Question everything

I love this optical illusion on the Daily Mail’s website.


“Although it may seem impossible to believe, the squares marked ‘A’ and ‘B’ are actually exactly the same shade of grey.”

Lesson 1: question everything.

This amazing illusion was created by Edward H Adelson from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although it may seem impossible to believe, the squares marked ‘A’ and ‘B’ are actually exactly the same shade of grey! Your eyes and brain are constantly trying to figure out the colour of the objects around you, and in doing so automatically compensate for shadows. The square marked ‘B’ is in the shadow cast by the green cylinder, while the square marked ‘A’ is outside of the shadow. Your eyes and brain see that the two squares are the same shade of grey, but then think, ‘Hold on – if a square in a shadow reflects the same amount of light as a square outside of the shadow, then in reality it must be a much lighter shade of grey.’ As a result, your brain alters your perception of the image so that you see what it thinks is out there in the real world.


Having cut two holes in a piece of paper and placed them over the two squares, “A” actually is slightly darker than “B”. At least, on my screen.

Lesson 2: don’t believe everything in the Daily Mail.

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23 Responses to Question everything

  1. rob says:

    They would seem like two very good lessons to learn. However, please tell me, is it okay to question the bible and, if so, is it okay to come to the conclusion that it is wrong?

  2. English Viking says:


    It is essential that you question the Bible. If you do so honestly and with an open mind, you will not come to the conclusion that it is wrong.

  3. English Viking says:


    A is considerably darker than B on my HD screen.

  4. rob says:

    Hi English Viking,

    The problem is I have questioned it, I believe honestly and with an open mind, and I have come to the conclusion that is not really to be trusted on any level. I was brought up to believe it and I did for many years until I started to question it with an open mind.

  5. English Viking says:

    Hi Rob,

    Perhaps a re-evaluation is in order?

  6. rob says:


    Perhaps? Most certainly. I will always re-evaluate my conclusions. I do think that I have looked at as much evidence as I can though, but I will continue looking in case I missed anything. I assume that by “re-evaluate” you mean check my facts, not just change my mind.

  7. English Viking says:


    Correct. Also, a lot of ‘facts’ are merely opinions.

  8. faulksguy says:

    I consider it to be more helpful to question my own (as well as others’) understanding of the Bible first of all. It’s healthy to do so, since we carry with us a lot of half-baked cultural suppositions which haven’t been carefully thought through. Sadly, Christians can also be inclined to hide behind cultural positions and posturings. A propos the problems that are encountered with apparent discrepancies in scripture, I tend to the view that our understanding of the factors is out of kilter. The answer to many apparent non sequiturs is most likely out of the box – and where we haven’t looked..

  9. Stewart Cowan says:


    Looks like we are all in agreement about questioning the Bible! I have issues myself, but they don’t detract from my faith.

    As faulksguy says, our culture plays an enormous role, especially these days of political correctness.

    Let us know if you have specifics you would like to discuss.

  10. rob says:


    Good to hear from you, thank you.
    Hmm, specifics, where to start? I suppose the most obvious place is at the discrepancy between the biblical creation story and science. From a glance at previous entries you seem to think that it is explained by some kind of conspiracy by scientists, the media and the education system to cover up the evidence and brainwash people. To the untrained eye this seems a little far fetched. Starting at a point of open-mindedness how do you come to that conclusion? How can I tell if I have been brainwashed? Now I know you will say that evolution seems even more far fetched and maybe you are right but I am sure you will agree that means we should go where the evidence takes us.
    I have looked at many creationist sites on the internet and they make many claims that can be quite compelling at first. However, when I look a little deeper it seems that every single one of these claims have been answered elsewhere by scientists and I can’t get around the opinion that the scientists have won the debate hands down; eventually I get to the point where the creationists have no answer to give or the answers they do give rely on special pleading to the supernatural which is hardly starting from a point of open-mindedness. Where am I going wrong? Isn’t it reasonable, faced with the evidence, to reject the creation story as a myth and accept the scientific consensus?

    Warm regards, Rob

  11. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hello Rob,

    I believed in the Theory of Evolution until five years ago. I decided to look into Creationism as I had studied neither this nor evolution theory before. At school we just got told we are descended from apes and expected to accept it.

    In the 19th C, Christians started accepting the TofE and tried to change Genesis to suit. They came up with long day theory/Day-Age Theory where the word “day” in Genesis was taken to be, not 24 hrs, but far longer. Maybe you know this already.

    The more I study all of this, and ponder on it, the more far-fetched evolution theory becomes.

    I think someone else accused me in the comments of believing scientists were deliberately trying to brainwash us. I genuinely believe most of them believe in the TofE. The problems are with academia and the media, where one side gets nearly all the attention, thereby preventing real debate. Despite this, a surprisingly large number of people still don’t believe the TofE.

    You have used the word “scientist” only to refer to evolutionists. There are also many Creation scientists and scientists who believe in “Intelligent Design”.

    The Genesis account cannot be considered just a myth because,

    a) It was written in a narrative style, i.e. it is factual information. Christ quoted from Genesis – e.g. to teach about marriage from Gen. chapter 2. He took it seriously!

    b) The Theory of Evolution cannot be true because life is too complex. Evolution is true, but only up to a point. Is has limitations which evolution scientists find it hard to accept because otherwise, they have to bring a Creator into the equation and materialists cannot do that under any circumstances.

    So you see, they are starting from a fixed position. They are not following proper procedure. If the evidence they see suggests that life was designed (as many evolutionary scientists agree) they should accept this as a possibility. That would be proper science, but many reject it simply out of their own prejudice and lack of scientific, spiritual or worldly experience.

    Hope this helps. Do you have any specific questions on radio-dating, the Flood, fossil record, etc., where Creationists didn’t give you a satisfactory answer?

