Author Topic: Miracles vs. Science  (Read 2016 times)

Offline LionKing

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Miracles vs. Science
« on: January 12, 2017, 08:11:23 AM »
Dear all,

I want to view your scientific explanations for the so-called miracles of curing and visions as the local TVs here propagate this matter every now and then. One of the many of what are described as miracles of Saint Charbel Makhlouf was a woman saying that the physician told her she should have a cancer surgery, but she went to shrine of the Saint and prayed. At midnight she saw a man dressing in black who told her he is the saint, burnt her hand , and told her she is healed. When she went to the physician he told her she is healed miraculously, according to her.
There are many similar stories, and although I know that many investigations should be done before one claims a miracle cure took place (right diagnosis, psychological issues, taking medicine while praying, spontaneous healing, etc) I still don't understand the visionary issue .. any thoughts?
"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself"― Pythagoras

Offline gillianren

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 11:22:56 AM »
Do they have medical records to prove they had the condition in the first place and to prove that they no longer have it?  Because if they don't, they can claim anything.
"This sounds like a job for Bipolar Bear . . . but I just can't seem to get out of bed!"

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Offline Cat Not Included

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 01:14:37 PM »
Dear all,

I want to view your scientific explanations for the so-called miracles of curing and visions as the local TVs here propagate this matter every now and then. One of the many of what are described as miracles of Saint Charbel Makhlouf was a woman saying that the physician told her she should have a cancer surgery, but she went to shrine of the Saint and prayed. At midnight she saw a man dressing in black who told her he is the saint, burnt her hand , and told her she is healed. When she went to the physician he told her she is healed miraculously, according to her.
There are many similar stories, and although I know that many investigations should be done before one claims a miracle cure took place (right diagnosis, psychological issues, taking medicine while praying, spontaneous healing, etc) I still don't understand the visionary issue .. any thoughts?

There are many stories in which costumed do-gooders shooting laser beams out of their eyes or imbued with adamantium bones or wielding magic lassos defeat evil-doers. How does science explain them?

People can say anything they want; without fact-checking it, what they say could be fictional, imagined, a lie, an exaggeration; heck, it could be literally anything.

Millions of people will suffer from various illnesses and injuries every day. Many of them will recover, many without any notable treatment. Many of them will pray in between getting sick and recovering.

Meanwhile, more than a thousand people die of cancer every day in the US alone. An enormous number of them either pray or have people praying for them. But thousands of them still die.
The quote "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" very clearly predates personal computers.

Offline LionKing

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 03:16:57 AM »
Yes Cat I said there is spontaneous remission, what I am discussing is the vision and operation reported by not only her but many other people. But I think it is not our, or my capability now to investigate it .. it will need close investigation..
"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself"― Pythagoras

Offline LionKing

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2017, 05:24:43 AM »
and this is very conencted with stigmata..they all say to have wounds after the surgery or those like Jesus..
"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself"― Pythagoras

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2017, 08:26:17 AM »
The woo is strong in this thread.....
"Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur"
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens.

Offline LionKing

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2017, 09:41:52 AM »
The woo is strong in this thread.....

On the contrary, the thread is to find a perfect scientific explanation not a pseudoscientific one
"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself"― Pythagoras

Offline theteacher

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2017, 07:01:07 PM »
The woo is strong in this thread.....

On the contrary, the thread is to find a perfect scientific explanation not a pseudoscientific one

It's a miracle that men went to the Moon in the sixties and came back alive, don't you think?

Offline bknight

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2017, 12:01:13 PM »
The woo is strong in this thread.....

On the contrary, the thread is to find a perfect scientific explanation not a pseudoscientific one

It's a miracle that men went to the Moon in the sixties and came back alive, don't you think?

No miracle just understanding the science and technology of the journey.  Receive the necessary funding for the project, a very important step and one which has prevented a return to deep space.  Then build and perfect the hardware to accomplish the task.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
Eugene Cernan

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2017, 01:35:16 PM »
The woo is strong in this thread.....

On the contrary, the thread is to find a perfect scientific explanation not a pseudoscientific one

Then we wouldn't be using anecdotal accounts. It would be very difficult to build a compelling convincing case when all there appears to be is media reports and anecdotal records.
It's worth remembering that there is not one single event in all of human history that has been proven to have a supernatural cause.

It's a miracle that men went to the Moon in the sixties and came back alive, don't you think?
The definition of a miracle is something that is inexplicable by reason and can only be attributed to a supernatural being or deity. I cannot think of a single occurrence in the Apollo program that can only be explained by invoking a supernatural being. Not a single one. So, by that definition, I do not think that it's a miracle. It's a testimony to hard work, inventiveness, science, mathematics, engineering, bravery, individual sacrifice and determination.
No room here for invisible father-figures that live in the clouds.
"Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur"
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens.

