All posts filed under: Studies

POLL: Are young people secretly turning to God online?

According to a remarkable poll conducted on behalf of Religion Media Center over 50% of young people between the ages of 18 to 24 are watching online Church services during the COVID pandemic. Online services can be viewed on several social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook in the privacy of a person’s home. The poll was conducted by Savanta ComRes of 2,244 young adults in Britain between July 31 and August 3, 2020. The survey also revealed 45% of those aged between 18 and 24 and 49% of those aged between 25 and 34 had prayed in July. But what is equally significant is that by August the number praying had climbed to 55%. Rev Dr Peter Phillips, the director of the Centre for Digital Religion based in Durham, England, called the numbers staggering and added he was shocked by the results. And what can’t be understated is that while similar polls showed that older people’s interest in online church services waned as the pandemic went on, the same is not happening with …

Credit: NASA Johnson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Watch our world as it changes

Social Media, including You Tube and Facebook, and many more new offerings, is a big part of life today. For most of us, it’s a huge part of life. The Internet has changed the world everywhere. I remember bulky computers on desk tops, and now we have phones in our pockets. I also remember life before the Internet, when phones had dials, and we talked on them; we only talked on them. We live in a time when old things pass away quickly, and new things emerge and dominate the world. God has promised to shake this world, and it’s easy to see how that could happen. We can’t keep what we have. “Now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken; that is, created things.” (Hebrews 12: 26 and 27)

Can the common cold help you fight off COVID?

According to researchers at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Planck Institute, the common cold may help people build up an immunity to COVID-19. In a study of the blood of 18 people, who previously had the Coronavirus, the research team discovered the presence of T-helper cells which play an important role in a person’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus. StudyFinds reports: T-helper cells are critical for the development and maintenance of protective antibody responses in humans. Scientists believe these cells may play an important role in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2.” However, they also found that the same T-helper cells were present in 68 people who had never had the Coronavirus. They were uncertain where they come from, but believe the Common Cold may have resulted in the development of these cells providing people at least a partial immunity to COVID-19. StudyFinds reported on the comments of one of the lead researchers, Claudia Gieseck-Thiel: “This suggests that the T-helper cells of healthy individuals react to SARS-CoV-2 because of previous exposure to the endemic …

Another Study: Lockdowns failed to reduce deaths

Another study confirms that if the dystopian lockdowns were intended to save lives, they failed miserably. The Heritage Foundation’s recent study of ten countries’ reaction to COVID reveals that though broad ranged lockdowns did not work, there were things that did reduce the virus death toll: Lockdowns that targeted those who were most vulnerable to the Coronavirus including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Quarantining those who were sick, not those who were healthy. LifeSite News reports on the study: In another instructive comparison, “South Korea permitted much of its economy to remain open, choosing instead to engage in aggressive testing and isolating the infected,” yielding “13,979 cases and 298 deaths (0.0272% and 0.000579% of its population, respectively” as of July 22. By contrast, “Italy pursued a strict lockdown policy,” and by the same date “had 245,590 cases and 35,097 deaths (0.406% and 0.058% of its population, respectively).” “Maintaining a strong economy and protecting public health are not mutually exclusive,” the authors conclude. “Focusing on hot spots, protecting the elderly and most vulnerable, …

Could an ancient medicine become a modern cure?

According to medical researchers, a thousand-year-old medicine prescribed for infected eyes, called Bald’s Eyesalve, could be a modern cure for diabetic foot ulcers. Particularly those that are resistant to modern antibodies. The eye salve recipe found in an ancient medical book, Bald’s Leechbook, written sometime in the ninth century, includes garlic, wine, onion and bile salts. According to researchers each of those four ingredients contains “anti bacterial properties or compounds.” The Daily Mail explains: We have shown that a medieval remedy made from onion, garlic, wine, and bile can kill a range of problematic bacteria grown both planktonically and as biofilms,’ said Dr Freya Harrison from the University of Warwick. ‘Because the mixture did not cause much damage to human cells in the lab, or to mice, we could potentially develop a safe and effective antibacterial treatment from the remedy.’ The researchers also noted that their experiments revealed that that though each ingredient listed in Bald’s Eyesalve has antibacterial properties, they were most effective when combined into one solution. READ: Thousand-year-old medieval remedy known as …

Whatever happened to the Age of Aquarius?

