Considering Scientific vs. Pseudoscientific World Views
With genuine science, a standardized process of investigation is followed:
1. Start with evidence/data and develop a theory that explains the data.
2. Perform research to test the theory.
3. If the results do not support the theory, discard the theory and find another one that explains the data.
4. Repeat until you find no results that contradict your theory.
What if there is scientific proof for miracles and God is the best theory? Can scientists, academics and faithful people outside the Catholic Church set aside their biases to look at the scientific evidence with an open mind?
Can the scientific process and investigation be applied to the claims of miracles? Are there even such things as real miracles? Not the tele-evangelist kind of miracles. Not just stories of miracles on youtube or in the new age section of the bookstore. Documented miracles. Miracles witnessed by hundreds or thousands of eyewitnesses. Miracles put to the test of scientific scrutiny. Miracles that no one is getting rich off of.
Otherswise believe for the very works’ sake. He that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do (John 14:12). What does this Bible passage in John 14:12 mean?
Even aside from the resurrection, Jesus did some pretty amazing things… raising the dead, walking on water, turning water into wine. If believers were to do works even greater than these then where do we find them? The Catholic church. It’s like God has rented a big bold flashing neon sign saying look here! This is My church. This is the church I founded. Look here for the answers you seek.
Below are some examples of miracles that have passed scientific scrutiny as well as the process the Church uses before endorsing a miracle. Not only are the miracles examined scientifically, but the spiritual “fruits” are also examined with a critical lens before they are proclaimed “worthy of belief.”
New Evidence for the Resurrection Found in the Shroud of Turin:
Science Tests Faith (1:05): A documentary type presentation where various miraculous events are investigated by skeptical journalists, attorneys, and medical professionals and forensic pathologists. This is a MUST see. This video was pivotal in my conversion. If you watch only one video on this whole website, I hope it’s this one.
And here are two books from Ron and his team of researchers… scientific investigations into crying statues, stigmata, Eucharistic miracles, apparitions and more. I LOVE both of these books. As I said before, It’s like God has rented a big bold flashing neon sign saying look here! This is My church. This is the church I founded. Look here for the answers you seek.
Amazing Modern Miracles: In this presentation, Robert Haddad outlines many miracles that have occurred in the past, including in very recent times, which verify specific teachings of the Christian faith. These include Eucharistic miracles, miracles relating to the apparitions of Lourdes and Fatima, miraculous images, incorrupt bodies, stigmata, etc. All these miracles have been verified by science, medicine, or both.
The Incorruptibles: According to the laws of nature, when a person dies the body decays, becoming corrupt and withering away. But there are Saints in the Catholic Tradition whose bodies have defied all laws of science and have been preserved in ways which do not concur with the natural law. Again, this is like God renting a big neon sign saying that these are the people who got it right.
How the Catholic Church Validates Medical Miracles: “Whenever the church finds a miracle that can be used for canonization, it’s sort of a miracle in and of itself because the criteria are so strict.” -Michael O’Neill, The Miracle Hunter
The Mingling of Faith and Reason: Miracles and the Catholic Church: As a medical doctor and professor at Queen’s University, Dr. Jacalyn Duffin has an interesting CV. Her specialty? Miracles. In her career, Dr. Duffin has surveyed more than 1,400 miracles pertaining to 229 different canonizations and 145 beatifications from 1588 to 1999. In this edition of Catholic Focus, host Jenna Murphy will examine the place of miracles in the Church and their impact on the lives of those affected by them.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Documentary – Amazing Scientific Evidence: December 1531, Mexico. The Virgin Mary appears to an Indian humble peasant, but nobody believes in him. On Her request, the Indian wraps in his “tilma” some Castilian roses, mysteriously flowered on a bared scree. In front of the Bishop, he opens the cap discovering the miracle: the image of the Virgin is impressed upon it. The image is extraordinarily real. The results of the analysis are amazing. In the Virgin’s eyes, the 13 figures who witnessed the miracle are visible. The stars on her cloak are positioned exactly as they were in the miracle’s day (12.12.1531). The painting technique used is unknown. The colors keep intact, the cloth is uncorrupted.
The Miracles of Lourdes: The story of Lourdes and the associated healings that meet the church’s strict criteria for miracles (serious documented illnesses that are instantly and completely cured with no possible scientific explanation).
The Miracle of the Sun: This video discusses the evidence and secular documentation of the “Miracle of the Sun” which occurred Oct 13, 1917, in Fatima Portugal:
Miracles in Other Religions? Tim Staples addresses the rate and extremity of the miracles that occur in the Catholic Church vs other religions. He also discusses the extreme caution that the Church uses in approving the miraculous.
Miracles Explained: Below is a long video, but there are many great parts. Minute 9 discusses the power of the devil and false miracles. It starts slow, but minute 15 discusses how to discern if a miracle is from God, differentiating between the natural world (which follows the natural law), preternatural world (where angels and demons can operate) and supernatural realm (where only God can operate). Minutes 22-45 explores various Miracles that have stood up to the test of science.