Offline LionKing

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2017, 02:59:22 PM »
zakalwe we are searching if science studied similar anecdotes and could understand the reason behind them
"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself"― Pythagoras

Offline gillianren

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2017, 11:52:51 AM »
Yes.  Every time science has looked into them, the reason that comes back is "fraud."
"This sounds like a job for Bipolar Bear . . . but I just can't seem to get out of bed!"

"Conspiracy theories are an irresistible labour-saving device in the face of complexity."  --Henry Louis Gates

Offline theteacher

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2017, 04:49:01 PM »
It's a miracle that men went to the Moon in the sixties and came back alive, don't you think?
The definition of a miracle is something that is inexplicable by reason and can only be attributed to a supernatural being or deity.

I think it is more productive to look at the origin of the word miracle: Middle English: via Old French from Latin miraculum object of wonder, from mirari to wonder, from mirus wonderful. From https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/miracle.

Quote
I cannot think of a single occurrence in the Apollo program that can only be explained by invoking a supernatural being. Not a single one. So, by that definition, I do not think that it's a miracle. It's a testimony to hard work, inventiveness, science, mathematics, engineering, bravery, individual sacrifice and determination.
No room here for invisible father-figures that live in the clouds.

I couldn't agree more.

Yet I was trying to bring a point across to Lionking. Hence the question.

My point is: The concept of miracles is incommensurable with the concept of science. The two concepts belong to different realms of our way to deal with reality.

Science is an instrumental way to deal with reality, that makes us able to explain and make predictions about said reality. Miracles is a way to describe personal experiences with occurences, that make us wonder and fill us with awe. Thus a miracle is a way to describe a personal experience.

If we look at miracles from that point of view it becomes clear, that what is a miracle to some people, is not necessarily a miracle to others.

In accordance with Michael Shermer in his book "The Believing Brain" I think, that the propensity to adopt concepts such as miracles is hardwired into our brains, and that it takes a lot of hard disciplined work to put those ways of thinking aside, when dealing with reality in a scientific way.

Offline LionKing

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2017, 03:43:08 AM »
It's a miracle that men went to the Moon in the sixties and came back alive, don't you think?
The definition of a miracle is something that is inexplicable by reason and can only be attributed to a supernatural being or deity.

I think it is more productive to look at the origin of the word miracle: Middle English: via Old French from Latin miraculum object of wonder, from mirari to wonder, from mirus wonderful. From https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/miracle.

Quote
I cannot think of a single occurrence in the Apollo program that can only be explained by invoking a supernatural being. Not a single one. So, by that definition, I do not think that it's a miracle. It's a testimony to hard work, inventiveness, science, mathematics, engineering, bravery, individual sacrifice and determination.
No room here for invisible father-figures that live in the clouds.

I couldn't agree more.

Yet I was trying to bring a point across to Lionking. Hence the question.

My point is: The concept of miracles is incommensurable with the concept of science. The two concepts belong to different realms of our way to deal with reality.

Science is an instrumental way to deal with reality, that makes us able to explain and make predictions about said reality. Miracles is a way to describe personal experiences with occurences, that make us wonder and fill us with awe. Thus a miracle is a way to describe a personal experience.

If we look at miracles from that point of view it becomes clear, that what is a miracle to some people, is not necessarily a miracle to others.

In accordance with Michael Shermer in his book "The Believing Brain" I think, that the propensity to adopt concepts such as miracles is hardwired into our brains, and that it takes a lot of hard disciplined work to put those ways of thinking aside, when dealing with reality in a scientific way.

My idea too is that there are natural laws going on. Even Saint Augustine says:  "Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature". So whatever is going on deserves a look fro science. This seems to be an interesting book https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Miracle-Weeping-Stigmata-Visions/dp/1573926809
"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself"― Pythagoras

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2017, 05:52:18 AM »


In accordance with Michael Shermer in his book "The Believing Brain" I think, that the propensity to adopt concepts such as miracles is hardwired into our brains, and that it takes a lot of hard disciplined work to put those ways of thinking aside, when dealing with reality in a scientific way.
We are hardwired to look for connections where there are none. It's better (from a natural selection point of view) to default to false positives. That rustle in he savannah grass is a tiger...RUN!!! That response means you live another day compares to "That rustle is nothing" and you becoming dinner.
Similarly, there's almost certainly a strong social and Darwinian selective pressure for belief in the supernatural and woo. That doesn't mean that there actually is supernatural and woo though.
"Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur"
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens.