In another thread skylyjd attempts to argue against faith and in favor of the god of Science, registered trademark, by saying in part, “Realistically men do not rise from the dead, nor do virgins give birth, let alone the talking snake and donkey.”
I’m grateful for his words, they reminded me of my roots, my purpose in blogging, my focus, why this blog is called, “see there’s this thing called biology.” For me, faith got real-real, God got real-real when I stopped seeing a conflict between nature and God, biology and God, science and God.
In Psalm 19, the Bible says “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
So let me return to skylydj’s words bit by bit. “Realistically men do not rise from the dead….” Actually, science has had a great deal of trouble defining “dead,” and at one point in time people actually chose to be buried with bells in their coffins, just in case somebody got it wrong. Horrible indeed, but there is ample evidence that we did get it wrong several times. In the modern world we’re still wrestling with the nature of brain death, with our ability to keep people alive on machines, and with medical miracles, with people brought back to life, especially those who have fallen into lakes, been kept very cold. Science has actually taught us that death is not a simple matter of flipping an off/on switch.
He continues, “nor do virgins give birth…” many people misunderstand that term, don’t recognize the phraseology being used, the lazy shorthand. It’s not actually the birth itself we’re referring to, but conception. In English when we say “virgin birth” it sounds like the birth itself was a virgin, which misses the whole point. A better question is, can virgins get pregnant? Not in the same miraculous, supernatural, mysterious, wonderful way Mary did, no, not with the Holy Spirit. But biologically? Medically? Absolutely. Modern science has given us artificial insemination, something farmers have actually known about for centuries. It is quite possible to conceive without, “knowing a man.” Today we have fertility clinics and frozen embryos, and science has taught us that indeed, a virgin can get pregnant.
Let me slip in one more thing, Catholics sometimes refer to “immaculate conception,” and there is often a misunderstanding there, a misconception. That is a term that refers not to the conception of Jesus, but the conception of Mary.
Lastly, skylydj speaks of how unrealistic it is to believe in such things, “let alone the talking snake and donkey.” Indeed, I get it, talking snakes and donkeys boggles the brain. You know what else boggles my brain? A bunch of hairless apes from all over the world communicating with one another using strange symbols carried across an invisible wi/fi signal sent through outer space….
That last bit of nuttiness is just a bridge too far. Nobody in their right mind would ever believe that, and yet it’s true, isn’t it? I encourage people to suspend their disbelief, to open your mind up to a world of wonder, to accept the fact that there is so much mystery and magic in the world that is still beyond our comprehension. Ironically, that mindset is a scientific one.
So, realistically men DO rise from the dead, virgins DO give birth, and talking snakes and donkeys are certainly NOT beyond the realm of possibility.
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. -Hamlet