Photoshop is confusing me

Brooks writes about color correcting photos, and so I spent some time with Photoshop Elements 2.0, trying some of the same things he did in Macromedia Picture Editor. Here’s something that confuses me:

In the the Image menu, under Adjustments, is the “Equalize” command. According to the online help:

When you apply this command, Photoshop Elements finds the brightest and darkest values in the composite image and remaps them so that the brightest value represents white and the darkest value represents black.

In the Enhance menu is the “Auto Contrast” command:

It maps the lightest and darkest pixels in the image to white and black, which makes highlights appear lighter and shadows appear darker.

These sound the same to me, and the images I’ve tried look the same if I apply one versus the other, but I can’t imagine why there would be two menu commands with the exact same function. Any Photoshop experts out there who can help me out?