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Paradigm Test

Can we really trust our senses?

We experience the world in contexts. This is explained on the paradigm page.

Here we take a look to understand how our senses trick us, and see the unreliability of our senses. This is paradigm blindness, because our senses interpret what we see from certain assumptions and does not always relate to the correct context.

The lengths are the same both sides of the middle arrowhead.

paradigm test 1

These lines are straight.

fooled senses sight1

The red squares are the same colour.

paradigm test 2

Look at the cross in the centre. Then try and follow the green dot with your eyes.

fooled senses sight2

Stare at this picture for about 30 seconds.

Then look at a clear white surface, and a face is seen.

This particular paradigm test was used by a detective, who had this picture hanging on the wall behind him. The walls were otherwise bare. The person being interrogated tended often to stare at the picture and at the detective, but not at the walls. After a while the detective excused himself, took the picture and left the room, and returned after a minute. Many times when he returned, the suspect was ready to confess. They were fooled by their sense of sight.

Thomas Aquinas, who was one of history’s most influential theologians, said:

‘All our knowledge originates from our senses’.

That was a man in dire need of a paradigm shift.

Thinking outside the box is an ability we can train by looking outside our paradigms.

Testing paradigms is something we should practice to understand other cultures.

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