There is an old story of how several blind men set out to understand what an elephant was by examining a live specimen. Each of them explored a different part of the elephant’s body. One blind man, falling against the elephant’s side, proclaimed that an elephant must be very much like a wall. Another, grasping the elephant’s ear, decided that an elephant must closely resemble a leaf. One grabbed the elephant’s tail and determined that elephants must resemble ropes. Yet another felt the elephant’s leg and came away convinced that elephants are very much like trees. Still another held the elephant’s trunk and exclaimed that elephants had much in common with snakes.