Overwhelming Evidence That the Supernatural Does Not Operate in Our Universe

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Ask a Christian apologist for evidence of the existence of her god, and one form of evidence she will present is the existence of millions of miracle claims by Christians all over the earth.

“How can all these claims of supernatural intervention be false?” she will ask.

Let’s take a closer look at this “evidence”.

Are Christians the only people claiming to experience miracles? No. People of practically every religion, cult, and sect on the planet claim to experience miracles. In addition, a comparison of the morbidity (sickness) and mortality (death) rates of Christians when compared to Muslims, Hindus, Jews, etc. of the same socio-economic class demonstrates zero difference. There is no good evidence that Christian prayers achieve any better health outcomes for Christians than prayers to Allah and Lord Krishna achieve for Muslims and Hindus respectively.

“Maybe Jesus performs miracles for non-Christians too.”

“Maybe Satan is performing miracles in the name of Allah and Lord Krishna to deceive Muslims and Hindus.”

Maybe.

But what about the fact that the only people on earth claiming to experience miracles are theists? Atheists do not claim to experience miracles, yet atheists, who tend to be better educated and better off socio-economically than the average theist, have the same if not better morbidity (sickness) and mortality (death) rates than theists.

So either the Christian god is evenly distributing his miracles among all people on planet earth, regardless of whether they are Christian, Muslim, or Hindu, and regardless of whether they are theist or atheist, or, miracles are the product of the delusional thinking of theists.

Which is it?

Google Image Result for  http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/guardian-angel-and-children-crossing-bridg…  | Angel art, Angel pictures, Angel painting
Fact or a comforting delusion for the superstitious?

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End of post.

64 thoughts on “Overwhelming Evidence That the Supernatural Does Not Operate in Our Universe

  1. HA! I actually have that picture of the guardian angel protecting those two little children! My sister gave it to my son when he was a baby & when he moved out of the house (of course), he left it behind. I have it hanging on the wall because of the usual maternal sentimental reasons.

    I always liked the heftiness of the angel. Maybe they have good barbecue in heaven? Or wherever angels hang out?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here you go: “Miracles Today” by Craig Keener. I’m reading it right now. I’d be interested to hear your response after reading it.

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    1. I read Keener’s previous book on this subject, “Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts”. All 800 plus pages (in two volumes). It is full of interesting anecdotes but short on evidence. Keener, who is a Pentecostal, obtains most of his anecdotal miracle stories from “trusted” friends, missionaries, and pastors…the majority of whom are also…Pentecostals. One of Keener’s miracle claims: a woman without a uterus gave birth to a child.

      Holy magical conception, Batman! The woman outdid the Virgin Mary (whom we assume had a uterus)! It is all Pentecostal hysteria, in my opinion.

      I find it odd that fantastical miracles such as uterus-less births only seem to happen to Pentecostals and Roman Catholics, and usually in the third world. Why don’t uterus-less university educated Episcopalian and Presbyterian women in the United States and Great Britain claim to give birth to children?? Oh yeah, they don’t have as much faith as Pentecostals and Roman Catholics. Silly me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, I see. You reject eyewitness and medical evidence. Instead, you fixate on the most outrageous claim (one I don’t remember from that book), and you use it to justify all the other eyewitness and medically-acknowledged accounts of, well, miracles.

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        1. I am a physician. You have now stepped onto my turf. Don’t tell me what does or does not qualify as sufficient medical evidence for a recovery or cure. You are a non-expert in this field.

          Keener’s typical “medical evidence” for his anecdotal miracle stories go something like this: “The patient’s doctor said it was a miracle, so there you have it, dear readers! The medical profession confirms this person’s recovery occurred due to divine intervention. Doctors admit that there could not have been a natural recovery! Praise Jesus!” Sorry. That doesn’t cut it for true medical professionals. True medical professionals want an independent, unbiased, review of the evidence. And to date, there is not ONE single case in all of the medical literature in which an independent, unbiased medical review panel has concluded that a recovery has occurred which could not possibly have been due to natural causes. Never. (And don’t appeal to the sham medical panels the Catholic Church presents at Lourdes.)

          Until you theists produce a healing which could not have possibly occurred by natural means, you are just barking at the moon.

          Please get back to us when Jesus answers prayers by reattaching the head of someone who has been beheaded. Then we will believe your claims. Until then, stop wasting our time with silly anecdotal tales from hyperventilating Pentecostals.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. An excerpt from my review of “Miracles”:

          On page 164, Keener presents a case of a miracle healing which Hume dismissed. Here it is in brief:

          The famous mathematician, Blaise Pascal’s, niece had a “severe, long-term” fistula in her eye that had a terrible odor and had caused “apparent” bone deterioration. She was healed immediately on March 24, 1656 by touching a holy relic: a thorn from the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during his crucifixion.

