Are miracles anti-science?

At the church I pastor, I’m teaching a series about miracles.

And one of the things I sometimes hear is this: “I don’t believe in miracles because science doesn’t allow them.” Makes sense, right?


According to Michael Ruse, a respected philosopher of science, science “deals only with the natural, the repeatable, that which is governed by law.” In other words, science deals with what you can physically measure in the natural world.

Therefore, a true scientist may observe nature and conduct experiments, but isn’t really equipped, by the proper methods of scientific inquiry, to say whether God exists, or whether miracles are possible.

To say that nothing is real unless it can be measured by science is like saying a colour isn’t a colour unless it’s green. This type of thinking isn’t actual science—it’s an outlook called “scientism.”

Harvard professor Stephen Jay Gould is a celebrated evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, and historian of science. He says: “To say it for my colleagues and for the umpteenth millionth time, science simply cannot, by its legitimate methods, adjudicate the issue of God’s possible superintendence of nature. We neither affirm not deny it. We simply cannot comment on it as scientists.”

I say all this because believing God can do miraculous things doesn’t make you anti-science. It makes you open to the fact that God is actually God, and that he can intervene in the course of everyday events in the world that he himself created.

Above the door of James Clerk-Maxwell’s famous Cavendish physics laboratory was Psalm 111:2: “Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them.”

It suggests that the more we delight in God’s world, and the more we ponder it, the more we are drawn back to the incredible works of God.

…and to the very God himself who made them all in the first place.

By Matthew Ruttan

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