The Vision Revolution: Eyes Are the Source of Human 'Superpowers'

Jul 03, 2009
The Vision Revolution: How the Latest Research Overturns Everything We Thought We Knew About Human Vision, which hit store shelves this month, is published by BenBella Books.

For Mark Changizi, it’s all in the eyes.

About half of the is used for , and sight is the best understood and most thoroughly investigated of the five senses. This is why Changizi, a neurobiology expert and assistant professor in the Department of at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has spent the past several years researching, writing, and challenging some of the most basic scientific assumptions about human vision.

Reaching beyond “how,” and instead inquiring “why” vision evolved as it has over millions of years, Changizi made a startling discovery: human beings do, indeed, have superpowers. And it turns out that these superpowers, all related to vision, have been instrumental in shaping the way we interact with and see the world.

The end result of Changizi’s eye-opening efforts is The Vision Revolution: How the Latest Research Overturns Everything We Thought We Knew About Human Vision. The new book, which hit store shelves this month, is published by BenBella Books.

“Our brains don’t come with user’s manuals listing all the powers we’re capable of - much of what our eyes can do is still not yet known,” Changizi said. “That’s why I think this is new, important, exciting stuff, because we are still today learning about powers we didn’t even know we have.”

Based on a series of peer-reviewed journal articles, The Vision Revolution was carefully framed and tuned by Changizi to be accessible and engaging to non-experts as well as science aficionados and career neuroscientists. The new book is a guided tour in which readers accompany Changizi as he rolls up his sleeves and sets out to answer four misleadingly simple questions: 1) Why do we see in color? 2) Why do our eyes face forward? 3) Why do we see illusions? 4) Why does reading come so naturally to us?

The short answers, surprisingly, are in the parlance of Peter Parker and Clark Kent: 1) Because we are telepathic. 2) Because we have X-ray vision. 3) Because we can see into the future. 4) Because we can commune with the dead.

The longer answers, however, are more Charles Darwin than comic books. For example, our X-ray vision is actually advanced binocular vision that developed to allow our primate ancestors to see the forest through a vast clutter of leaves and trees. Our telepathy is actually our color vision, which evolved to allow us to sense the emotions on the faces of others. And our clairvoyance is actually an ages-old hack that enables our minds to compensate for the one-tenth of a second lag between when we see something and when the visual information is received by our brain. (The very same delay, Changizi said, is at the heart of most optical illusions.)

In The Vision Revolution, Changizi tackles his four questions with a unique, interdisciplinary perspective. A self-described “square, stick-in-the-mud, pencil-necked scientist,” he employs humor, a sprinkling of pop culture references, and intuitive everyday analogies to paint a rich picture of leading-edge theoretical neuroscience and evolutionary biology.

From asking readers to imagine themselves as somber squirrels, to explaining why a uniocular, unibrowed cyclops of legend would likely best today’s teens at violent video games, The Vision Revolution explains with ease research that in the last two years has landed Changizi in the pages of Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, and USA Today.

“In targeting the book toward non-experts as well as my research peers, I believe it becomes more exciting for both kinds of readers,” Changizi said. “Non-experts don’t want a book written just for non-experts. They want to read a book they know is genuinely part of the scientific conversation. And experts don’t always need to have all the enjoyment sucked out of their readings, as in most journal articles.”

The research explored in The Vision Revolution was funded in part by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Provided by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (news : web)

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gopher65
5 / 5 (3) Jul 03, 2009
This was *not* a good article. I expect more out of RPI than this kind of tripe.

And yes, I read the whole article. The ability to analyze a scene in 3D and path through it is *not* X-Ray vision. Anyone who claims otherwise is either a lying pseudo-scientist or an idiot. I seem to remember we had this same problem with the original article on that subject a year or so ago. The other metaphors are, if anything, worse.

This book will do nothing to popularize real science; it's a misleading book that will do nothing but confuse its target audience by making them think that this is how a real scientist operates. It isn't. But they'll come to think that it is, making them more susceptible to charlatans and quacks.

Good work Changizi, you just sold another hundred thousand books for Richard Hoagland.
MongHTanPhD
1 / 5 (3) Jul 03, 2009
RE: What sources of our human 'Superpowers' -- More illusions than resolutions!?

This was *not* a good article. I expect more out of RPI than this kind of tripe.

