Magicians, Miracles and The Conservation Law of Matter

Wed, 16 Dec 2015 Source: Seshie, Stanley

By Stanley Seshie

We have all heard of the claims of Spiritualists making objects appear

from, and disappear into nothingness from the ancient, and even in our

present world at traditional festivals and some cinema halls. For

instance, coins, toffees suddenly appearing behind someones's ear, egg

from a man's anus, live rabbits from an empty hat, changing a walking

stick into snake, water into wine, food falling from sky, and so on.

Others include human beings or snakes vomiting money. These and many

more claims. There are people claiming to have witness them. They call

such "events" miracle, which certainly means a believed God answering

the prayer petitions of man.

Yet, whilst Nature is probably self-sufficient, it is certainly

lawful. One of the fundamental laws telling us how Nature behaves is

the conservation law of Matter. An elucidation of this law should

reveal the crux of the claims of "events" called miracle. The

conservation law of Matter states that, Matter is neither created nor

destroyed. This means in the interactions of Matter, it can only be

transformed from one form to another. Yes, but more importantly, the

transformation does not produce anything that is already not part of

the transformed substances. Whatever that is produced is just a

rearrangement of the already present substances. Read that again. Do

your best to extract its meaning as few examples from the everyday

world would helps to drum it home for appreciation, if not

understanding of its pervasiveness and inviolability.

We all eat. Every food is prepared from its ingredients. When you

begin with the ingredients of preparing a particular food, say banku,

you end up producing so in whatever quantities that the ingredients

can. You cannot set out to prepare jollof rice, therefore mixing all

the ingredients on the fire and then end up having fufu or kenkey

because you were praying to the believed Creator of the ingredients

sold on the market. This is impossible. Note, the substances or

ingredients themselves dictate the impossiblity.

As a result, the fervent prayer of the Cook is intrinsically

irrelevant to what the food will be finally. Faith in prayer cannot

change that. The believed God cannot either. Again, the substances or

ingredients themselves dictate the impossibility. Do you really

believe that the Cook who sets out to prepare okro soup with its

ingredients on fire can start praying to a supposedly believed God and

the prepared food would become groundnut soup instead of okro soup?

Let us look at another dramatic example. An uncontrollable blazing

fire engulfed an entire house, institutions, markets, student halls,

hostel, dormitories and offices. Everything caught up in the inferno

reduces to ashses. Yes, into ashes. The ashes are the transformed

forms of all materials present in that house, markets, office, and

hostels. None of the materials disappeared into nothingness. They are

there but in a different form. With the entire emotional trauma of

wailing and intense angush, which these inferno scenarios evoke in us

in terms of destructions of human lives and properties, nevertheless

there is no violation of the conservation law of Matter as everything

reduces into ashes. If these kitchen and inferno examples are clear to

you about the inviolability of the conservation of Matter, then

examine the "events" called miracles in the light of this law and

deduce whether the claims are true or false as well as factual or

wishful thinking.

The claimed transformations; changing walking stick into snake,

changing water into wine, rabbits from empty hat, food "raining" from

sky, coins and toffees appearing suddenly from someones's ear, human

beings or snakes vomiting money all certainly through prayer to a

believed God involves and are about Matter. Since and once it is about

Matter, nothing that is not part of the substance can never come out

of the substance. So says Nature through the conservation law.

Therefore, all these claims called miracle are in principle and in

practice impossible as the claim of starting with jollof rice

ingredients on the fire and ending up preparing banku because of faith

in prayer to a believed God. In that regard, the witnesses in our

modern world were explicitly deceived, or implicitly tricked into

believing so or simply promoters of superstition as typical of the

ancient child. The substratum that seemingly give credence to these

"events" called miracle are the masquerading deceptions and tricks

taken as laws of Nature to the amazement of, and then as manifestation

and justification of the observer's (believer's) faith. Yet,faith

never dictates to Nature.

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Columnist: Seshie, Stanley