Is seeing really believing?

Discussion in 'The Science Forum' started by Dashing_Chap, May 18, 2011.

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  1. My debut post for the monstrosity which is the 'Are you religious?' thread consisted of something about dogs being colour blind, not being able to see rainbows and therefore we shouldn't limit our experience of the world to senses. I quickly got out of my depth as the cleverer chaps started discussing the finer technicalities of vision and to my surprise my innocent musing was still bubbling to the surface a year and a half later. It seems we never really did clear up what exaclty vision is, how it works and how we see things.

    Then I saw this and as it's quite relevant I'd like to share it with you:

    The grand delusion: What you see is not what you get - life - 16 May 2011 - New Scientist

    So it appears that we all live in an imaginary world after all.

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  2. I actually like what I've just read. So when I look at the fittest bloke in my office and I like what I see - it's a lie, it's just my brain deceiving me into thinking "he is fit" when my eyes should be telling me "he's really an alien". I use this analogy cause the thought went through my brain on more than one occasion this week... So we could be over-run with aliens and we wouldn't spot them cause our brain assimilates the information from the eyes and assumes all 7' tall, gangly men are basketball players.

    This could catch on. Discussion between 2 people. "Do you see what I see?", "no, seriously tell me what you're seeing" and "can we compare notes as I'm a bit worried my brain is deceiving me?".

    D_C epic paranoia to follow...
  3. Yep. From a systems point of view, 'you' are a construct that is possibly the result of something like a predictor-corrector filter (eg, Kalman) with 'you' being the predicted state.
  4. DC,

    Relax and don't worry too much about sight. The eye is only a detector and not a very good one. The small amount of information that it can see is sorted out in the evolutionary development. Eyesight is not can be tricked, or to be more precise you can trick yourself.

    Reality is probably fairly close to what we see.... not always what we think we see. The imagination fills in gaps and in some cases deludes. Never take a ghost sighting or a supernatural claim seriously.

    Bats use sound to navigate around stuff without any light at all and blind people can also develop sonar skills. Place a snooker ball in a blind persons hand and they have a pretty good idea about the reality of a snooker ball. Texture, weight and shape. A person with sight will see the same thing but with colour...But colour is not so important. Many animals have colour perception, it's not a human only feature.

    Machines can mimic human sight and a whole lot more.
  5. The Humans With Super Human Vision | Senses | DISCOVER Magazine

    The Humans With Super Human Vision
    An unknown number of women may perceive 
millions of colors invisible to the rest of us. One British scientist is trying to track them down and understand their extraordinary power of sight.

  6. The comment about dogs being colour blind is interesting and it is true to a great extent. During the initial training of our explosives search dogs we needed to:
    a. Build the dogs confidence,
    b. Get it to use it's nose for our purpose,
    c. Get the dog to use its nose rather than its eyes for searching.

    In the early stages the searches have to be easy so that the dog always wins. This means throwing a scent article out onto an easy location like a grass field. Initially the dog will run around looking for the search article and will often find it by sight rather than smell.

    To overcome this reliance on sight we developed a procedure where we use a scent article which is coloured red, as dogs can't discriminate between red and green. When a red search article lands on the grass it is very difficult for the dog to see. And the dogs eyes/brain/distance configuration is designed for detecting movement rather than shapes, so a static article is difficult for it to detect.

    Using these little tricks, we get the dog to find the article because of its scent rather than by shape or colour.
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  7. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Surely the "fzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" of the fuze burning helps as well?

    Attached Files:

  8. I'm not sure that the research will help very much, the way our senses work is already strange enough. Good luck if he is on a big budget. But put things into perspective... what is smell, touch and hearing? It's not difficult to understand how over millions of years life has adapted to this environment and it's not over yet. The brain is only a decoder and the evidence is that women are more subjective to senses because of their evolved roles... Men can get by with less and my guess is that massive areas of our brains are just switched off...Mrs HB will confirm. After a few months cooking, changing nappies and dusting, men will regain their enhanced perception of colour, agreed?...:)

  9. You can't ever say with certainty the causes for evolutionary divergence, but I spose there's no harm in speculating the varying roles of men and women over a few hundred thousand years. One would assume people of a dark ethnicity have a different skin colour due to their habitat and the sun, whereas Caucasians have a whiter complexion due to temperate climes.

    If women have a role of gathering berries, leaves and edible foods and men are involved in hunting perhaps women's vision evolved to spot bright coloured berries etc?

    Now that survival of the fittest is no longer a requirement for the human race it's interesting to see whether we'll evolved further. Without an evolutionary need or advantage for breeding what will be the result?
  10. Wow, a rare thread on arrse that is thought provoking and interesting. Some good links to look over.
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  11. "Hey! Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?"
  12. Not at all, we live in a smokeless zone.....
  13. Did anyone catch Fry's English Delight on radio 4? Apparently some cultures have no word for blue. Someone deduced that includes the ancient Greeks from descriptions of the sky in the Iliad. The Italians, on the other hand, have 2 words for blue.

    Our eyes have been selected by evolution, to work with our brains and improve our chances of survival, that's why we see what we need to - Perhaps the conclusion should be that the same applies to religious beliefs. If you can't see the fairies at the bottom of the garden the most likely explanation is they aren't there.
  14. Perfectly excellent thread.

    Where is Arrse's moderators gone to let children spam the good stuff?

    You've got a series of Arrse Depressive Collectives spamming and flaming across the site with no action. If it's not damaging revenues now it will in time.
  15. Bowmore_Assassin

    Bowmore_Assassin LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Moderated as required as someone reported this thread to me...

    For those contributers whose posts I deleted, please play in the NAAFI. Thanks.
    • Like Like x 2