          Keener’s writes: “Her case provided significant medical evidence and was verified by the diocese. The royal (French) physicians examined Mlle. Perrier, and the Queen Mother (of France) herself was persuaded by their positive verdict of a miracle. In the next few months, some eighty further miracles followed.

          Keener is disgusted that Hume dismissed all the medical evidence for this miracle.

          Wow! Eighty miracles due to touching a thorn from the Holy Crown of Thorns!

          But alas, in comparison, the Catholic Church admits that only sixty cures can be documented out of the millions of faithful who have come to Lourdes to be healed over the last 100 or so years! Wow! Jesus and his Holy Mother are just not healing people at the rate they used to…or…many or all of the claims from the seventeenth century above were false!

          Which is more likely, friends?

          Source: https://lutherwasnotbornagaincom.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/a-review-of-craig-keeners-miracles-part-3/

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        3. And why do the overwhelming majority of miracles recorded in Keener’s book occur in Asia, Africa, and Latin America??? Here my answer in an expert from my review of Keener’s book:

          As I mentioned earlier on this blog, Keener points out in his book the fact that there are far fewer miracle claims in western Europe as compared to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Some Christians on Theology Web have posed the explanation that God doesn’t perform miracles in areas where people do not believe in miracles. While this is within the realm of all possibilities, I suggest we look at another possible explanation.

          People in western Europe have better access to healthcare and better access to healthy food and water supplies than does the average person living in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Therefore, they will usually be healthier, have a lower morbidity and mortality rate and a longer expected life span than their counterparts in the Third World areas mentioned. They will therefore need “healing” much less frequently than their third world counterparts. Statistics demonstrate this.

          We also know that western Europeans tend to be less religious and better educated than their average counterparts in these Third World areas. So when a western European has a dramatic and unexpected recovery from a serious illness, the western European is more likely to credit his medication and his doctors for his recovery rather than a God and prayer, whereas Christians in the Third World who often lack access to medical care will be more prone to attribute a recovery to a supernatural power.

          Keener gives statistics that the overwhelming majority of Christians in Asia, Africa, and Latin America believe in the healing power of prayer and regularly pray for miracles. So since the morbidity and mortality rates in these Third World continents are much higher, many more prayers are going to be said per capita than are said in western Europe, thereby increasing the odds that any dramatic and unexpected recovery will be seen as a miracle.

          It is interesting to note that if it is true that God rewards regions of the world in which the people believe in miracles by increasing the number of miracles, God does not improve the morbidity rate, mortality rate, infant mortality rates nor increase the average life expectancy in these regions of the world. People on average are more prone to get sick and more prone to die. Statistically, there doesn’t seem to be much if any significant difference in illness rates and death rates among the Christian populations of these regions of the world. Illness and death rates are essentially equal among Christian and non-Christian communities.

          Isn’t it obvious, folks: More miracle claims are made in Asia, Africa, and Latin America because there are more sick and dying people, and, since Christians in these regions of the world believe in supernatural healings, they pray for everyone to be healed. Statistics demonstrate that spontaneous health recoveries from severe, life-threatening illnesses, due to all causes, natural or supernatural, are infrequent, therefore the belief that it was prayer that caused the few health recoveries that do occur could very well, and most probably is, sheer coincidence.

          Source: https://lutherwasnotbornagaincom.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/a-review-of-craig-keeners-miracles-part-8/

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          1. Here is Keener’s conclusion to Chapter 8:

            In chapter 7 I noted that from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, hundreds of millions of people claim to have witnessed or experienced miraculous healings… “ p. 308

            Hundreds of millions!

            We aren’t talking about a few hundred miracles, folks. We are talking about hundreds of millions of claimed miracles! Yet…western medicine ignores these hundreds of millions of miracles and stubbornly plods on with painstakingly slow, methodical research based on the empirical method. If they would only say a simple prayer to Jesus they could accomplish so much more, so much more quickly!

            Dear Readers: Do you really believe that western medicine is so arrogant, so stubborn, and so callously indifferent to the suffering of hundreds of millions of human beings worldwide that they would ignore and hand wave away these hundreds of millions of quick healings if there were even the slightest suggestion that prayer has the impact on global health that Mr. Keener wants us to believe it does? Do you really believe that western medicine would refuse to spend the money to study the veracity of these hundreds of millions of claims if there was even a shred of good evidence to support them? Do you really believe that western scientists and physicians hate the Christian God so much that they would turn their backs on hundreds of millions of suffering people?