And yes, I read the whole article. The ability to analyze a scene in 3D and path through it is *not* X-Ray vision. Anyone who claims otherwise is either a lying pseudo-scientist or an idiot. I seem to remember we had this same problem with the original article on that subject a year or so ago. The other metaphors are, if anything, worse.

This book will do nothing to popularize real science; it's a misleading book that will do nothing but confuse its target audience by making them think that this is how a real scientist operates. It isn't. But they'll come to think that it is, making them more susceptible to charlatans and quacks.

Good work Changizi, you just sold another hundred thousand books for Richard Hoagland.


Good catch, Gopher65! The evolution of our eyes cannot be explained by the 19th-century Darwinism, as Charles Darwin never considered the quantum dynamics of our life elements, that had accrued, animated, and evolved as diverse life species on Earth over 3 billion years ago!

Whereas the evolution of our eyes was affectively in response to the visible-light and other electromagnetic-gravity waves/particles, that had had forged the animation, forward-lateralization, vision, and evolution of our mobile common ancestor-organisms over 500 million years ago; and through and by further electrochemical and cellular evolution of our animal eyes, only then our primate-ancestors began to see in color over 50 million years ago. We humans never acquired X-ray vision; but binocular 3D vision!

These brief explanations thus answer the above questions of 1) Why do we see in color? and 2) Why do our eyes face forward? Also, please see my seminal book "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (linked below) Chapter 3.5 The Multicellular Organisms, Functions, and Symmetry of Life/Genes for more specific discussions.

As to the other more advanced questions of 3) Why do we see illusions? and 4) Why does reading come so naturally to us? These questions will have everything to do with the emanation, creation, growth, spread, and evolution of our human learning capabilities, minds, cultures, etc worldwide; all that had begun on Earth over 50 thousand years ago. Also, please see here: http://www.guardi...5a8b0e09 "No substitute (Religion is irreplaceable) -- RE: Why "religiosity" but not "religion" is irreplaceable in our mind!?" (GuardianUK; June 25) and "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (linked below) especially Chapter 4 The Human Life, Mind, Dreams, Intelligence, and Conscience; and Chapter 15 The Universal Theory of Mind, for our more current 21st-century discussions on these subject matters, that are all beyond the reading of the 19th-century Darwinism!?

Best wishes, Mong 7/3/9usct6:10p; author "Decoding Scientism" and "Consciousness & the Subconscious" (works in progress since July 2007), "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (2006: http://www.iunive...95379907 ) and "Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now" (blogging avidly since 2006: http://www2.blogg...50569778 ).
Doug_Huffman
not rated yet Jul 03, 2009
"never considered the quantum dynamics of our life elements"

Read 'Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" by Alan Sokal
Ethelred
4 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2009
The evolution of our eyes cannot be explained by the 19th-century Darwinism, as Charles Darwin never considered the quantum dynamics of our life elements, that had accrued, animated, and evolved as diverse life species on Earth over 3 billion years ago!


No. Natural selection is pretty good at explaining it. There really isn't anything else to explain it. Obviously Darwin didn't know how genetics works but as a first approximation he nailed it exceedingly well.

Vision isn't 3 billion years old. Seems to have started around the same time as the Cambrian Explosion. Simple light detection probably came well before then but that is beyond what we can see in fossils.

To talk of replacing religion is laughable. It is what it is, for good and ill %u2013 and who would want to attend a secular sermon anyway?


Why would you want to attend a sermon in the first place? I had enough of them decades ago.

A weekly meeting of atheists? To do what?


A person has to seriously closed minded to ask a silly question like that. Sure a lot of Agnostics and Atheists meeting DAILY right here to discuss things.

Believers often have very peculiar ideas about how people that don't believe as they do actually think.

Ethelred
gopher65
not rated yet Jul 04, 2009
No. Natural selection is pretty good at explaining it. There really isn't anything else to explain it. Obviously Darwin didn't know how genetics works but as a first approximation he nailed it exceedingly well.

Indeed. Not only that, but there is an excellent Darwinian progression of eye development.

Certain types of squids, for instance, have light sensitive cells covering their entire body. These are simple on/off receptors that tell it which way is "up" (because it is swimming in a 3D environment, it is easy to get z-axis disoriented).

One step above that, there are certain types of worms that have groupings of such on off light sensitive cells, in order to allow it to align its body in the correct direction.

In the steps above that, you see things close enough to eyes to actually call them eyes. Groups of photocells with some focusing ability.

Then you have things like us.

So eyes are not the mystery creationists like to claim. They are *by no means* irreducibly complex, and nether is anything else.

