Tag: Miracles (home)

Percentage of Americans who believe in divine miracles: 84 Percentage who believe in the reality of miracles described in the Bible: 79 Percentage who have personal experiences with miracles: 48 Percentage who know of people who have: 63 Percentage who have prayed for a miracle: 67 Percentage who believe God or the saints cure or heal sick people who have been given no chance of survival by medical doctors: 77

permalink source: Eric Reed; source: "Newsweek Poll: Most Americans Believe in Miracles," Newsweek (5-1-00)
tags: Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts, Miracles

A certain archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a sarcophagus containing a mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious natural-history museum. "I've just discovered the 3,000-year-old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!" the excited archaeologist exclaimed. The curator replied, "Bring him in. We'll check it out." A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. "You were right about the mummy's age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?" he asked. The archaeologist replied, "Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that read, '10,000 shekels on Goliath.'"

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Gambling, David, Miracles

It's said that Thomas Jefferson could not accept the miraculous elements of scripture, so he edited his own special version of the New Testament in which all references to the supernatural were deleted. The gospels, therefore, contain no miracles--only the moral teachings of Christ. The gospel account closes with these words: "There laid they Jesus and rolled a great stone at the mouth of the sepulcher and departed." Thank God that's not how the story really ends!

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Faith, Resurrection, Miracles, Crucifixion

The book also has a good chapter on "Amazing Coincidences." These are strange events which appear to give evidence of supernatural influences operating in everyday life. They are not the result of deliberate fraud or trickery, but only of the laws of probability. The paradoxical feature of the laws of probability is that they make unlikely events happen unexpectedly often. A simple way to state the paradox is Littlewood's Law of Miracles. Littlewood was a famous mathematician who was teaching at Cambridge University when I was a student. Being a professional mathematician, he defined miracles precisely before stat-ing his law about them. He defined a miracle as an event that has special significance when it occurs, but oc-curs with a probability of one in a million. This definition agrees with our common-sense understanding of the word "miracle." Littlewood's Law of Miracles states that in the course of any normal person's life, miracles happen at a rate of roughly one per month. The proof of the law is simple. During the time that we are awake and actively engaged in living our lives, roughly for eight hours each day, we see and hear things happening at a rate of about one per second. So the total number of events that happen to us is about thirty thousand per day, or about a million per month. With few exceptions, these events are not miracles because they are insignificant. The chance of a miracle is about one per million events. Therefore we should expect about one miracle to happen, on the average, every month. Broch tells stories of some amazing coincidences that happened to him and his friends, all of them easily explained as consequences of Littlewood's Law.

permalink source: Freeman Dyson in Ny Review of Books, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/16991 March 25, 2004
tags: Atheism, Statistics, Miracles

Miracles Complicate Things

After his legs had been broken in an accident, Mr. Miller sued for damages, claiming that he was crippled and would have to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Although the insurance-company doctor testified that his bones had healed properly and that he was fully capable of walking, the judge decided for the plaintiff and awarded him $500,000. When he was wheeled into the insurance office to collect his check, Miller was confronted by several executives. "You're not getting away with this, Miller," one said. "We're going to watch you day and night. If you take a single step, you'll not only repay the damages but stand trial for perjury. Here's the money. What do you intend to do with it?" "My wife and I are going to travel," Miller replied. "We'll go to Stockholm, Berlin, Rome, Athens and, finally, to a place called Lourdes -- where, gentlemen, you'll see yourselves one heck of a miracle."

permalink source: anonymous
tags: Miracles