The discussion’s going fine without further input from me, in that all the axiomatic worldview commitments are clearly revealed. That, and not ascertaining the truth of an event you haven’t witnessed, is the point.
But just a couple of points. I checked (quickly) to see what literature there is on “spontaneous resolution of coronary atherosclerosis” and it’s apparently rarer than I thought, especially in equivalent cases (ie bog-standard middle aged men degenerating their arteries, as opposed to young men abusing anabolic steroids etc). In fact I found just one individual case study abstract citing just two others in the literature. It was from the 80s, so there might now be one or two more. No attempt at an explanation was given - nor can it be where there is no reproducible or oft-repeated cause. 3 cases in tens of millions of CAD cases is not a trend - it’s an anomaly.
But even given under-reporting (fruitful discussion: why did the cardiologist not write up my case? Ans: anomalies don’t make science, and mentioning prayer as a factor wouldn’t make publication), that places my case in the realm of “unexplained anomalies”, not “uncommon physiological processes”. The word “anomaly” itself derives from “non-lawful”, which, if “natural” means “following natural laws” makes “natural anomalies” an oxymoron.
The net result is that such events just get thrown on a pile of phenomena not explained by the naturalist paradigm. Agnosticism is a legitimate position, but raises the question of whether it’s only the worldview that has constrained what can be known, rather than the phenomena.
Someone above mentions God keeping himself “hidden”: but in the case-study he wasn’t hidden at all to those who prayed, to the patient and his family, or to me once I’d told the patient not to stop his medication until the consultant had re-run the invests and they’d come back clear.
I can’t remember the exact time scale, but it was no more than a few weeks, because the patient asked for prayer when he got his bad test results and was listed for intervention. He himself had an inner conviction that he was better (and also a loss of symptoms), and saw me within a day or two, and I in turn expedited his hospital review. There was nothing potentially causal as a natural intervention between the two angiograms, except a prayer and the conviction that it had been answered (within, remember, a body of doctrine held by millions over 2000 years that includes Christ’s continued power to heal the sick).
Of course, we wouldn’t be likely to know, even from the full test of the papers I found, if even those three cases happened to involve healing prayer, because supernatural causes are not part of medical science - thus removing a possible repeated (and therefore scientific) association from view.
John Dalton asks about the physiology/pathology, in simple terms. Basically fatty deposits build up under the endothethelium of arteries from teenage years on, and the coronary arteries being narrow can become increasingly occluded with both fat and scar-tissue. The less invasive treatment, angioplasty, basically drags a metal bougee through the obstruction, which of course doesn’t repair the damaged endothelium. So usually a metal-mesh stent is put in to keep the artery from closing again, which doesn’t always succeed long term in preventing re-occlusion.
In worse cases, they give up on the drain-cleaners and bypass the obstruction(s) with an arterial graft. In other words, atherosclerosis is not like a kink in a hosepipe that might shake free, but more like a fatberg in a old collapsing city sewer.