Author Topic: Miracles vs. Science  (Read 2261 times)

Offline gillianren

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2017, 11:26:38 AM »
I mean, it's quite obvious to me how we'd want to start investigating claims of miracles.  I've said it before.  You start by producing comprehensive medical records to show that there was a condition that is now gone.  Until and unless that's done, it's pointless to speculate more.  The simplest answer there will remain "fraud," and the mere claims from people that it isn't will do nothing to disprove that.
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Offline LionKing

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2017, 02:57:19 AM »
I mean, it's quite obvious to me how we'd want to start investigating claims of miracles.  I've said it before.  You start by producing comprehensive medical records to show that there was a condition that is now gone.  Until and unless that's done, it's pointless to speculate more.  The simplest answer there will remain "fraud," and the mere claims from people that it isn't will do nothing to disprove that.

http://www.is-there-a-god.info/life/tenhealings/

there are such things perhaps, but their explanation might be "spontaneous remission" that can happen to anyone and its answers should be found within science
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Offline gillianren

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2017, 11:23:22 AM »
No, that page is insufficient.  That's not comprehensive medical records.  That's vague medical descriptions.
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Offline nomuse

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2017, 12:34:57 AM »
Maybe it is my current sleep deprivation talking, but isn't there a methodological problem with proofing a miracle? Pretty much by definition, a miracle is when no naturalistic explanation is possible. But the list of possible naturalistic explanations seems near-infinite. How do you know when you've passed the Holmsian and there does not remain even unlikely explanations?

Offline gillianren

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2017, 11:39:01 AM »
I do think that you can eliminate the basics--you can prove that it isn't fraud or the natural course of a disease or similar.
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Offline LionKing

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2017, 09:18:56 AM »
 Sophy Burnham

https://archive.org/stream/pdfy-F-_u_n-damuKGwLR/Fingerprints%20Of%20God%20[The%20Search%20For%20The%20Science%20Of%20Spirituality]_djvu.txt

"When she was ten or eleven, she was out riding with her father on their remote Maryland farm

"My father said to me, 'For some reason the horses are really spooking. ' Because they were
dancing all over the place. And I said, 'Well, of course they are, they're feeling all this electricity in
the air.' He said, 'Oh? Is there electricity in the air?' And that was the first time that I realized, Oh,
not everybody feels this. Isn't that interesting? I just assumed that everybody was intimately attuned."

I wrote down her comment and circled it in my notes. As I talked with more people, I would find
that mystical adults were once mystical children, as if they were genetically wired for the spiritual.

Over the next thirty years, Sophy would attend Smith College, stray from her Episcopal upbringing,
and dabble in atheism. She would marry a NewYork Times reporter and give birth to two girls. In her
thirties, the part of her psyche that was a spiritual nomad broke free. She began to seek answers from
a Hindu guru and Buddhist meditation. Sophy arrived at age forty-two with teenaged girls, a caring
husband, a glittering social life, and a demanding career as a freelance magazine writer.

"I was happy, and yet there was something deeply missing," Sophy said. "And it was a deep, deep
longing that couldn't be satisfied. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, Is this all? And then
thinking, I have everything. I have a loving husband and a house and children and friends and a
career.Why am I yearning for something else? And I didn't know what I was yearning for."

She found it on assignment. Town & Country magazine sent her to Costa Rica and Peru to profile
the World Wildlife Fund. As an afterthought, she added a side trip to Machu Picchu, the sacred Inca
mountain ruins in Peru.

She was sitting in the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica, when she had a premonition of the mystical
experience to come.

"Suddenly, I saw everything shining, shining, and the people were shining," she
recalled. "Everyone was luminous, and it was so profound that I just sat at my table, I just shook, with
tears streaming down my face, it was so beautiful. And I thought, Oh well, that s it. That s as good as
it gets."

She was wrong. Two days later, when she was climbing the terraces of Machu Picchu with a group
of other tourists, "I felt a nagging little chord in me, saying, 'You've got to go away, you've got to go
away. You don't have much time. Hurry. Hurry. ' "

She left her companions and scrambled up to the terraces, where she could be alone. She sat down,
closed her eyes, and instantly was in "another place."