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              1. And here is a doozy:

                More astonishing, in the Journal of Anthropological Research one anthropologist reported that during a shamanic funerary ritual in northwestern Ghana, he witnessed a corpse that had been dead for a few days dance and play drums for at least several minutes. “I saw the corpse jolt and occasionally pulsate in reaction to the shaman’s movements; streams of light invaded the room, and “the corpse [of a drummer] picked up the drumsticks and began to play.” Soon it was again a motionless corpse, propped against the wall. —Craig Keener, “Miracles”, page 540, under the section in which he provides ‘evidence’ for the “Raising of the Dead”

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        4. Is Craig Keener a reliable source of information? Read this:

          “Nearly four years after my conversion from atheism and several years before I had reimbibed much academic skepticism, I was visiting a recently converted widow when I felt that God’s Spirit led me to a door, which I found then led me into a dark basement. As I descended the stairs, I felt that the widow’s husband’s “ghost” was behind another door in the basement, but according to the basic theology I had imbibed, this spirit could only really be a demon. Once I commanded it to leave in Jesus’s name, it departed; the widow then informed me that her husband’s belongings were stored in that room and that he had been involved with the occult. She also informed me that a year earlier she had dated a man who claimed to have psychic powers, who claimed that the ghost of her husband was in that room and tried to exorcise it; it chased him away instead.”

          –Craig Keener, Professor of New Testament Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary in his book, “Miracles”, p. 85

          Gary: Mr. Keener is a very intelligent, very educated man…but any grown adult who believes that there are ghosts in your basement should not be taken seriously on the subject of the supernatural.

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  3. Wow…my brief comment generated NINE REPLIES. Methinks Gary is triggered.

    There is no need to try to respond to each one. But I will say that, as is par for the course, you tend to misrepresent a whole bunch of stuff.

    To your statement, “And to date, there is not ONE single case in all of the medical literature in which an independent, unbiased medical review panel has concluded that a recovery has occurred which could not possibly have been due to natural causes. Never.”

    Unless you are claiming Keener is bald-faced lying, you cannot get around the fact that throughout his 2-volume work (as well as this new book), he quotes countless MEDICAL DOCTORS (both Christians and non-Christians) who attest that certain patients have miraculously been healed.

    Gary, it just comes down to this: You say miracles don’t happen and that there is no evidence that the supernatural operates within the universe, but when you are faced with testimonies of miracles happening, you simply dismiss them out of hand and engage in a certain degree of ad hominem: “Oh, he’s a Pentecostal! He claims certain miraculous healings occurred! What a rube!”

    You claim no supernatural events happen, you claim there is no evidence for them, but then when you are presented with testimony of those things happening, you use those very claims to justify your dismissal of the person making the claim.

    That is logically inconsistent, hopelessly close-minded, and rather arrogant. And I won’t even start to comment on how your view betrays an extremely white-elitist (dare I say white supremacist!) view of third-world countries of black and brown people.

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    1. Unless you are claiming Keener is bald-faced lying, you cannot get around the fact that throughout his 2-volume work (as well as this new book), he quotes countless MEDICAL DOCTORS (both Christians and non-Christians) who attest that certain patients have miraculously been healed.

      I never once stated that there is no record of any doctor claiming that a miracle has occurred. Once again, you have created a Strawman. That seems to be your modus operandi when debating skeptics.

      This is what I said: “And to date, there is not ONE single case in all of the medical literature in which an independent, unbiased medical review panel has concluded that a recovery has occurred which could not possibly have been due to natural causes. Never.”

      And nice try trying to smear those of us who trust science as racists. The fact that more people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are superstitious has nothing to do with their race. Europeans at one time were incredibly superstitious. What it has to do with is education. The more educated a person is, the more likely they are to trust science and the less likely they are trust superstitions…unless their education came from a religious institution.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OHHHH!!! Okay….so you want a MEDICAL PANEL to conclude that any given recovery could NOT have happened due to natural causes. Independent medical and scientific experts can’t come to that conclusion ON THEIR OWN! Yes, that’s totally different.

        And okay, people in third world countries are both uneducated and superstitious–not enlightened like scientists from European descent. And that is why, when a woman who has suffered from MS for 15 years is miraculously healed when friends from her church prayed over her–that is just superstition. There is a perfectly natural explanation for it!

        …wait, that happened in the United States.

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        1. OHHHH!!! Okay….so you want a MEDICAL PANEL to conclude that any given recovery could NOT have happened due to natural causes. Independent medical and scientific experts can’t come to that conclusion ON THEIR OWN! Yes, that’s totally different.