People like MongHTanPhD like to engage in the use of a logical fallacy called "The Argument From Person Incredulity". People commit this logical fallacy when they say, "I can't believe that something like this might have happened, so it didn't happen!!111eleven!!". This is similar to "The Argument From Personal Ignorance", which happens when people say like MongHTanPhD say, "I don't know how an eye could have developed, therefore no one else does either!one111!!"
gopher65
not rated yet Jul 04, 2009
I'll add MongHTanPhD, that my main concern with this article's representation of the book, is that it will confuse the public about the nature of science to the point that even people like you will be able to claim that your books teach science. It won't be true of course, but the public's perception will have been so warped by people like Mark Changizi that the general population won't be able to tell the difference between the two.
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2009
That's the worst part of pop-science-- Although it makes a lot of folk look twice, it becomes grist to mill of anyone seeking support for their own notions...

MongHTanPhD, I managed to falsify formal religion and related superstitions at the age of six (6). Out of the mouths of babes etc. My faith-school promptly out-placed me lest I brought their edifice down around them...
boz
3 / 5 (2) Jul 05, 2009
Is a cup something else before you decide it's a cup given that we have to make decision algorithms about everything we observe. Each algorithm for each separate observation IE cup, content, colour etc takes a finite amount of time to reach a decision as to what it is. Are we constructing the object or image by observation or is it always in the same form, in other words what is it before we decide what it is? Could a thing be an amorphous mass of chaotic electrons waiting for instructions or an unidentifiable thing requiring reconstruction to fit our mindset. The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics comes to mind along with the Anthropic principle. The truth is we are all too stupid to know, one way or another, just what reality is or how we manage to interpret it and, as far as I'm concerned, it's still anybody's guess.
SJC
MongHTanPhD
1 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2009
RE: Quantum (deep) thoughts shall prompt quantum resolutions (without illusions)!?

Is a cup something else before you decide it's a cup given that we have to make decision algorithms about everything we observe.


1] In reality, the observation of a (material) cup is not as "materially" something else; but the cup is an (imagery) cup -- that is reflected in our brain by the quantum process that is dubbed "memophorescenicity" (please footnote below) -- the memory that we each have had grown up to make such (a cup) decision algorithms (or memory repertoires) at each time when we try to identify about everything else that we may encounter in observations daily.

Each algorithm for each separate observation IE cup, content, colour etc takes a finite amount of time to reach a decision as to what it is. Are we constructing the object or image by observation or is it always in the same form, in other words what is it before we decide what it is?


2] I think this question of observing and deciding (or identifying) a "real" cup from an "imagery" cup, is the mental process that I explained in query 1 above.

Could a thing be an amorphous mass of chaotic electrons waiting for instructions or an unidentifiable thing requiring reconstruction to fit our mindset.


In quantum physics, the observation of an "amorphous mass of chaotic electrons" could only be detected by an electronic device (or eye) that physicists devised; but the data of this amorphous mass that is amplified by this electronic eye, would be processed as an imagery of this mass in our memory system as explained in 1 and 2 above.

The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics comes to mind along with the Anthropic principle. The truth is we are all too stupid to know, one way or another, just what reality is or how we manage to interpret it and, as far as I'm concerned, it's still anybody's guess. SJC


The advanced and practical Quantum Mechanics has nothing to do with the Anthropic principle (AP). The AP (which posits that the Universe is fine tuned for the existence of human life) is an "anthropocentric" theory of epistemology by misreading cosmology; one which is not quite unlike the conventional "anthropomorphic" theology or Intelligent Design theory by misreading biology! -- Is there any difference between these 2 "creationist" theories or philosophies of "God created man in his own image" (based on monotheist creationism) and "Human life was fine-tuned by the Universe" (based on incomprehensive AP cosmology)!?

Footnote: All these questions and observations of the intricate and dynamic brain-mind interactions must now require a new formulation of the Theory of Mind (or the "thought-memory" theory of consciousness to be more scientifically and philosophically defined) as one that has had integrated all the delicate mechanisms of our "thought and memory" systems in our brain; and one that has had been extensively and empirically characterized, localized, and defined as "memophorescenicity" as the brain-mind quantum panorama of our consciousness, in my seminal book "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (linked below; please see Chapter 15: The Universal Theory of Mind, in general; and Chapter 15.4: Memory Modulation and Recall: A New Hypothesis of Psychic Imagery, Perceptivity, Creativity, and Reflectivity, in particular).


