Sight theory

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by John Connellan, Jul 30, 2003.

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  1. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

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    I am just posting this message after seeing a similar thread entitled "what colour is an orange in the dark".

    I am a firm believer in sight being purely subjective in that it is entirely possible that 2 people looking at say, an orange, will agree that its colour is indeed orange, as they both can differentiate between the wavelengths of light correctly.
    The interesting thing however is that one person may see the colour (in their head) as being the 'green' of the other person. This fact will not and cannot ever be proved and so I believe that you could all be going around with 'inverted' images (in terms of colour) of what I see in MY head! Crazy isn't it!

    What led me to FIRMLY believe this theory is that there is no evolutionary advantage in being able to visualise the same colour in each of our heads. Indeed it would be cost to try and maintain that link between individuals.

    This may also be the basis behind people favouring different colours. Perhaps there aren't that many favoured colours in the world but its just that what people commonly agree is red or blue may in fact be different in each persons head.

    Finally I would like to add that perhaps we could take it one step futher and suggest that some (or most) people can see colours in their head that others cant or have ever seen before! The thought is baffling and humbling.
     
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  3. sargentlard Save the whales motherfucker Valued Senior Member

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    That is rather interesting but sounds far fetched and fishy.


    Hmm.....they should do a study on this.
     
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  5. Nova1021 Registered Senior Member

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    I had a similar thought a while ago. After thinking about it for a while I decided that we all seem to respond to color combinations in a similar way. Also, I think research has been done showing that colors can influence mood, meaning "red" has a similar effect on people, even if they do see it differently. So, while there isn't any real evidence to show whether or not people see exactly the same colors, there is at least some inferrable similarity to what people see. In the end there's really no way to test it, because it is entirely dependant upon how the brain translates what the eyes tell it. I'm inclined to think that people see, at least roughly, the same colors.
     
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  7. AntonK Technomage Registered Senior Member

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    I agree there is no evolutionary advantage to maintainining a color perception between two people. However, there's no reason for it to be different. There's no reason to think that what colors I see would be different from my parents, and there colors different from their parents. Now between different color-percieving animals. That's a much better question. We know there are organisms that can see in UV. Maybe all their colors are different.

    -AntonK
     
  8. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    We know how the eye works. We know how it processes light wavelengths and converts them into electronic signals to be processed by the brain.

    Everyone uses these same tools to see.

    It is only logical to think that our similar eyes and brains work in a similar manner to produce a similar result.
     
  9. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

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    well,......

    The question is very fundamental though and there is an equal chance that over time, each persons color pallette (or what colors they see at different wavelengths) may be purely random within a population. The distinction has to be made between what wavelengths aniimals see and what colors their mind produces and I really see no connection between the two. For example I believe there is an equal chance that two 'color vision' animals see different colors for a given wavelength as for two UV vision animals. In fact the UV seeing animals are probably seeing in a very similar pallette that we see in.

    There is however the question of whether it is equally likely that two species would have different pallettes as for two animals of the same species (ie us humans). In this case I would tend to think it is more likely that dogs would have a different pallete to us than say your best friend. Remember though, it can never be proven!!!
     
  10. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

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    In response to fading Captain

    You are quite wrong.
    The tools we use to receive light (eyes) should have no effect on the colours we see. It may slightly alter the wavelength of light but since two people will generally agree on what color they are looking at, we can assume they can identify the wavelength.
    U really have to start thinking like that. Its not that people disagree on the wavelength (although that can happen with slighlty color blind people) its what goes on inside their head which produces what we see.
    Lets say u have two people looking at an object. The object reflect light of a certain wavelength (this is physical and so won't change). This means the wavelength that enters their eyes are the same. this is what allows the two to agree on a similar object which emits the same wavelength to be called the same colour. (i.e. colour is merely a label society places on objects which describes their wavelength). What we actually see is a different story however and our mind must be capable of producing an image that will stay constant for a given wavelength. It is this image which may actually vary between people. We do not yet know how the mind even creates images let alone be able to state that all minds perceive colour in a similar fashion
     
  11. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    Here is my assumption:
    Our brains use the same methods to translate the electronic signals from the eye to produce a mental image for a specific wavelength of light.

