Saturday, September 27, 2014

Those Too Coincidental Coincidences

I love honest skeptics. Michael Shermer, a very prominent member of the Skeptic movement (founder of the Skeptics Society) has written a very shocking but - to me at least - refreshing account of a recent personal experience that has shaken his skepticism "to the core."

In case you've missed his story, you can read all about here at the Scientific American website.
Briefly, he recently got married to a lady who had been raised by her mother and grandfather. Her grandfather was the father figure in her life, but died during her teenage years. One of her grandfather's heirlooms that she possessed was a transistor radio that had quit working decades earlier.

Michael took it apart in a stab at repairing the radio but was unsuccessful. Afterwards it was placed in a desk drawer in the couple's bedroom. However, a few months later Michael and Jennifer said their "I dos" at their home, surrounded by friends and family. Jennifer had a touch of the blues because her grandfather was no longer alive to giver her away at the ceremony. It was then that the couple heard a romantic song playing quietly in their bedroom. Upon searching for the source it was found to be the long dead radio returned to life - only briefly, however, for it "died" again the next day.

But it was enough to comfort Jennifer and assure her that her grandfather was there with them and did put in an "appearance" at their wedding. The couple shared the story with their friends and family.

Michael admitted this unlikely event shook his skepticism to the core (I'm he won't convert to belief in paranormalism, though). However, it is more than invigorating to see so prominent a Skeptic take something like this seriously, and more importantly to write:

And if we are to take seriously the scientific credo to keep an open mind and remain agnostic when the evidence is indecisive or the riddle unsolved, we should not shut the doors of perception when they may be opened to us to marvel in the mysterious.



  1. Thanks Doug, most interesting. It reminds me a little of the apparent Near Death Experience of atheist philosopher A J Ayer about 25 years ago.

    1. And thank you for that link. I had read of Ayer's experience before, but not from a so close a source. The problem I have with modern skeptics is not their skepticism per se, but rather their almost totally inflexible denialism.

  2. I like paying attention to coincidences lately too. LOA is still fascinating to me even if I don't totally believe it.

    1. Hello, Alice! The Law of Attraction interests me, too. The way it is generally presented is so hokey I don't see how anyone can take it seriously. But if there is a deeper meaning to existence that we should seek to become attuned to, perhaps it might makes sense after all.