Best wishes, Mong 7/6/9usct1:16p; author "Decoding Scientism" and "Consciousness & the Subconscious" (works in progress since July 2007), "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (2006: http://www.iunive...95379907 ) and "Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now" (blogging avidly since 2006: http://www2.blogg...50569778 ).
MongHTanPhD
1 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2009
RE: Why argumentum ad hominem -- Is it low self-esteem!?

No. Natural selection is pretty good at explaining it. There really isn't anything else to explain it. Obviously Darwin didn't know how genetics works but as a first approximation he nailed it exceedingly well.


Indeed. Not only that, but there is an excellent Darwinian progression of eye development.

Certain types of squids, for instance, have light sensitive cells covering their entire body. These are simple on/off receptors that tell it which way is "up" (because it is swimming in a 3D environment, it is easy to get z-axis disoriented).

One step above that, there are certain types of worms that have groupings of such on off light sensitive cells, in order to allow it to align its body in the correct direction.

In the steps above that, you see things close enough to eyes to actually call them eyes. Groups of photocells with some focusing ability.

Then you have things like us.

So eyes are not the mystery creationists like to claim. They are *by no means* irreducibly complex, and nether is anything else.

People like MongHTanPhD like to engage in the use of a logical fallacy called "The Argument From Person Incredulity". People commit this logical fallacy when they say, "I can't believe that something like this might have happened, so it didn't happen!!111eleven!!". This is similar to "The Argument From Personal Ignorance", which happens when people say like MongHTanPhD say, "I don't know how an eye could have developed, therefore no one else does either!one111!!"


Specifically, Gopher65, you just exposed yourself for being an ignoramus in the erudition of the human eye: 1] by going ad hominem at the issue; 2] by trying to put your words into someone else's mouth; and 3] by seconding someone else's inaccurate response to someone else's argument about the origin, evolution, and function of the human eye!? Would you care to correct yourself? And,

I'll add MongHTanPhD, that my main concern with this article's representation of the book, is that it will confuse the public about the nature of science to the point that even people like you will be able to claim that your books teach science. It won't be true of course, but the public's perception will have been so warped by people like Mark Changizi that the general population won't be able to tell the difference between the two.


Specifically, Gopher65, have you had a chance of reading (or searching) my book "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (linked below)? How could you be so sure that Mark Changizi's book "The Vision Revolution" and mine aren't about sciences? Although we may have different perspectives on sciences, you definitely have had underestimated the general readership%u2019s intelligence of this widely-read PhysOrg.com!? Would you care to retract all your ad hominem remarks above -- if you're indeed a well-cultured science reader-educator herein at the PhysOrg.com?

Best wishes, Mong 7/7/9usct11:45a; author "Decoding Scientism" and "Consciousness & the Subconscious" (works in progress since July 2007), "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (2006: http://www.iunive...95379907 ) and "Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now" (blogging avidly since 2006: http://www2.blogg...50569778 ).
Ethelred
not rated yet Jul 07, 2009
] by seconding someone else's inaccurate response to someone else's argument about the origin, evolution, and function of the human eye!?


Sorry but my response about the eye was accurate. Evolution covers it quite well. If you have a problem with that statement you really need to read more on evolution. Perhaps Dawkin's classic The Blind Watchmaker which covers the evolution of the eye. There is another that goes into a lot of detail since the it was the author's thesis that vision drove the Cambrian Explosion. Can't remember the name.

After a search via google and the library I use I think it might be:

In the blink of an eye / Andrew Parker.

http://www.amazon...?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246987279&sr=8-1

His book was published and is available in at least some libraries. Dawkin's book should be even easier to get.

Ethelred
gopher65
not rated yet Jul 07, 2009
My attacks weren't ad hominems. Do you know what an ad hominem attack is?

If I had said, "You lack intelligence, and therefore because of that you are wrong", that would be an ad hominem attack.

If I say, "You're wrong, and therefore you show that you lack intelligence", that is *NOT* an ad hominem attack. Read up on it, buddy.

And yes, I'm absolutely sure that you aren't a scientist. Your replies here have provided ample evidence of your inability to grasp reality.
MongHTanPhD
1 / 5 (2) Jul 08, 2009
RE: Human eye evolution: Quantum mechanics (biochemical) perspectives!

