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What Are Miracles?

What are miracles? I am informed by my Christian neighbours that miracles are a routine occurence in the Christian churches they attend. But when I asked her how she knew these were directly God's interventions her was very inarticulate and that she just had to believe that it was God's work, and that God works in mysterious ways. I told her of the incident reported in the link http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,241297,00.html. and warned her about claims for miracles that are not attested to by objectiive scientific means. So What really are miracles? Are they a material change in contravention of nature or are they spiritual change?

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As a scientist, how would you go about validating a miraculous claims? Would you use scientific methods if investigations?

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my bad, I meant belief in that which has no evidence(proof). Google is your friend Mon frere.

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Faith is not believe in what is impossible. It also not a belief without proof. Please can you give me instances where placebo effect has worked and the relevant journal citations for it.

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Fair enough, though I'm sure if the person was healed of Cancer and it was verified, it would make the front page of time magazine.

Faith is belief in the impossible without any proof. The body has been known to heal itself, hence the placebo effect.

Also, there was a time on earth where it was thought that diseases were the works of the devil, or when a kid born with Icythiosis was the devils child, science has been able to refute all that and created cures for diseases. On the contrary, I say it takes more faith to believe that God is responsible for healing rather than medical science.

Besides science has a much better track record. What has God done that is completely verifiable, that has blown the human mind? Yet science "heals" sick people everyday, surely this can be described as a miracle?

This analogy doesn't apply here. But nonetheless, we'll agree to disagree? I say in the future, if what you claim is true, science would be able to definitely explain it. Meanwhile you say it is a higher power. Though what you say draws parallels to "incurable diseases" in the middle ages.

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@JFK

I will not give out the former cancer patient name for that will remain confidential. It is however suprising that you can accept that the body can heal itself and then reject that God exists, and thus reject that God heals. Your last post clearly demonstrates the problem of science. Once science is confronted with happenings which it has no explanation, it uses the very faith it despises by claiming that with future development, those happenings can be explained. Sure, cancer arose out of errors in the DNA which resulted in the de-regulation of the molecular check points. In terminal cancer patients, the cells have completely lost all regulatory control, indeed, they have even transfered such abberant activities to otherwise healthy cells. Yet you appear to suggest that cells that have completely lost controls, whose DNA is riduled with multiple genetic mistakes will spontenously restore the controls and become healthy is astonihing to say the least. It is analogous to saying that a car without a driver on a steepy hill will suddenly come to a stop in the slope without intervention. Indeed such assumption requires even a greater leap of "faith" than the belief that God intervened.

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what's is this individual's name? Has a misdiagnosis been ruled out?

Also, let's not forget that cancer is a mutation of cells i.e. errors in dna. So, I see his/her body's ability to heal itself. As the cells simply reverting back to their original configuration, much like broken bones and growth, you know, the division of cells to create new ones? I'm sure in due time science will be able to explain definitely the process by which a body can heal itself. In the mean time we can't just simply attribute the feat to a higher power.

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Yes, I mean the healing of a person given only six months to live because of terminal cancer. The verdict from all the specialists handelling her case is that it is a rare case of sponteneous remission. I have read the abstract but I will find time to read the whole paper and then give my comments on it. However in the interim, the appearance of an article even in leading scientific literature like Nature or Science does not prove the truth of a matter. Some highly refered articles in these leading journals have been found to be faked, or in some cases refuted by new information.

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I dont follow, Do you mean diagnosis of someone with Cancer who was healed without treatment?

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Let us remain with healing. If a person afflicted with cancer is healed by Gods power, the proof of the healing lies in the absence of cancer both at the physiological nad biochemical level. It is at this point that the conceit of science will enter. Some scientists instead of accepting it as a miracle will declare that is "sponteneous remission". Yet until God intervened through the prayer of his servant, the person was dying of terminal cancer and sponteneous remission didnot occur

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like he said, show me evidence and I mean concrete evidence verified by independent sources of the dead rising or lame walking. You know , something extraordinary that science cannot explain and maybe my opinions might be swayed

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don't misunderstand me, I never denied the fact that the human mind is a product of the brain. I believe in the existence of a mind even though it is an immaterial substance. I mean no one knew what anti matter was, even though it has existed since the beginning of our universe, Anti matter exists and has been proven to exist even though it is immaterial. The placebo effect could be synonymous with "miracles" I mean we havent actually seen evidence of such outrageous claim such as the dead rising and lame walking. Placebo effect aka miracles can just be small things don't you agree? plus the placebo effect has been known to cure pain such as angina and ulcers and those are physiological.

