On Miracles

Dr. Michael Lemole, the chief of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University, is one of the doctors caring for Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ). For me, as a person interested in the interface between science and theology, this comment by Dr. Lemole caught my attention:

A lot of medicine is outside of our control, so we’re wise to acknowledge miracles.

Dr. Lemole is a man of science. By defining science as the search of an explanation for what we observe in nature, I establish the parameters of science. To me science is a like football – there is an established playing field with boundaries (nature), players (scientists), playbook (methodologies), and referees (other scientists).

Science assumes natural causes, yet the hypothesis No supernatural cause for any natural phenomenon is possible cannot be tested. At the same time, many major faiths believe in miracles, as Rev Tim Keller defines as the intervention of God into the natural order.

Whereas modern science may not be able to explain miracles, it also cannot prove or disprove God’s existence. Regardless of the mantra at either end of the science and theology issue, most of us are not faced with the dogma that we must make a choice between science and theology – but rather, we face questions about how to integrate and reconcile these two aspects of life. Perhaps more of us should look at not only Dr. Lemole’s words above, but also his next sentence:

We can’t control that (miracles) – and when we’re dealt that hand, we are very thankful.