Christopher Hitchens Quotes About MiraclesQuotes about: Miracles
Those of us who write and study history are accustomed to its approximations and ambiguities. This is why we do not take literally the tenth-hand reports of frightened and illiterate peasants who claim to have seen miracles or to have had encounters with messiahs and prophets and redeemers who were, like them, mere humans. And this is also why we will never submit to dictation from those who display a fanatical belief in certainty and revelation.
Though it is true we are the highest and smartest animals, ospreys have eyes we have calculated to be sixty times more powerful and sophisticated than our own and that blindness, often caused by microscopic parasites that are themselves miracles of ingenuity, is one of the oldest and most tragic disorders known to man. And why award the superior eye (or in the case of cat or bat, also the ear) to the inferior species.
The pre-history of our species is hag-ridden with episodes of nightmarish ignorance and calamity, for which religion used to identify, not just the wrong explanation, but the wrong culprit. Human sacrifices were made preeminently in times of epidemics, useless prayers were uttered, bogus miracles attested to, and scapegoats - such as Jews or heretics or witches - hunted down and burned.