What colour is an orange in the dark

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by mick, Oct 21, 2001.

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  1. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Correct. Plus the sensory capability of the observer.

    Enmos. When people start asking for definitions of simple words, it is the time to stop arguing.
    The opponent is digging trenches, and trench warfare is long lasting.
     
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  3. Enmos Staff Member

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    (I edited that post)

    Why not ? You can shine a light on it periodically to see if its still orange

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  5. Enmos Staff Member

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    No, it's not correct. Neither the light nor the perceptions of the observer have any impact on the objects characteristics.
     
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  7. EntropyAlwaysWins TANSTAAFL. Registered Senior Member

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    The observed colour isn't simply a property of the object because it also depends on another factor, the light hitting the object.
     
  8. Enmos Staff Member

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    Well, I disagree. I explained in one of my posts above.
     
  9. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Enmos, imagine a universe in which there is no light.
    In the middle is an orange, physically, atom for atom, exactly the same as an orange in our universe.


    Does that Orange have the colour orange?
     
  10. EntropyAlwaysWins TANSTAAFL. Registered Senior Member

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    Well, I will agree that what colour you observe if you expose the object to white light is a property of the object.
    Similarly for every other wavelength or combination of wavelengths, however, it still isn't strictly correct to say that the colour of the object is the colour that is observed if the object is exposed to white light.
     
  11. Enmos Staff Member

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    I think it is. The object still reflects the wavelengths it would normally reflect, only one or more are missing.
    The way I see it, the color of an object is directly related to its chemical makeup. In fact, it's color IS the chemical makeup.

    I can easily falsify your claim that perception has got anything to do with what color an object is. I'm colorblind.. I guess that should tell you enough

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  12. Enmos Staff Member

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    If we say that those characteristic are called orange, then yes.
     
  13. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Are you sure.
    I've already shown that the observation of the colour green is made because the colours blue and yellow are not used by a leaf's chloroplasts.


    Do you think that what an object does not do is a property of an object?
    Is being President of the United States one of my properties because that is something that I do not do?
     
  14. Enmos Staff Member

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    Of course not absorbing certain wavelengths is a characteristic. Exactly the same as not reflecting certain wavelengths is a characteristic.
     
  15. EntropyAlwaysWins TANSTAAFL. Registered Senior Member

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    Not being the president of the US would be a property of you by that definition, just as not reflecting red light is a property of the leaf.
     
  16. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    I can't quite decide on whether not being able to do something can be a characteristic of an entity. If I tried, I could probably think of some instances, but I think they would be exceptions. I think that it would be if by necessity, that that was the case. I can't see that the inability of a leaf to absorb blue and yellow can validly be said to be a property of that leaf.
    In common usage, which is what I would prefer to stick to, we define things by what they do rather than what they do not do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  17. Enmos Staff Member

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    That's arbitrary

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    [deleted- explained in next post]
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  18. Enmos Staff Member

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    You are calling it green because of those 'non-characteristics'!

    Look, what is the difference between:
    - absorbing all wavelengths but some.
    - only reflecting some wavelengths.

    No difference.
     
  19. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Damn, you deleted a patsy argument

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    I'll work on what's left.

    The difference between something that a thing does being a property of that thing, and something that that thing does not do being a property of that thing, is, in the example of the leaf, the presence of a whole system within that leaf to absorb and use light of specific wavelengths, and the absence of the ability to absorb other wavelengths.

    I think that what a thing does, rather than what is does not do, is what we would generally accept to be characteristic of that thing.
    Don't you?
     
  20. EndLightEnd This too shall pass. Registered Senior Member

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    I see your point, but the fact remains color cannot exist without light transmitting that information.

    Im partially colorblind as well. High five :cheers:
     
  21. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member

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    personal perception has nothing to do with core physics principals/laws.

    light exists as does matter.

    hypothetically speaking (an example of absolutism);

    just because you may have been blown up by a suicide bombing Bonita banana deathly yellow bang squad...
    does that mean all the earth disappears also because you can no longer perceive it ?(and that all human rights laws are now null and void).
     
  22. Enmos Staff Member

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    No, both are part of the same characteristic. Logic dictates that you can't have one without the other.
    Did you read my last post ?
     
  23. Enmos Staff Member

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    The fact remains that color perception cannot exist without light transmitting that information.
    Although.. that's not entirely true either

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    I'm red/green colorblind. I assume you are as well ?
     
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