          You are demonstrating your ignorance of the medical field. If a panel of medical experts investigated a claim that a man was beheaded, and after prayers to Jesus, his head was reattached and he then sang and danced–and there was good evidence that the person’s head had truly been decapitated–the medical panel could easily come to the conclusion that the reattachment of the person’s head could not possibly have occurred due to natural causes. They could not assert that a supernatural event had occurred, because the scientific evidence cannot evaluate the supernatural, but it can rule out any known natural causes.

          But you can’t provide any cases like this, can you?

          Jesus doesn’t do the BIG miracles, does he? Jesus never reattaches decapitated heads, severed arms or legs, or puts back together bodies blown to bits by a bomb.

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          1. Right….reattached severed heads don’t happen. Way to conveniently ignore and dismiss the countless testimonies of all those other unexplained healings and recoveries Keener documents in this book and come up with your own ludicrous example of a medical panel investigating a severed head that miraculously was reattached…even though no one is making that claim.

            Now THAT is a strawman…or at least the straw-filled head of an imaginary strawman! haha…good checkmate move!

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                1. He does NOT!

                  He makes claims but never provides the evidence. There is not one MRI or CT report anywhere in his book. You are demonstrating your ignorance of the medical field.

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                  1. Yes he does. When he interviews patients and doctors who tell him, “This person had this disease, then some people prayed for him, then that disease disappeared. We re-did the medical tests, and there was no more trace of the disease,” THAT’S EVIDENCE.

                    Or “This person was on a retreat when he broke his ankle. When to the ER, they took x-rays, they showed the break, and his foot was put in a cast. He was kept overnight, but during the night, he felt God telling him that his foot wasn’t broken. His wife drove him back home to Michigan, where they went to their family doctor. When he took x-rays, he told them, “There is no sign of any break, ever.”

                    There you go…X-ray #1 shows a break; then the “supernatural” encounter; then X-ray #2 shows no break.

                    But your right…that’s not evidence.

                    When

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                    1. He never shows us the xrays!!! He just makes assertions, most of them second or third hand.

                      Stick to the study of your ancient middle eastern holy book. It is obvious that you do not know what qualifies as evidence in the medical field.

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                    2. To sum up–there IS EVIDENCE. He quotes DOCTORS who attest to certain healings.

                      But you want to examine the x-rays for yourself. Got it.

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                2. You never addressed the morbidity and mortality statistics that show no difference in the illness, recovery rates, death rates due to illness, or lifespan between Christians and non-Christians of the same socio-economic class. That is the OVERWHELMING evidence that demonstrates that the supernatural does not operate in our universe.

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                  1. Ah, the artistic ability of Gary the goalpost shifter!

                    What is at issue is whether or not people with various diseases have experienced healings that defy naturalistic/scientific explanation. That is factually true.

                    All your obfuscation doesn’t change that fact. Yes, morbidity rates all around the globe are consistent–at some point, everyone dies. To say that somehow is “overwhelming evidence that demonstrates that the supernatural doesn’t operate in our universe” is beyond stupid. It is bass-ackward! haha

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                    1. You are extremely arrogant in your ignorance of what qualifies as good evidence in the scientific and medical fields. You are making a fool of yourself.

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                    2. No, you need to do a refresher course on language. All I’m saying is that when there is TESTIMONY of healings (both from those previously with a disease, as well as actual doctors who treated them)–then that TESTIMONY constitutes “evidence.”

                      Your title is asserting that there IS EVIDENCE that the supernatural does NOT OPERATE in our universe. So, right there, you are asserting EVIDENCE for a NEGATIVE–which is problematic in and of itself.

                      I’ve just repeatedly said that there IS EVIDENCE of healings that defy any known scientific/medical explanation. Again, this is just fact and reality: People with various diseases have inexplicably been healed of those diseases, and doctors can’t explain how it happened.

                      If nothing else, those things serve as indications that PERHAPS there might be more to reality that just our known natural explanations. That’s all I’m saying, and I’m on 100% logical sound ground.

                      You, though, are dismissing all that out of hand, and are clinging to a highly problematic assertion that there is “overwhelming evidence” of a negative.

                      I’m not the arrogant one. I’m not the fool.

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                    3. All I’m saying is that when there is TESTIMONY of healings (both from those previously with a disease, as well as actual doctors who treated them)–then that TESTIMONY constitutes “evidence.”

                      I agree. Testimony is evidence. I have never claimed that there is zero evidence for healings. What I have said is that the evidence is not good. Big difference.

                      You seem to believe that just because a lot of people make a claim that this increases the probability that the claim is true. This is poor logic. At one time in human history EVERYONE claimed that they saw the sun circle the earth. They all saw it rise in the east and set in the west each and every day. But they were all wrong, weren’t they, Joel?

