Pareitileia

Pareitileia

Pareitileia

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Jan. 2 2009 1:07 PM

Pareitileia

Jesus in a tile. Except not really.
This is the worst pareidolia ever.

Click to embiggen and see more from the source (the Las Vegas Sun).

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You know, I like to poke gentle fun at this sort of thing, since it's clearly not a supernatural sign, but instead the way our brains see patterns in random noise (unless you really think Lenin came to watch me bathe, or Abe Vigoda is in the Eagle Nebula).

But then you get something this ridiculous, and a virtual tongue-biting is nearly impossible. I just want to scream, "What are you thinking?" I see all kinds of faces and shapes in the tile in my bathroom: monsters, aliens, fish... even the letter E. Does that mean I should build a shrine to Elvis?

This sort of thing is symptomatic of a larger willingness to drop any critical thinking when it becomes something personal, and that is a human foible that causes an unimaginable amount of grief. People want to wash over this and just say that seeing the face or figure of their savior gives them comfort. I understand that and sympathize with it, but I also think it's a sign, if you will, that as long as we're willing to suspend disbelief for things like this, we're willing to do it on much larger scales. And there's a lot of harm in that.