In the discussion over Lawrence Krauss' op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, the new atheists, as they almost invariably do brought up The Virgin Birth of Jesus. Here's the challenge that Krauss issued, as he described it in his piece:
When I confronted my two Catholic colleagues on the panel with the apparent miracle of the virgin birth and asked how they could reconcile this with basic biology, I was ultimately told that perhaps this biblical claim merely meant to emphasize what an important event the birth was. Neither came to the explicit defense of what is undeniably one of the central tenets of Catholic theology.
Here's the claim as made by one "MadScientist:
– Krauss never suggests that science move out of its own realm; what he is saying is that claims such as the virgin birth do not conform to what we know of the world. The claim of a virgin birth is essentially hearsay. MadScientist
One of the often made boasts of scientists is that they are required by science to back up their claims with the evidence attained through sound methodology. Well, let's see them do it in this case. Here's the challenge I issued in response.
Then it’s up to any scientist claiming that they can address The Virgin Birth of Jesus, as described in the gospels attributed to Matthew and Luke and actually believed by those who believe it, and not in a modified version so science can be made ez, to show how they could do it. They have to do it with absolutely no physical evidence, through an unknown range of possible mechanisms, and without recourse to any other human birth since it is held by its believers to have happened in that way exactly once in the entire course of history.
If you accept this assignment, please have your methodology and proof in by next Tuesday. You can feel free to post it on the last comment of my blog which you can reach by clicking on my name.
If anyone can produce a method that takes in all of those aspects, I’ll gladly announce that I’ve been stumped. But only if it addresses what is actually believed by those who believe it. Which I don’t happen to for historical and literary reasons.
I'll keep you posted on the results. If there are any.
I should add that I fully believe in the allegorical truth of the story. But I'll save that for the Christmas season.