Re: Science and the new Presbyterian Catechism

Moorad Alexanian (
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 09:27:49 -0500 (EST)

At 08:30 AM 1/13/99 -0500, Andrew Swensen wrote:
>At 10:13 PM 1/12/99 -0600, you wrote:
>>To me the virginal conception of Jesus may be explainable by modern biology
>>but Christ's and Lazarus' resurrections and many of Christ's other miracles
>>might stretch the "Nothing basic to the Christian faith contradicts the
>>findings of modern science, nor does anything essential to modern science
>>contradict the Christian faith" past what I could agree with. I think one
>>would have to play games with either the basics of Christianity or science
>>(or both).
>Science tells us about the natural processes and rules that govern the
>universe. Miracles are, by definition, deviations from these rules. Science
>just tells us that a resurrection can't occur 'naturally' or in the normal
>course of nature and I agree. Just because science can't explain something
>doesn't necessarily mean that science contradicts it. Some may see this as
>just dancing around the issue but I think it is an important point.
>Andy Swensen

The word "science" is a bit ambiguous. There are two components to "science"
the existing experimental data plus our theories. Scientific theories are
generalizations of experimental data and as such do not concern themselves
with events that may have been unique--in fact such events are discarded.
Therefore, scientific theories cannot preclude unique events (e.g.
"miracles") past or future. God is always acting in the physical plane. From
our experiences His actions are rational and steady but can be so that are
totally unpredictable by any theory humans can ever construct. That is why
evolution is somewhat different from, say physics, since it deals with a
unique event, the history of the world.