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We are bred to see patterns. We see them everywhere. And we create them. Each letter in this sentence is a pattern. Each word is a pattern. Sentences are patterns. You can eevn raed tihs snetnece wtih teh ltetres in teh worng oderr, because of patterns. If humans weren’t big into patterns, writing wouldn’t work.

We’re also big into patterns in our world. We have constructs, that are based on patterns. Our social order. Families are a pattern. Communities are a pattern. Highways are a pattern. Sometimes patterns are very specific, as in denominations of money. Other times they are more general, like in kitchens, which all look different but still have a stove, a fridge, a sink, etc. So patterns can be general, patterns can be more exacting.

Last week I found a silver dime in my pocket change. From 1961. I was born in 1951. Add ten (the value of a dime) and it becomes 1961. What are the odds? My VISA card ends with 61. My brother, who has emailed me twice today, is 61. Of course he and I email each other almost every day, but if I must, I will pay attention to only his age. Good thing this didn't happen last year. Or next.

I went to a birthday lunch last Wednesday from my friend George, who just turned 61. Of course, his birthday was on Monday, and Wednesday was the birthday of his girlfriend, who is 55. And we’ll ignore Ada, who I am stopping by to wish a happy birthday this afternoon. She’s 74. But she's a short little thing. Probably just over 5'. Which would probably make her about 61".

 My desk lamp sitting next to me has a 60 watt bulb. But there is only one. So, 60 watts plus one bulb = 61.

Christmas was 61 days ago. My father bought the house he ended up dying in when he was 61. Add 61 to 1961 and you get 2022. Add those three 2’s and you get 6. Plus one number isn’t a 2, so you have 6 + that 1, which equals 61. My first car was a 57 Chevy, but it had 4 wheels, so add those two up an you get 61.

I could probably go on and on with this, getting as loose as I wanted to force more coincidences, but we humans do such things on a regular basis. We evolved to find patterns. We evolved because we found ways to make sense of the world and hence survive in it. But we don’t have any controls on our pattern-seeking tendencies. So some of us go off the deep end and find them in places they don’t actually exist.

That would be you.

You are not going to convince anyone here that you are on to something. You are not going to convince anyone here that you are seeing the truth in these events and numbers and sightings. Your premonitions, all noticed after the fact (You didn’t spend a quarter of a century calling theatre owners and warning them every time they showed a Batman movie), are merely patterns and/or actual coincidences that you prefer to label as wondrous. We atheists label them as nutty.

You might as well be trying to convince us that frogs fart in our cereal every morning. We would want proof of that too, and just like with your current claims, you couldn't prove that either.

By definition, we atheists require proof, not anecdotes. We require evidence, not memory-laden replays. We require some connection with reality and that things be plausible. We're funny about that.

There is no twain to meet there. We’re from two different planets. You are wasting out time, and we yours. About 61 times a day.
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jynnan tonnix great illustration of pattern-finding February 23, 2013, 03:06:42 PM