October 14, 2006

Friday the 13th: A Holiday for Irrationality

Did anything bad happen to you on Friday the 13th? If not, maybe it is because you weren't looking hard enough. I typically get to work from home on Fridays, but I had to go in for a mandatory meeting this Friday. That is my awful Friday the 13th story.

A sizable number of people believe that this date is somehow unlucky, sinister, or evil in some way. This cannot surprise any of us who marvel at the fact that an even larger number of people believe that some invisible being created them, hears their prayers, and cares what happens to them. Not strange enough for you? Then consider that approximately one third of Americans remain convinced that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11.

We live in a culture of belief where many people believe what they are told regardless of how little evidence there is to support it. Overwhelming scientific evidence in support of evolution does not stop these people from questioning it. Why? Because they are convinced that the ancient religion in which they have been indoctrinated is true. Never mind the complete lack of verifiable evidence to support this "truth." Even when the leader who they blindly follow reverses his position about Saddam and 9/11, the damage has already been done. In this context, Friday the 13th barely registers on my radar.

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