Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Science and Miracles

I am currently reading through The Reason for God and came across some interesting comments regarding the relationship between science and miracles. Many prominent atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, suggest that religion and science can have nothing to do with each other. This leads into the argument that miracles are scientifically impossible. But why?

John Macquarrie writes:
Science proceeds on the assumption that whatever events occur in the world can be accounted for in terms of other events . . . just as immanent and this-worldly. [So] . . . miracles [are] irreconcilable with our modern understanding of science and history.

Keller points out the circular reasoning in this argument. Macquarrie is stating that science cannot test for supernatural causes, therefore supper natural causes cannot exist.

In response to Macquarrie, philosopher Alvin Platinga writes:

Macquarrie perhaps means to suggest that the very practice of science requires that one reject the idea (eg.) of God raising someone from the dead. . . . [This] argument . . . is like the drunk who insisted on looking for his lost car keys only under the streetlight on the grounds that the light was better there. In fact, it would go the drunk one better: it would insist that because the keys would be hard to find in the dark, they must be under the light.

It strikes me as odd that some scientists are so quick to jump on Christianity for taking things by faith and yet believe that science has disproven the existence of miracles. That to me seems like a rather large leap of faith.

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