No two Snowflakes are alike? um maybe maybe not

Posted: February 6, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

two things we are taught as children that may or may not be correct are. That no two snowflakes are alike  and no two people share the same fingerprints. I know reading my two statements will at first glance make you scoff however it should be the exact opposite we should really scoff at the first two accepted “truths”.

Let me explain myself. First no two snowflakes are alike… 

First define a snowflake. Did you do it? I don’t know about you but defining a snowflake is not as easy a task when I start to try to do it as I thought it was before I started to. A snow flake is an ice crystal which falls from the sky. Now that we know what it is would you please pull out a captured snowflake? Got it? I don’t have one. It is possible to capture and preserve a snowflake however very difficult.  The link there takes you to a how to for the process of preserving snowflakes something that looks very cool. However not many snowflakes are captured and preserved therefore we do not have a very large sample set to test this no two snowflakes theory. Snow comes every year all over the world and often melts in the same week it has fallen. So given the two described variables it seems a bit silly to suggest that no two snowflakes are alike.

Now onto fingerprints. No two fingerprints are the same this of course has the same fallacies of the snowflakes theory. The best description for fingerprints was on the show the Sopranos

“The Sopranos.” Coked to the gills, Christopher Moltisanti, Tony Soprano’s nephew, brings Livia Soprano’s wake to an absurd anticlimax as he muses on the claim that no two fingerprints are exactly alike. For scientists to know this, Christopher reasons, they would have to get everyone in the world together in one room to check. And not just everyone in the world, but everyone who ever lived. Since this would be impossible — even using computers — he concludes, “They got nothin.”‘ 

Now the better question I think is not the validity of the two claims, but why did we believe the two claims. I think this is a prime example of indoctrination at work. Do me a favor and think back to when you were told these two claims. How young were you?

Common sense and logic would dictate that these two claims are just not definitive. They may or may not be true however they are believed and taken as truths. We should always exercise caution when believing such wild claims like these. When I think about things like indoctrination I think about the phrase “at face value”

a good quote concerning indoctrination (and yes you can find this on of course wikipedia) is this one “”For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ‘brainwashing under freedom’ to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments”        — much thanks to Noam Chomsky.

Finally I have found  two good things to avoid indoctrination from my dad’s advice. 1. read a book and 2. remember everyone is human and no one knows it all.



I found this cool snow flake picture here





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