Pareidolia Search – part 4

Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Thoughts | 0 comments

Our brain’s natural propensity to find meaning in what we see is part of what makes us the most intelligent creature on the planet. It is because of this ability that we are able to predict outcomes from situations, identify sources of food, and performs mental functions such as mathematics to measure the world around us. It also helps us to identify people and also tell what mood they are in. All animals do it to some degree, but in humans we see this ability extended beyond mere usefulness and into the realm of abstraction and creativity.

The human face is one for the first things we see as infants. Our eyesight is so poor at birth that we can only see about 20cm, which is roughly the distance from a baby’s head to the mother’s face when a baby is being cradled in their mother’s arms. When you hold a baby, you see their eyes already searching out the details of your face, trying to make sense of what they are seeing. And as it turns out in later life, the human face is one of the most important patterns we use in a social environment. Our brains, because we have put so much importance in the recognition of faces, immediately searches first to see if the person is someone they recognise, and secondly to see what kind of mood they are in. If it is someone we know, then they pose less of a threat than a stranger. If they are a stranger then their mood dictates how much of a threat they will be.

Sometimes, when the right conditions are met, a pattern appears that has all the hallmarks of a face; two eyes, a nose and a mouth, arranged in a roughly triangular pattern. We see this as looking like a face, but some people see Jesus.

“Couple says image of Jesus appears in Walmart receipt

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. — An image of Jesus has shown up in another unlikely place, at least in the eyes of an engaged couple from Anderson County, S.C.

According to WYFF-TV in Greenville, S.C., Jacob Simmons and his fiancĂ©e, Gentry Lee Sutherland, say they bought some pictures at Walmart on Sunday, June 12. Three days later, the receipt was on the floor of Sutherland’s apartment when Simmons says he saw that it had changed. The couple says it’s an image of Jesus in their Walmart receipt.They called the store to ask them how the receipt paper could’ve become discolored like that, and someone told them the only thing that could do that is heat. The couple says nothing was done to make the image appear on the receipt. “We just feel like it’s a blessing that God showed it to us and opened our eyes. And we just feel like we should share the blessing God gave to us to everybody else,” Sutherland told WYFF-TV.”

Yes it looks like a face, but rather than jumping to the conclusion that it is Jesus (because apparently Jesus likes to show his existence not by feeding the poor or healing the sick, but by appearing in receipts and toasted sandwiches) but rather that of the face of Charles Manson. The likeness is astounding, don’t you think?

People make some bad mistakes sometimes, like mistaking this image of Marilyn Monroe on a cheese sandwich with the Virgin Mary.

An even worse mistake was that someone paid $28,000 for this Marylin Toast. I wonder what the shelf life of celebrity toast is?

And the mistakes keep coming, like this mistaken Jesus who looks more like Jack Kerouac.

Okay enough with the fun and games. What I am trying to illustrate here is that it all comes down to interpretation. If you want to find Jesus in an appliance or on your dinner plate, then the chances are you probably will eventually. If you want to find a potato chip that looks like Daffy Duck, you probably will if you search hard enough and long enough. It doesn’t not mean that the burrito on your plate is Jesus any more than the chip is Daffy Duck. What it means is that you are mistaken, you’ve found a random occurrence of shapes in a vague triangular shape, and combined with the fact that you are obsessed with your savior, you put two and two together and get Jesus Toast.

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