                      Trust science, not public opinion.

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                    4. No, I’m saying two things: (1) Your assertion that there is “overwhelming evidence” that proves a negative is logically nonsensical, and (2) Your casual and immediate dismissal of the testimonies of both patients and actual doctors betrays your ideological bias. Your previous comment was the FIRST TIME in this thread that you just say, “Sure, testimony by doctors is evidence.”

                      Your comments show you are pushing a certain ideology, not really trying to get at the truth of an issue. Throwing out absurd examples like of severed heads is case and point. That’s an absurd strawman. You do that to get around dealing with the countless examples Keener gives in his book where he interviews actual doctors who attest to various healings of many different kinds of diseases that they cannot explain.

                      Again, a clear-minded person, regardless of whether or not that person is religious or not, will read those examples and go, “Okay, that’s interesting. Clearly, things happen in our universe that we cannot explain. MAYBE that’s an indication of something supernatural.”

                      You don’t have to automatically jump to “God did it!” or “NO! There’s absolutely NO EVIDENCE of healings! Can’t happen! No!”

                      Just follow the actual evidence, and honestly say, “Okay, those things are odd…MAYBE!”

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                    5. “Sure, testimony by doctors is evidence.”

                      Testimony from uneducated tribesman in the Amazon regarding the alleged miracle healings of the River God are also evidence, just not good evidence. Once again, I have asked you for a certain level of evidence that meets the standards of medical experts and you have failed to provide it.

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                    6. …and testimony from medically-trained doctors here in America? Again, your immediate attempt to dismiss and belittle by making (racist) claims about uneducated tribesmen just continues to put on full display that you’re not really searching for truth, but rather you’re about pushing a certain ideology, regardless of the facts.

                      Anything that doesn’t fit your ideological narrative, you immediate dismiss and belittle.

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                    7. Please provide the evidence from these medically trained American doctors. I am not interested in opinions, I am interested in evidence. As I have pointed out before, just because someone with an MD or DO has an opinion on a medical issue does not automatically make that person’s opinion correct. I asked for a certain standard of evidence. You continue to fail to provide it, demonstrating your non-expert understanding of medical issues.

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                    8. Yeah, because I just read the book. I don’t have oodles of X-rays and medical reports at my disposal.

                      But the fact is that you won’t accept the conclusions of certain doctors who acknowledge that certain healings defy natural explanations. Just be honest: You’ll only accept the opinions of “medical panels” and not individual doctors.

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                    9. You are correct. It is not unusual for a bonafide physician to suggest that “certain healings defy natural explanations.” That does NOT mean they attribute such events to some miraculous “outside force.” The only people who might make such claims would be those who believe as you do.

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                    10. You do that to get around dealing with the countless examples Keener gives in his book where he interviews actual doctors who attest to various healings of many different kinds of diseases that they cannot explain.

                      –Alleged cures of MS do not count unless you can provide the MRI pictures. MS patients can have very long periods of remision.
                      –alleged healings of pneumonia could be due to a natural resolution of the infection.
                      –alleged healings of cancer can be due to natural causes. Most end stage cancer patients die, with or without prayer, but once in a great while a terminal cancer patient recovers. Perfectly explainable by natural causes.

                      Provide an example of an alleged healing which could not have a natural explanation. You won’t because you CAN’T.

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                    11. All I can point to is the testimony of doctors and medical experts who have stated that there is no natural explanation for his/her patients’ miraculous healing. Those with medical training are in a better position that I am. I’ll defer to them. You won’t, though–because you have an ideological narrative to push, regardless of what reality says.

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                    12. All I can point to is the testimony of doctors and medical experts who have stated that there is no natural explanation for his/her patients’ miraculous healing.

                      Exactly. Opinions. I want actual evidence: CT, MRI, Xrays, blood rest results, the findings of an independent medical panel. I am a physician. Physicians don’t just take other physicians’ word as fact. We want to see the evidence (the studies) ourselves. Put up or shut up. Your ignorant rants are getting tiresome.

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                    13. Again, you’ll medical conclusions made by doctors ARE ultimately their opinions. Different doctors can look at the same X-Ray, blood test, etc, and come to different opinions and diagnoses.

                      So again, you are demanding “evidence” that amounts to evidence that supports the conclusion you desire. That is not a seeking after the truth. That is a pushing of your ideology.