"The first thing that happened was frightening," Sophy said, looking into the middle distance. She
spoke slowly, carefully, as if she were narrating an event she was witnessing in that very moment. I
can do justice to her story only by repeating it verbatim.

"The first thing that happened was the sound of a hollow darkness. I've never heard it except there.
It was very, very big — sort of like an oncoming train — but I knew it was in my ears, it was not
external. And then there was a hand at the back of my neck, pressing me very strongly down.
Everything is dark. Everything is black. And a voice that said, 'You belong to me.' And my response
was, 'If 'you are God. I belong to God.' And immediately everything turned to light."



She paused for ten, fifteen seconds, as if absorbing the light.

"The rest of the time, I was captivated in this mystical revelation. I was shown things that I don't
even have the wit to ask questions about," Sophy said. I thought of Saint Paul's vision of third heaven,
when he claimed he was "caught up in paradise," and "heard inexpressible things, things that man is
not permitted to tell."-

"I don't remember most of it now," Sophy said, reeling me back to the moment. "But I do remember
two things very vividly. One was the sense of seeing the beginnings and ends of the world — how it all
began. And the other was this image — it's very difficult to describe — of electrons or atoms being
swept along in the path of the hem of the garment of God. I think it was the passing of the Holy Spirit,
which I could not see, because to see that would blind me."

Sophy laughed self-consciously, embarrassed to place herself in the company of Moses watching
the back of God from the cleft of the rock.

"And seeing the aftereffects! It was all love and joy and sparkling particles, swarming up and
circling — it was just exquisite. And knowing that everything is going to be all right. It's that idea of
Saint Julian of Norwich, although I didn't know it at the time: 'All shall be well and all shall be well
and all manner of things will be well. -

"And then, slowly, slowly, slowly, coming like a turtle up to the surface of the water again, I
opened my eyes. And I was blinded by the light. It was piercingly painful so I shut my eyes again.
And I went back to the spiritual light for a while, and then came out again, and when I opened my eyes
this time, I could see. And I realized the whole thing had taken forty-five minutes, a huge amount of
time. And I realized I had to hurry for the bus. And I came galloping and springing like a gazelle
down the terraces, my heart filled with joy! And watching this light radiate off my hands and light off
my arms and light off the grasses and the trees burning with light, everything flaring!

"I suppose that's what God sees when he sees us," Sophy reflected, turning to look into my eyes.
"Just light. Nothing else. And then I got on the bus and I noticed that a blood vessel had burst in the
back of my hand about the size of a quarter. It startled me, but also pleased me because it meant that
yes, something had happened. And other people knew it. I remember this university professor coming
up to me and sitting next to me and saying something like, 'Something happened to you, didn't it?' I
said, 'Yes,' and that was all."

I sat immobilized by her story. I felt like a body surfer who had been slammed down by a wave.
Then I asked Sophy a question that many a neurologist has pondered as well.

"Did you think, Gosh, I just had a temporal lobe seizure!"

"Oh yes! Absolutely that occurred to me!" Sophy admitted happily. "Was that an epileptic fit? Did
I have some kind of electrical burnout of the brain? But everything seemed to be functioning," she
said, adding that nothing like this had recurred in the past twenty years.

She leaned forward, speaking urgently.

"The experience is not important," Sophy said, and then she laughed. "I've just spent fifteen
minutes telling you about an experience and now I tell you — and I cannot reiterate it enoughs — the
experience is not what was important. It's changing you on a cellular level that is important. It's
providing the hope and joy that's important.""

any thoughts?


"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself"― Pythagoras

Offline Allan F

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2017, 11:06:08 AM »
Petit mal.
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline LionKing

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2017, 12:43:18 PM »
Petit mal.

What disease exactly? She said it occurred to her it might be epilepsy but throughout the tears no seizures occurred to her and these were rare events
"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself"― Pythagoras

Offline Flookie

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2017, 10:04:09 PM »
Petit mal.

What disease exactly? She said it occurred to her it might be epilepsy but throughout the tears no seizures occurred to her and these were rare events

Most seizures don't induce loss of consciousness or convulsions and in some people they are rare occurences. It's a reasonable explanation.

