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December 2004 - How's Your Vision?

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December 2004

How's Your Vision?

I grew up hearing about the possibility of intelligent life on Mars. Much of this talk resulted from studies done years earlier by the distinguished astronomer, Sir Percival Lowell.

In 1877, Lowell learned an Italian astronomer had seen straight lines crisscrossing the Martian surface. So, Lowell spent the rest of his years squinting into the eyepiece of a giant telescope, mapping the channels and canals he saw. He was convinced intelligent life on Mars had built the canals. Lowell's ideas gained wide acceptance. No one dared contradict this eminent scholar.

In recent years space probes orbited mars and landed on its surface. The planet was mapped and no channels or canals were found. How could Lowell have made such a mistake? Perhaps he wanted so much to see the canals that he deceived himself and saw what wasn't there. We are all guilty of seeing what we want to see.

More likely Lowell had a disease that caused him to see canals. We know now that Lowell suffered from a rare disease that made him see the blood vessels in his own eyes. The Martian canals were the bulging veins of his own eyeballs. Today this disease is referred to as Lowell's Syndrome.

Are you ever guilty of seeing things from your own limited perspective or do you take a broader view? A limited view doesn't give the full picture and results in limited success. How's your vision?

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama
jkline@klinespeak.com

December 2004 - How's Your Vision?
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