I recently attended a lecture by a Christian woman who claimed all kinds of healing through prayer. She is a well-educated businesswoman who has traveled all over the world getting paid by churches to speak about this stuff.
Her speech was peppered with many of the logical fallacies listed on Wikipedia. People are healed by prayer all the time (just never in front of a camera or during any kind of controlled study). Medical doctors make mistakes and cause illness, therefore they are worse than nothing (although most Christians go to doctors when sick instead of only relying on prayer).
Anecdotes were the only data: her uncle in the army during WWII was dying of some condition until the family prayed him back to health, her brother was told he would never walk again but later that year played basketball with his team, her mother was in pain and terribly crippled but was healed and lived to a ripe old age, etc. Of course, she produced no videos or photographic evidence of any of these healings, no before and after x-rays, nothing but her sincere and heartfelt words.
Neither she nor the audience seemed to get the contradictions inherent in taking a casually spoken, undocumented medical diagnosis ("they said he would never walk again") as incontrovertible fact while criticizing doctors for making lots of mistakes
. Like, maybe saying that someone will never walk again is a misdiagnosis and the kid getting better had nothing to do with prayer?
And of course nothing clear and unambiguous like an arm broken in a compound fracture with x-rays, magically healed instantly, live and on camera with impartial witnesses, through prayer. Or a person with Down's syndrome, traumatic brain injury, paralysis due to spinal cord damage, third degree burns getting cured by prayer. Or an amputee getting their same limb back, with the same birthmark in the same place. Since it happens all the time, it should not be very hard to capture a few incidents on film in front of skeptical, secular observers.
Actual real deal cures of the kind that we routinely expect--and get-- from medical science. Not just emotionally made to feel better or helped to adjust to the problem or finding comfort in god's presence or pursuing an unlikely career or talent in spite of the uncured condition.
Can you imagine this: a Christian goes to a doctor with a huge Elephant Man-type facial tumor and comes out, still with the same exact horrible tumor, weeping with joy, saying, "I feel so much better! I am healed, because Doctor Samuel says he loves me just as I am! Hallelujah! I am going to apply to be a fashion model!"
Someone should make a parody video like that....