“A man who burned to death in his home died as a result of spontaneous combustion, an Irish coroner has ruled.” Click ‘First Irish case’ of death by spontaneous combustion – BBC News to read the rest of the article.
My note: This is a morbid subject, perhaps, but one that was heavily believed in during the time of Dickens. In fact, many would argue that Dickens further legitimized the matter (in the minds of many) through his work ‘Bleak House.’ I neither affirm nor deny the possibility of it (though I lean heavily against it). Nonetheless, my not knowing all matters of science, and my not knowing all of the possibilities concerning it, force me to keep an open but skeptical mind on the matter (concerning other topics, what may have seemed absurd in the 1850’s may be common knowledge today — so what may seem absurd today may be accepted truth in the next hundred years, hundred and fifty, two hundred, etc.).
Remember the words of Aristotle “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it…” (although I would state “…without accepting it or prematurely rejecting it”). In our modern society, we often feel compelled to voice an opinion, or to take a stance, choosing a side — when, in fact, it is often best to declare “that is interesting; however, I am not in a position to either affirm or deny it at this time… regardless of what my initial thoughts on the matter may be.”