Faces in the mist...

i-6a65fb9190c87b79203eb85a6f40a56d-faces.190.3.jpgInteresting article from the NYT Science Times:

More than a decade ago, Diana Duyser of Hollywood, Fla., received a religious message through an unlikely medium: a grilled cheese sandwich she had made herself. As she gazed at the brown skillet marks on the surface of the bread, a familiar visage snapped into focus.

A grilled cheese sandwich, top, with an image of what some see as the Virgin Mary sold for $28,000 on eBay. Jesus Christ is seen in an oyster shell, a frying pan and a pirogi.

"I saw a face looking up at me; it was the Virgin Mary staring back," she told reporters in 2004. "I was in total shock."

Don't worry, there's some actual science in the article.

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Finally got a chance to sit down with the NYT at lunch. It strikes me they're asking two very different questions:

Why do we see faces everywhere we look: in the Moon, in Rorschach inkblots, in the interference patterns on the surface of oil spills?

That's one question. The other, which they seem to treat as the same one, is

Why was a cinnamon bun with a striking likeness to Mother Teresa* kept for years under glass in a coffee shop...?

We see faces because we're hardwired to. We worship them ... why? Same reason? The article never addresses that question at all.

I wonder if the reporter thinks they did?

* It doesn't look like her to me. It looks more like an ugly cartoon character of some sort. I can see the face - I could never see her.