Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Pierre. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!
We find by observation that the Creator, in his dealings with his creation, customarily observes certain regu-larities [sic]. These regularities we call the Laws of Nature, and the process of elucidating them we call Science.
That’s a peculiar definition of science, but let’s keep going. Pierre says:
Science is a noble activity, giving glory to God and honor to man. It gratifies man’s esthetic sense, as well as being immensely useful. Nevertheless it must be remembered that science deals with nature, and so can explain only natural events. A miracle by definition is a supernatural event.
He’s right! Science is limited because it can’t deal with miracles. Pierre tells us:
It is often said that miracles are impossible because they violate the laws of nature. This is like saying that train wrecks cannot happen because they violate the railroad timetable. [Huh?] The train wreck happens because the timetable is not being obeyed. The miracle happens because the laws of nature are not being obeyed.
A train conductor can ignore the timetable, but who — or what? — can ignore the laws of nature? Pierre explains:
For one particular occasion, God chooses to act upon his creation directly, instead of by the agency of natural law. The resulting miracle does not negate the law of nature, any more than a gubernatorial pardon negates a criminal statute. The miracle merely transcends the law of nature.
Oh. A miracle transcends the laws of nature. Yes, that explains it. He continues:
It is of course open to anyone to say, ‘miracles do not happen’. But notice that this is not a scientific state-ment [sic]. It is a theological statement. If it were a scientific statement it would be verifiable by experiment.
This is getting good! Let’s read on:
You would have to examine every event that has ever happened, classify each event as being either natural or super-natural [sic], and tabulate the results. This is obviously not possible. People who believe that miracles do not happen hold their doctrine by faith, not by reason.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! In other words, you can’t prove that miracles don’t happen, therefore they do happen. This is a classic example of shifting the Burden of proof. Wikipedia says:
When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo. This is also stated in Hitchens’s razor. Carl Sagan proposed a related criteria, the Sagan standard, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”
And now we come to the end:
One person believes in a theology that admits of miracles. Another person believes in a theology that ex-cludes [sic] miracles. Both are equally eligible to teach science classes. What matters is how well they understand their subject and how competent they are as teachers. What religion they profess is irrelevant.
Right — a miracle believer is perfectly qualified to teach science. Great letter, Pierre!
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