The evolution of our eyes cannot be explained by the 19th-century Darwinism, as Charles Darwin never considered the quantum dynamics of our life elements, that had accrued, animated, and evolved as diverse life species on Earth over 3 billion years ago!


No. Natural selection is pretty good at explaining it. There really isn't anything else to explain it. Obviously Darwin didn't know how genetics works but as a first approximation he nailed it exceedingly well.[1]

Vision isn't 3 billion years old. Seems to have started around the same time as the Cambrian Explosion. Simple light detection probably came well before then but that is beyond what we can see in fossils.[2]


1] OK, Ethelred, since you're insisting on a rebuttal, let me ask you some specific questions that I thought you should have had addressed in your response above: a) How could Natural Selection (NS) explain the development of our eyes? b) That is, with what mechanisms did our eyes develop and evolve by NS? c) How did Darwin nail it exceedingly well? d) What did you mean by "it:" the mechanism of the eye development; or the eye itself? And last, but not least, e) How could the eye develop by itself, and why?

Without including these specific (scientific and philosophical) answers in your %u201Cbroad brush%u201D response above, your dubious "reductionist" answer could simply be interpreted just as good as any "creationist" respond to the question of life creation (with edits in parenthesis):

No. [Intelligent Design (ID)] is pretty good at explaining it. There really isn't anything else to explain it. Obviously Darwin didn't know how genetics works but as a first approximation he nailed it exceedingly well.


This reductionism of Darwinian NS has indeed emboldened neo-creationists -- or ID theorists since the 1990s -- to challenge neo-Darwinists -- like Richard Dawkins -- on their both (mutual) misreading and abusing science and Darwinism of the 19th century (more discussions below)!

2] Meanwhile, back to your response 1 above -- obviously -- you didn't get my second paragraph which had contained mush more information than your contradictory reductionist-creationist dubious arguments in 1 above; and my second paragraph at issue is quoted below, for your convenience:

Whereas the evolution of our eyes was affectively in response to the visible-light and other electromagnetic-gravity waves/particles, that had had forged the animation, forward-lateralization, vision, and evolution of our mobile common ancestor-organisms over 500 million years ago; and through and by further electrochemical and cellular evolution of our animal eyes, only then our primate-ancestors began to see in color over 50 million years ago. We humans never acquired X-ray vision; but binocular 3D vision!


Furthermore, as I pointed out in my preamble sentence: the biochemical basis -- or the quantum mechanics (dynamics) -- for the origins of life elemental species and the light-element interactive processes, could have had been accrued and evolved as soon as there was the day-night cycle, on Earth, over 3 billion years ago. Therefore, your response was totally irrelevant nor accurate! And then, your rebuttal proclamation (as quoted below) didn't even address those specific questions in my preamble statement at all:

Sorry but my response about the eye was accurate. Evolution covers it quite well. If you have a problem with that statement you really need to read more on evolution. Perhaps Dawkin's classic The Blind Watchmaker which covers the evolution of the eye. There is another that goes into a lot of detail since the it was the author's thesis that vision drove the Cambrian Explosion. Can't remember the name.

After a search via google and the library I use I think it might be:

In the blink of an eye / Andrew Parker: http://www.amazon...?ie=UTF8 .

His book was published and is available in at least some libraries. Dawkin's book should be even easier to get.

Ethelred


Instead you provided a circular rebuttal with some book references.

Mind you, and thanks, I have been fully aware of Dawkins' writings and scholarships: I would definitely characterize him as a very astute armchair neo-Darwinist, whose reductionist misreading and abusing of science and Darwinism has indeed gotten him stuck at the 19th-century mentality (or definition) of evolution by Darwinian NS since the mid-1970s -- please see these questions in my rebuttal 1 above; and also my brief comment on Dawkins' works here: http://blogs.natu...comments "Science writer waits on legal advice in libel case -- RE: Simon Singh vs. the BCA -- How a "big bang" jolt could be defused into a "whimper" in the current fad/bad science writing industry!?" (NatureBlogsUK; May 20); and more elsewhere since 2006 that are listed in my simple blog "Global Dialogues Now" (linked below).

Andrew Parker's books are more reasonable and scientific than Dawkinsian reductionism; but they both still don't address the quantum dynamics of the origin, evolution, and function of the human eye questions, either! Thus your rebuttal above is still invalid; but circular at best, unless you could specifically respond to those questions that I posed in my rebuttal 1 above!?

