Well there have been experiments into the power of prayer, into the power of mass belief and into the power of mass hallucination. Different aspects of religion have and continue to be tested, always causing a stir of “science has disproved God” when even the scientists are saying no. I could not find the actual Mayo Clinic study (mainly because I do not want to spend 31.50 for a copy, much love to you guys but a girl’s gotta eat) that showed no link between prayer and healing. The only article I did find was a physician writing in response with several problems in the methods and in the research done. Not exactly unusual either since most experiments are critiqued, simply part of the scientific process.
Also considering the amount of people that attribute divine intervention to events, the statement of Hume leads power to religion. He is of course partly right because people believe what is least absurd…to them.
I am not saying that God deserves anymore consideration from someone than any other untestable, unproven explanation. If you notice I do not refer to God as a hypothesis either, but instead state that no hypothesis has yet been formed. A hypothesis that cannot be tested which I am guessing is your “zero-evidence” hypothesis is not a hypothesis by the way. Writing a hypothesis is extremely hard and a frustrating step to doing any research. To my knowledge there has never been a God hypothesis and science does not give God consideration in theories and principles. Perhaps I am wrong, but to date I have never given a drug with the mechanism of action being “God makes it work.” Though humorously enough I do give enough medications with the mechanism of action being “unknown.” Of course that is because currently we do not possess the ability to watch all the reactions taking place.
A hypothesis has to be testable. That is part of what a hypothesis is and tied up in the entire process. A hypothesis is not a statement of simple explanation, but a statement that sets the framework and goals of an experiment to follow. Vekseid has a thread dedicated to this discussion. A hypothesis does not exist without being able to be tested. The description of the scientific process and the development of an experiment is also inaccurate. Part of a researcher’s job is to isolate variables and be able to draw up an experiment that can remove variables. If variables cannot be removed for the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is untestable and as such is not a hypothesis. So discarding fairies as an explanation due to the amount of variables is not true.
A researcher would first notice that any object unsupported falls to the ground. This would be an observation. From there the person would say something like, “any object unsupported falls to the ground and so if I were to hold various objects up and then cease to support them then the object would move toward the ground.” This is a hypothesis, though I admit a poorly written one since I haven’t had to write one for two years and am rusty. So the researcher sets up an experiment whereby the only force acting on the object to keep the item up is controlled by the experimenter, isolating the variables. Of course since operating in a vacuum is difficult to do there is never a true elimination of other particles interacting with the item, so lighter objects do “seem” to defy the experiment. This did lead to a bit of confusion and debate in science until concepts that allowed for wind resistance were developed as well.
Notice though that during this entire experiment no real attempt is made to define why the object falls. Whether through fairies, gravity, divine intervention or what have you the object will always act in the same fashion given set criteria. The exact nature of gravity is still under a great deal of debate in fact with theories including gravity being a particle leaking into this universe from another universe.