A Science Experiment About Life

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Science is basically about observing the world and trying to deduce its fundamental laws.

It can get a little more complicated, but that’s the essential method.

So let’s try a science experiment about life. It’s easy, it’s informative, and you can do it in a few seconds.

Hold your hand at eye level and extend your arm as far away from your face as you can. Look at your hand.

Now, bring your hand closer to your face, six inches from your eyes. Look at your hand.

You’ve now made two observations. Between the first observation and the second, you changed only one variable: the distance between your eyes and your hand.

What happened?

Your hand seemed to get bigger. Sure, as an adult, you know that it didn’t really get bigger. But it did look bigger. It occupied a larger part of your visual field.

Based on the experiment, we can deduce a simple but surprisingly far-reaching conclusion:

When things are closer to us, they seem bigger.

And that leads to an important truth about life:

Very few things are as good or as bad as they seem at the time they occur.

Maybe you’re worried about the state of society or the state of the world.

But remember our experiment. The scary things are close to you in time. They’re happening now.

As a result, they tend to look bigger and scarier than they really are.

Yes, some of them actually are bad, but we often overestimate their significance.

Face life with courage. And trust in the fundamental goodness of the universe. It will work out as it should.

Check out my book Why Sane People Believe Crazy Things: How Belief Can Help or Hurt Social Peace. Kirkus Reviews called it an "impressively nuanced analysis."