St. Michael, angels, and opponents

From: bivalve (bivalve@mail.davidson.alumlink.com)
Date: Wed Oct 16 2002 - 21:14:35 EDT

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    > I would suggest that if anyone wants to reflect on this topic
    >it would be best - for several reasons - to bracket off the question
    >of _evil_ angels, at least to begin with.<

    As far as speculations on their scientific aspects go, the available
    information does not seem to me to be too different, given the
    difference in goals. The topic does have certain potential for
    tangents, though.

    Both good and evil spirual entities are identified in the Bible as
    capable of influencing human or animal behavior and health. They can
    also produce audible sounds. At least good angels can appear in
    visible form. Offhand, all the appearances of demons, Satan, etc.
    that I can think of are in visions, leaving their ability to visibly
    manifest themselves moot.

    As experimenting with good angels is hard to do without putting God
    to the test (cf. Jesus' temptation) and experimenting with demons is
    generally spiritually highly inadvisable, I am not coming up with
    many ideas on theoretical scientific studies.

    I can think of a few examples that might fit this thread, though. A
    retired psychologist, speaking to the graduate InterVarsity chapter
    at UNC-CH, told of a medical missions trip on which he encountered an
    unusual case. Although the symptoms were suggestive of
    schizophrenia, there were peculiarities as well, giving him the idea
    of possession. This was tested by determining that the patient was
    unable to say the phrase "Jesus is Lord", and exorcism seemed to cure
    the problem. Involvement in satanic cults seems to frequently have
    negative moral effects, in keeping with the hypothesis that evil
    spirits can influence people though not incompatible with the
    hypothesis that individuals more inclined to obvious negative moral
    actions are also more likely to profess satanism.

             Dr. David Campbell
         Old Seashells
         University of Alabama
         Biodiversity & Systematics
         Dept. Biological Sciences
         Box 870345
         Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 USA
         bivalve@mail.davidson.alumlink.com

    That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
    Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
    Droitgate Spa



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