Sunday, July 7, 2013

Proof that John 9 and other blind/deaf Jesus "miracle" cures were frauds

We have all heard the stories of the gospel claiming that Jesus could cure people who were blind or deaf since birth.  But science has yet again demonstrated that these stories are nonsense.  Here is the problem.  Now that we really can fix the problems that cause many people to be born blind or deaf, as in the case of this article in _Scientific American_ about Project Prakesh, we are confirming that a person who is born blind can't just start "seeing" right away and be as good as new, like the blindness never happened.  That is, just causing the "scales to fall away" from one's eyes, as the Bible frequently depicts the cure for blindness, would not result in  a person with functional vision.  Indeed, research reveals that when we do remove the "scales" (or cataracts in actual fact) from some of these Indian children, and allow them to see for the first time, that they lack the ability to make sense of the shapes and colors all around them.  In other words, they have never learned how to see, and the longer they have gone through life without learning how to recognize shapes and patterns, the more difficulty they will have being able to function, if ever, in a normal way.  They have missed a critical period of brain development and learning, and it is a similar phenomena when it comes to hearing.  Indeed, now that we have cochlear implants, we can let adults hear for the first time, when they have been deaf for their whole lives.  However, cochlear implants are generally not indicated for adults who were born deaf, because again, the outcomes are often not good.  Just as with the congenitally blind whose brains have never learned to make sense of visual patterns, the congentially deaf adult has never had an opportunity to learn how to recognize and make sense out of auditory patterns.  As a consequence, even though the cochlear implants allow these individuals to "hear", they often find it difficult to understand the world around them through sound or even to master normal speaking.  They too have missed a critical period of development.

Now, of course, we can invoke yet more miracles and say that, behind the scenes, without telling anyone, Jesus also magically altered the brains of these individuals so that they could instantly learn how to understand the sights and sounds around them. But if Jesus was just going to magically alter people's brains then he wouldn't have needed to do any preaching in the first place.  He could have just magically altered everyone's brain so that they agreed with him.  No, sorry, it doesn't pass the smell test.

What seems more likely is that Jesus never cured anyone of blindness or deafness, especially those born with the condition, since the gospels seem unaware that these secondary difficulties might develop as the result of restored vision or hearing.

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