08 Mar 2009

On Miracles

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Wintery Knight has an interesting post on how to argue with non-believers regarding the resurrection of Jesus. However, more than the post itself, what interested me was the issue he and a commenter touch on underneath it, regarding “front loading”:

Actually, in Christianity, there is a faction of scholars who prefer to “front-load” all of the biological design and miracles. I think this is done in order to keep God outside of time, subsequent to the big bang.

I have tons to say on this, but let me right now give a very succinct argument that I find irresistible. Maybe Wintery Knight or someone else can show me it’s not so open-and-shut. But here goes:

(1) The “laws of physics” are regularities that humans think they have discovered; they are apparent patterns that exist in the observations of physical phenomena.

(2) If one really understands the character of physical law–as explained by the master, Richard Feynman–then nature can never violate the laws of physics. If scientists repeatedly observe a violation of, say, the conservation of energy, then the “law” wasn’t really a law.

(3) Therefore it is impossible for God to “intervene” in nature and “perform a miracle,” if “miracle” means “matter behaving not in accordance with the true laws of physics.”

Like I said, I have a heck of a lot more to say on this issue. I am not disputing that Jesus did “miraculous” things, like walk on water. But my point is, by definition He did not thereby violate the laws of nature or physics. Such talk is nonsensical.

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