It's been 19 days now since the tragic earthquake that hit the poor and ravaged country of Haiti. We've all been horrified by images of the wounded and watched as families buried their dead relatives. By now, the hope of finding anyone alive is pretty much next to none. Throughout the last two weeks even up to the 15th day, we've heard stories of miraculous survival as occasionally workers would pull someone alive from the rubble, defying the odds once again. But were these really miracles or could there be another explanation? That's what I've set out to learn.

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Comment by Kevin (Idolizing Reason) on February 1, 2010 at 5:57pm
I don't think it's stupid or dumb. There's a lot of reasons why people choose to believe certain things. I think "hope" factors in there somewhere. Kinda like your lottery anology. I do agree though that a little education wouldn't hurt. Wait! The lottery isn't a retirement plan?
Comment by girlatheist on February 2, 2010 at 9:44pm
Yeah, I was just about to write a blog about this exact same thing. Miracle vs. Randomness. I had a conversation with a co-worker the other day and she was telling me that the "power of prayer" kept a woman alive after the earthquake long after she "should have" died. But she was praying. And God answered her prayers. In any situation there's going to be a statistical bell curve. In the high middle will be the folks who are killed. To the left will be the ones that miss being killed by some lucky chance. To the right will be the ones that get trapped, pray, and get out alive.

If I were to think like my co-worker, I would have to say that God HATED 100,000 people and didn't LISTEN to their prayers. There's absolutely no other way to look at it. Either prayer works and statistically would have worked more than a few times out of 100,000, or, looking at the normal distribution of disaster aftermath, some will live, some won't and some will survive incredible odds.


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