Re: [asa] Anti-Creationism Lecture

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Mon Dec 15 2008 - 14:23:11 EST

> Seems to me that there is a problem here. We usually think of a miracle as a
> sign of divine confirmation, for example. The raising of the dead or the
> feeding of thousands from one lunch are such. Such events smack the
> observers between the eyes. Very seldom are such events to be kept quiet.

However, a lot of those observing such miracles failed to benefit from
them (grumblers in the Exodus, those who wished to crown Jesus as the
king of free food, etc.)

The use of miracles in the Bible is much more restricted than in
apocryphal writings, pagan myths, tales of the saints, Harry Potter,
etc. They generally serve a specific function of pointing uniquely to
God (e.g., in the Exodus, there are the alternatives of YHWH versus
Egyptian and Canaanite gods; Elijah and Elisha have YHWH versus Baal
or Baalized versions of YHWH; the NT has Jesus vs. Jewish legalism or
pagan deities). Jesus' temptation highlights the restrictions on the
use of miracles. This contrasts strongly with the common ID claim of
"here's a miracle but we don't know who did it."

Actual violations of natural law (as far as we can tell) seem to be
minimal in the Bible and in extra-Biblical history. Water was turned
to wine, but got served in an ordinary way; thousands were fed from a
few loaves and fish, but the leftovers were carefully saved; etc.

Exact mechanisms of how God normally interacts with the physical world
might be percieved as more or less miraculous by different TE
advocates, but this is not uniquely a TE issue; this is no different
from the question of how God is involved in everyday events or the
course of human history.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon Dec 15 14:24:00 2008

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