Flashes of Light When Blind

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http://www.snopes.com/science/atombomb.asp

According to the website above, on July 16th, 1945 an atomic bomb went off at a testing site in Socorro, New Mexico. About 50 miles away from the testing site, eighteen-year-old Georgia Green was riding in the car on a highway and saw a flash of light at about the same time the bomb went off. This wouldn't be so fascinating if Georgia Green hadn't been blind. How could it be that she saw the flash of light when she was legally blind in both eyes? Well maybe she didn't. This is an example of correlation vs. causation. Did the atomic bomb really cause Georgia Green to see a flash of light or are the uncorrelated? The flash of light could have been caused by something completely unrelated. It's hard to say and it's impossible to test because it was such a brief moment and you cant go back in her memory to test what caused her to see this flash, but it is curious that both these events happened at almost the same time. Another type of scientific thinking this should bring up is Occam's Razor. Is there a simpler explanation that works just as well? For example, blind people have been known to see random flashes of light that have nothing to do with anything going on around them. Similar to the brief flash of light you might remember seeing if you hit your head really hard. Maybe the fact that Georgia Green saw this flash of light near the time the bomb went off is a coincidence, and it is a more probable explanation.

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How is it an example of correlation vs. causation? I'm not sure I believe the theory that she randomly saw a flash of light at the exact same moment that the atomic bomb went off. Did she really report seeing a flash of light at all? Was the girl entirely blind (legally blind doesn't mean that she can't see)?

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This page contains a single entry by carpe399 published on October 12, 2011 10:00 PM.

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