See that? That’s your puny mammal brain malfunctioning.
Well, malfunctioning’s not exactly the word. More like misinterpreting. And why shouldn’t it misinterpret? Raise your hand if this is the first optical illusion you’ve seen all week. All month? Now imagine you’re a prehistoric Homo erectus living on the Asiatic plains. How many times in your life would you expect to see such a thing? Crude guesstimate: never.
If such a simple thing can trick us, regardless of our compliance, then what hope do we have of distinguishing truth from falsehood? What method or process can we use to confirm that something is true?
Observational agreement from multiple sources and multiple methodologies would do the trick nicely. If several different researchers all conclude the same thing using different methods, then one of two things must be the case: either the current evidence really does point to that conclusion, or all of the different methods used just happened to have gotten the same wrong answer. Both are possible, but one is more probable, especially when you consider the independence of and competition between different research interests.
So is that optical illusion really moving? And how can you tell?