Tuesday, February 9, 2010

This Post Is a Miracle

As are the 959 that precede it, apparently.

Matthew Archbold, who looks so much nicer than anyone I associate with Creative Minority Report, is a miracle man. By that he means, well, I'll let him explain it to you:

I’m not a science guy. I’m a man very comfortable with miracles.

Some say the word “miracle” is overused. Not me. I don’t think it’s
used enough. Not nearly.

To me, sunrises and gravity are hardly surprising but miraculous nonetheless. By naming things, we too often believe we own it. It is ours now. Not God’s anymore. We’ve labeled gravity a law. We’ve named radio waves. We too casually classify God’s handiwork as science. But there are miracles all around us.

I know how children are made but that doesn’t make them less
miraculous. Acceptance of miracles is a willingness to look past the thing-ness
of everything and see God.

Just so we're all speaking the same language, miracle: An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.

Look, I enjoy a good sunset, too, but sunsets are not inexplicable by the laws of nature. Sunsets are easily explained by the rotation of the earth. Gravity is not miraculous, nor are radio waves.

Mr. Archbold's argument is one that religion has been advancing at least since Galileo's time: it is bad to understand things. Science is evil because it takes the mystery, and the god, out of everyday life. By investigating and thereby understanding the world around us, you are removing god from lightning and earthquakes, reducing them to understandable physical forces.

Implicit in this argument is a sad little admission about God: once you explain god out of sunsets and gravity and radio waves, there isn't much place left for him, so I want to stick my head in sand and remain ignorant so as to preserve my faith in my invisible friend. The fact that science has improved my life is irrelevent to me as long as I get to keep pretending someone listens when I pray.

To those like Mr. Archbold, the loss of miracles is sad. To me, the sadness lies in those who reject the knowledge we replaced those miracles with. Ignorance is never something I will celebrate.


  1. I like his definition of miracle, because once everything is a miracle then nothing is a miracle. If everything is miraculous then you shouldn't expect to be surprised by anything making miracles obsolete. Good job crazy fundie guy!

  2. Mr Archbold appears to be conflating the two definitions of 'miracle':

    1. An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God
    2. One that excites admiring awe. See Synonyms at wonder.

    Yes, nature can and often does excite admiring awe. But that doesn't mean that there is anything beyond the "thingness." A sunrise is a sunrise. Beautiful, awe inspiring... a miracle. But that doesn't mean there's anything supernatural about it.

  3. internet porn...ITS A MIRACLE!

  4. I would argue that the more we learn about things, the more miraculous the seem they actually seem to be. As we begin to understand through science the complexities of our bodies, the earth, how the big bang was able to produce what it did, we begin to see how exceptional things really are. To discount them as a happestance or by rote science means you probably don't truly understand how many factors went into what you see today.

  5. This form of anti-intellectualism and glorification of ignorance-based faith is almost always in retaliation to science-based facts intruding on the believers fragile psyche. It represents the spiritualist's last gasp against the onslaught of the cold, harsh natural world that doesn't care for us at all. Those who were indoctrinated into belief hold onto it like a warm blanket and will rationalize away their very survival to retain this comfort...

  6. To discount them as a happestance or by rote science means you probably don't truly understand how many factors went into what you see today.

    Actually, I find that the deep complexity of the parts of the universe I can observe and the vastness of the parts I cannot only serves to increase my sense of wonder. And the fact that it all came about due to "happenstance" only makes them more amazing.

    Meanwhile the fact that we can use "rote science" to explain and understand those things doesn't take the amazement away in the least. It actually makes things all the more impressive, since we learn that minute changes have huge impacts on the world around us.

  7. I think Feynman says it best:


    This was the video that allowed me to "stop worrying, and learn to love our greater knowledge of things"


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