Tears from Heaven: A weeping statue is a statue which has been claimed to be shedding tears or weeping by supernatural means. Statues weeping tears of a substance which appears to be blood, oil, and scented liquids have all been reported. While it is true, sadly some have been deliberate hoaxes, these have been exposed as such by the Catholic Church. Investigations today often include tests of blood and tears to discover if real human blood and tears, as well as scans, performed to reveal if a hoax is taking place. Side Note: Catholics do not worship statues. Anyone who perceives that man-made objects are worshiped is either misled or speaking out of malice or ignorance. Statues and other man-made objects are made every day, all over the world. It seems only religious ones weep. Religious statues and paintings act as a photograph of a loved one, kept as something precious because of the love a person has for the loved one in a photograph.
The Miracles of Lourdes: Thousands and thousands of miracles have been reported from Lourdes pilgrims, but less than 100 have been acknowledged by the Church due to the extremely stringent criteria for validating them. This is the story of both official and unofficial miracles of Lourdes.
More Articles and Resources:
Historical Evidence of Jesus’ Resurrection: N.T. Wright, Robert Spitzer and more: For many scholars, the resurrection is the central proof that Jesus is God. In this article, Father Spitzer probes the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection by looking at several key areas through the lens of historical criteria.
Shroud of Turin In this video presentation on the Shroud of Turin Father Spitzer points out a significant flaw in the 1988 carbon testing that dated the origin of the Shroud to the middle ages. He then discusses new scientific data that strongly suggests that not only is the Shroud a first-century artifact but quite possibly a relic of the resurrection.
Historical Evidence of Jesus’ Miracles: Three historical events convinced the early Church that Jesus was not only the Messiah but also who He said He was—the exclusive Son of the Father. One of these was the working of miracles. Robert Spitzer argues that there is substantial evidence supporting these events.
Science and the Shroud of Turin: The Shroud of Turin is a burial shroud (a linen cloth woven in a 3-over 1 herringbone pattern) measuring 14 ft. 3 inches in length by 3 ft. 7 inches in width. It apparently covered a man who suffered the wounds of crucifixion in a way very similar to Jesus of Nazareth.
The Gift of Miracles In this article by Tim Staples, he claims that some of the greatest gifts God has given to the Church for evangelism are the gifts of miracles. As a Pentecostal, before he became Catholic, he believed God still performs miracles, but I never saw anything close to what Catholics too often take for granted in both the number and kind of miracles God pours out upon his Church in every generation.
The Miracle Hunter website by Michael O’Neill. Throughout the ages, there have been innumerable reports of miracles including the appearances of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, saints, and angels. These apparitions have come in many forms and have been witnessed by a wide variety of people: men and women, children and adults, Christian saints and atheists. People from all corners of the globe have made claims to have experienced the occurrence of miracles. Tour this website to learn how these miracles have influenced human history and the science that has gone into investigating them.
Contemporary, Scientifically Validated Miracles: The Church is fastidious when it comes to validating miracles, and leaves no stone unturned. In this article, Fr. Spitzer discusses some of the most remarkable and scientifically validated contemporary miracles, including appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary, intercessions of Catholic saints, and miracles associated with the Holy Eucharist.
The Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe: The mysterious image of Our Lady of Guadalupe has been the subject of numerous technical studies since 1751 and extensive scientific investigations in recent years, and none of the result offered any sound scientific explanation which, up to this very day, defies science and all human reasoning as it continues to baffle scientists and even skeptics. This website reviews some of the findings that were drawn from the scientific investigations conducted on the image and the fabric itself which were commissioned by the authorized custodians of the Tilma in the Basilica, and in every case, the investigators had direct and unobstructed access to it:
The Miraculous Staircase of St. Joseph This is the miraculous staircase of Saint Joseph at Loretto Chapel in Santa Fé, New Mexico. U.S.A., which, after 134 years since it was built in 1878, still confounds architects, engineers, and master craftsmen in the physics of its construction and remains inexplicable in view of its baffling design considerations. The unusual helix shaped spiral staircase has two complete 360° turns, stands 20 feet high up to the choir loft and has no newel (center pole) to support it as most circular stairways have. Its entire weight rests solely on its base and against the choir loft – a mystery that defies all laws of gravity, it should have crashed to the floor the moment anyone stepped on it, and yet it is still in use daily for over a hundred years. The risers of the 33 steps are all of the same height. Made of an apparently extinct wood species, it was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails.
List of Approved Miracles at Lourdes by the Miracle Hunter. In 1859, Professor Vergez of the Faculty of Medicine at Montpellier was appointed to examine the alleged cures associated with Lourdes, France. Almost 7,000 cures have been documented at the waters of Lourdes. The Church has vigorously investigated and validated a mere 67 of them.
Whether you believe in miracles or not, there is an enormous amount of documentation for seemingly inexplicable events over the centuries that many people believe to be the work of God Himself. This list is comprised of ten of the most interesting of these cases. The author claims the list is partly in response to the numerous people who have emailed him complaining of an atheistic bias on the site.