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 hmm . . . isn't the very definition of a miracle is that it is an event or occurence that cannot be explained?

 

 Like Nwankwo said, many people approach the concept of miracles prejudiced to think that if if doesn't fit the current/existing scientific theories then it must be false. . .when the very definition of a miracle is that it cannot be explained.

 The spiritual world and its manifestations in the physical cannot be understood or re-produced by science - you'll only end up with a headache.

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Placebo effect only works where the underlying cause of the problem is psychologically. Where there is a physiological or biochemical problem as in case of cancers, placebo effect is worthless. It is strange that you give the human mind a lot of power and yet seem not to consider that the human mind you are acknowledging is a product of the physical brain.

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I do not want to engage in  the act saying wheather or not this preacher or pastor perform miracles. Let their followers judje for themselves and for a decerning spirit, it very easy to separate real miracles from magic, tricks, suggestion, autosuggestion and several other mental acts prevalent today.

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No one has been able to validate the claim of miracles. Even the so called faith healers like Benny Hinn have been debunked, most of them are currently involved in lawsuits. However the placebo effect has been known for a long time to be responsible for so called "healing" medical professionals occasionally give patients a placebo where the patient reports pain and nothing can be done about it and about 1/3 of the patients report success. I see healing/placebo effect on the body as the mind reacting to the healing of the brain(mind). Like I said the human mind is a powerful thing.

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@mockfu,

That many claims of miracles happen to be proven to be false or have other natural explanation do not imply that all claims are false or have rational explanation. Science is not an impartial observer or unmpire and that is one of the problem. It comes into such investigation with a preconcieved mindset. Let Governments fund research on validation of miraculous claims and I assure you that they will come across some real ones. Government and science are not actually interested in investigating miraculous claims since they will find it difficult to justify to the tax payer why their money is being spent on such matters.

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Miracles are not placebo effect. Miracles has also nothing to do with the human mind or positive thinking. The power to work miracles comes from God. There is no reason for people to belittle what they do not understand. Humility entails that one should approach an unknow area with the urge to learn the truth or otherwise, not to pronouce judjement. I have seen miracles happen and I cannot be called ignorant of science. I have been involved with top class scientific research for years. While some fellow scientists do not believe in miracles, their are also several other scientist including me that believe in miracles.

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typo there, I'm sorry. "The body reacting to the healing of the mind" is what I mean to say. M.Nwankwo like i was saying, no spiritual or external force acting on the body there, purely within the body.

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Miracles=Placebo effect, the human mind is a powerful thing

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@mockfu or Therantino,

I am not aware of any documentation in peer refereed scientific literature. I have participated in the investigation of some of these happenings and the data are unpublished as of this moment.

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Miracles are happenings that men think is impossibe. However the fact that they do happen shows the limitation of human knowledge. In most cases, miraculous happenings are a speed up of a natural process such that an event that would have taken hours or even years to come to fruition happen instaneously. The speed of its occurence makes it impossible to see its beginnig, the intermediate steps and the end. Ocassionally, some miraculous happening go beyound the present level of scientific development. Whatever is the nature, all miracles are within the laws of nature since the laws of nature is the manifestation of the laws of God within material creations. What science observes are parts of these laws, not the whole of it. Only the creator of the laws of Nature know the whole laws and can use the entire laws to bring about miraculous happenings. Contrarly to the general belief, miracles are not a negation, or a suspension of the laws of nature but a fufillment of the laws. Every genuine miracle is a manifestation of the power of God and an expression of Gods inconncievable love. In addition every genuine miracle can be scientifically validated.

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