Do you remember the song with these words “It is the dawning of the age of Aquarius”? I wasn’t supposed to like that song, in my religious family, but for me it was easy listening, and I liked the optimism. Also, it’s a Hippy New-Age hymn, and I had friends who were Hippies. The lyrics are mostly about the positions of the planets and stars, and it’s based on Astrology, which is really a religion, and I am a Christian. The Bible is clear, wisdom comes from God who made the stars, and not from the created objects, like Jupiter in the seventh house. We are not supposed to get direction for our lives from mediums; “anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 10: 10 to 12) God can give us what we need. Maybe the singers were mediums and astrologers, …

Study: Lockdowns did not reduce death rates

According to researchers from the University of Toronto and University of Texas, the lockdowns, that effectively destroyed a country’s economy, had no impact on the death rate from the Coronavirus. In other words, lockdowns did not work. The Daily Mail explains: Lockdowns have not had a big impact on coronavirus death rates around the world, scientists have claimed, and the health of nations beforehand was more important. Dozens of countries have been forced to tell people to stay home and close shops in a bid to stop the Covid-19 pandemic since it broke out in January. But now a study has claimed the drastic measures don’t even work. They found that whether a country was locked down or not was ‘not associated’ with death rate. The study pointed out that there were several factors that did affect death rates that basically revolved on how healthy people in the country were before the virus hit. This included the country’s obesity rates and the average age of its population. The Daily Mail notes: Which factors influenced death …

Dealing with procrastination

I am the king of procrastinators. I put things off, because I can’t or won’t make a decision. When it comes to buying an item, as my wife will attest, I am scared that a better deal might come along, so I just put it off. Procrastination is a real problem and it shows up at universities when students procrastinate about completing assignments often putting it off to the very last moment. Sometimes, they don’t complete them at all. I know of a very smart man who didn’t complete his university assignments and as a result never graduated. However, he went on to have a very successful, I repeat, very successful professional career. So, the issue wasn’t ability. Typically, most blame procrastination on a time management problem or perhaps laziness. People are just not managing their times properly. And some universities even offer time management advice for their students. However, a recent study by psychologists Timothy Pyschyl and Fushcia Sirois has concluded that procrastination is not about time management, but rather an unwillingness to deal …

Study confirms why you need to build a big jail!

A study out of Canada provides concrete evidence why every believer needs to build a huge prison. The Daily Mail tells of a study conducted by Dr. Jordan Poppenk, who serves as Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, that concluded the average person has about 6,200 thoughts a day. Dr. Poppenk and his research team had 184 people watch upwards of four video clips, while the research team used an MRI scan to monitor the blood flow in the participants’ brains. Though the scan could not determine what each person was thinking, it was able to determine when a new thought pattern, described as a “thought worm,” emerged in a participant’s brain. Based on this, the researchers concluded that a person averages about 6,200 thoughts a day. Though there has been speculation of how many thoughts we think in a day and as well a few unreliable studies involving people tracking their thoughts, this was the first study to provide a concrete number. Thousands of thoughts pop into our mind every day. Many of them …

Taking captive dementia?

A recent study undertaken by researchers from the London-based University College concluded that repetitive negative thinking could be a risk factor for dementia. In their study, the researchers followed 300 older people for a period of two years, tracking their response to negative situations in their life. They particularly focussed their attention on “repetitive” negative thinking where you rehash situations or particular thoughts in your mind again and again. They also tracked how much these individuals worried. In addition, the researchers did brain scans on 113 members of the study group to determine if two proteins, amyloid and tau, were accumulating in their minds. These are known contributors to Alzheimer. The researchers concluded from their study that four years later people with high rates of negative repetitive thinking had higher accumulations of the tau and amyloid in their brain and as well were showing a greater cognitive decline than those who weren’t as negative. There was a noticeable decline in just four years. Speaking on behalf of the research group, Dr. Gael Chételat said: “Our …

Studies show people are turning to prayer during COVID-19 crisis

According to a study by a Danish professor, it seems that people are turning to prayer during these difficult times. This was not any more evident than during final moments of a live interview MSNBC host Craig Melvin’s had with T.J. Jakes, the pastor of The Potter’s House, a mega-church based in Dallas at the beginning of April. With seconds left, Melvin turned to Bishop Jakes and said: “For folks who aren’t able to get to church yesterday, I’ve never actually done this on air. Can you lead us in prayer for 30 seconds.” As Melvin bowed his head, Pastor Jakes prayed for God to strengthen people during this time of crisis and particularly those who are first responders: According to Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, an assistant professor of Economics at Denmark’s University of Copenhagen, this should not surprise us because Google searches for “prayer” are surging during this pandemic. Using Google Trends, Bentzen studied the records in 75 countries of the number of searches for prayer in the month of March. Based on her research, …