    Just as we can see the prophecies in Revelation coming to pass, so I think we can also trust the Almighty’s word about Creation.

  12. rob says:

    Hi Stewart,

    I’ve had a little dig around and I’ve found that there is a document called “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” published by the Discovery Institute which lists 761 scientists as signatories. In contrast there are 1144 scientists called Steve listed by “Project Steve” who were willing to sign their declaration. Information about these can of course be uncovered by a very simple search so I won’t provide the links here.
    I really don’t know how either of your reasons for dismissing the case of Genesis being a myth can be relevant to an open-minded inquirer as we cannot just blindly accept that Jesus really said that and was quoted correctly, is any more trustworthy than anyone else on the issue and wasn’t just using the story to illustrate a point in the same way we would one of Aesop’s fables for example. The fact that it was written as a narrative doesn’t make it true and even if evolution were conclusively proven false, creationism would still have to be shown to be true. Obviously a great number of very learned people disagree with you about the limits of evolution and who knows? Maybe they could be right. Maybe your beef is that I have misused the word “myth”, if so, please allow me some leeway.
    There is general principle in science that any concept you seek to introduce into a theory must be falsifiable and required to provide the explanation. For example the whole TofE could be disproven if a single fossil of a mammal were found in, say, Cambrian rock. No doubt there are many other ways to disprove it too. How is it possible to falsify supernatural forces? Most scientists seem to think that a creator is not required as the present theory accounts for everything. Who should I believe?
    Your final sentence is the most interesting as it could provide the proof I am looking for. If you can provide me with a list of things that are predicted by the bible, have not yet come true, cannot be predicted by looking at current events and a timetable of when I can expect to see these things happen it would be extremely compelling evidence if they came true.

    Thanks once again, Rob

  13. Phil says:

    You need your eyes testing or you you are very open to believing everything you read. Look at each square separately without looking at the rest of the picture and you will see that they are two entirely different colours.

  14. Stewart Cowan says:


    Did you read what I wrote?

    Having cut two holes in a piece of paper and placed them over the two squares, “A” actually is slightly darker than “B”. At least, on my screen.

  15. john says:

    The daily fail is actually right in this case. If you copy this image into paint, use the magnifier and then select dropper tool (The one that selects the colour of an area, it should be to the right of the magnifier) and click on either the A or B square you will see that they are the same.

  16. Stewart Cowan says:


    Thanks for that info. I’ve just done the same in CorelDraw and they are the same. I’ve just printed it out (on my b/w laser) and they are the same shade. Amazing.

  17. Not sure where my post went but I said the same…

  18. … ah, it must be my browser – you can see a visual comparison on my blog – click on my name.

  19. Stewart Cowan says:


    Thanks for the link. It really is amazing. Your comments ended up in the spam folder as they are short. Hopefully you can now comment in future and get straight through.

    I’ll post your link again for future use: Optical Illusions

  20. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hi Rob,

    I didn’t realise three days had elapsed. I haven’t read the documents you cite, but I’ll look into them, time permitting, as usual.

    My point 1) was that Genesis is true from a scriptural POV and 2) from a scientific POV. If life didn’t arise by chance, then it must have been by design. Both are faith-based, but one must be true.

    I explained the other day to someone else that the elephant in the room which the evolutionist cannot see is the lack of transitional forms, both in the fossil record and in the living world.

    Most scientists seem to think that a creator is not required as the present theory accounts for everything. Who should I believe?

    Most scientists have too much pride, I think. You must understand that most evolution scientists have a starting point just as most Creationists do. Theirs is that materialism must explain everything. No exceptions, regardless of what the evidence suggests.

    There is more to faith than evidence anyway, not that evidence shouldn’t be sought per se, but when Christ returns some people still won’t believe. They won’t believe the ultimate evidence because they didn’t have faith to start with.

    The prophecies for the last days appear to be coming true with a one world government being set up, based on ungodly and immoral principles and run by people with no interest in serving God.

  21. rob says:

    Hi Stewart,

    First of all the TofE says nothing about whether life first arose by chance or design. There is a large list of transitional fossils so I have no idea why you should say there isn’t. Check out a website called talkorigins if you don’t believe me. Have you *really* questioned your beliefs or have you just read a few creationist sites and stopped there?
    I don’t understand your point about scientists having too much pride. What is their motivation for rejecting evidence and what possible evidence can there be for something that is immaterial? Do creationists have too much pride because they have a starting point? Having said that, I think in a way you are right, science does only deal with natural phenomena and, by definition, has no dealings with the supernatural. This to me is not a problem, after all it doesn’t seem to have held back the enormous advances in technology that have been its fruit.
    I quite understand that faith is a different kettle of fish entirely but without evidence I am not able or willing to believe.
    People have been trying to make predictions based on Revelations for centuries and none have ever come true. However if you can do better I am still listening.

  22. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hi Rob,

    I think most proponents of the TofE believe in abiogenesis: life from non-life. I know there are Christians who believe in the TofE, but it’s really not compatible with Genesis.

    There is a large list of transitional fossils so I have no idea why you should say there isn’t.

    There is a huge list of fossils that are said to be transitional, but were themselves fully functioning creatures.

    Have you *really* questioned your beliefs or have you just read a few creationist sites and stopped there?

    No, I’ve been studying this for six years now.

    The thing about this debate is that both are feasible, but only one can be true. Non-believers must go down the TofE route, while believers can be more open and honest with what the evidence tells them.

  23. Jared Gaites says:

    Amongst other things, the Bible is a story about very basic and, sometimes, very stupid People. In this story we get a glimpse of God and we can learn about how we can adapt and progress on this planet, but sadly, the story of very basic and, sometimes, very stupid people continues. Thank God for Grace.

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