A Lesson In Gullibility

Since humans only use 10% of their brains, it’s no wonder that we are so gullible. We unsuspectingly absorb untruths slowly like a frog placed in a pot of cool water that is slowly heated until it boils to death. So what makes humans so prone to believe falsehoods? As Sherlock Holmes said in a book written by Conan Doyle, “Elementary, My Dear Watson.”

We are so credulous due to the neurological composition of our brains. Scientists, have shown that, just as the water in flushed toilets in Australia rotates clockwise while it rotate counter-clockwise in the U.S., the neurons in the right hemisphere of our brains circulates thoughts in a counter-intuitive but true direction, while the less used right hemisphere circulates thoughts in an intuitive, but false direction.

Interestingly, since digestion also depends on the right hemisphere of the brain, this is also the reason why you dangerously develop cramps if swimming after eating.

The remedy for this innate gullibility of our brains is social interaction which has been demonstrated to jump-start the the dormant skepticism in the left hemisphere of all brains within a particular community. This is perhaps why many old myths are being dismissed now by many cultures since the number of people alive today is greater than the number of people who have died, producing a global community with properly synchronized right hemispheres. As George W. Bush said, “The future will be better tomorrow.”


Dear Readers,
There were several untruths in the essay above. Before reading ahead to see what was true and untrue, go back and see how many statements in the essay you can correctly identify as untrue. Then read on to check your results.
Cheers, Phil


Since humans only use 10% of their brains(1), it’s no wonder that we are so gullible. We unsuspectingly absorb untruths slowly like a frog placed in a pot of cool water that is slowly heated until it boils to death.(2) So what makes humans so prone to believe falsehoods? As Sherlock Holmes said in a book written by Conan Doyle, “Elementary, My Dear Watson.”(3)

We are so credulous due to the neurological composition of our brains. Scientists, have shown that, just as the water in flushed toilets in Australia rotates clockwise while it rotate counter-clockwise in the U.S.(4), the neurons in the right hemisphere of our brains circulates thoughts in a counter-intuitive but true direction, while the less used right hemisphere circulates thoughts in an intuitive, but false direction.(5 – Phil’s lie)

Interestingly, since digestion also depends on the right hemisphere of the brain(6 – Phil’s lie), this is also the reason why you dangerously develop cramps if swimming after eating.(7)

The remedy for this innate gullibility of our brains is social interaction which has been demonstrated to jump-start the the dormant skepticism in the left hemisphere of all brains within a particular community.(8 – Phil’s lie) This is perhaps why many old myths are being dismissed now by many cultures since the number of people alive today is greater than the number of people who have died(9), producing a global community with properly synchronized right hemispheres. As George W. Bush said, “The future will be better tomorrow.”(10)

There were 10 falsehoods.
How gullible were you?
Several of the falsehoods are persistent urban myths. This exercise shows the need to carefully assess our sources of knowledge.

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