Offline LionKing

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2017, 04:18:06 PM »
Petit mal.

What disease exactly? She said it occurred to her it might be epilepsy but throughout the tears no seizures occurred to her and these were rare events

Most seizures don't induce loss of consciousness or convulsions and in some people they are rare occurences. It's a reasonable explanation.

Can you provide a reference for the rare ones and what is their characteristics? Because I have been reading scientific articles about spontaneous mystical experiences and none provided this explanation
"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 #25 on: February 13, 2017, 04:24:55 AM »

Quote
Most seizures don't induce loss of consciousness or convulsions and in some people they are rare occurences. It's a reasonable explanation.


"Conclusion
Considerable progress has been made in recent decades elucidating the neurobiologic
correlates of altered states of consciousness. In particular, there has been considerable
suggestive evidence bearing on the evolutionary neurological foundations of religious
behavior and mystical experience (Joseph, 2001; Saver & Rabin, 1997). The data from
this study add to the accumulating evidence that the temporal lobe is not differentially
involved in the generation of mystical states (Bradford, 2013; Devinsky & Lai, 2008;
Kelly & Grosso, 2007). Mystical experience does not appear to be associated commonly
with seizures, although features of introvertive mysticism are more common than
extrovertive; nor does mystical experience appear to be associated with any one particular
region of the brain."
https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/267/2015/11/mystical-experience-RBB.pdf


Also http://www.andrewnewberg.com/research-blog/2013/9/26/are-all-religious-experiences-related-to-disorders-such-as-schizophrenia-or-temporal-lobe-epilepsy

"This brings up the point that "normal" people can have normal or abnormal religious experiences, and "abnormal" people can have normal or abnormal religious experiences. Distinguishing between each of these groups is the difficult task of neuroscience"
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 06:18:21 AM by LionKing »
"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 #26 on: February 13, 2017, 11:29:14 AM »
Can you provide a reference for the rare ones and what is their characteristics? Because I have been reading scientific articles about spontaneous mystical experiences and none provided this explanation

Maybe you should have studied about seizures first.  It's not in the best interests of the people providing claims of mystical reasoning to say, "Oh, no, wait, the science is pretty clear on this and proves that we are probably wrong."
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Offline sandopan

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2017, 12:10:40 PM »
There is surely a lot of fraud in many cases.  If the audience is predisposed to believe, they may not need much persuasion.

That said, we haven't figured out everything about how the universe works yet, so there are definitely still unexplained phenomenon.  One certainly could attribute miraculous causes to something not currently understood, but I think someone taking this approach should be prepared to experience a lot of future disappointment.
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Offline Geordie

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2017, 12:33:51 AM »
Petit mal.

What disease exactly? She said it occurred to her it might be epilepsy but throughout the tears no seizures occurred to her and these were rare events
Psychosis, perhaps. Standard questions from an examining Psychiatrist usually include something like "Are you hearing or seeing anything that no one else is? Can you read people's thoughts? Are thoughts being placed in your head?"

I once told a psychiatrist about an aquaintance who talked of "god shots," ideas being put into his head by none other than the christian god. The doctor said "Thought injection - an indicator of psychosis."
.           She's on fire\  And she burns through the night at the speed of light\
             She's on fire\  With the heat of the beat right beneath her feet\
              She's on fire\  And the name of the game is to fuel her flame\
               She's on fire, fire, fire, fire, fire!

Offline LionKing

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Re: Miracles vs. Science
« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2017, 01:38:05 PM »
Petit mal.

What disease exactly? She said it occurred to her it might be epilepsy but throughout the tears no seizures occurred to her and these were rare events
Psychosis, perhaps. Standard questions from an examining Psychiatrist usually include something like "Are you hearing or seeing anything that no one else is? Can you read people's thoughts? Are thoughts being placed in your head?"

I once told a psychiatrist about an aquaintance who talked of "god shots," ideas being put into his head by none other than the christian god. The doctor said "Thought injection - an indicator of psychosis."

Thanks. I have read pretty much since then about mystical experiences and not all of them are explained by diseases. Psychology is still looking into this as there are many healthy people experiencing unity with the divine.
"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself"― Pythagoras