A friend commented on a recent post here that Kirsten’s recovery has been miraculous, and that the advancement of science itself is a miracle. I vehemently disagree.
Kirsten’s body has progressively been destroyed by her several diseases. She’s wasted away to ~75 pounds. When I wash her skin she cries, realizing as she looks at her weak, frail little legs just how far she’s deteriorated. I haven’t posted pictures because her body is so sickly it would be disturbing to some, and embarrassing to Kirsten.
Kirsten almost died Wednesday. That was avoided by a heroic effort by her medical team and myriad advanced products of science. On several occasions, different people who were there with me have wondered aloud how it is that she is still alive. Attribute that to god if you wish.
Kirsten has not gotten up and walked out of the hospital. She still has a neck fracture that paralyzed her right upper arm. She still has advanced Cushing’s syndrome. She still has two liver lesions. She still has a non-functioning pituitary gland and tumor. She still has Type I diabetes. She likely has cancer. She’s still ~75 pounds. Is that the best god can do? Kirsten’s recent improvements are all within the domain of statistical probability for someone her age who is being cared for in a modern hospital’s Special Care Unit.
Is science itself a miracle? I suppose it depends on your definition. I define miracle as a suspension of natural law. Colloquially, you may use “miracle” where you might also use “statistically improbably” or “fortunate.” I think this is a lazy use of language, and cedes too much to the supernatural.
Positing that god uses science to do his work makes god extremely weak and quite pathetic. Science is great and wonderful, but its method is a slow and incremental progression toward understanding. That’s not at all what you’d expect from a supernatural god who created the universe in six days. And it’s inconsistent with the myths in the Bible.
- Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead with nothing more than a prayer. No doctors or medicines.
- Jesus cleansed ten lepars without drugs or surgery.
- Jesus cured a blind man with nothing more than dirt and spittle.
Science is a method of understanding the world in which we live. That method, quite simply, is observation, hypothesis, experimentation, peer-review, theory. At no point in that process do scientists assert that, “god did it.” The very notion that the advancement of science is miraculous is antithetical to the nature of science itself.
The underlying implication is that, I think, the credit for Kirsten’s recent improvements ought to go to god. Was the hand of god guiding the hand of the surgeon? Did god inspire the chemists and computer scientists? If you think so, you are not convincible. However, you must ask yourself, how did god allow Kirsten to decline to her present state? Is God, essentially, willing to suspend the laws of physics to improve the conditions of those who are suffering, but unwilling, or unable, to prevent those conditions? What does that say about god?
Should our strategy be to surround ourselves with believers who will offer intercessory prayer on our behalf if and when we need it? If we’re alone and without these pious friends, are we doomed to whatever fate god will ignore?
Religion offers no consolation. There are no miracles. Prayer does not work. Superstition is for the weak and ignorant and pathetic.
This is not a miracle. The assertion that god will bend to your will if you simply pray is arrogant. The notion that god allowed this to happen so that you would pray and experience its awesomeness, as Jesus said with regards to the blind man, is offensive. Keep your mythologies to yourself. I have no need of them.