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Christians believe in the miracle of the virgin birth : The Holy Spirit inseminated Mary and she gave birth to Jesus Christ.
But many atheists and secular humanists also believe in a sort of miracle: the miracle of the Scientific Revolution and - later - the Enlightenment: Reason itself came down to earth and inseminated the minds of men like Galileo, Newton, Voltaire, Kant, David Hume et alii.

Why is it a miracle?
Because science and the Enlightenment, as it is often portrayed, came out of nothing. Before, there were only the dark Middle Ages, feudalism, Inquisition, religious wars, bigotry etc... and then, all of a sudden, a bolt of lightning came out of the clear sky and enlightened the men of the Enlightenment.

Yes, it must have been a miracle, because the question why Reason itself enlightened only men in Europe, but not in China, India or the Arab societies (although all of them had long and deep traditions of philosophy and other intellectual disciplines) remains without answer so far.
Or has anybody an answer?

Matias 8 June 14

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The term was created by Europeans. Many other civilizations made great progress through their scientific inventions. Their eras of progress did not always coincide with the European enlightenment but they still happened. Most of the history we read is written by Europeans therefore it is eurocentric and often leaves out or almost ignores the accomplishments of other civilizations.


I am sure that there were people with "enlightenment" ideas long before the actual enlightenment but it was dangerous to contradict the official church doctrine. it's time had come. "came out of nothing, bolt of lightening, miracle " ?. What a load of nonsense.

I have a book on my bookshelf " The Scottish enlightenment, the Scots invention of the modern world" by American Arthur Herman. I think you should get a copy and read it. You will learn a lot.


answer: "Was the Enlightenment just in Europe?" Cuz it was't.
"The Enlightenment was a sprawling intellectual, philosophical, cultural, and social movement that spread through England, France, Germany, and other parts of Europe during the 1700s."


As I said: It was only in Europe. Or do you think that Germany is in Asia ?

@Matias That would have required further investigation and I didn't have time. Oppsy. that enough?


This endless rehashing of theological based "how many needles fitting of head of pin" trivia is way beyond tiresome. Your own beloved Sam Harris has pointed out to you that in todays world agnosticism / atheism is largely a dead horse you kick, merely the pretext for intelligent men to assemble and discuss other more relevant matters. The modern radical fascist- left has activated the insane republican- fascist right, the blacks have usurped the public square for their inane handout grasping drivel, the biosphere is perishing, civilization is in collapse. Why are you terrified to talk of these matters?



The scientific revolution was definitely NOT a miracle. The progression of human thought and learning towards a logical, self-correcting, and fact-based investigation of nature emerged as a result of the evolution of a big brain with massive problem solving capacity. The scientific method evolved for reasons similar to why the brain evolved: because they both have adaptive value. They both increase the survival probabilities of individuals. And this revolution is not even complete (yet). Rates of scientific literacy are still low in many places around the world (e.g. Texas, Alabama, etc.).


“Noel Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham CH FRS FBA[1] (/ˈniːdəm/; 9 December 1900 – 24 March 1995) was a British biochemist, historian of science and sinologist known for his scientific research and writing on the history of Chinese science and technology, initiating publication of the multivolume Science and Civilisation in China. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1941, and a fellow of the British Academy in 1971. In 1992, Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him the Companionship of Honour, and the Royal Society noted he was the only living person to hold these three titles. “

Johannes Gutenberg did not invent printing in the 14th century it was invented by the Chinese in AD 700 as was many other inventions and discoveries that are claimed to be of western origin. The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC.

True. But the Chinese printing press did not change the course of history. The invention of Gutenberg did. Without it the Protestant movement would not have gathered steam so quick. The authorities partially lost control of what we would call "media" today. Dissenting voices could make themselves heard all over Europe, and so on...
The Chinese invented black powder, but only the Europeans used for weaponry - which too changed the course of history.
The point is not: Who invented something first? But: Whose invention was a breakthrough that had in impact?


The Enlightenment came out of nothing? It came out the roots of the ancient world, ancient Greece etc, the knowledge and learning, which the Christian Death Cult did its best to destroy with its faith bullshit, prevailing for a millenia, retarding western civilisation, until like a body at near death, it revived miraculously and prevailed, always fighting the toxic religious virus which, even now, seeks to destroy reason with bullshit faith. Better get your history straight friend.

