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Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Ever get flustered by watching National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, or The History Channel explain away the burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea, Jesus’ walking on water, or the resurrection with a scientific explanation for each? I also sigh when I hear people say that the birth of their child is a “miracle,” even though I know they mean miraculous in the sense of the wonder that it is to have a child.

Let’s start with this definition for “miracle” (my italics for emphasis): (n.) an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. Therefore, if every supposed miracle can be explained away scientifically, miracles cease to be possible. It takes the suspension of a law of nature in order to have a miracle by something supernatural or other worldly. A child being born is not a miracle. Because it breaks the course of nature, a child being born to a woman who had never lain with a man is a miracle!

C.S. Lewis wrote the following on miracles which I think is helpful for our skeptical age:

The idea that the progress of science has somehow altered this question is closely bound up with the idea that people “in olden times” believed in [miracles]”because they didn’t know the laws of Nature.” Thus you will hear people say, “The early Christians believed that Christ was the son of a virgin, but we know that this is a scientific impossibility.” Such people seem to have an idea that belief in miracles arose at a period when men were so ignorant of the cause of nature that they did not perceive a miracle to be contrary to it. A moment’s thought shows this to be nonsense: and the story of the Virgin Birth is a particularly striking example. When St. Joseph discovered this his fiancee was going to have a baby, he not unnaturally decided to repudiate her. Why? Because he knew just as well as any modern gynecologist that in the ordinary course of nature women do not have babies unless they have lain with men. No doubt the modern gynecologist knows several things about birth and begetting which St. Joseph did not know. But those things do not concern the main point–that a virgin birth is contrary to the course of nature. And St. Joseph obviously knew that. Read on… 

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