    Therefore my conclusion:
    Since our brains use the same methods to produce the mental image, it is most likely the image itself is similar or the same.

    I know this is not provable at this time, as you have said. I guess I am simply employing occam's razor in a sense. It is an interesting question and possibility, I just think it not probable.

    Do you have any reason to think it not only possible, but probable?
     
  12. Crystal Registered Senior Member

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    Completely and totally idiotic.

    Not you - but your theory here.

    Science has long since proven that we experience the identical experience - seriously man, this is like a parapsychology crap thread.

    Before you make a damn theory - do some damn research.

     
  13. Crystal Registered Senior Member

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    This is a prime example of someone being intellectual and NOT intelligent.

    You've done know research and have no idea about optics or neuroscience.

    It's sick and should be illegal!
     
  14. AntonK Technomage Registered Senior Member

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    Sometimes I feel Occam's razor has been overused in this forum and is therefore getting quite dull.

    -AntonK
     
  15. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, it makes things dull when crackpot theories have no leverage to stand on...

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    Ah that was just a joke, I'll stop saying the 'O' word if it makes you feel better...
     
  16. AntonK Technomage Registered Senior Member

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    I wans't necessarily referring to you. Actually I can't think of any times I have read something you posted that would make me refer to you in particular. It just seems to me that Occam's razor falls apart when intelligence is involved. I mean which is more likely??? That the giant black plane everyone was seeing in the 70's is actually some new super-secret super-fast jet called the SR-71? Or that people are simply seeing things and mis-interpretting them as the military was saying they were?

    Occam's razor says there is no SR-71. But there was. Intelligence can use knowledge of Occam's razor to fool Occam's razor. Or so it seems to me.

    -AntonK
     
  17. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    How would it be a cost? Are you implying that there would be some sort of telepathic link to maintain it? It wouldn't be a cost at all, simply logical that we would develop in a similar manner. Such as 5 fingers on each of our two hands.

    There IS a definite evolutionary advantage to all "seeing the same colors" (which also doubles as evidence of it)...
    Warning colors.
    Look at nature and you will see common color schemes that trigger innate responses in animals.
    Many plants and animals use this as camoflague.
    You will see plants that don't want to be eaten "wearing" colors that imply poison or danger.
    Certain herbivores will stay away from yellow and black plants (it has been a long time since I read about this, so I am not sure of the color codes) for example.
    On the flip side of this, plants that DO want their seeds to be eaten will wear "tasty" colors to entice herbivores to eat them.

    I wish I could expand more on this, but, like I said, It has been a long time since I read about this, plus I am really busy at work right now.
    Maybe someone else will take it further.
     
  18. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

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    What about when you hear about animals that can see a hundred times better than humans? What are they seeing?
     
  19. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

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    Interesting points one raven, I see your logic and yep, you've pretty much closed the case.

    But just the other day I heard the most interesting thing on tv. I don't know how they could have figured it out.
    There is a type of white spider in australia that camouflages with white flowers so that it can ambush bees attempting to pollenate. But somehow the native bees evolved to the point of the spiders looking like a different colour to them, they even went so far as to say the spider appears bright green to them

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    confused: again I don't know how they figured this out) but foreign european bees continue to fall for it so the spider hasn't had to evolve or die out.
    I guess it could be bullshit, interesting if it isn't though. Still its a rare case and what you said remains unscathed in general.
     
  20. AntonK Technomage Registered Senior Member

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    From what I understand about Bees, they can see ultraviolet. I've always wondered if there vision is like false-color images where the entire spectrum of visible light (now including UV for them) is compressed to fit between red and violet, or if they see something we're incapable of imagining.

