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Is every single “miracle” just a lucky coincidence or is at least one partly due to something beyond us?

Many people claim to experience miracles from God. How confident can we ever be that none of them, not even one, are anything but coincidence?

Famous skeptic Michael Shermer wrote of an experience, paraphrased by Wray Herbert:  

In 2014, his fiancee (now wife) Jennifer Graf had moved to California from Germany, bringing with her a Philips transistor radio, a gift from her late and beloved grandfather, Walter. Walter had been a surrogate father to Graf, and she had fond memories of listening to music with him, but the radio wasn’t working. She and Shermer switched out the batteries, tried various stations and otherwise fiddled with the machine, but in frustration ended up tossing it into a desk drawer in the bedroom. 

Months later, following a small wedding ceremony at their home, Graf was feeling melancholy and disconnected from her family. The newlyweds took a quiet moment together, away from the group, and at that precise moment music started wafting from the bedroom. They followed the sound, which was a love song, and traced it to the desk drawer, indeed to the “broken” radio. It was, Shermer recalls in his book “Heavens on Earth,” a “spine-tingling experience.”

And it gets better. The radio could have been tuned to any station, or to no station at all, but it was playing just the kind of emotionally comforting music the couple needed at that moment. The radio continued to broadcast similar music all evening, then went silent. It has remained silent since, despite Shermer’s efforts to revive it.  

What does Shermer make of it, long after the fact? He is a trained scientist and, more important, a devoted skeptic who has built a career debunking any and all claims of the paranormal. Yet by his own account he has difficulty dismissing this extraordinary experience as a psychic anomaly. The physics of the radio suddenly playing might be easily explained — a change in humidity, a speck of dust, whatever — but the timing and emotional significance of the experience are uncanny, and indeed impossible to explain with the scientific insights available to us now.

Wray Herbert – It’s inexplicable: A broken radio plays soothing music at just the right time

Was this experience really just a wild coincidence?


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