Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Hermione demonstrates critical thinking

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I can’t explain how I never thought to mention this until now, given that it’s one of the best quotes in one of my favorite books, but thanks to molly at Friendly Atheist for the reminder:

Demotivational poster: Quote from ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ with caption: “HERMIONE: She gets it.”
Transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

… what about the stone, Mr. Lovegood? The thing you call the Resurrection Stone?”

“What of it?”

“Well, how can that be real?”

“Prove that it is not,” said Xenophilius.

Hermione looked outraged.

“But that’s – I’m sorry, but that’s completely ridiculous! How can I possibly prove it doesn’t exist? Do you expect me to get hold of – of all the pebbles in teh world and test them? I mean, you could claim that anything’s real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody’s proved it doesn’t exist!”

Of course, it later turns out the Stone does exist … but hey, critical thinking only goes so far in a world of invisibility cloaks and mind-reading spells.