Shit happens

Ah, the age-old pastime of confusing cause with effect.

A reader recently e-mailed me to say she believes in God because, when she was 14, she prayed one night that she would get her period and, the very next day, she did. When I suggested to her that her “divine proof” might be a mere coincidence, she balked. She refused to believe that these two events . the prayer and its answer . could be unrelated. Never mind the fact that she was 14 and . barring any medical dysfunction . was pretty much guaranteed by biology to start menstruating at any time. In her mind, there’s a strict cause-and-effect here: She had asked God for something, and God had answered.