Best wishes, Mong 7/8/9usct1:30p; author "Decoding Scientism" and "Consciousness & the Subconscious" (works in progress since July 2007), "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (2006: http://www.iunive...95379907 ) and "Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now" (blogging avidly since 2006: http://www2.blogg...50569778 ).
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Jul 09, 2009
1] OK, Ethelred, since you're insisting on a rebuttal,


You were the one making the lame remarks while posting to someone else. Talk to me if you want to make remarks about me.

a) How could Natural Selection (NS) explain the development of our eyes?


I mentioned two books. Both cover it. Very well. Since you don't seem to read books about evolution here is link or several.

http://www.spring...ext.html

http://www.spring...ext.html

And the whole thing can be accessed here:
http://www.isaiad...the-eye/

b) That is, with what mechanisms did our eyes develop and evolve by NS?


That question shows that you don't even now that Natural Selection IS the mechanism. Just follow the links above and you find truth.

c) How did Darwin nail it exceedingly well?


Oh dear you haven't actually read Darwin have you. No that isn't actually a question since you clearly have only read out of context quotes. Now for the one you have seen and what Darwin said next in Origins.

The out of context quote:
To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. (Darwin 1872)


The part Creationists NEVER want anyone to see:

Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound. (Darwin 1872, 143-144)


And he goes on for several pages more. Do try reading actual science.

d) What did you mean by "it:" the mechanism of the eye development; or the eye itself?


The eye itself. The mechanism of evolution is mutation and Natural Selection.

e) How could the eye develop by itself, and why?


It develops as part of an organism and not by itself. Get a clue read the links.

As for why? That is a strange question. To sense things that cannot otherwise be sensed. For survival and continued reproduction. To start with, perhaps just to tell which way is up in the water column but it wasn't something anything was trying to do it was the result of differences in rates of reproduction.

your dubious "reductionist" answer could simply be interpreted just as good as any "creationist"


Except that I had assumed that you were a scientist. Sorry my fault. You clearly haven't read anything on evolution that didn't come from a Creationist. No scientist would only read the oppositions point of view. I have read both sides and the Creationist point of view is clearly to deny reality.

No. [Intelligent Design (ID)] is pretty good at explaining it. There really isn't anything else to explain it.


Actually all says is 'god did it don't look deeper or you will go to Hell'. I read Behe. He is guilty of standard Creationist ploys dressed up in a nice new suit. Only isn't really new, all he has done is look for a gap on the chemical level. His god has to fit into VERY small gaps.

This reductionism of Darwinian NS has indeed emboldened neo-creationists -- or ID theorists since the 1990s -- to challenge neo-Darwinists -- like Richard Dawkins -- on their both (mutual) misreading and abusing science and Darwinism of the 19th century (more discussions below)!


Well Creationists have been aping those pointing out their errors anyway. Much like you are doing. They have yet to engage in actual science. Even Dr. Behe has NEVER run a single experiment. He got wasted on the stand at Dover. He knew so little about what other scientists had actually learned.

2] Meanwhile, back to your response 1 above -- obviously -- you didn't get my second paragraph


Nothing to get. You simply don't understand how evolution works at all. Haven't read up on eyes.

Whereas the evolution of our eyes was affectively in response to the visible-light and other electromagnetic-gravity waves/particles


Gravity? That is weird. The rest isn't correct either. Its not response to those. Its not a response to anything. Its a result of variable rates of successful reproduction due to changes in the genome, in this instance, changes that effect vision.

and evolution of our mobile common ancestor-organisms over 500 million years ago;


Eyes were pretty primitive still then.

only then our primate-ancestors began to see in color over 50 million years ago.


Actually most mammals see color. They just don't depend on it. Where higher primates differ is in the percentage of cones vs rod and a mutation that resulted in a third cone type allowing us to tell the difference between red and green. Very useful for fruit eaters. Not so good for seeing past camouflage. People with red-green color blindness have an easier time spotting things that are camouflaged.

. We humans never acquired X-ray vision; but binocular 3D vision!


What a surprise. One is useful, especially for arboreal animals, and the other is worthless since X-rays are stopped by the atmosphere.

Furthermore, as I pointed out in my preamble sentence: the biochemical basis -- or the quantum mechanics (dynamics) -- for the origins of life elemental species and the light-element interactive processes, could have had been accrued and evolved as soon as there was the day-night cycle


You pointed it out wrong. The day light cycle came long before multicellular animals. Billions of years. Of course there are bacteria and single celled organisms that have chemicals that are effected by light. But actual eyes require a multi-celled organism which came MUCH later than the day night cycle.

