Do These Events Rank as Modern-Day Miracles?

Saved miners and an ice hockey game have claimed the designation

Birds flying to the light
kundoy / Getty Images

Do miracles still occur, or are they just a relic of the past? Recent news stories describe what some people believe are miracles happening in today’s world. Although they may not fit the description of an old-fashioned, biblical miracle, these events seem to have little logical explanation for their happy outcomes. 

Here are a few modern-day examples of what could be considered miracles:

01
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Scientists Map the Human Genetic Code

Dr. Francis Collins
Dr. Francis Collins. Paul Morigi / Getty Images

Dr. Francis Collins led a team of scientists from universities and research centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, and China who in 2003 completed mapping all 3.1 billion parts of human DNA, giving the world its first chance to study the entire instruction code for human beings. Collins said that discovering the divine code of life might help scientists find new treatments and cures for many diseases. Was this a miraculous discovery?

02
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Pilot Lands Disabled Plane in 'Miracle on the Hudson'

Passengers, Crew of US Airways Flight 1549 Celebrate 5th Anniversary of Miracle Landing
Captain Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger, along with passengers and crew members from the flight in the middle of the Hudson River for the five year anniversary of 'The Miracle on the Hudson'. Andrew Burton / Getty Images

On Jan.15, 2009, a formation of birds flew into the engines of an airplane that had just taken off from New York's LaGuardia Airport. Both of the jet's engines shut down in mid-air. Yet pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger was able to guide the plane safely to a landing in the Hudson River. All 150 passengers and five crew members survived the landing, and crews of ferry boats rescued them from the water. This famous event has come to be known as the "Miracle on the Hudson." Was it miraculous?

03
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All 33 Chilean Miners Rescued

Chile Miners
Rescued Chile Miners. Government of Chile

Against overwhelming odds, all 33 workers at a mine in Chile that had collapsed in 2010 were rescued after spending 69 days underground. Some of the miners said they had prayed urgently to survive the ordeal, and many people worldwide watching television coverage of the rescue operation also prayed for their survival. Did God help the rescue team safely get each man out of the mine?

04
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Kidnapped Girl Found Years Later

Oprah Winfrey and Jaycee Dugard
Oprah Winfrey and Jaycee Dugard. FilmMagic / Getty Images

Jaycee Dugard, who was abducted as an 11-year-old in 1991 while on her way to school in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., was reunited with her family 18 years later, long after they thought she had died. Investigators found Jaycee living as a prisoner in the backyard of the man who police say kidnapped her and had two children with her before Jaycee finally found freedom as a 29-year-old woman. Jaycee’s family members describe her return as a miracle. Was it?

05
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US Hockey Team Defeats Russians in 'Miracle on Ice'

1980 Winter Olympics - United States v Soviet Union
Hockey game dubbed 'The Miracle On Ice' as the United States defeated the Soviet Union 4-3. Focus On Sport / Getty Images

In the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the American ice hockey team, composed entirely of amateurs, faced the mighty, mostly professional Soviet Union team in the medal round. The Americans were given no chance against the four-time defending gold medal champion Soviets, who had mauled the young Americans 10-3 in a pre-Olympic exhibition. But the Americans defeated the Soviets 4-3 and later topped Finland for the gold medal. Broadcaster Al Michaels delivered the now-famous end-of-game call: "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" Could a sports event be considered a miracle?