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Author Topic:   The "science" of Miracles
ICANT
Member
Posts: 5878
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 316 of 671 (826496)
01-02-2018 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 312 by Tangle
01-02-2018 1:51 PM


Hi Tangle,

Tangle writes:

Many thousands every year. But they're not miracles are they? They're simply improbable natural events.

Do a little fact checking before you spout off too loud.

There has been 60 airplane crashes with only 1 survivor. Not all have been said to be miracle survivors.

That is a long way from many thousands every year.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 312 by Tangle, posted 01-02-2018 1:51 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 318 by Tangle, posted 01-03-2018 2:28 AM ICANT has responded

    
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1435
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.5


(1)
Message 317 of 671 (826500)
01-03-2018 2:15 AM
Reply to: Message 285 by Percy
12-29-2017 9:40 AM


Re: Definition Of Terms
I don't know if the cherubs are important to your argument, but cherubs weren't part of my scenario of the George Washington Bridge moving 50 miles up the Hudson.

Tangle threw some cherubs in the mix upthread somewhere, as part of demonstrating that this was clearly a proper miracle with divine intervention and whatnot. They're not essential to the point.

I can't comment about the cherubs, but I don't suggest we "throw up our hands and give in." We don't think of it that way whenever we discover something new about the universe. We say, "Eureka, more knowledge!"

Hopefully we already thought we knew very little, but actual miracles would be new science.

So it seems to me everyone's still a bit stuck on the actual definition of a miracle. It seems to me that you're saying it's something that's not comprehensible by the laws of nature as we currently understand them, but it's coming across as them being incomprehensible by laws of nature in principle. I think ringo was disagreeing with the latter; since how can you know whether something can be described in terms of laws you haven't thought of yet?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 285 by Percy, posted 12-29-2017 9:40 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 320 by Percy, posted 01-03-2018 10:46 AM caffeine has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5867
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 318 of 671 (826501)
01-03-2018 2:28 AM
Reply to: Message 316 by ICANT
01-02-2018 5:59 PM


ICANT writes:

Do a little fact checking before you spout off too loud.

How about you doing a little thinking before you jump up and down in outrage.

There has been 60 airplane crashes with only 1 survivor. Not all have been said to be miracle survivors.

Yes, not surprisingly, surviving a plane crash is unusual. And also not surprisingly when somebody does, it's colloquially described as 'miraculous'.

That is a long way from many thousands every year.

There are thousands of surprising and unusual survivals; they don't require aeroplanes. Or miracles.

Now, if our girl was lifted out of the aeroplane by a naked, winged cherub and flown gently to the ground to choirs of angels sat on clouds while the other passengers plummeted to their deaths, you might have a point.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 316 by ICANT, posted 01-02-2018 5:59 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 319 by ICANT, posted 01-03-2018 10:10 AM Tangle has responded

  
ICANT
Member
Posts: 5878
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 319 of 671 (826510)
01-03-2018 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 318 by Tangle
01-03-2018 2:28 AM


Hi Tangle,

Tangle writes:

Now, if our girl was lifted out of the aeroplane by a naked, winged cherub and flown gently to the ground to choirs of angels sat on clouds while the other passengers plummeted to their deaths, you might have a point.

How do you know that was not what happened?

She would have hit the ground traveling at 120 miles per hour without something slowing the process.

With such an impact she should not have been able to walk (no one else was able to walk away from the site) for many days yet she was able to walk, wade and contend with a very unfriendly environment, with 1 small bag of candy for nourishment for 10 days.

And if I did not believe in God I would just say she was one of the luckiest people in the world. As I would not believe in divine intervention.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 318 by Tangle, posted 01-03-2018 2:28 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 322 by Tangle, posted 01-03-2018 12:41 PM ICANT has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17409
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 320 of 671 (826517)
01-03-2018 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 317 by caffeine
01-03-2018 2:15 AM


Re: Definition Of Terms
caffeine writes:

Tangle threw some cherubs in the mix upthread somewhere, as part of demonstrating that this was clearly a proper miracle with divine intervention and whatnot. They're not essential to the point.

And Tangle mentioned cherubs again in Message 318. I guess some of his examples of miracles have a religious overtone.

So it seems to me everyone's still a bit stuck on the actual definition of a miracle. It seems to me that you're saying it's something that's not comprehensible by the laws of nature as we currently understand them, but it's coming across as them being incomprehensible by laws of nature in principle. I think ringo was disagreeing with the latter; since how can you know whether something can be described in terms of laws you haven't thought of yet?

I think Ringo and Jar's position is that all phenomena obey the laws of physics all the time and that "miracle" is just a term for something that doesn't exist and never happens. That's why I've been suggesting a miracle where the George Washington Bridge moves 50 miles up the Hudson. It isn't a not yet understood phenomenon. I just read about an example of a not yet understood phenomenon last night, where two black holes collided in the early universe but that such an event is so unlikely that it wouldn't be expected to occur in the entire history of the universe (several of these events have been detected by LIGO and Virgo). The bridge miracle isn't like that. It clearly and forcefully breaks several very well understand physical laws (gravity, strength of materials, entropy), it isn't explicable by them, therefore it's a miracle.

