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From time to time the media present us with reports of ‘miracles’: the most recent is probably that of the 9-year-old Dutch boy who was the sole survivor of a plane crash in Libya. Frankly I would have thought it more miraculous if everyone on board had survived… But anyway, ‘miracles’ are often presented in the context of medicine. The thing is – they aren’t the result of some miraculous intervention, but of the skill & dedication of a whole range of medical practitioners (surgeons, nurses, anaesthetists, oncologists; the list goes on).

Why are some people so ready to ascribe these outcomes to some other cause?