Re: Miracles?

Keith B Miller (
Wed, 18 Mar 1998 21:57:04 -0600

Bill Payne wrote:

>A word of warning: If I am correct about dowsing, then to engage in
>dowsing is, in a sense, like dancing with the devil. The Bible tells us
>that demons can get trememdous power over an individual, and I would
>hate to think that anyone reading this decided to try to obtain
>supernatural power only to find that they did so at the expense of their
>freedom to exercise their free will.

Dowsing has been debunked. It has no success in predicting the location of
water under controlled scientific conditions (I have read articles on the
testing of dowsing - but would have considerable difficulty finding the
references now). There are several easy explanations. I have done it with
willow branches - the torque really does become irresistable in your hands.
But the nature of the tension in the stick is such that the slightest and
briefest uncounscious relaxation of the hands will begin the twisting
movement. Once begun it is irresistable.

More significant, and to the point, is that I fail to see what relevance
this has to the issue of God's action in nature. Many thing happen that
are presently without scientific explanation. This is a poor basis for a
theology of miracles. If a miracle is something that I do not understand,
then does its eventual explanation then make it no longer a miracle?

Miracles do not imply the absence of cause-and-effect description. Many
miracles in scripture are signs, not because they broke chains of
cause-and-effect, but because they were responses to the prayers of the
faithful or to prophetic proclamation.


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506