As Tangle has pointed out, miracles are local. When a miracle occurs the laws of physics are not suspended or altered everywhere, just in the specific area where the miracle occurs. When the George Washington Bridge gently lets loose its mooring and floats up into the sky, the nearby trees and cars and people and buildings and Route 95 (the part not on the bridge) are unaffected. This is consistent with our concept of miracles, even though none of us believe they ever happen or have happened. But I'm just trying to make clear how we think of miracles. For example, when someone with a deadly disease suddenly becomes well, other people the world over with the same deadly disease continue to die. When a woman and a boy are run over by a car and survive virtually unscathed, other people around the world continue to die when struck by cars. I'm not suggesting that people should accept these as examples of miracles, but just to give a general idea why, though it's not part of the formal definition, that the general concept of "miracle" is that they are local.

Then there's the question of whether breaking or suspending or inexplicably not following the known laws of nature is science. Our observations and experiments show that the laws of nature seem to apply everywhere throughout the universe across all time, but that's just an observation, not something that has been proven true. Should it be considered part of the definition of science, in which case miracles lie outside of science and are impossible, and all new phenomenon must be considered just science we don't understand yet (this is Jar and Ringo's position)?

Or, since science is tentative, must we leave our minds open to the possibility that not all phenomenon follow what we call the laws of nature or even have laws, but that they still occur within our natural world, in which case miracles lie within science and can be studied. We can ask and try to answer the question of how and under what conditions the laws of nature are not followed. This is my and Tangle's position.

The obvious rebuttal is that if science studies and comes to understand miracles, don't they become just another law of nature and therefore not miracles? Maybe, maybe not. If miracles are deterministic in the way of sending spacecraft to Mars, then I guess they're not really miracles. But if they're non-deterministic in the way of the two-slit experiment and wave/particle duality, if they occur without cause, then the label of "miracle" seems valid.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 317 by caffeine, posted 01-03-2018 2:15 AM caffeine has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 321 by Phat, posted 01-03-2018 10:50 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply
 Message 328 by caffeine, posted 01-03-2018 2:41 PM Percy has responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 10883
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 321 of 671 (826518)
01-03-2018 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 320 by Percy
01-03-2018 10:46 AM


Re: Definition Of Terms
Percy writes:

... I'm just trying to make clear how we think of miracles. For example, when someone with a deadly disease suddenly becomes well, other people the world over with the same deadly disease continue to die. When a woman and a boy are run over by a car and survive virtually unscathed, other people around the world continue to die when struck by cars. I'm not suggesting that people should accept these as examples of miracles, but just to give a general idea why, though it's not part of the formal definition, that the general concept of "miracle" is that they are local.

Not to mention that it implies that God Himself favors some and not others. Which opens up another can of worms.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 320 by Percy, posted 01-03-2018 10:46 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5867
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 322 of 671 (826520)
01-03-2018 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 319 by ICANT
01-03-2018 10:10 AM


ICANT writes:

How do you know that was not what happened?

Well it's just a hunch, but if that's what had happened I'm guessing she might have told us. Or there'd be witnesses. Absent that, we have no reason to suppose that is what happened have we?

She would have hit the ground traveling at 120 miles per hour without something slowing the process.

It's very unusual but not unprecedented for people to fall out of planes and survive. So let's see the full story please.

And if I did not believe in God I would just say she was one of the luckiest people in the world. As I would not believe in divine intervention.

What you or I believe is irrelevant. Let's see the evidence.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 319 by ICANT, posted 01-03-2018 10:10 AM ICANT has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 325 by caffeine, posted 01-03-2018 2:27 PM Tangle has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14774
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 323 of 671 (826525)
01-03-2018 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 310 by ICANT
01-02-2018 1:25 PM


ICANT writes:

The incident was seen as a miracle in Peru.


Yes, "seen as a miracle" is exactly the point I'm trying to make. Jesus' face on a taco is also "seen as a miracle" but what "miracle" actually happened? The story also reinforces my point that there doesn't have to be any breaking of the laws of nature for it to be called a miracle.

ICANT writes:

There are many other fantastic stories such as the one above.


Yes, indeed. Incidents attributed to "miracles" are pretty common.

By the way, you know what "fantastic" means, don't you? Many stories of miracles are fanciful, imaginative, embellished, etc.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 310 by ICANT, posted 01-02-2018 1:25 PM ICANT has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14774
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 324 of 671 (826526)
01-03-2018 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 311 by ICANT
01-02-2018 1:31 PM


Re: Definition Of Terms
ICANT writes:

When you have exhausted all avenues and there is no physical answer to say just keep looking when there is nothing to look for is like sticking your head in the sand and saying I know what I believe so don't bother me with the facts.


No, it's like science. Science is an ongoing process. It's a loop that justs keeps on looking. You could say that there's an escape hatch for, "We've got a pretty good answer so we can devote our time to something else for the moment." But there's no escape hatch for, "We can't figure it out so we'll stop trying."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 311 by ICANT, posted 01-02-2018 1:31 PM ICANT has not yet responded

  
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1435
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 325 of 671 (826527)
01-03-2018 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 322 by Tangle
01-03-2018 12:41 PM


Well it's just a hunch, but if that's what had happened I'm guessing she might have told us. Or there'd be witnesses. Absent that, we have no reason to suppose that is what happened have we?

