> You are an engineer...
Trained in the scientific method, and using it daily. Ad hominems that I am ignorant of the scientific method are amusingly ignorant.
> A good question then is which is the greater miracle? That the Shroud is an artifact left behind by a man who is reported to have performed many miracles... or that an unknown artist c. 1325 created a masterpiece that defies replication 800 years later?
The miraculous explanation is the more miraculous one. There are a great many ancient artifacts that defy easy explanation of how they were done... the exact construction method of the Pyramids, for example. But the lack of understanding of how they were done does not mean they were built by aliens using spaceships and tractor beams, anymore than a lack of understanding of exactly how the faint (and rapidly fading... why was it clear 700 years ago, but faint not long thereafter? If it was 2000 years old... if it was clear 700 years ago, it should still be fairly clear today)shroud image was created 700 years ago means that it must be magic. There are reasonable explanations of how it was done, explanations that have not been disproven; reasonable explanations, when available, trump magical ones.
> As to the state of Joe Nickell's degrees, it proves that you ARE parroting his discredited and ignorant of the latest scholarship argments and articles.
Whatever. I don't know who this man is, but you seem to be fixated on him. That's your deal, not mine.
Trained in the scientific method, and using it daily.
So am I and so are the scientists who have been investigation the Shroud. You did not seem to show it because you kept harping on the already tested and discarded C14 challenges and IGNORING the tests that proved the tested sample was not similar at all to the main body of the Shroud. Garbage in, garbage out.
I notice you have not responded to my bridge analogy...
There are reasonable explanations of how it was done, explanations that have not been disproven; reasonable explanations, when available, trump magical ones.
Please provide these "reasonable explanations of how it was done" that meet all of the criteria established by the Shroud studies. Quite frankly, Orion, no one has been able to do it yet unless you count your hypothetical 14th Century artist.
posted on 04/16/2004 1:09:37 PM PDT
(This tagline shut down for renovations and repairs. Re-open June of 2001.)
You have made reference to Occams Razor as an argument implying that you understood how it is used in science. But the argument you were making was not Occam but seemingly the classic David Hume argument against the likelihood of miracles. Hume was not a scientist. And contemporary philosophy of science (the foundation of the scientific method) rejects Hume. For to accept his argument would present us with no way, also, to explain quantum theory and chaos theory.
Occam argues that given two different testable hypotheses (not theories or proofs) that provide the same result, then the one which is simplest is likely to be the preferred one. Occam cannot be used to argue against miracles as a miracle cannot, by definition, be tested.
I suspect, but do not know, that you have a Bultmannian hang up regarding miracles. As you know, Rudolf Karl Bultmann's wrote that "No modern educated person can accept the possibilities of miracles." Perhaps he should have said that he did not believe in miracles or opined that modern man should not believe. To wit how wrong he was:
A recent Harris Poll (The Harris Poll, Feb 26, 2003) of Americans found that 84% of all adults believe in miracles (93% of Christians) and 80% believe in the resurrection (96% of Christians). The percentage of those who believe in miracles is supported by a 1988 Gallup Organization poll that found that 79% of American adults believe that God works and still works miracles. In the more recent Harris poll it is interesting to note that for people with post-graduate degrees, 72% believe in miracles and 64% believe in the resurrection.
Some, such as 'political' scientist George Bishop, have argued that there is a direct correlation between scientific knowledge and disbelief in miracles (Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 19, Number 3. "Religious Beliefs of Scientists"). He implies that the non-believers are the scientists and the rest of us just don't have the scientific knowledge to understand.
But John Polkinghorne, quantum physicist, cites studies that show more than 40% percent of scientists worldwide believe in "hand-of-God" divine action (see "Belief in God in an Age of Science," Yale University Press, 1998) including miraculous formed images. A Nature magazine article "Scientists are still keeping the faith" by Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham (Apr 3, 1997, vol 386) reports that 39.3% of scientists (limited to the hard sciences) believe in "a God to whom one may pray in expectation of receiving an answer." This polling statement implies at least a degree of divine actioni.e. miracle.
An international survey by the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) in 1991, with a more restrictive affirmation statement that read, "I definitely believe in `religious miracles'" showed belief at 45.6% among American scientists with slightly less belief in middle European and post-Soviet block nations.
Belief in miracles (or magic as you like to call it) is not founded on special knowledge such as science or philosophy.
If you wish to argue by science, then be scientific.
posted on 04/17/2004 3:47:23 AM PDT
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