Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Friday the Thirteenth

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on February 13, 2009

[Originally posted at: Center For Inquiry]

Friday the thirteenth makes three appearances in 2009 (in February, March, and November), no doubt each being an anxiety-filled day for friggatriskaidekaphobes. The label, with its origins in Nordic mythology and ancient Greek, identifies those with a fear of Friday the thirteenth. But where does this unnatural trepidation originate?

As any reputable scientist or mathematician will confirm, “luck” does not exist. Good fortune is randomly distributed and not dependent on the day. The superstitious, however, will cite a long history of misfortune associated with the number thirteen. As the story goes, in order to understand thirteen, one has to understand the history of twelve. The number twelve has traditionally represented completeness. There are twelve months of the year, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve signs of the zodiac and twelve apostles of Jesus.

Thirteen exists just one digit beyond twelve, and is symbolic of the first departure from completeness or the initial step towards evil. Thus Jesus was the thirteenth guest at the Last Supper (to cite a silly if oft-mentioned example) with tragic consequences.

[Read the rest of this post at: Center For Inquiry]

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