Publishers reporting surging interest in the Bible due to COVID-19 crisis

Tyndale House Publishers, a major publisher of Bible and Christian books based in the US, has noticed a “considerable increase” in interest in the Bible since the start of the COVID-19 panic. In an interview with the Christian Post, Tyndale executive Jim Jewell said that there has been a 60% increase in the sales of Immerse Bibles and a 44% increase in Life Application Study Bibles. He also added that the number of people visiting the company’s Facebook page for the New Living Translation in March was triple the numbers of March last year. The page features Scripture verse memes. There has also been a substantial increase of visits in 2020, as the page recorded a 72% increase of visits between March and April. Jewell attributes this significant growth to the COVID-19 crisis that has “upended almost everyone’s lives in some way.” He added that people are turning to the Bible for “clarity.” Tyndale is not the only Bible publisher to see growth. According to an article on Fox News, Alabaster Co. has noticed a …

Iceland study reveals that half the people with Coronavirus didn’t even know they had it

While we are being inundated daily about the number of people who are dying from the Coronavirus or COVID-19, a new study out of Iceland may throw new light on those statistics. According to World Meter, as of April 2, 2020, there have been 1,003,729 reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide (this includes 210,500 people who have recovered) and 51,522 deaths which puts a death rate for the virus worldwide at about 5%. (Note these numbers are adjusted several times during the day). However, those stats vary widely by country. For example Italy has reported 110,547 cases and 13,155 deaths which works out to a death rate of nearly 12%. Meanwhile, US and Germany are recording death rates of 2% and 1% respectively. But, if a study out of Iceland is right, the percentage death rates for COVID-19 in many of these countries may actually be lower. With a population of 346,000, Iceland has reported 1,319 cases of virus with four deaths, a percentage death rate of less than 0.4%, half of what Germany is reporting. …

Three interesting stories out of the COVID-19 pandemic

With most of the world still in lock down over the COVID-19 pandemic I decided to share three interesting stories that have merged out of this world crisis. God healed me after Mike Pence prayed for me The first involves a man from Georgia, who in an interview with CNN, claimed that prayers, and particularly the prayers of US Vice President Mike Pence, healed him of COVID-19. Clay Bentley told CNN he went to the hospital with flu-like symptoms but was sent home later that day when tests revealed no signs of the flu. That night things started getting worse for Bentley. Over the next few days, his lungs started filling with fluid making it increasingly difficult for him to breathe. When his condition worsened, Bentley returned to the hospital and was diagnosed with COVID-19. But by this time, he was in serious trouble because it was almost impossible for him to breath, which is why there is such a demand for ventilators. But suddenly and almost miraculously he started improving. He told CNN that …

Massive reduction in COVID-19 death predictions for Britain?

A study by London, England’s Imperial College, released in mid-March, stated that without significant measures COVID-19 plague could potentially kill 2.2 million people in the US and 500,000 people in Britain. These apocalyptic predictions were result of computer modeling predictions led by Neil Ferguson, who some consider the pre-eminent epidemiologist in the world. Based on these projections, countries around the world implemented Draconian measures that resulted in millions of people losing their jobs. But then the week following, there was a significant downgrade to Ferguson’s predictions. According to the website New Scientist, at a presentation this week before a parliamentary committee in London, England, Ferguson provided a small update to those numbers. Ten days after predicting 500,000 deaths, Ferguson stated that only 20,000 people would die in Britain and according to New Scientist, the number of deaths “could be much lower.” During his presentation Ferguson apparently added that because of underlying conditions and older age, over half of those would probably have died this year anyway. This new estimate compares to the approximate 29,000 people …

Shawn Bolz prophesied the ‘panic’ associated with the Coronavirus was ‘exaggerated,’ two studies suggest he might be right

When Shawn Bolz came out with his prophecy at the end of February about the Coronavirus pandemic, one thing that caught my attention was his suggestion that the fear associated with this pandemic was exaggerated. Bolz wrote: “The exaggerated fear based tactics of both the enemy and several media outlets for political reasons is coming to an end. The enemy has been trying to distract and steal from several equally important purposes and issues by dominating airwaves with conspiracy and fear.” Shawn Bolz Prophecy, Charisma News At the time he gave this word, the concerns about COVID-19 was just gaining steam and his suggestion was clearly opposite of the prevailing opinion. Now it is obvious that this virus is concerning particularly for those with pre-existing conditions and those who are older and have weakened immune systems because of their age. However, nearly a month after Bolz gave that prophecy two reports are suggesting that maybe he was right. The first involves a study conducted by Harvard University and the Hong Kong’s School of Public Health …

