miracle

 

a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.  (OED)

 

an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws and is hence thought to be due to a supernatural cause…  (Web. New World Coll. Dict.)

[Coloring, ours]

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From the early 17th century, John Donne injects the notion of frequency and singularity into understanding this word.

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According to the poet John Donne¹:

There is nothing that God hath established in a constant cause of nature, and which is done every day, but would seem a miracle, and exercise our imagination, if it were done but once…”

Typically, miracle is construed as an antithesis to science and rationality. But a deeper look may suggest that this also may be an oversimplification. Stepping back, the regular results of science as a whole may seem a miracle “done but once” in our moment of time.

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¹ John Donne (1572-1631) was a poet, politician, clergyman, and dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral who is still admired and quoted by modern writers (e.g. Hemingway, Sylvia Plath). This quote by Donne was taken from Dinesh D’Souza’s, Godforsaken (Tyndale House, 2010).