Casually Sufficient Reason To Believe??? Essay

914 WordsNov 18, 20084 Pages
Public Broadcasting Service’s documentary on the controversial and timeless conflict between faith and science pertaining to matters of mystical experiences and supernatural phenomena begins with the Catholic Church’s accounts of the miracles associated with Saint Januarius’ congealed blood. Januarius is revered, in Catholicism, as a patron saint of the cathedral in Naples, Italy. A highly respected bishop in the 3rd century A.D., Januarius was martyred by beheading during the era of Emperor Diocletian. Twice a year, in Naples, parade celebrations climax as church leaders showcase a vial of Januarius’ blood. If the viscous fluid liquefies during the festivities, Catholic followers regard this anomaly as an accurate indicator of fortunate events to come in the region of Naples. The scientific community, as a whole, remains astounded by this chemically improbable concept until technological advances allow professionals in the fields of organic chemistry and history to corroborate the notion of this supernaturally thixotropic compound. Through countless periods of trial and error, scientists are able to determine that quite a few chemical compounds are capable of mimicking the physical transition from solid to liquid states without excessive and overt outside forces. Given the available technology during the time in which Saint Januarius’ blood is first documented in 1389, scientists and historians rationalize that the fabrication of such a “miraculous feat” can only be the work of alchemists, who were chemically inclined to discover such compounds in their search for riches. More scientifically refined and precise methods of validating miracles are utilized in the interpretation of other phenomena associated with Christianity. In this case, the marvel under the microscope is that of the Turin shroud, believed to be the cloth wrapped around Jesus Christ during his

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