Therefore, your response was totally irrelevant nor accurate!


Translation from Creationist speak - You didn't want to deal with it so you ignored it.

It was relevant and accurate. Natural Selection explains vision very well. Read the links.

And then, your rebuttal proclamation (as quoted below) didn't even address those specific questions in my preamble statement at all:


I really don't care what sophistry you engage in.

Instead you provided a circular rebuttal with some book references.


I don't think you know what a circular argument is. You seem to be aping again.

the book references were there to show that the questions have been addressed in exceeding detail. More detail than is appropriate here. Just read the books or the links and get a clue or two.

I have been fully aware of Dawkins' writings and scholarships:


Awareness and and actual reading are two different things. Few Creationists read The Blind Watchmaker. They tend to stop being Creationists if they do.

: I would definitely characterize him as a very astute armchair neo-Darwinist, whose reductionist misreading and abusing of science


I have news for you. Science is inherently reductionist. I haven't seen him abuse science either. I haven't see you use science. Now YOU are abusing science and the English language. You don't even know the difference between circular arguments and a post of evidence.

Darwinism has indeed gotten him stuck at the 19th-century mentality (or definition) of evolution by Darwinian NS since the mid-1970s


Have you actually read a single book by ANYONE that researches evolution? Ever. Darwin didn't know about genetics. So modern evolutionary theory has advanced considerably due to our knowledge of genetics. The idea of blending was real problem at the time of Darwin and until science learned about genes which do not blend.

; and also my brief comment on Dawkins' works here


Referring to him is not the same as commenting on him. I see no sign that you have actually read anything by him.

Andrew Parker's books are more reasonable and scientific than Dawkinsian reductionism;


How would you know, you haven't read either,or would not have so many false concepts of evolution and the eye? Try reading Dawkins. Try learning that reductionism is how science works, especially in biology where it is impossible to deal with a whole organism for all its history in a single sentence, unless you are a Creationist anyway "but its still bacteria". Parker is a reductionist as well. He is no more reasonable or less reasonable than Dawkins. I do think he overstates the case for vision as the development of hard strutures seem every bit as important.

but they both still don't address the quantum dynamics of the origin, evolution, and function of the human eye questions, either!


Why should they? QM is irrelevant in this. Its bio-chemistry and what counts is what works. The details of an electron cascade and Uncertainty don't actually have much to do with this level of science.

Thus your rebuttal above is still invalid; but circular at best, unless you could specifically respond to those questions that I posed in my rebuttal 1 above!?


Clearly you need a dictionary or at least a glimmer of a clue as to a hint about what a circular argument is.

Here get another clue:

http://en.wikiped...finition

http://en.wikiped...question

I suspect that you have taken the Creationist bait on the lie that Natural Selection is a circular argument. It isn't. Now there is positive and negative feedback but feedback loops are not circular in evolution.

Ethelred
gopher65
not rated yet Jul 09, 2009
People with red-green color blindness have an easier time spotting things that are camouflaged.

Huh. Really? I'm going to have to read up on that. I'd have thought it would be the other way around. Weird.
Ethelred
not rated yet Jul 09, 2009
From:
http://en.wikiped...lindness

Color blindness is sometimes classed as a disability; in certain situations, however, color blind people have an advantage over people with normal color vision. There are some studies which conclude that color blind individuals are better at penetrating certain camouflages.


Ethelred
MongHTanPhD
1 / 5 (2) Jul 10, 2009
RE: Why reductionist-sophists will not realize their arguments are circular or scientific or ad hominem!?

You were the one making the lame remarks while posting to someone else. Talk to me if you want to make remarks about me.


Sorry, Ethelred, that's because your statement was quoted by someone else, who used it as a step stone to attack someone else ad hominem -- whereas, at least, in my rebuttal to that attack, I didn't mention your name at all; but you responded it with a circular argument (more discussions below)!

In fact, FYI, in my professional science and philosophy writings, I don't and won't do any argumentum ad hominem at all; and that's the motto of science journalism that I just commented on and will adhere to here:
http://jackofkent...24961025 [Blogging vs Internet Journalism? -- RE: Science journalists vs. sensational "churnalists"!? (JackofKentUK; July 9)].

