Scientists rightly resist invoking the supernatural in scientific explanations for fear of committing a god-of-the-gaps fallacy (the fallacy of using God as a stop-gap for ignorance). Yet without some restriction on the use of chance, scientists are in danger of committing a logically equivalent fallacy-one we may call the chance-of-the-gaps fallacy. Chance, like God, can become a stop-gap for ignorance.
His grandmother had taught him that there was no such thing as coincidence. There are millions of people in this world, she had told him, and the spirits will see that most of them, you never have to meet. But there are one or two that you are tied to, and spirits will cross you back and forth, threading so many knots until they catch and you finally get it right.
What connexion can there be, between the place in Lincolnshire, the house in town, the Mercury in powder, and the whereabout of Jo the outlaw with the broom, who had that distant ray of light upon him when he swept the churchyard-step? What connexion can there have been between many people in the innumerable histories of this world, who, from opposite sides of great gulfs, have, nevertheless, been very curiously brought together!