I knew I had seen that theme in a SF book at some point. There is also The
Spider Robinson's Callahan's stories, same deal -- improbable stuff happens around him
constantly. I think it's pretty craven of an author to use something that remarkable and not take a good shot at explaining it. Robinson can be
excused because no one would mistake his stuff for hard SF, but Niven ... sheesh.
I stopped reading SF for a long time because of stuff like this.
I use this address only when I am away from home. I have reply-to set to firstname.lastname@example.org and I read email sent to that address from here, so please don't use the yahoo address.