Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Science and Miracles

I had an interesting conversation. Here's a tidbit worth sharing:
Eric:Have you ever seen water turned into wine?
Me:No, I haven't.
Eric:Have you ever heard of a scientific way to turn water into wine? Or walk on water?
Me:No, because these things are not scientific.
Eric:Then your religion does not go with science because I’ve never heard of a person scientifically parting a sea or doing these other things.
Me:But there is nothing in science that contradicts them because they are miraculous interventions.
Eric:And what science do "miraculous interventions" fall under?
Me:Trick question! The study of miracles is not a field of science. Since science is the study of the physical universe, there is no way to study God's intervention since He is beyond the universe.
Eric:But you said earlier that your religion does not go against science, but yet it claims a man could make wine from water. This "miracle" clearly violates the laws of nature.
Is there a scientific way of determining how water can be turned into wine? There would be if it were a naturally occurring process (e.g., grapes fermenting into wine), but since it is an impossibility otherwise, such a transformation must be a "miracle", and miracles are interventions of the supernatural.

Science is good and useful but science has limitations. It has no tools to interrogate the supernatural, and, therefore, it has no explanations to offer about divine actions. Just because science cannot study miracles, does not mean miracles "go against" science or are a "violation" of the laws of the universe. God's intervention would only be a "violation" if God designed the universe not to allow His intervention, but it would seem irrational that a creator would have no authority to manipulate his creation. Is God's intervention into His own universe anymore a violation than the screenwriter who writes himself into his own play?