Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Importance of Skepticism in Making Limeade

Last weekend, my housemate Brad made an excellent gourmet dinner - as always - though I don't now remember what it was. I do, however, recall that part of the seasoning involved lime juice.
` After dinner, I saw the unjuiced half of the lime sitting on the counter and thought, "Won't I be clever if I use the rest of this lime... to make limeade?"
` So, I crushed the lime in such a way that most of the juice squirted out into a small glass, one of many sets of kitchen supplies given to us by people who have too many of their own. Since we also had just gotten yet more boxes of dishware, cheese graters, silverware, shakers, and the like, there were great stacks of them all around the kitchen and I didn't know where the sugar had gone to.

I asked Brad, who was probably at the time gathering together some furniture for housing all those things, if he knew where I might find some sugar. He said it was in the shaker by the toaster.
` I looked over at where the toaster had previously been for many weeks, though this space was now a hopeless-looking pile of kitchen tools. Right next to this pile was a small shaker full of white granules, so I thought nothing of pouring a great deal of it into the glass.

The taste test, however, revealed that it was, in fact, salt. It actually didn't taste bad, though I know better than to drink salt water.
` As for the toaster? It was at the other end of the room, unrecognizable with all manner of things piled on top of it, and I wouldn't have known if I was looking at it or not.
` The three of us present - Brad, Lucas and I - had a good laugh over this. Next time, I said, I would actually look for the toaster instead of just assume that because it is normally in one spot that it is still in the same place.

This is, indeed, similar to the way skeptics (including scientists) avoid making logical pitfalls, because if you really want to find the truth, you must always question your assumptions!

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