You won't find a single scholar who has done some research no the history of the ideas in European history who would agree with this BS.
If Christians did everything to destroy the legacy of the ancient world: why did men like Thomas Aquinas or Albertus Magnus welcome Aristotle, calling him respectfully "the philosopher", trying everything to reconcile his thoughts with Christian doctrines? Why did Augustine and others study the Neoplatonists? What were the sources of men like William of Ockham or Duns Scotus, of Bonaventura or Nicolaus Cusanus?
Did you ever read one (!) serious book on medieval philosophy /theology?
Get some education before you regurgitate this simplistic nonsense some anti-clerical polemicists invented in the 18th and 19th centuries.

@Matias and this from a genius who says the Enlightenment came from nothing. Ok.


I learned in Anthropology there's 6 to 8 virgin births in South America most years. That's because girls give their BFs hand jobs so they can hang onto their hymen until marriage. But sometimes they don't clean their hands and then take care of themselves. Uh oh, some of those little swimmers can go the distance.

mischl Level 8 June 15, 2022

How much of a miracle is it when other Gods came into being in the same way? i.e. Horus comes to mind.


Nobody gave birth to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the name we know and "Christ" or Christos means "the anointed one." Jesus or Yeshua means "to deliver or to rescue." We use the names together often but the word Christ is a title and not a name.


Nothing comes from nothing. The Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment had their precursors, which included a number of Catholic theologian philosophers, and the rediscovery of Greek philosophy and mathematics as well as science from the Arab world and Persia.

Congratulations ! You really include "a number of Catholic theologian philosophers" as precursors of the Enlightenment.

@Matias Thank you! I would be remiss were I to fail to recognize the influence on philosophy, logic and ethics of people like Augustine, Aquinas and Abelard, to name three examples.


You are still on this superiority of the white male European screed?

No. That must be your obsession. You're barking up the wrong tree.

@Matias Well, rational people know your racist, white nationalist tree has borne bitter fruit for at least a hundred years.
I'll piss on it instead.

@BufftonBeotch Tell me please : why don't your block or ignore such a racist white supremacist nationalist pig?
Edit: If you had some education, you could have mentioned the Arab influence on the evolution of European science, philosophy etc... And yes, that's correct: we owe a lot to the Arabs (a 'confession' you won't hear often from white supremacists)

@Matias I very rarely block people unless they directly threaten me, start to look up and post my personal information, and/or start to harass my friends. Also spammers with marketing scams.


This is kinda stupid. Science breakthroughs came through trial and error. And just travelled better through Europe because of established trade networks. China had many science breakthroughs but kinda kept them to themselves. As did the Arab land. Our number system is Arabic.

antman Level 7 June 14, 2022

Really Matias , I think you must be getting very desperate for something to post. That is a very silly strawman view of the common secular view of history.

Do you really think that most, "atheists and secular humanists", imagine that the enlightenment suddenly appeared, as a bolt of lightening out of the blue in the Renaissance, and have no knowledge at all of the contributions made by, medieval Jewish and Islamic scholars or of the effects of Indian Mathematics on the medieval world, of the partial survival of classical philosophy through the middle ages, the effects of the printing press and the fact that technical advances even small ones, can bring rapid increases in knowledge , which bring more knowledge in a feedback loop. Plus the mind widening benefits of increasing trade and travel. Or even that it is possible that atheists believe in miracles, and would not look for secular causes, and assume they could be found, even if they lacked personal knowledge of the historical details.

This is very silly , but all credit to you for not caring about looking clownish, in the name of being contentious. Every group needs one.

Your comment is very close to being insulting.
I could return the favor, but I prefer to prefer to stick to standards of civil discourse.
You must probably be very desperate.
If you cannot stand a dissenting voice like me, you should probably block or ignore me.

@Matias It is not intended to be insulting, and your posts are often very good, so I have no intention of blocking you.The dissent is not anything to me, my comment was just about the poor quality of the dissent which is far below your normal standards.

No, @Fernapple is right on the money, as usual, @Matias

@David1955 ........... meanwhile, while you fools pulverize this empty drivel into a fine paste, the floyd-george insanity continues o wreak havoc with the here and now

@David1955 ....thus, the voice of the click of the right deviationists.


She was actually suffering from hermaphroditism!!!

Which could explain the so call virgin birth!!!

All in all the most likely and the most promising answers to the obviously benign question which would even be considered a miracle in this day and age!!!

That is why she was obviously a virgin!!!

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