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Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson are camping. After enjoying a day of relaxation, they pitch their tent under the stars and go to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, Holmes wakes Watson. "Watson, look up at the stars and tell me what you deduce."

Hoping to please his boss with his own brilliant reflections, Watson says, "I see millions of stars, and if even a few of those stars have planets, it is quite likely there are some planets like Earth, and if there are planets like Earth out there, it is reasonable to assume that there might be life on other planets."

Holmes stares hard at Watson for a minute, then says, "Watson, you idiot, somebody stole our tent!" (Tom Kuntz, "The World’s ’Funniest’ Jokes," N.Y. Times (1-27-02))

Sometimes our most impressive reasoning doesn’t lead to the right conclusions.


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