    -AntonK
     
  21. cjmowery Registered Senior Member

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    This is an interesting topic

    You know, I used to wonder about that topic too when I was younger. Now I've realized its completely a moot point. "Color" is just our brains way of interpreting a frequency of wavelength. It doesn't matter what color we see, its that its always the same for different specific frequencies. Our eyes have evolved to be the most sensative to the wavelength of light emitted most strongly by our own Sun. So if there were "humans" on a planet orbiting, say Betelgeuse, a huge RED giant, I could imagine there center sensativity would be closer to the red of the spectrum (and they could see infared!). I believe our eyes are most sensative to the frequency which corresponds to green/yellow (which I think is around 550nm), and our eyes can see from around 400-700nm, they drop off sharply at the extremes (near infared and ultraviolet). So for me, to state a question like "I wonder if my color green is the same as his color green." really just doesn't matter. What I see at 550nm has the same intensity as anybody else at 550nm. But thats assuming everybody's eyes sensativities are centered the same, although I've never met anybody able to see in infared around these parts.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    CJ

    Now don't ask me about color blind people, I have NO idea whats going on there. They can still see the correct intensities, but their brains aren't telling them that "hey, this is a different frequency from the last". That may be a question for a Physician.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2003
  22. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

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    ???

    OK I respect One Ravens intelligible reply as he backed it up with some evidence of scientific knowledge. As for some others I just have to say at least I was careful in constructing my theory and didnt pretend to know what qualifications somebody else has or if I had done some research. I also provided evidence that I had THOUGHT rather than coming on with ur bul|sh!t and dismissing theories without saying why. I suggest to these people to start reading some general science books before reading advanced books on optics or neuroscience as u might actually be able to understand what u study then and u might be able to think creatively about science. And if u aren't qualified in the above then I suggest shut up and dont post again.

    On a more intelligible note, I have to disagree with One Raven.
    Camouflage is simply the blending of an animals 'colour' with its surroundings. As I have said, animals see in colour because they can differentiate between two or more wavelengths. There is however a limitation to this differentiation and that allows some animals to utilise camouflage as a defense.
    What Im saying is that animals and humans can differentaiate between wavelengths but what they label those wavelengths may vary. Does anybody out there see what Im trying to say? Does anybody see the difference between judging wavelength and seeing colour?? (and no I wasn't asking the people I reffered to in the last paragraph as Im sure they wqould have trouble understanding what a wavelength was).
    The same I believe can be said for warning colours.

    There is some truth I must concede in what u said about it being a cost. I will have to rethink that as it is likely that we could have just kept seeing the same colours like the way we have kept, as u say, 5 fingers on each hand!

    Finally, I would like to say that I would be quite happy if somebody could come up with some argument that can knock this theory as I am really trying to understand this and that is what this forum is about isn't it? Asking questions...?
     
  23. Saith Registered Senior Member

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    Couldn't this reasoning apply to all experiences? Love, hate, pain, pleasure, taste, smell, touch, sound, sight, etc...

    What people experience cannot be observed by anyone but themselves. What he is saying is that maybe we experience the exact same wavelegnths as different colors. While the red wavelength will be a warning to all animals, each animal may experience the wavelegnth as a different color. But react to that wavelength the same way regardless because our brains recognize that wavelength as meaning poisonous.

    This type of thinking reminds me of the brain in the vat theory. You know... the matrix. Maybe you are the only one experiencing anything at all. Maybe you are the only one seeing any colors at all. Maybe the rest of us are all in your head. Or maybe every individual experiences the world completely differently. Maybe we all see a different kind of red, but react to it the same because it is the same wavelength that is causing us to see it... Or we all experience totally different kinds of love but react the same way because it is caused by the same biological processes and so has some fundemental likenesses. Maybe you aren't really reading this right now, you could be a brain in a vat that is being stimulated by a machine that is causing you to experience this in the same way someone would if it was really happening. Maybe when you die you will wake up in some funny chair with wires attached to you and realize that your life was some sort of dream ride at an amusement park.

    These thoughts aren't really in the scope of science. I wouldn't stress about these kinds of questions to much. You're not going to find a clear answer for anything of them.
     
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