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commented on Jan. 24, 2013
I do not know if you are familiar with the case of "Richard Parker".
In Edgar Allan Poe's only novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, published in 1838, Richard Parker is a mutinous sailor on the whaling ship Grampus. After the ship capsizes in a storm, he and three other survivors are stranded on a boat. They find a tortoise and eat it, but are soon desparate again. They eventually draw lots upon Parker's suggestion to kill one of them to sustain the others. Parker then gets cannibalized.
In 1884, the yacht Mignonette sank. Four people survived and drifted in a life boat. They again found a tortoise to eat before one of them, the cabin boy Richard Parker, was killed by the others for food. This led to the R v Dudley and Stephens criminal case.
Do you believe in coincidences?
I know scientists do not, since they always try to find the reasons behind everything. However when the problem is too hard (or they are afraid of the answer), they are not too afraid to blame "chance" for everything and get away with it...