In scientific community, this phrase is very popular. Wherever you go, people say that you have to “compare apples with apples”. When you make a presentation, someone stands up and says “you are comparing oranges with apples.” When you show some poor results to your professor, your professor says “you should compare apple with apple.”
But, is that the real problem? That you are comparing orange with apple?
No. That is not the real problem. We have always overlooked the real problem.
When you try to compare apple with apple, you are basically accepting that you are a fool. Because why should you compare apple with apple? If you already know that both are apples, what is the point of comparison? Both of them will look round, smell like apple, and taste the same. After all, they are both apples.
When you started, you actually had an orange. You clearly knew how apples look and you were sure that what you have is actually an orange.
However, in the community that you lived, people only had apples. They looked at your stuff and said that you better have an apple. Don’t be an orange guy in this apple community. Everyone is apple here. At least, if you want to live in this community, you should look similar with apple, if not become apple. They said like this.
Your mind then started believing on this during the course of your study. And at some point, may be when it was little dark, you found that both apple and orange look round. So your mind picked this idea and said that both are round and similar. Now you became happy. Obviously people also became happy with you. After all, you had a similar stuff with theirs now.
You completely forgot the reality. You forgot that what you had originally is an orange. You are now only living in your mind, thinking that your orange is an apple.
This is the ugly truth of life. Most of the time, we look at things with our mind. We never see the reality.
So next time you compare your model results with observations, please be aware of this.
Always try to look at things without any presumption. Try to look at things the way they are. If you have to compare, always compare apple with orange. Never compare apple with apple.