This page was originally posted for discussion within Oregonians for Rationality of that organization's booth at da Vinci Days celebration in Corvallis, Oregon, July 15-16, 2000.   It is now being linked from our Web site because of its general interest.

This page shows a handout that demonstrates that science is "not always what it seems," and usually requires "second glances" before it's understood.
Click here (to Knowledge for Use site) for a look at some of the things we plan to bring to Da Vinci Days

Look Again!

Do you see any butterflies?
Isn’t there something wrong with
this starry, starry night?

Things are not always what they seem.

Look inside to find some things you might hear, some things you might see, some things that are…

a little bit…


Page 1
There’s something a little (or a lot) wrong with each of these statements.  What might it be?

The big and the little:
  • Microsoft made a quantum leap with their introduction of Windows 95.(1)
  • How fast is our city growing? a)Very slowly,  b) Moderately,  c) Very fast,  d) Exponentially.(2)
  • Our pill is a thousand milligrams strong!(3)
  • John Czesznski is the biggest athlete on the team.(4)


    Look again at your logic:
  • What year did  NASA first reveal the dark side of the moon to mankind?  Wasn’t it 1966?(5)
  • I could care less!(6)
  • A real Private Investigator has to be ready to use his fists, just like in the movies.(7) 
  • Look, I won $2, and it took only twelve lottery tickets to do it!(8)

     Page 2

    Science is seldom what it first glance:
  • Energy is the capacity for doing work.(9)
  • Today was hot!  We had 95° heat today.(10)
  • Look at this broken axle. The metal crystallized.(11)
  • The laws of physics say you can't use energy more than once.(12)
  • Society must conserve energy.  Remember, there’s a law of physics called “The Law of Conservation of Energy."(13)



    Common words; uncommon meanings:
  • The earthquake's epicenter was two kilometers below Northridge, California.(14)
  • The spotted owl is an endangered specie.(15)
  • Congress set the parameters for the budget, and then special interests tried to exceed them.(16)
  • The Beatles introduced some of the most unique innovations in the music of the 1960's(17)
  • Page 3
    Look forward in time: Gateway to wondrous new things,
    and make sure you aren’t facing backward, seeing only the old, limited visions.

    New Vision and Old Vision

    New vision adds new perceptions.  The great changes we see today come from new ways of seeing past old edges of human comprehension.  Do you program computers and use “If___then___”?  In the older views, “If A, then B” is often seen as the same as “If B, then A.”  Newer views see them as very different.  In this new view, we easily see what’s wrong with, “Galileo had a new, revolutionary, idea and was persecuted for it.  I am being persecuted for my new idea; therefore, my idea is revolutionary, like Galileo’s”  The new view sees that that mistake as an imaginative version of turning “If__then___” backwards.

    From Leonardo, to Galileo, to Shakespeare, to Einstein, to Picasso, to Stravinsky, to today’s visionaries peering past the edges of human comprehension, people peer with new perceptions of the obvious...the “obvious” right in front of us that goes persistently unobserved.  New vision finds ways to see.

    It takes a lot of second glances, to see how those statements are looking into the future facing backwards.  (See inside for some clues.)

    Take a glance at these Web sites:
    CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) 

    Lots of Links and Original Documents (Donald Simanek) Oregonians for Rationality: 
     Page 4
    for clues