Putting Italy's coronavirus 'pandemic' in perspective

Italy is considered by many to be the nation the hardest hit by the Coronavirus outside of China, and the government has initiated a form of quarantine on the country’s 60 million people. According to Italy’s latest reports (as of March 18, 2020), 2,503 people have died from Coronavirus and an estimated 31,500 people have been officially diagnosed with the disease. Though this suggests a mortality rate of nearly 8%, this percentage may be suspect as a report published in the Independent revealed that at least 45% of the people with coronavirus are showing minimal symptoms, with one in ten having no symptoms at all. So undoubtedly thousands of people have had the virus but saw no need to go to the doctor and were not diagnosed. But Italian authorities also noted that for the first time, they are seeing a decline in the number of new cases being reported on a daily basis, suggesting the pandemic has peaked. Nevertheless, we need to put some perspective on what is happening in Italy. I am basing …

The great ‘falling away’ versus the great end-times revival

During a recent presentation to the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, Kristine Stache, the interim president of Wartburg Theological Seminary, warned that at its current rate of decline the Episcopal church will cease to have Sunday services in 30 years. The Episcopal Church is the American equivalent of the Anglican Church and is a member of the Anglican Communion. It came into being shortly after the American Revolution when the Anglican churches in America formed a separate denomination. In 2011, it was the fourth largest denomination in the US but has been in an attendance free fall since 2008. Stache noted that between 2008 and 2018, the denomination saw a 24.9% decline in Sunday attendance. And what is equally disturbing is that the rate of decline seems to be increasing. In 2018, the Episcopal church saw a greater drop in membership than it did in 2017. In 2017, the church reported a membership decline of 32,500 over the previous year and that decline rose to 36,000 in 2018. In an interview with Episcopal News, Stache said …

Who would Solomon choose?

When he was good, he was very good, but when he was bad, he was very bad. During his good days, King Solomon, the son of David through Bathsheba, was considered among the wisest men in the world (1 Kings 4:30). A political survey conducted in 2020 may have a startling connection to one of King Solomon’s decisions that revealed his wisdom. In early January, a group called The College Fix had the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Center for Public Opinion survey Democrats living in New Hampshire eligible to vote in the Democratic New Hampshire primary. They wanted to find out how Democrats felt about President Trump winning a second term as President in 2020. They were asked if they would prefer President Trump winning the 2020 presidential election over a meteor that would wipe out all life on the planet earth. According to the survey, 64% of the 400 Democrats surveyed would rather have a meteor “extinguishing all human life” over President Trump winning a second term as the US President. The numbers varied a …

Why would belief in God make us happier?

In early December, there was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal written by a psychotherapist named Erica Komisar. In the article, Komisar basically told parents, even if they don’t believe, when their children ask them any questions about God, they should lie and tell them God is real. In fact, in her own practice she has given that very advice. Komisar then went on to explain why she does this. She says it is because faith in God helps children in real substantive ways, both emotionally and mentally. She cited a study conducted by Harvard and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that showed children who have faith in God and attend church at least once a week scored better results in several key areas including: Better mental health; Higher community involvements; Less likely to use drugs; and Less likely to have early sex. She added that the study of 5,000 youth revealed that children who attended religious service also had a deeper sense of purpose for their life and were more …

Why do people hate themselves?

England’s Daily Mail reported on a disturbing trend among young people in England uncovered by researchers from the University of Warwick. And if it is happening in England, I suspect the same trends are taking place in North America. According to a survey of 19,000 teens aged 14 years old, the research team led by Dr Dimitra Hartas discovered that over 15% had intentionally hurt themselves in 2018. Also called self harm, it refers to the secretive practice of people directly injuring themselves. This can be done by hitting, scratching, burning and arguably the most common method, cutting. Equally concerning is that girls accounted for nearly 75% of those instances of self harm. Their research also revealed there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people conducting self harm over the last 20 years. Their study, reported in the Research Papers in Education, revealed that the number of people aged 16 to 74 who intentionally hurt themselves has nearly tripled between 2000 and 2014, from 2.4% of the population to 6.4% in 2014. …

