect of distant intercessory prayer, which appears impossible to distinguish from PK (Cha, Wirth, & Lobo, 2001). In this study, 219 women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer at a fertility clinic in Seoul, Korea, were prayed for by individuals in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Neither the patients nor the doctors caring for them were informed that a study was being conducted. The women who were prayed for had twice the successful pregnancy rate (50%) as those in the control group (26%, p= .0013).

Although this experiment did not deal with naturally occurring conception, it suggests nonetheless that human fertility may respond to PK in the form of distant healing intentions and prayer. If so, this would confer a straightforward survival advantage and would argue for a genetic, inherited basis for psi processes. This might help explain the nearly universal belief that spiritual practices such as praying to gods and saints, and visitations to holy shrines, promote conception and successful pregnancy.


CHA, K. Y., WIRTH, D. P., & LOBO, R. (2001). Does prayer influence the success of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer? Report of a masked, randomized trial. Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 46, 781-787.


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To the Editor:

Dr. Dossey draws attention to an interesting, well-controlled study (Cha, Wirth, & Lobo, 2001). Although this study does not demonstrate a PK--fertility correlation, a parallel study could shed light on this relationship. …

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