Research Round 3 - Cycle 2 - Why do miracles happen, and how do they bend the rules of science?

In this round of research, I will be focusing on the scientific aspects of miracles, such as how they can be explained and what some scientists may think. Also, I'm posting every two weeks now!

3 Miracles performed by Moses explained by science:

The Parting of the Red Sea

-It is believed that former Israelite slaves were trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea. Moses was believed to have parted the sea, and the Israelites were able to cross the dry land with the Egyptians in pursuit. The Egyptians’ chariots got stuck, and the water returned and they drowned.

-The parting of the sea is a well-known miracle, and one that seems impossible.

-The exact explanation of this miracle is:


“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and Jehovah caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.”


-Science and this miracle actually can agree-it was caused by a big wind. Carl Drews from the National Center for Atmospheric Research says that a wind of about 63 miles per hour would have been strong enough to push back the waters and leave a path, as long as it was at a crossing in the sea so that water would be pushed back on either side.


-Whether it was God that caused this wind so that they could cross the sea, or it happened to be a very strong gust of wind by coincidence, is up to each individual to decide what they believe in.

Water From a Stone


-The story goes that the Isralites were in the desert and were extremely thirsty and asked Moses for water. He struck a rock with his cane and water came out of it.


-It seems impossible-how can water come from a stone? However, soft porous limestone can actually retain a lot of water within its frame, and a sharp crack to the outer crust of the rock could release the water beneath. Limestone is actually very soluble, and the area where they were supposed to have been, Rephdim, is supposed to have a lot of porous limestone rock.


-Again, it is the individual’s choice what they believe caused this event.

The Ten Plagues


-In this miracle, Moses and his brother, Aaron, helped deliver ten plagues to the people of Egypt because the Herbrew people weren’t allowed to leave Egypt. They turned the Nile into blood, resulting in dead fish. Millions of blood-thirsty frogs then came from the river into the houses  .

-The brothers then unleashed a huge wave of gnats, lice, and flies, and then adding locusts, darkness, thunder, hail, and boils..


-Locust plagues and lice and flies can happen, but how was it all focused on that specific area only?

-Scientists believe that in the city of Pi-Rameses, the capital city of Egypt, (which was known to have been abandoned mysteriously 3,000 years ago) there was a “dramatic shift: in the climate in the area, and the thriving capital became more of a barren wasteland. The rising of temperatures would cause the Nile to dry out and become a “muddy wetland”. This would be the perfect condition for the first plage: turning the Nile into blood.

-Dr. Stephan Pflugmacher, biologist, said that the bacterium known as Burgandy Blood algae, which is to have known to have existed 3,000 years ago, multiplies largely in “slow moving warm waters with high levels of nutrition” and would turn the river red like blood.

-This would have begun the chain of events that followed-tadpoles develop from frogs faster in times of stress, so the toxic algae would have meant more prematurely mature frogs leaving the water where they lived. There would then be an overpopulation of frogs, with too little food, resulting in dead frogs. The mosquitoes, flies, and other insects would have thrived and survived as there were less of their main predators-the extra insects and flies would result in plagues five and six - the dead livestock and boils.

-A volcanic eruption on the island of Santorini, one of the biggest in human history, occurred approximately 400 miles away, spewing billions of tons of volcanic ash. It is known that this event happened within Moses’ lifespan.  The ash would have caused “weather anomalies”, leading to more precipitation and higher humidity, the perfect condition for locusts. It could also have blocked out the sunlight, which would explain the plague of darkness. Despite there not being an volcanoes in Egypt, cooled volcanic lava, now rock, has been found during excavations of Egyptian ruins. Upon analyzing it, it was found that the rock came from the Santorini volcano, providing evidence that the volcanic ash did reach Egypt. (1)


-most would believe scientists wouldn’t believe in miracles, because they defy the laws of science

-however, they could still believe in miracles with the idea that they are part of their more religious aspects of life

-but what says scientific laws are carved in stone? Science is constantly expanding, and we are learning more each day

-they are laws until proven wrong

-maybe these miracles can be encorporated into science, but we haven’t discovered this yet (2)


-sometimes, miracles are “ordinary” events with extraordinary timing

-some scientists believe in miracles with the thinking that if God created the universe, he can do what he wants with it


-the idea that we do have the laws of gravity, speed of light, etc., but God sustains the universe

-we have the ability to study science, and we cannot break the laws of science


-but God is not bound by the rules of science, and therefore can make miracles defy the laws of science


-the human desire to find stories that defy scientific explanation is due to the fact that any significant information these days has to be backed up by scientific evidence


-both miracles that completely defy the “laws of science” we know of and those who simply twist them are often known as signs snd wonders of God’s power.


-Jesus said that even if someone rises from the dead people still won’t believe it if they don’t want to

-whatever miracles occur, people can choose what they want to believe, and whether a religious, scientific, or some other type of explanation is the one they believe is what happened



For my next round of research I am thinking of looking into different points of view on miracles, such as atheists. 


Original Post

Hey Inaya,

I enjoyed reading your research this week a lot, and it was cool to see the different perspectives on each of the miracles. I was especially fascinated to learn that there is a possible scientific explanation for the Ten Plagues--amazing! For your next week of research, these sites may be useful: 
- (note: the website is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, which means the article could be biased)

Good luck, I am eager to read your next round

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