Never assume that your mind can’t lie to you.....
May 9, 2016 12:26pm CST
I can only say "FRIGGIN A!!!" The first day I walked into my 10th grade chemistry class, the lights were off. The teacher was waiting at the front of the room, holding a small candle in front of him. The candle's tiny flame was the only source of light in the room. The class murmured a bit, confused and excited. Once we’d all quieted down, the teacher said, “Tell me some of the observations you can make about this candle." We paused for a moment. That seemed a little too easy for chemistry class. "But keep in mind," the teacher added, "that observations are the things you observe. empirically. Inferences are the things you conclude… and inferences can be wrong.” We stared at him, wary now. At last, someone piped up, “Um...The flame is yellow?” “The flame gives off heat." "The wick is burning." "The wax is cylindrical!" The teacher raised his eyebrows at that one. "Are you sure?" We stared harder at the candle, not sure how to respond to that one. It definitely looked cylindrical. The teacher shrugged. Then he put the candle into his mouth and started chewing. The class stared at him. At this point I was wondering if I ought to call the emergency room or something, but the teacher just kept chewing as though nothing was wrong. Eventually, he swallowed, shrugged again, and said, “Actually tastes okay.” As it turns out, the so-called “candle” wasn't made out of wax at all. It was actually just a slice of banana, with an almond slice for the wick. The student’s “wax” statement had actually been an inference. After explaining this to us, the teacher turned on the lights and said, "If there's one thing I want you to learn in this class, it's the first rule of scientific thinking: Never assume that your mind can’t lie to you." And that's the story of how my 10th-grade chemistry teacher swallowed a candle to teach us the first principle of scientific thinking. I am telling you people this page is just awesome. I am absolutely loving it. (Photo by Pixabay)
11 people like this
10 May 16
@vandana7 You should be nervous because it turns out I am a mind reader. I forgot to tell you that. Okay in all seriousness, we already have almost same thought process. This thing is what Dani said we getting "in tune" with each other. Like I was thinking of something and you said the same thing. It has happened on more than one occassion with Dani and me. It only means we are getting to know each other better. So it's a good thing in my eyes.
• Bhubaneswar, India
9 May 16
Awesome. I loved reading this one, at least someone made my day I find people, their actions, their relationships more intriguing than the mind, despite the fact that mind wanders better. I mean, come to think of it, same you, same scenario, and you react differently today than how you reacted say a year or a month or even a fortnight ago. Same scenario, another person, reaction completely different. I find this more challenging a study at my age.