Stacy Trasancos Talks to Live Science About the Virgin Birth

Sez she:

Thought you might be interested in this. I was asked about belief in the Virgin Birth on a popular science blog, LiveScience.

It’s cool that a site like that represented my views accurately, especially the part at the end.

http://stacytrasancos.com/livescience-asked-believe/

http://www.livescience.com/42175-virgin-birth-why-we-believe.html?cmpid=556092

The author also mentioned my book, Science Was Born of Christianity. All of the royalties are going to help a single mother, US military veteran in need.

In Christ,
Stacy Trasancos

Editor-in-Chief, Ignitum Today

Editor-in-Chief, Catholic Stand

When people tell me “The Virgin Birth is scientifically impossible!” I’m always tempted to say, “I know, right?  It would take a miracle for that to happen!”

The trouble is that people who say that never get my sense of humor.

Anybody who appeals to “scientific law” to argue that miracles cannot happen is like somebody who says that his expertise in Constitutional law definitively proves that there are no such things as revolutions or a dinosaur at the end of the Cretaceous assuring us that the consistent experience of his fellow tyrannosaurs for the past several million years conclusively demonstrates that asteroids cannot affect dinosaurs in the slightest.

“Scientific law” is another term for “the habits of God”.  If he chooses to amend “scientific law” in the case of the Incarnation… well, God under carefully controlled laboratory conditions can do whatever he likes.  Deal with it.

  • Liam

    A while back you linked to a Mike Flynn article that said the “habits of God” idea was a Muslim one, and that Christianity was distinct because of our belief in secondary causation.

    • chezami

      I think you misread it.

      • Liam

        I reread the relevant part Summa origins scientiaruum: Articulus 3 and I think I see your point. Al-Ghazali said recurring effects were merely the habits of God. I overlooked the merely part. So secondary causation does not exclude God’s habits, it adds the dimension of a covenant to them. Is that more on track? My first question was how do you keep a covenant with someone before they are born, but then I thought about the decisions I made in adolescence and young adulthood in preparation for having children. It does speak to God as Father, an understanding which Muslims reject.

  • Ye Olde Statistician

    The Christians added to the idea of “habits” of God that “God is true to his promises,” and thus the laws of nature (how natures interact with one another) will be consistent. E.g.,

    It is therefore, causally that Scripture has said that earth brought forth the crops and trees, in the sense that it received the power of bringing them forth. In the earth from the beginning, in what I might call the roots of time, God created what was to be in times to come.
    – St. Augustine of Hippo, On the literal meanings of Genesis, Book V Ch. 4:11

    Nature is nothing but the plan of some art, namely a divine one, put into things themselves, by which those things move towards a concrete end: as if the man who builds up a ship could give to the pieces of wood that they could move by themselves to produce the form of the ship.
    – St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Physics II.8, lecture 14, no. 268

    In studying nature we have not to inquire how God the Creator may, as He freely wills, use His creatures to work miracles and thereby show forth His power; we have rather to inquire what Nature with its immanent causes can naturally bring to pass.
    – St. Albertus Magnus, On vegetables and plants

    Just as an author may violate the “laws of grammar” and have his characters talk like they ain’t got no larnin’. God as author of the “laws of nature” may suspend them for salvific reasons. But if these were not rare events, then they wouldn’t be mirabilia, a term which means “marvels.” In fact, a miracle need not violate a law of nature at all:

    We marvel at something when, seeing an effect, we do not know the cause. And since one and the same cause is at times known to certain people and not to others, it happens that some marvel and some do not.
    – St. Thomas Aquinas, On the truth of the catholic faith against the gentiles

    It is this notion that God has bound himself to act toward us in a certain way that allowed the emergence of the idea of natural laws, including the natural moral law.

    • capaxdei

      And of course it isn’t as though there’s any hardship in God keeping His promises, like someone who woke up in Vegas to find he’d created the cosmos. Creation is a reflection of God, Who eternally begets His own Logos; creation reflects the perfect ordering and intellect of God, and is governed by His perfect providence.

      “Eternal” and “capricious” are contradictory terms. That’s true of God’s miracles as well as His natural creation; they are only marvels to those who don’t know His plan and didn’t anticipate how the miracles would contribute to its realization.

  • James M

    The Virginal Conception and Birth has nothing to do with science, for crying out loud :doorheadbutt: :doorheadbutt: :doorheadbutt: Science could not be more irrelevant to the VC&B – or to any other miracle, for that matter.

    ““Scientific law” is another term for “the habits of God””

    ## Explain, please.

    “If he chooses to amend “scientific law” in the case of the Incarnation… well, God under carefully controlled laboratory conditions can do whatever he likes.””

    ## That is horrible theology.

    • chezami

      Dude. Lighten up.

  • Dr. Eric

    I violated Dr. Eric’s Law, I read the comments. (smacks forehead)

  • James Scott

    +J.M.J+

    Parthenogenesis does exist in some lower species of animals, and I’ve sometimes wondered how that might relate to this question. Granted, there’s no evidence of parthenogenesis occurring naturally in humans as it does in, say, some species of lizards. Also, I’m certainly *not* claiming that the virginal conception of Christ came about by that process; it was a miracle of God.

    Yet parthenogenesis shows that it’s not utterly unheard of and unthinkable that offspring could be produced by a mother alone, even in many species that typically reproduce sexually. If the Creator built that natural mechanism into some animal species, then is it so hard to believe that He could miraculously cause the virginal conception of Jesus as well? He knows how reproduction works better than we do.

    (EDIT: This is Rosemarie again. I forgot my husband was logged in here.)

    • Eve Fisher

      I remember reading years ago – in a scientific article – that the odds of a human parthenogenesis were extremely slim, but there. The only thing is that a naturally occurring virgin birth (!) would result in a baby girl, because, well, that’s all the chromosomes there are. So the real miracle is the baby boy, just as it says in Isaiah 9:6! Merry Christmas!

  • Mr Biscuit

    Anything that happens once and only once cannot be studied scientifically. it’s all part of the variance calculation for a data sample. A singular data point may not be reproducible, therefore falls out of the realm of science.

  • Elmwood

    If Jesus took flesh from the Virgin Mary, where did Jesus get his Y chromosome from? Given the Y chromosome is passed down along the patrilineal line, God had to create it from nothing.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      He could have altered one of the X chromosomes into a Y.

      Some spiritual writers have suggested that God made Jesus physically resemble St. Joseph, even though he was not His biological father. I could speculate on what kind of genetic manipulation that might entail, but I’m a little reticent to say too much on this topic because I think it is one of those areas “where angels fear to tread.” Suffice it to say that Mary conceived without the seed of a man and that the Creator knows human genetics perfectly so if He wanted to produce a Y chromosome to make Christ a true male He could certainly do that.


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