Supposedly the goal of education is higher order thinking which can be defined as:
A complex level of thinking that entails analyzing and classifying or organizing perceived qualities or relationships, meaningfully combining concepts and principles verbally or in the production of art works or performances, and then synthesizing ideas into supportable, encompassing thoughts or generalizations that hold true for many situations
It's commonly thought that these higher order thinking skills can be taught directly apart from the relevant domain knowledge (i.e., a narrow portion of knowledge that deals with the specific topic of interest). The thought is that you don't need to learn (i.e., memorize) all those messy facts because you can use your fancy higher order thinking skills to figure out whatever you need to know. Thus, instructional time is concentrated on higher order thinking skills and the learning of facts is downplayed.
Let's put that theory to the test.
No doubt if you enjoy reading (or at least take the time to read) an obscure education blog you went to college, are highly educated, and are smarter than the average bear. In other words, you have higher order thinking skills in spades. Let's test how well you can use them.
Consider the following:
You have two identical glasses, both filled to exactly the same level. One contains red dye, the other water. You take exactly one spoonful of red dye and put it in the water glass. Then you take one spoonful of the mixture from the water glass and return it to the red dye glass.
Question: Is there more red dye in the water glass than water in the red dye glass? Or is there more water in the red dye glass than red dye in the water glass? In other words, the percentage of foreign matter in each glass has changed. Has the percentage changed more in one of the glasses, or is the percentage change the same for both glasses?
Use your superior higher order thinking skills and intuit an answer. First try to do it without resorting to outside sources. Then try answering it using whatever reference source is handy, such as google.
NB: This only works if you don't know the scientific principle involved. If you happen to know the right scientific principle, you're relying on your domain knowledge to answer the question, not your higher order thinking skills. Also, no fair if you know the source of this problem.
I'll let you stew on it for a while.
Partial Update: Hint--Instead of water and red dye, think of red balls and white balls. Assume that each glass starts out with 100 balls of a single color. Now remove a number of red balls from the red-ball glass and put them in the white-ball glass. Then return the same number of balls from the glass with the “mixture” and put them in the red-ball glass. Do this with different numbers of red and white balls.