                      All I am saying, and will continue to say, is that I’m not so quick to dismiss the conclusions of doctors and medical professionals as you are. I’ve never witnessed a miraculous healing, but there certainly are a lot of people who claim to–and they’re not all ignorant, superstitious tribesmen from Africa. Many are medical professionals. Given that, I’m going to allow for the possibility that there is more to our universe that just natural explanations. I refuse to dogmatically assert “NOPE! CAN’T HAPPEN! I reject the conclusion to any doctor or medical expert who challenges my ideological stance that there is ‘overwhelming evidence’ that there is nothing supernatural!”

                      Truth does get tiresome for ideologues.

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                    14. I have never claimed that the supernatural does not exist. I have claimed that there is overwhelming evidence that the supernatural does not operate in our universe. And what is this overwhelming evidence? Answer: Morbidity and mortality statistics which show little if any difference in rates of illness, rates of recovery, rates of death from illness, and lifespan between Christians and non-Christians. Keener claims that Jesus is performing “hundreds of thousands” of healings each year. Yet these hundreds of thousands of healings due to prayers to Jesus are not reflected in the morbidity and mortality statistics unless Jesus is performing miracles for Christians, non-Christian theists, and atheists at the same rate.

                      Now, it is certainly possible that Jesus is healing Christians and non-Christians equally, regardless of whether someone prays to him or prays to Allah or Lord Krishna or doesn’t pray to anyone (the statistics on the health of atheists is similar or better than that of Christians), but could you admit that it is also possible that all these “healings” are simply natural recoveries and coincidences?

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        2. And okay, people in third world countries are both uneducated and superstitious–not enlightened like scientists from European descent. And that is why, when a woman who has suffered from MS for 15 years is miraculously healed when friends from her church prayed over her–that is just superstition. There is a perfectly natural explanation for it! …wait, that happened in the United States.

          Please present her MRI films both before and after her “healing”. If her brain was full of MS lesions on the before MRI, and then her brain is completely clear of MS lesions on the MRI performed after her “healing”, then you would have a good case. But if you are telling me that she “suddenly” was without MS symptoms after her “healing”, that does not cut it. People can go for YEARS of remission in between flares of MS.

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          1. Keener gives countless examples of these types of healings, complete with the testimony of doctors.

            Sorry, I don’t have access to her MRI results. But Keener writes about numerous cases like that in which medical tests were done that (a) showed the person clearly had the disease/cancer/whatever, but then after the healing (b) new tests showed the disease/cancer/whatever was completely gone.

            You are choosing to cling to your unfounded assertion, DESPITE the evidence and testimony to the contrary. Now, THAT is unscientific and unreasonable.

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            1. No, you are demonstrating your ignorance regarding what kind of evidence scientists and medical professional would demand. Just because Keener claims, “the patient’s doctors looked at all the records and concluded that a miracle is the only explanation” DOES NOT CUT IT.

              Please provide ONE case of an alleged miracle in which an unbiased, independent medical panel reviewed the evidence and concluded that the recovery could not have been due to natural causes.

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              1. Sure it cuts it. Unless you are going to claim that Keener is purposely lying, you have to assume that when he said, “I interviewed this doctor on this case, and he acknowledged this patient miraculously was healed and there was no way he could explain it”–that Keener is telling the truth. And that therefore there really are doctors and medical experts who acknowledge that miracles occur that defy any known scientific, naturalistic explanation.

                But that’s right. You won’t take the word of doctors. You demand that there be an “independent medical panel” who comes to that conclusion. But I’m guessing even if that happened, you’d find some other excuse to discount it.

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      2. The bottom line is that, despite the assertion in your title (that there is “overwhelming evidence that the supernatural does not operate in the universe”), that assertion is simple false. If anything, there is actual evidence (both in terms of people’s testimony and countless conclusions by doctors and scientists) that healings and miracles DO OCCUR that DO NOT HAVE any naturalistic or known cause.

        Bottom line: Things happen in our universe that have no scientific/medical explanation. One can remain agnostic about exactly what happened or why it happened, but one simply cannot claim to be a reasonable person and maintain that those things DON’T HAPPEN.

        What you HAVE to say (if you want to be taken seriously as a rational thinker) is this: “Yes, there are many instances of certain healings and recoveries that no one can explain and that defy everything we know about how the universe works. So, either they are evidence for the supernatural and can be considered ‘miracles,’ or there really is a naturalistic explanation for these healings and recoveries, but we just haven’t figured it out yet.”

        But to dogmatically assert what you have simply is not clear thinking, rationality, or logical.

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        1. The bottom line is that, despite the assertion in your title (that there is “overwhelming evidence that the supernatural does not operate in the universe”), that assertion is simple false. If anything, there is actual evidence (both in terms of people’s testimony and countless conclusions by doctors and scientists) that healings and miracles DO OCCUR that DO NOT HAVE any naturalistic or known cause.