It's very unusual but not unprecedented for people to fall out of planes and survive. So let's see the full story please.

She failed to report and cherubs, but to be fair she was unconscious:

quote:
I could see the canopy of the jungle spinning towards me. Then I lost consciousness and remember nothing of the impact.

She claims not to have been the only person to have survived the fall, which is actually slightly horrifying:

quote:
Later I found out that (her mother) also survived the crash but was badly injured and she couldn't move. She died several days later. I dread to think what her last days were like.

but the BBC article didn't explain how she knew this. She's written a book about it if you wanted to know more, (and speak German) but she's a biologist, so her understanding of events is probably distorted by the satanic dogma they learn in grad school.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 322 by Tangle, posted 01-03-2018 12:41 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 330 by Tangle, posted 01-03-2018 3:38 PM caffeine has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14774
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 326 of 671 (826528)
01-03-2018 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 313 by Percy
01-02-2018 2:14 PM


Percy writes:

When the George Washington Bridge moves 50 miles up the Hudson, analysis could conclude miracle with perfect scientific validity since the conclusion is tentative.


You're kidding, right? Do you seriously think science would conclude a miracle?

Percy writes:

Tangle and are in agreement on this.


So Tangle and [nobody] are in agreement on this?

Percy writes:

I would never say "can't be explained by natural causes" because some people might think that synonymous with "can be explained by supernatural causes."


But you did say, "... a miracle is not explicable by natural or scientific laws...." in Message 296. What's the difference between, "can't be explained by natural causes," and, "not explicable by natural or scientific laws"?

Percy writes:

It goes back to when we were asking whether you'd be willing to discuss miracles hypothetically, or whether you'd insist on ruling them out out of hand.


There's a difference between a hypothetical discussion of whether or not miracles are possible and making up a hypothetical miracle to discuss. In science, the only thing that's hypothetical is the hypothesis. You don't get to make up the evidence.

As I've said, the first step in the scientific study of a flying bridge is to find out if the reports are true. Since they're not, there's no reason to continue with it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 313 by Percy, posted 01-02-2018 2:14 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 331 by Percy, posted 01-03-2018 4:42 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14774
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 327 of 671 (826529)
01-03-2018 2:38 PM
Reply to: Message 314 by Percy
01-02-2018 2:19 PM


Re: Definition Of Terms
Percy writes:

... your reply reemphasizes how strongly you put your faith in humanity, and that from Phat's perspective it's all still religion, but with faith in humanity instead of God.


If Phat wants to call "faith" in the only available option a "religion", he's welcome to.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 314 by Percy, posted 01-02-2018 2:19 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1435
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 328 of 671 (826530)
01-03-2018 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 320 by Percy
01-03-2018 10:46 AM


Re: Definition Of Terms
Or, since science is tentative, must we leave our minds open to the possibility that not all phenomenon follow what we call the laws of nature or even have laws, but that they still occur within our natural world, in which case miracles lie within science and can be studied. We can ask and try to answer the question of how and under what conditions the laws of nature are not followed. This is my and Tangle's position.

I think this sums up what I see as slightly incoherent about your position. If you are able to answer the question of 'how and under what conditions the laws of nature are not followed', then the laws of nature are being followed, otherwise there would be no coherent answer.

And I get further confused by:

But if they're non-deterministic in the way of the two-slit experiment and wave/particle duality, if they occur without cause, then the label of "miracle" seems valid.

Does this mean you think the quantum mechanical effects are miracles? If not, why would miracle be a valid label for other, non-deterministic effects?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 320 by Percy, posted 01-03-2018 10:46 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 332 by Percy, posted 01-03-2018 4:59 PM caffeine has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14774
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 329 of 671 (826531)
01-03-2018 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 315 by Percy
01-02-2018 2:58 PM


Re: Definition Of Terms
Percy writes:

Tangle and I have presented examples that are not explicable by currently understood natural or scientific laws.


You've made up examples that have nothing to do with miracles. Those events did not happen. That's where the scientific investigation ends.

Miracles are events that are attributed to supernatural causes, such as healings, faces on tacos, etc. The topic is miracles, not fiction. Why can't you talk about real events that are actually called miracles?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 315 by Percy, posted 01-02-2018 2:58 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5867
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 330 of 671 (826534)
01-03-2018 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 325 by caffeine
01-03-2018 2:27 PM


ICANT writes:

She failed to report and cherubs, but to be fair she was unconscious:

Right, so no cherubs then.

I could see the canopy of the jungle spinning towards me. Then I lost consciousness and remember nothing of the impact.

So rather than what you said....

quote:
She would have hit the ground traveling at 120 miles per hour without something slowing the process.

...she actually hit the tree canopy which would have cushioned her fall if she got lucky - which she evidently did.

No miraculous intervention then.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 325 by caffeine, posted 01-03-2018 2:27 PM caffeine has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 334 by caffeine, posted 01-04-2018 12:38 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
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