Does science resurrecting people equal holy power?

“TORONTO – Calling her recovery miraculous, doctors said
Monday a 13-month-old girl who spent hours lying face down in the
snow on a bitter winter night and whose body temperature plunged to
about 60 degrees was now alert and smiling.”
“The girl’s heart had stopped beating for about two hours and her
body temperature had dropped to 60.8 degrees. It was not known
how long the child was exposed to sub-zero temperatures.”

I’m not sure how to phrase the question; but lately (Although not the first time) it seems that science has the power to resurrect (1 : to raise from the dead) people.

Does this mean that science has an equivalent to holy power?

I don’t tihnk that science has that power yet because to be truly dead you have to be clinically braindead, no electrical activity in the brain at all. Science hasn’t got the power to revive people who have are braindead simply because we don’t know enough about the brain. If there were a God I imagine he would be able to resurrect clinically braindead people, something we cannot do. Therefore I don’t think Science has holy power because science cannot truly resurrect someone from the dead. On the other hand I have absolutely no idea how that little girl didn’t go braindead if her heart had stopped beating for two hours.

Christian Scientists sure think so. That’s why they don’t want to be anywhere near a doctor if a medical emergency were to come. A prayer circle is all that is needed for healing.

There are a few other religious sects that look to embrace anti-medicine, but their rationale is not because of the belief that faith healing is better than medical intervention, but because they see some medical procedures to go against scripture - for example, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t dig blood transfusions because of a verse about how “swallowing blood” is bad, or something like that.

But those Christian Scientists… :rolleyes:

Anyone else know of any religious sects who actively eschew medical assistance in their lives?

As I understand it, a person’s memories are not stored physically in the brain. Instead, they are stored as chemical signals moving in the brain. Thus, once a person is actually brain dead, meaning that all activity in the brain has ceased, there is no possible way for science to revive them. So, in that sense, science doesn’t and won’t ever have the holy power to revive.

ITR champion wrote:

The best evidence is that memories are stored in the interconnections between neurons in the brain, and in the relative strengths of those connections. (Neurons grow new dendrites, or strengthen existing ones, every so often, and allow long-unused dendrites to grow weaker.)

The problem is, when a neuron dies, its dendrites shrivel up and unplug from their neighbors.

Perhaps the cold temperature had to do with that. IIRC there have been other instances of children (the ones I’ve heard of are always children, maybe the smaller body mass allows faster chilling) recovering from such extreme hypothermic incidents.


Good enough answer?

Let’s look at it this way. If the person is brought back to life, then they were not completely dead to begin with. Even in actual death, the various parts of the body die slowly, not all at once. An organic switch is not thrown and every cell ceases function. Real death can take hours.

Brain death could be considered real death because what and who you are resides in the brain. Take out the brain and all you have left is a large organic support device, specifically designed to nourish and protect the brain.

If a body can be restored to life, then it was in the process of ceasing to function, not completely dead. Now, if a body can be restored after it has begun to decay, then you have something there.

Even with brain death, there can be enough autonomic function left to keep the body alive, though sentience is gone. It can run like a computer can with damaged programs, functional, but defective.

When autonomic function fails, then the body begins to completely die.

A truly dead person cannot be restored.

slight hijack…

A person can be kept alive indefinately by the use of machines. Is that actually alive? Can all brain activity be monitered? Are machines making Dr’s God?

REEDER, I wouldn’t think so. For one thing, I believe that God gave us intelligence to go as far as we can possibly go. I don’t know if all brain activity can be monitored or not, but medical science pretty well knows when the brain is reduced to just running minimal systems of the body and the areas containing sentience have shut down.

The body can be kept alive indefinitely on machines so that indicates some form of life but if the sentience is gone, then the machines are keeping an empty shell going.

If I remember correctly, there is actually one small part of the brain which controls all bodily functions that are automatic, so if the doctors get readings only from that area and nowhere else, they consider the person dead even when the body still lives.


If a person is brain dead (no electrical activity or blood flow to the brain) he cannot be kept alive “indefinitely” by machines. Once brain death is determined, one of two things happens: the person is either disconnected from life support (the heart stops and the entire body is dead within a few minutes) or the family agrees to donate the organs, in which case the race is on to get all the chemical imbalances sorted out while the organ donation team matches up the organs with prospective donees.

If a brain dead person is kept on life support (i.e. a ventilator to deliver oxygen and powerful IV drugs to keep the heart beating) he will die shortly. I was once witness to a tragic case involving a brain-dead girl whose family was instructed by their attorney to keep the girl on life support, even though she was already legally dead. We coded her again and again and again; she lingered for days. We could smell her as she decomposed, yet the “life” support kept her heart beating.

Doctors (and nurses, don’t forget- the nurses do the work and make many of the decisions) are not God. God (if he were to exist) could defy the laws of biology in order to truly resurrect a person. Doctors and nurses can only work with physical laws. These accomplishments are amazing but in no way “miraculous”.

As for the girl who was frozen to “death”: the medical axiom goes, “you’re not really dead until you’re warm and dead”.

I’ve personally successfully rescuscitated several pulseless nonbreathers (no heartbeat, blood pressure, or respirations) over my career. I never claimed to be a god, much less The God, but I did apply for advanced healing mage status, and was rebuffed. Seems “real” life experience doesn’t buy you any points in AD&D! Very unfair, IMHO.