Is the Supernatural Impossible?
(Arthur C.) Clarke’s Third Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
When I talk to individuals who do not believe in God or even “a god,” often the first objection they provide to me is that it is not possible for supernatural events or miracles to take place. I’d like to look at this in more detail.
To start off this discussion I’d like to introduce two concepts
Concept 1: SAT
Let’s introduce the concept of a group of beings with Arthur C Clarke’s Sufficiently Advanced Technology (SAT). Now I’m not promoting any sort of Erick Von Danikan theology here. Just stating a possibility. I feel comfortable doing this, because if I am discussing the concept of the supernatural with you and you don’t believe in it, then by necessity you must believe in Evolution. So, if it is given that you believe in evolution, you then have to admit that due to existence of billions and billions of stars and years, you must allow that somewhere out there, there is a rational non-zero possibility that there exists a race of advanced beings. Advanced in the sense that their technology is far advanced than ours i.e. they have Sufficiently Advanced Technology. You cannot eliminate them as a possibility. You cannot conclusively say they do not exist. The very fact that you believe in Evolution, forces you to admit that it is indeed statistically POSSIBLE for another race to be out there that started evolving before we did, or that has evolved faster than we did. For you to disagree with this possibility would be for you to have to disagree with evolution. Because it is impossible for you to say that it could ONLY happen once or that it could only happen the way it did happen here on earth. In fact Richard Dawkins recently admitted that this was what he believed happened to create life on earth (thus avoiding abiogenesis, at least for our race).
Concept 2: Multidimensionality
The second concept is the concept of extra-natural dimensions. For “natural” I intend to imply the 4 dimensions that most Atheists maintain are the limits of accepted natural science. Height; Length; Width and Time. Things that are currently physically measurable. I hope this is not a strawman as I’ve had these sort of statements made to me many times by atheists.
However, as I mentioned in my debate at the Commonwealth Club against Eugenie Scott and Eric Rothschild (the Lawyer who won the Dover case against Intelligent Design being mentioned in Schools), if you limit science to only 4 dimensions and any sort of extra dimensional activity as superstitious religious claptrap, you are then making a statement that the few thousand papers and the tens of thousands of attendees at String Theory conferences that postulate almost 26 dimensions are all written and attended by religion freaks.
Physics regularly postulates multidimensionality, and just moments after the Big Bang we can calculate that there were at least 10 dimensions if not 26. All but 4 of the dimensions have disappeared to our senses. But they are possibly out there, and string theory postulates that we can one day interact with them.
So the atheist that says there is nothing else real out there but what we can touch, taste, feel, hear, smell, or measure has just dug himself into a hole. (Not to mention ignored mathematical concepts completely).
Obviously, things that take place outside the realm of the 4 dimensions are not impossible, nor are they inconceivable or limited to religious fundamentalist wackos like me.
So given that introduction to expand the readers horizons and keeping in mind the “Super Intelligent race with Sufficiently Advanced Technology” let’s look at some of the miracles of Jesus and see if they are indeed “impossible”.
Let us start with some of the more generic healings that are claimed to have been done by Jesus. Could some of the healings affected by Jesus have in fact have been achieved by a modern medical doctor with modern technology? For example a blind man could have his corneas removed or vaporized to heal him from glaucoma. A paralytic could be administered to with a bone healing/growing stimulator or a spinal column growth stimulator. A manic could be given a direct infusion of medicines or herbs that would be Prozac or Lithium equivalents.
Of course your next two questions are going to be:
Q1. How did Jesus do this with no apparent equipment or drugs?
Q2. How did Jesus gain access to this technology?
Let’s answer the first one before moving on:
A1. Surely our beings with SAT could create nanobots that were virtually invisible and yet achieve the intended purpose even to the point of being able to administer drugs directly to the location that needed them.
A2. The question about Jesus having access to this technology will be addressed shortly.
Now let us move on to other sorts of miracles.
How about the feeding of the 5000? An individual with “SAT” could seemingly create food out of nothing if he had the technology that allows matter replication/conversion, where the very air molecules are taken and converted into new elements (all you need is lots of energy, perhaps a micro fission unit). Now it’s a given that we today do not have this technology, but one could theorize that one day we may. Think of it as a nanobot food replicator.
The point I am trying to argue is that it IS indeed possible for this to be the case. True, there is no hard evidence that such a race of beings exist, or of their abilities to create a miniature self powered food replicator. But the goal here is not to prove that Jesus did it., but that it is conceptually possible, it is physically possible and it is certainly possible within the realm of logic and science. Whether Jesus really did it or not is a case for a different discussion (and a valid case needs to be made for that as well, we cannot ignore that).
Now you’ll note that I have not yet even delved into the multi-dimensional aspect. So let’s do so. Consider the miracle of Jesus showing up in the locked upper room. The claim is that after the resurrection, the apostles are huddled in the upper room with the doors locked and all of sudden Jesus shows up.
Well it would be peanuts for a multi-dimensional being to hop over the 3 physical dimensions into a 5th dimension and into the room. The same way a 3D being would hop over a 2D prison (a drawing of a box) and suddenly appear inside the 2D prison. Can’t be done, you say? Physics says it maybe feasible. Ever hear of a wormhole? OK OK you argue no one could survive the journey through the wormhole? Are you sure? Is it impossible? Or just improbable. What if they had a very SAT spaceship or transparent spacesuit? You get the point.
So are miracles impossible?
Obviously, we now see that if you believe in Evolution you must admit it is POSSIBLE for beings with SAT to exist. And if beings with SAT could exist it, is possible that one of them showed up 2000 years ago and we decided to kill him. And this is the answer to Q2 above. “Q2. How did Jesus gain access to this technology?” He could have been a being with SAT.
The question now becomes not “Is it POSSIBLE for Supernatural events to occur?” but “Is it PROBABLE for Supernatural events to occur?” We can agree that it is possible now.
And strangely, the atheist has some common ground with this proposition on the probability issue. When you argue against the probability issue, an atheist is arguing against himself if he argues against this. For we all know that the probability of ab
iogenesis (life from no life) and evolution are very very very low, yet atheists believe they occurred. So why not this then?
Now I should clarify, I certainly do NOT think Jesus was a being with SAT. I just want to dissuade rational thinking people from assuming that it is NOT possible. I personally think that the science of the Big Bang shows that it is more rational to believe in an extra-dimensional non-mechanistic freewill that is powerful enough to create a universe, knowledgeable enough to fine tune the universe and able to move independently through the multiple dimensions (see Who was Agent X for the evidence for this). And once we realize that it’s more rational to believe in this first cause, surely we see the obviousness that this first cause would have the ability to manipulate molecules and bring about “supernatural miracles.”
Just some personal thoughts, I could be wrong of course, I have been wrong in the past after all.
Note: At no point am I postulating that this Being is able to do that which is actually impossible. E.g. making 1+1 = 3. If this confuses you then keep checking this blog, we’ll eventually clarify the difference between what is actually impossible and what is supernatural, in more detail.