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Monday, Jul 06, 2009

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Education Plus

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Thinking logically holds the key

Take on students' test of nerves

— Photo: Thulasi Kakkat

Close to nature: Parents and teachers should help children develop an insight into science, history and philosophy.

An employee approached a Godman to get an out-of-turn promotion. The spiritualist asked him to write his year of birth, present age, year of joining the office and years of service. He closed his eyes for a while and said, “Make it a single digit. Is it 4? Please check up whether my word is correct”.

The employee was dumbfounded with the magical powers. The astrologer continued, “Four’ represents “Rahu”, the evil. Let us perform a ritual to overcome the planet’s ill-effect. I assure you that you would get the promotion within a month.”

The employee paid huge amount for the ritual and waited for a year in vain. Frustrated, he approached the seer again. The diviner closed his eyes and said, “Do the same calculation again. The end product is ‘six’ that represents Venus that is obstructing. Let us perform other ritual to please the God of Love”. Whether the employee continued to believe the conman is immaterial here.


Logic is derived from the Greek word “Logike’ that means the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning.

As a discipline, it dates back to Aristotle, who established its place in philosophy and mathematics. Without going into the controversies about the trueness of astrology, it is a fact that the cheater played a trick with simple mathematics.

If you do the above calculation in the year 2009, you would get the answer as 4 and in 2010 it would be 6.

The universe is full of perplexities. We may not know the reasoning behind every fact, but nothing exists without rationale. Logic is the first step to wisdom to fight against superstitions. Parents and teachers should help children to develop common sense, insight into science, nature, history and philosophy.


Here are some enthusing questions from David Feldman’s book “Imponderables”: Why the alphabet “E” is placed at the top of the chart for eye testing? What is the purpose of wisdom teeth? Why our fingers are different in length? Why do babies blink their eyes less often than adults? Why we “cry” at happy endings? Why do dogs eat standing up and cats often sit down while eating? Why do cows often stick their tongues up their nostrils? How bugs appear in flour when the bottle is tightly capped? Reply to the mail-address below. Three randomly selected winners will be awarded.


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