Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

A physicist reflects on miracles, surprisingly sympathetically


Tim Andersen helpfully dismisses foolish arguments against the possibility of miracles:

From a religious perspective, miracles are direct actions by God. They need not involve violations of laws of nature. There is no “law of nature” that says your mom couldn’t get a remission from cancer—though friends who pray for it might say it’s a miracle if she does.

Similarly, we are told in the Book of Daniel (6:22) that the mouths of the lions, to whom Daniel was thrown, were shut by an angel. But it’s not clear that any violation of the laws of nature was involved. All we know is that the lions did not attack Daniel.

News, “A physicist tries to understand miracles” at Mind Matters News

It’s not clear why Andersen’s term “superphysical” is better than “supernatural”—except insofar as it would rid us of nonsense about witches and Friday 13th.

Well, considering that a day later when Daniel's enemies were thrown into the same lions den, they were torn apart before the hit the ground, it seems to me that a law of nature WAS violated. The law being that lions eat when they are hungry. So all night, they were tantalized with potential food that was sitting right in front of them. I think it says that God closed the mouths of the lions. Maybe not an actual violation of a physical law, but it was a supernatural event - not just some lucky occurrence. And there are many other miracles in the Bible that are CLEAR violations of laws of nature. But if it is God who put those laws into place and God who keeps them in place, then it is no big surprise if He chooses to "violate" them or stop them for a second when there is a need. We call them laws of nature, but they are only laws insofar as God keeps them going each and every day. When He withholds His sustaining power, they no longer apply. That's all that happens when a "law of nature" is "violated". tjguy
Polistra, Yes, indeed. Or maybe this has been going on for some time, but is now being unmasked for all but the most naïve. That's been my prayer--for corruption and hypocrisy to be exposed, which it has in a big way! Back on miracles, if a butterfly in Brazil can be the cause for tornadoes in Texas, how easy would it be for a sentient God to hide miracles in the chaos (as in Chaos theory)? -Q Querius
Andersen's definition seems to lose the point of miracles. Lots of events are highly improbable until they happen. For instance, until March 12, 2020, it was physically impossible for ALL NATIONS AND ALL RULERS AND ALL CORPORATIONS to suddenly make total war against their own people. But it happened. It's a miracle from the viewpoint of Bezos and Soros and Fauci and 100,000 other demons who have been praying to Satan for this type of total obliteration. For ordinary humans who pray to God instead of Satan, it's not exactly a miracle. It's just death. polistra

Leave a Reply