Hasn’t science proved that miracles are impossible?

Every now and again you hear people say that they cannot believe in Christianity because science has proved that miracles are impossible. If it can be proved that miracles cannot occur then the Christian faith is in big trouble, not only because Jesus himself performed miracles, but because some miracles, such as his virgin birth and especially his resurrection, are foundational to the Christian faith. So it’s an important question.

It is one thing to say that science cannot prove (or disprove) miracles, but it goes well beyond science to say that miracles cannot happen. This is because scientific methodology can only test natural causes (things that can be observed repeatedly in experiments); it cannot test supernatural causes (things that cannot be observed repeatedly in experiments). Because it cannot test supernatural causes science can only go as far as saying that it cannot explain miracles; it cannot say that there is no explanation at all. In other words, just because science cannot come up with a natural cause for a miracle, it does not mean that other causes (ie, supernatural) cannot or do not exist.

If there is a Creator who can create the world out of nothing, then it is not illogical for miracles to occur. It’s just that they just cannot be explained scientifically. And just because they cannot be explained scientifically, it does not mean that they cannot happen. The fact that we don’t see them often or at all today is not a valid argument against miracles. By definition miracles occur infrequently and cannot be easily explained.

At the end of the day, it is not completely unreasonable to doubt that miracles take place; even some of Jesus disciples doubted his resurrection (see John 20). But the fact that they are unusual, difficult to believe or difficult to explain does not mean that they cannot happen.

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