Friday, November 09, 2018

How can this be?

I’m a professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, and I believe that Jesus was raised from the dead.  So do dozens of my colleagues. How can this be?

Here. 

18 comments:

Legion of Logic said...

The very first comment is a very common point I see that I'm astounded people still make. Science does not disprove a virgin birth or resurrection - all it does is reinforce that if such an event occurred, it would indeed be miraculous.

Starhopper said...

Legion, can I "like" your comment? Well said!

Hugo Pelland said...

When I re-read the title "How can this be?" after reading the short post here, my reaction was: well, you're an old man brought up in the USA, duh...
And that is obviously what we see on the image after clicking on the link.

Now, I know this doesn't mean he's wrong, but it certainly shows an incredibly powerful bias. And I did notice that point #3 attempts to address this, as the author explains his conversion later in life. But how is it that nobody ever becomes a Muslim this way? And why is it that in the Arab world they never become Christians? And yes, I know I know, it's not 'never never' in either case but... pretty close.

And while it's also true that science doesn't disprove miracles, especially not old ones like a virgin birth or a resurrection, the more important point, which was acknowledge, is that science cannot prove the accuracy of these events either. It is mostly an act of faith; a belief in someone's else word.

By the way, why is it that Mary's story is believed just because of what she said? Doesn't the angel (was it an angel, or holy spirit, I forget...) that impregnated her deserve due process for that act?

Legion of Logic said...

Doesn't the angel (was it an angel, or holy spirit, I forget...) that impregnated her deserve due process for that act?

She was notified of the plan ahead of time and gave consent in Luke 1. If that deserves due process then every father should be in jail.

Hugo Pelland said...

Interesting detail, I don't think I ever heard about it! But still, why do you believe her?

Legion of Logic said...

Because I am supposed to believe women, of course. Beyond that, the likelihood of any given miracle increases drastically if you hold the belief that a deity exists who can create miracles in the first place.

Far as Mary goes, extra-Biblical evidence for the event may be rather sparse, but the event itself is surrounded by my belief in a god and my being convinced of the evidence for, and the truth of, Christianity. Accepting those things as true, the Mary account is quite plausible.

Starhopper said...

Hugo,

As Legion says, the Annunciation (a.k.a., "Mary's story") is not only plausible in context, it is necessary. I haven't bothered to count how many times Jesus refers to God as His Father, but it's a lot. And He's not using the term in some symbolic, metaphysical fashion, but in a coldly literal way.

Acceptance of the New Testament comes as a package deal. Once you realize that the alternatives to the Gospels being factually accurate are highly unlikely, then the various elements within the narrative fall into place without difficulty. I.e., if the Resurrection can demonstrated to be an historical event, then the Virgin Birth must be as well. And once those "bookends" are accepted, everything in between (the miracles, the discourses, even the smallest details) become eminently believable.

So it's not a matter of "believing Mary's story", but of one's response to the Gospel (as a whole).

Joe Hinman said...


By the way, why is it that Mary's story is believed just because of what she said? Doesn't the angel (was it an angel, or holy spirit, I forget...) that impregnated her deserve due process for that act?

That is the 'flip side" (do you still get the meaning of flipside? It;s from Vinyl records) when I have argued with atheists who say Jesus can't be messiah because he's adopted into Joseph's line. The people around Mary would not haves said,"We know Joe is not the father it's a virgin birth." Joe's word would have been enough for them to accept Jesus as legit.

Joe Hinman said...



Empircal 2

Part two the summary of my book the Trace of God this is about the atheist argument reducing mystical exerciser to brain chemistry,

Legion of Logic said...

do you still get the meaning of flipside? It;s from Vinyl records

Well that's a neat little fact I never knew.

Starhopper said...

Another phrase the "younger generation" may not recognize the origin of is "You sound like a broken record." When a vinyl record got a scratch, the needle would keep repeating the same groove over and over again.

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger Legion of Logic said...
do you still get the meaning of flipside? It;s from Vinyl records

Well that's a neat little fact I never knew.

I don't know your age,

Legion of Logic said...

36. I listened to my dad's records as a kid so I'm familiar with having to flip it to hear the other side, but I guess I'm too young to be familiar with all the lingo.

Hugo Pelland said...

Ah, for some reason, I assumed you were much older than I am Legion, but we're just 2 years apart... So not surprisingly, I have also had the same experience with vinyl records as a child. I remember having 1 kid music album and then moving on to cassettes.

Legion of Logic said...

I assumed you were much older than I am Legion

Because of how cheerful I always seem to be, most likely.

bmiller said...

Hmmm. Lot's of old men here and it seems pretty grumpy.

I don't think that's the reason.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
36. I listened to my dad's records as a kid so I'm familiar with having to flip it to hear the other side, but I guess I'm too young to be familiar with all the lingo.

It actually comes from the old 78 singles. They would put a popular/heavily marketed song in side A, and a song considered less desirable on the flip side (side B). The flip side came to denote people who were in for the whole experience, not just the more surface level, popular aspects.

Joe Hinman said...



Metacrock's blog

One reality (God) behind all traditions that seem to be different only becuase experience of God must be filtered ("mediated") through cultural constructs. In Christian terms where does that leave faith in Christ? How can Christ be the savior, the one name by which we can be saved, if God is the same reality behind all religions? First of all I did not say that I think all religious traditions are the same. Nor did I say they are all equal. They are not alike becuase they are all tainted by the various cultural constructs we use to understand reality. We can't think about that which is beyond our understanding, the slight glimpse we get of it must be compared to that which do know.