The Big Lie About Boiling Water

Posted in Inspiration on October 26th, 2012 by Tim Enochs
Tea kettle with boiling water

Don’t be Fooled Because You Believe You Know the Answer.

If I were to ask you the temperature at which water boils, you would probably say 212 degrees (and the “F” is normally left out of the answer). If you were thinking in terms of the metric system, you would probably say water boils at 100 degrees C.

The fact is that statement is only true at one elevation on planet earth – sea level. (Interested in learning more?)

In North America alone, the elevation ranges from 20,335 feet above sea level at the top of Mount McKinley in Alaska to 282 feet in Death Valley, California. The boiling point of water changes with elevation. In North America alone, there is a range of 20,617 feet between the lowest and highest points. So there are multiple correct answers to the question of what temperature at which water boils.

The only right answer is: It depends.

It depends on elevation and even on the purity of the water. Truth matters. Facts matter. Your questions matter.

The next time someone tells you something really exciting, take a deep breath and follow these steps:

  1. slow down (don’t be gullible)
  2. ask probing questions (seek to understand)
  3. assess what you have learned (fact checking)
  4. ask more questions if needed
  5. determine the next action you should take (if any) based on this new knowledge
  6. take that action

It’s easy to buy a lie (or even just a statment as truth), especially if it something you would like to believe.

It takes a person of courage to consider these six steps to finding and acting on truth.

Be that person!