Thursday, May 26, 2011

Miracle Science

Moses had better miracles than Jesus. There have been many people who have argued to me that the Jesus miracles could be explained away easier than the tricks of modern-day illusionists. I don’t know how one would start explaining away the parting of the red sea or decades of manna from heaven.

Noah had more spectacular miracles than Moses. He also was on closer terms with god. Noah did not need a burning-bush-communication-device; god spoke directly to him. Then god just killed everything. That is some awesome miracle working! Why you would have to go back to creation to really do better.

Adam had better miracles than Noah. What can I say…creation! Everything that was anything just being totally real almost all at once!

What is obvious is that there is a steady decline in the awesomeness of miracles. Today’s miracles usually consist of pictures in grilled cheese sandwiches or cryptic medical conditions. Today’s miracles suck compared to the Jesus miracles, but compare them to Noah’s or Adam’s and…well…there is no comparison.

There appears to be a geometric decline in the amount of divine miraculousness per year as the earth has aged.

Miracles are pretty convincing proofs of god’s existence. Most of the big old-testament miracles would easily convince me of the existence and awesomeness of god. However, if I was living in the old-testament times I would probably find phenomena that we do not consider to be miracles today to be sufficiently miraculous to be convincing proofs of god.

A bronze-age theist could have said to a bronze age AOA: “Look at the moon. See how it changes over time. God does that. We have it all written down in this book.”

I would like to think that a bronze-age AOA would reply: “That’s the best answer I’ve heard for that. I read here in the same book that describes how the moon works that god made everything just a few years ago.  WOW! Praise god!”

Today the progression of the moon through periodic phases is not a convincing proof of god because I’ve got much better explanations. When I first watched a man walk on the moon we were both dressed in one-piece clothing with attached “feet”. Mine were fuzzy pajamas. There was no god.

The number of natural phenomena that appear divinely driven has been geometrically decreasing with time. Back when the major miracles were happening many mundane events would have served just as well as convincing proof. Only a major miracle would appear at all miraculous today.

Miraculousity acording to AOA's first principle of Creation Science

Why is this? The most common reason I have been provided is that god does not do the miracle stuff today because there is too much sin. The standard scriptural explanation for this is that Jesus supposedly held back the miracles once because of lack of faith:

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.’ – Mathew 13:57-58 NIV

But if we look at this in context we see that he had been miraculous for these folks just minutes before stopping the flow of miracles:

Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. ‘ -- Mathew 13:54-58 NIV

In context it is obvious that this passage is about something else, and that Jesus had just finished performing amazing miracles for them. I have been told that being able to read the bible and understand what it means, despite what the words say, is a miracle of faith. If it is an example of what modern miracles are it is consistent with my premise that modern miracles suck.

The “why” for a decrease in miraculousity may require a miracle to understand, but the “how” should lend itself to more utilitarian scrutiny. Isn’t this what creation scientists should be studying? If a verifiable miracle theory were developed it would be a much better argument for the existence of god than maintaining that fossils were buried by the devil to trip up geologists.

but test them all; hold on to what is good” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Miracles can be studied, and current miracles can serve as tests for theories about the miraculous. Though I may be presenting a smidgen of this argument “tongue in cheek” there is an underlying logic which rings true. The scientific method can be used to confirm the major element of theist claims for divinity of their god. The relationships uncovered by such a study would not only argue convincingly for the presence of a god, but they would provide details about god’s efforts in the world. The details could be used to improve religion, prayer, prophesy, and all that amazing religious stuff.

It is more likely that such studying will just add effort to the fact that there is almost certainly no god.

Science and religion are extremely compatible, unless there is no god.

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