          How do you explain the fact that morbidity and mortality statistics do not show a significant difference in the rates of illness, recovery from illness, deaths from illnesses, and lifespan between Christians and non-Christians of the same socio-economic class? If Jesus is performing miracle healings by the “hundreds of thousands” as Craig Keener claims shouldn’t we see a statistical difference?

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          1. Goalpost shifting. Again, the FACT is that THERE IS testimony and medical attestation of healings and recoveries that defy naturalistic explanations.

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        2. Bottom line: Things happen in our universe that have no scientific/medical explanation. One can remain agnostic about exactly what happened or why it happened, but one simply cannot claim to be a reasonable person and maintain that those things DON’T HAPPEN.

          Just because science has not (yet) explained every mystery in our universe, is not evidence that “a god did it”. For millennia, humans have seen cause and effect in practically everything. There is a flood: a god did it. There is a drought: a god did it. Lightning: a god did it. A plague: a god did it. Yet for all of these events, science has discovered very natural causes. So let’s not rush to “a god did it” just because Aunt Betsie suddenly recovered from her sinus infection after her church prayer group prayed for her.

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          1. Again, I’m not the one jumping to conclusions. I’m not even saying, “God did it.” I’m saying that YOUR assertion is the uncritical and ideological one.

            Again, there is testimony and medical attestation that people suffering from a variety of diseases have inexplicably recovered. Doctors and scientists have concluded the healings were miraculous and defy any naturalistic explanation. If you refuse to acknowledge that fact, then you’re showing yourself to be the uncritical one driven by personal ideology.

            I remember reading somewhere on some blog how that particular blogger “preferred the cold, hard truth.” You could learn something from that sentiment! 😉

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            1. Doctors and scientists have concluded the healings were miraculous and defy any naturalistic explanation.

              Some doctors and some scientists believe some really crazy things, such as that Covid is not real. So just because you can find a couple of doctors who don’t believe Covid is real is not sufficient reason for you to reject the overwhelming majority of experts who say Covid is real. Do you understand? Just because a few doctors or a few scientists hold a view does not mean we should believe them. Please provide an alleged healing which has been thoroughly evaluated by an unbiased, independent, internationally respected panel of experts, who concluded that the healing could not have occurred due to natural causes.

              You can’t.

              Whine all you want about me having too high a standard but that is SCIENCE and MEDICINE for you, my non-expert friend. We have high standards and protocols. We do not accept anecdotal claims as solid evidence.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I have not come across ONE doctor who thinks “Covid isn’t real.”

                But there you go again–you have deflecting down to an art form!

                Again, your title asserts that there is “no evidence” of healings or the supernatural operating in the universe. And the fact is that THERE IS EVIDENCE in the form of both patients and doctors attesting to such healing.

                What your title SHOULD say is this: “There is no evidence, aside from the conclusion from my preferred unbiased, independent medical panel, that I will ever accept.”

                Or perhaps, “There IS evidence of healing, but since that evidence doesn’t come from an independent, unbiased medical panel, I’m not going to call it evidence…and I’m going to equate such claims with imaginary severed head reattached and imaginary doctors claiming that ‘Covid isn’t real.'” haha

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        3. What you HAVE to say (if you want to be taken seriously as a rational thinker) is this: “Yes, there are many instances of certain healings and recoveries that no one can explain and that defy everything we know about how the universe works. So, either they are evidence for the supernatural and can be considered ‘miracles,’ or there really is a naturalistic explanation for these healings and recoveries, but we just haven’t figured it out yet.” But to dogmatically assert what you have simply is not clear thinking, rationality, or logical.

          No. Neither you nor Keener have provided good evidence that supports ONE single alleged “healing” which defies “what we know about how the universe works” (the laws of physics). Simply providing anecdotal, third hand stories and claims of “the doctors said it was a miracle” does not constitute good evidence. I am talking about the kind of evidence that a physician would present at a grand rounds presentation.

          Joel: You may have a degree in the study of your holy book but you are not a medical expert. Your non-expert opinion regarding what constitutes adequate evidence for a medical claim is worthless and laughable in the eyes of scientists and medical professionals.

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          1. Ah yes, when you shut your eyes, you can’t see anything.

            It doesn’t require an expert to acknowledge that when doctors and scientists come out and say that a person (or persons) who were previously suffering from a certain disease had inexplicably recovered–that they are acknowledging something that YOU ARE ASSERTING doesn’t happen.

            Here is your “logic” at work: (1) “There’s no evidence of miracles or healings!” (2) But then in light of testimonies by doctors and medical experts, you say, “Give me something more than anecdotal evidence! That proves nothing!”

