Strategic

I now wish to look at “miracles” from the point of view of science. Many of our physical laws are derived mathematically from certain assumptions where, as we saw there, the assumptions refer to an ideal world. This is a world with planes that are perfectly flat, lines that are perfectly straight, circles that are perfectly circular, and some objects that are perfectly symmetrical or can be simply regarded as points in a large scale system. How well the laws work depends on how good our ideal world approximates to reality. We saw that such laws are on probation; they are accepted until a new experiment shows they are wanting in some way.

 

They are then either discarded or refined. Our formulation of natural law is therefore never final so that we cannot empirically verify a scientific law. No matter how many observations we take we cannot come to a general conclusion that we can defend logically as the very next observation may contravene the law in some way. For example, the speed of light might change tomorrow. Just because it has been the same when it has been measured before, does not mean that it will always be the same. Can we prove that the sun will rise tomorrow? Another problem pointed out by the philosopher David Hume is that we cannot prove a logical connection between cause and effect.

 

All we can show is that there is a correlation between the two so that we cannot derive a scientific law from a logical connection. For example, we cannot prove that the mind is just a function of the brain and nothing else, as the materialist would argue, although the two are strongly correlated. No matter how many brains are examined there may be one for which the mind is not just the brain.