Faraday Institute conference 2018

Harris, M. (Keynote/plenary speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


My title: 'Science and miracles'

Abstract: A miracle is widely understood as a transgression of a law of nature, literally an impossible event, naturally speaking. And yet, many naturalistic interpretations of biblical miracle stories, such as those of Exodus, can be found in the scientific literature, suggesting that the stories should be understood in terms of highly-improbable, but still natural events such as the effects of immense volcanic eruptions. Biblical scholars are usually highly-scathing of these interpretations, suggesting that the bone of contention lies at the hermeneutical level(i.e. the different interpretative worldviews being applied to the text). This talk will outline the hermeneutical disagreement, but will also look at the wider question of what this tells us about the definition of miracle, and whether it is really helpful or even meaningful to maintain that a miracle is an impossible event. I will look at some of the alternative definitions that have been used down the centuries, and will suggest that thinking on the unity of science provides a way forward.
Period5 Apr 20188 Apr 2018
Event typeConference