            Actually, it does. It proves that things happen in our universe (like healings) that defy naturalistic explanations. And yet, that is the very thing you are claiming DOESN’T happen…despite the FACT that people who used to be suffering from disease and sickness have inexplicably been healed.

            Again, when you shut your eyes to actual events, you can’t see anything.

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            1. things happen in our universe (like healings) that defy naturalistic explanations.

              Yes, they do. But Christian believers want to attribute such events to some supernatural invisible being that’s said to exist somewhere in the Great Beyond. And it is THIS thinking/reasoning that Gary says is logically inconsistent, hopelessly close-minded, and rather arrogant.

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              1. Nan, but you need to see that what Gary is asserting is completely logically inconsistent. He is refusing to even acknowledge what you’ve just acknowledged.

                Given that there are healings that happen that defy naturalistic explanations, a logical, clear-minded person will say, “Okay, that’s interesting. MAYBE that does point to some sort of supernatural reality.” A clear-minded person won’t immediately dismiss it out of hand, like Gary has done. One can remain agnostic about it all–that’s fine. But that’s not what Gary is doing.

                And a clear-minded person certainly wouldn’t make the truly odd claim that there is “overwhelming evidence” that the supernatural doesn’t occur. That claim is simply nonsensical.

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                1. As a non-believer, I would NEVER say … “MAYBE that does point to some sort of supernatural reality.”

                  And I tend to think this is the place where Gary is coming from.

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                  1. Well, that’s the problem. You’re not allowing the facts to dissuade you from a pre-conceived ideological stance. If you can’t even entertain the possibility of some sort of supernatural reality, even in the face of “miraculous” healings of which there is no scientific or naturalistic explanation, there’s nothing more to say.

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                    1. HA! WHO has the “preconceived ideological stance”??? Your several comments to Gary shows a very high degree of your “stance.”

                      There simply are no “miraculous” (defined as “heaven-sent”) healings. Puzzling, yes, but generally related to an individual’s physical makeup and history. And possibly even genetics. But of course, such facts are verboten to those who believe … 🙏😇✝

                      Have a nice!

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                    2. Well, given your response, it is pretty clear that you are the one with the pre-conceived ideological stance! Lol.

                      Seeing something happening that defies naturalistic explanation and saying, “OK, MAYBE that is an indication of a supernatural reality” is NOT ideological. Saying, “I don’t care! Nope! Never can there be anything supernatural…my mind is made up.” THAT’S ideological.

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                2. “Given that there are healings that happen that defy naturalistic explanations, a logical, clear-minded person will say, “Okay, that’s interesting. MAYBE that does point to some sort of supernatural reality.””

                  And how would one go about confirming or demonstrating this “supernatural reality”? At best you have a hypothesis.

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                  1. Well, I CAN’T confirm it. But I’m also not so arrogant to dogmatically declare that there is “overwhelming evidence” that there is no supernatural reality at all…especially when there really is evidence that certain things (like healings) really do happen that really do defy any naturalistic explanation.

                    I can respect an agnostic stance on things like healings–at least there is an acknowledgement that there is something that defies naturalistic explanation. But I can’t respect the dogmatic, hardline, atheistic stance (like Gary’s) that just digs one’s heels in and says, “No, no no!” and refuses to accept the reality that yes, things happen that defy naturalistic explanation.

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                    1. ” But I’m also not so arrogant to dogmatically declare that there is “overwhelming evidence” that there is no supernatural reality at all”

                      I don’t know what a “supernatural reality” is, nor do I know how I would detect that it is interacting with us. Either it’s undetectable, in which case it’s completely irrelevant, or it is detectable but nobody knows how. But when we look at the loads of data on aggregate, rather than looking at anecdotal stories, we don’t see anything abnormal suggesting that anything “supernatural” is happening that it’s being directed. A directed supernatural, such as a god that is healing people because of prayer petitions, really has no objective evidence going for it. The best that I can see you pushing for is some kind of supernatural that looks almost exactly like nature, just somehow slightly different.

                      “But I can’t respect the dogmatic, hardline, atheistic stance (like Gary’s) that just digs one’s heels in and says, “No, no no!” and refuses to accept the reality that yes, things happen that defy naturalistic explanation.”

                      I doubt very much that Gary is refusing to accept that there are events which defy our ability to explain them naturally. Nobody has ever presented anything which they have shown cannot be explained naturally, nor do I know how they could possibly do this. At best they have shown that we have failed to come up with natural explanations, but this is expected. The fact that there are thing we cannot explain tells us nothing – this is why the argument from ignorance is a fallacy.

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