Swinburne on Miracles

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What does Swinburne mean when he is defining natural laws and universal truth?

In my revision guide i quote from Swinburne:

"I have defended belief in miracles in several recent works. I argue that it is important to be clear about what the laws of nature are. They are not necessarily fixed truths. Many of the scientific laws we adopt, such as Kepler's law on planetary motion and quantum theory, are merely statistical laws - they tell us what will almost certainly happen, but the individual particles in question are all behaving randomly. In my Concept of Miracle, I said that 'One much distinguish between a formula being a law and a formula being (universally) true, being a law which holds without exception"

Could anyone perhaps given an example? I'm not sure whether Swinburne is trying to say that miracles cannot be reduced to statistical data or that even though we have formulas, they all produce individual results based on the situation, (for example, the weight of something affects the speed at which something will travel) or that formulas can sometimes be unreliable especially if something acts differently than how we would expect? which is the antithesis of a universal law which is ALWAYS true regardless of the situation, could someone verify this or am i looking at it too deeply?


Posted Tue 11th December, 2012 @ 14:23 by Charlotte Harrison
Edited by Charlotte Harrison on Tue 11th December, 2012 @ 14:26