Survey reveals religious freedom is important to Americans

A survey conducted by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in September and October 2019, revealed that the vast majority of Americans support religious freedom. In the survey, people were asked to rank their support for protecting religious freedoms on a scale from zero (indicating no support) to 100 (indicating full support) on multiple issues. According to the survey of 1,000 Americans, the overall average score of 67 indicated very strong support for religious freedom in the US. In particular, the millennials (aged 24 to 36 approximately) showed the highest support for religious freedom, and they also reported the highest rates of religious discrimination of any age group. One of the areas surveyed was whether people should have the freedom to disagree with same sex marriage. On this controversial cultural topic, 74% of people believed religious groups and individuals should not face discrimination or fines if they do not support same sex-marriage. Of the several issues addressed in the survey this opinion had one of the highest levels of support. This flies in the face …

A cute study reveals an odd thing about atheists

There has been an interesting trend in recent years during times of tragedy when people typically express their thoughts and prayers. Atheists are now overtly outraged at these kind gestures, even though studies show that, many people (even those not overtly religious) actually appreciate such expressions, because we are social beings and are strengthened by the larger community’s support. A cute study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Wyoming wanted to take a closer look at this phenomenon. The study results, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, exposed a very unusual trait among atheists. The researchers studied people from North Carolina who lived through Hurricane Florence that hit in September 2018. It dropped upwards of 35 inches (0.89 meters) of rain causing massive damage largely due to flooding. They gave each of the 482 participants, who ranged from atheists to Christians, $5, who were told they could use the money to gain supportive prayers or thoughts from others after the crisis. Those …

Study suggests that women who bottle up anger have a higher risk of a stroke

According to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, feeling resentful or bottling up your anger may result in an increased risk of stroke for women. Strokes occur when plaque build up in arteries results in a reduction of blood flow to the brain as the arteries narrow. An additional contributor is Atherosclerosis that occurs when chunks of plaque break away increasing the potential of a blockage. According to the Daily Mail, that reported on the study, strokes are the third highest cause of death in America and fourth highest in England Women are also more vulnerable to strokes than men and struggle with recovery when strokes do occur. In their study, the researchers analyzed 304 non-smoking women between the ages of 40 and 60. They asked them a series of questions that included if they tended to put other people’s needs first over their own and if they were likely to express their true feelings about a situation. The researchers then did ultra sounds on the women’s arteries and discovered that women who did not …

Study says for an emotionally healthier you reduce your Facebook time

I have a confession to make. I am rarely on Facebook. We have a Facebook page for OpenTheWord, with articles automatically posted to the page. You can like the page here if you want to follow the website in that way. But in a counter-intuitive move, I am probably recommending you don’t. Because if researchers from Yale and UC San Diego are right, you may be emotionally healthier if you cut back the amount of time you spend on Facebook. In their study, the two researchers, UC’s Holly Shakya and Yale’s Nicholas Christakis, followed 5,208 people for two years who were regular Facebook users. There was one slight difference in their methodology. In the past, people studying the impact of social media have done it through self reporting. In other words, the people being studied reported how much they were on social media. However, in this study Shakya and Christakis received permission to monitor their study groups’ Facebook activity through Facebook, so they had an accurate reading of how many times the individuals were actually …

Study suggests divorce increases the risk of dementia

I find it difficult to write on divorce, because there can be legitimate reasons for a marriage breakdown and sometimes a person has no choice because one partner wants out of the marriage. But we are living in a society where marriage is increasingly devalued and looked upon as being as disposable as a paper cup. But the Bible states that God hates divorce and warns of it being a violent act as it involves separating two people who in Biblical terms were one flesh (Mark 10:8). “For the Lord God of Israel saysThat He hates divorce,For it covers one’s garment with violence,”Says the Lord of hosts.“Therefore take heed to your spirit,That you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:16 NKJV And this cutting apart has the potential to harm all involved including children (here, here and here) and the couple divorcing. Aside from the negative emotional and economic consequences of divorce, studies also reveal divorce can physically impact the health of the people involved. And this was the conclusion of yet another study that provided …

Study says optimists more likely to live longer

According to the Daily Mail, researchers from Boston University stated that optimists tend to live longer than those with a more pessimistic view of life. The researchers came to this conclusion after monitoring the attitudes and lives of 69,744 women and 1,500 men. The women (aged 58 to 86) were surveyed for ten years and the men (aged 41 to 90) tracked for 30 years. During this period, the researchers asked them a series of questions to determine if their outlook on life was negative or positive. They concluded that on average men with the most optimistic view extended their lives an additional 11% and women 15% when compared to their negative counterparts. They also found that optimists were more likely to hit 85 years of age with 70% more men and 50% more women reaching that age. Their findings were published in the journal entitled “Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.” According to the researchers, optimistic people were defined as those who believed “the future will be pleasant because one can control …