On miracles


A friend asked, “What about the miracle of birth?”

I would say: And growth and death? And the wings of  butterflies and the trunks of elephants?
My friend, I am sure you will agree that if we use the word miracle to describe the birth of a baby – which, for sure is a wondrous event, full of unforeseen and unforeseeable potential – then, of course every biochemical balance that sustains life for a stretch of time is a miracle.
Indeed, the whole universe dancing to the the symphony of physical laws is a miracle.
That we can communicate via keyboards and monitors is no less a (human-done) miracle.
All this is valid in the language of poetry, but I am not sure it is a universally accepted use of the term miracle for every childbirth which is  more commonplace than the common cold, and becoming (as per demographers) more frequent than desirable, and some of which are downright depressing (I have in mind physically and mentally deformed infants).
So, yes, there are magnificent things and wonderful events in this universe, but maybe we should call them just that, and confine the word miracle  to its conventional meaning: an unusually blatant and inexplicable violation of a very well established law of nature that defies all rational understanding.
To me, that people believe such things can happen is a great miracle indeed, but only in the metaphorical sense of the word.

May 10, 2010

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About Varadaraja V. Raman

Physicist, philosopher, explorer of ideas, bridge-builder, devotee of Modern Science and Enlightenment, respecter of whatever is good and noble in religious traditions as well as in secular humanism,versifier and humorist, public speaker, dreamer of inter-cultural,international,inter-religious peace.
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