Top 10 Incorrupt Corpses by JAMIE FRATER from Listverse.com. Throughout the years the Roman Catholic Church has found the bodies of some of their saints to be incorrupt. When this happens, the body is often put on display (quite often they are put inside a Church altar with a glass front). This is a list of the most famous incorrupt saints.
5 Extraordinary Eucharistic Miracles that Left Physical Evidence (With Pictures!) Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is really, truly, and substantially present in the Eucharist. There are many stories of miracles throughout Church history that seem to confirm this teaching.
Amazing Coincidence or Proof? All Major Relics of Christ Have the Same Blood Type: Since its earliest inception, many have been intensely skeptical of the Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence. However, over the centuries there have been many reports and accounts of the Host miraculously turning into physical flesh and blood. When studies were performed on these miraculous Hosts, along with relics of Christ, an astonishing discovery was made – the same blood type was found every time – type AB.
Between flesh and bread: The autopsy of a Eucharistic miracle: Scientists have proven the existence of human tissue in many Eucharistic miracles. Their findings are part of an exhibition in Rome. In his research, Dr. Pawel Skibinski, noted that in the majority of cases these miracles occur in a similar context: either the celebrant had doubts about the Real Presence, or the offerings were mistreated (stolen, thrown away, abandoned or forgotten). In most cases, scientists succeeded in proving the existence of a sample of heart muscle. The investigation of the Eucharistic miracles also revealed the state of agony of the pieces of flesh: that is to say that the human tissue had not undergone necrosis but remained at an intermediate stage between life and decomposition.
5 Incredible Eucharistic Miracles from the last 25 Years Theology and scripture put aside, some of the most compelling pieces of evidence are when the Eucharist has quite literally changed into Jesus’ body and blood. It’s happened throughout history but as we can often be skeptical of events that happened long ago here we have compiled a list of Eucharist miracles, all of which happened in the last 25 years! For more comprehensive studies and a much larger list, check out this resource.
The Eucharistic Miracle of Sokolka: The Host is Tissue from a Dying Man: Laboratory analyses confirm that the structure of the cardiac muscle fibers and the structure of the bread are intertwined in a way impossible to reproduce by human means.
The Shroud of Turin, Authenticated Again: A study released in early 2016 included new evidence that links and further authenticate two holy relics that millions of Christians believe offer physical proof of the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Miracles of the Eucharist -Eucharistic miracles of Santarem, Amsterdam and Offida: The Miracles of the Church website is devoted to the extraordinary miracles that have occurred in the Catholic Church throughout the centuries including miracles of the Eucharist, miracles through the intercession of the Saints, blood miracles, incorruptible bodies of the Saints, the crucifix of Limpias-Jesus comes alive, miracles during the appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary and many others.
7 Modern Miracles That Science Can’t Explain: Many Christians have given up believing in miracles. For them, the age of miracles belongs to the early church, when awe-inspiring events—like Moses parting the red sea, the virgin birth, and Jesus rising from the dead—confirmed the authenticity and divine nature of God and Jesus. But just because we don’t see phenomena of biblical proportions occurring today does not mean that God has left the business of miracles. From second chances at life to scientifically unexplained mysteries, these real-life stories are powerful reminders that God is at work in modern times, and that we must never give up hope and faith… [read more]
This Protestant Researched Marian Miracles & What He Learned Blew His Mind: Satan cannot drive out Satan. A house, or a kingdom, cannot be divided against itself. The synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record a profound event in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. After healing a demon-possessed man, Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees, the pious religious leaders of the time, who question what authority Jesus has to cast out demons. They suggest, since Jesus certainly can’t possibly be working through the power of God, that it must be Satan, the devil, that’s given Him the power to drive out the demonic. I think it’s safe to say that Jesus’s profound theological observation—that Satan can’t work against himself—can be applied to the context of modern-day miracles as well. Marian miracles – and there are scores and scores of them – do not lead well-meaning people away from Christ, towards Mary. The Marian miracles lead millions to Christ. And that can’t be the work of Satan… [read more]
Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts: Most modern prejudice against biblical miracle reports depends on David Hume’s argument that uniform human experience precluded miracles. Yet current research shows that human experience is far from uniform. In fact, hundreds of millions of people today claim to have experienced miracles. New Testament scholar Craig Keener argues that it is time to rethink Hume’s argument in light of the contemporary evidence available to us. This wide-ranging and meticulously researched two-volume study presents the most thorough current defense of the credibility of the miracle reports in the Gospels and Acts. Drawing on claims from a range of global cultures and taking a multidisciplinary approach to the topic, Keener suggests that many miracle accounts throughout history and from contemporary times are best explained as genuine divine acts, lending credence to the biblical miracle reports.
Reading List: Below are a few books from reputable authors know for accuracy in their research. I list them because they have been influential in my path. I have no affiliate relationship and do not get paid for promoting them here.