Meanwhile, back to your case at hand: I would only analyze arguments based on what posters say (usually those with good common sense, wisdom, conscience, etc); and not on what quoted references say, especially regarding your circular, rebuttal, arguments, such as sophism below (please note, as an illustration, the reductionism NS or Evolutionism is replaced by the creationism ID in parenthesis):

No. [Intelligent Design (ID)] is pretty good at explaining it. There really isn't anything else to explain it. Obviously Darwin didn't know how genetics works but as a first approximation he nailed it exceedingly well.
vs. your circular rebuttal:
Sorry but my response about the eye was accurate. [ID] covers it quite well. If you have a problem with that statement you really need to read more on [ID].


These are very dubious, sophist, reductionist, creationist, circular proclamation-arguments; or what else can they be, from the trained scientific and philosophical perspectives!?

As such, your circular statements are 1) arguing in repetition, with no new information added; 2) (intentionally or unconsciously) attempting to redirect and/or misdirect your focus of argument to somewhere else (almost ad hominem); and 3) further providing 2 irrelevant book references, that I analyzed with you before above (RE: Quantum mechanics or biochemical basis of human eye evolution)!

Besides, you've had a habit of misreading and misquoting other people's writings, like this one:

Darwinism has indeed gotten him stuck at the 19th-century mentality (or definition) of evolution by Darwinian NS since the mid-1970s
vs. my original writing:
whose reductionist misreading and abusing of science and Darwinism has indeed gotten him stuck at the 19th-century mentality (or definition) of evolution by Darwinian NS since the mid-1970s


Can you see the contextual difference by your habitual misquoting and misreading? Hint: the misquoted becomes Darwinism vs. the originally intended Dawkinsism! That's why you had presented yet another irrelevant sophist response (almost ad hominem) as quoted below:

Have you actually read a single book by ANYONE that researches evolution? Ever. Darwin didn't know about genetics. So modern evolutionary theory has advanced considerably due to our knowledge of genetics. The idea of blending was real problem at the time of Darwin and until science learned about genes which do not blend.


Obviously, you didn't even differentiate your misreading of Darwinism to those of Dawkinsism in my writings: whether as a philosophy or science or sophism or NS reductionism!?

Consequently, let's just refocus (once and for all) on your initial key issue at hand: the 2 nice Darwin's quotes that you provided are his 19th-century "philosophical" insights (or speculations) on the eye development "possibly" by NS reductionism; and not his any actual "scientific" descriptions of the eye or ear developments, at all! Can you "differentiate" when or which Darwinian quotes could be read as a "philosophy;" and which quotes as "science"?

Although we acknowledge that Darwin's NS "hunches" were pretty good -- especially one like his insightful "view" of the "tree of life-connection" to the common ancestry or origin of all organic-organism species (based on his and others' taxonomy, geology, and geography of the time) -- we must also realize that he had had absolutely "no ideas" on "how" and "why" the life organisms (including the eye or ear or genes, etc) got "originally started" on this unique planet Earth at all!

Scientifically and philosophically, these more "advanced" biogenetic and biochemical mechanisms of life and queries, can only be explained and postulated by the 20th-century QM of life organic elemental electrochemistry and biochemical genetics, as those that I presented before above; and also, in my seminal book "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (linked below)!

Therefore, yours and Dawkins' NS reductionism proclamation that "Evolution explains it all" is no better, nor scientific, nor accurate than Behe's sophist, creationist claim that "ID (or God) explains it all" -- at all! Hint: They both are bipolar opposites of sophism, NS reductionism vs. ID creationism!

Can you see and understand and analyze your own sophist NS reductionism, in science and Darwinism, now!? That is exactly how Dawkins has had been consistently misreading and abusing Darwinism and science, since the publication of his first armchair, neo-Darwinist, NS reductionism book "The Selfish Gene" in 1976!

Last, but not least, thanks for your nice references on the eye development above -- but my analyses herein are all based on what you had had said or misread above; and not on what references may say elsewhere: with which you've had often tried to misquote and present irrelevantly, so as to bolster your (unconsciously) circular sophism and reductionism, in science and Darwinism, as I analyzed, for your convenience, above!

Hints: Sound arguments require accurate reading and writing -- but not misdirecting and/or misquoting so as to bolster sophism in science and/or philosophy matters! Caveat lector!

Thank you all for your kind attention and cooperation in this matter. Happy reading, scrutinizing, introspecting, and enlightening worldwide! :)

Best wishes, Mong 7/10/9usct5:09p; author "Decoding Scientism" and "Consciousness & the Subconscious" (works in progress since July 2007), "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (2006: http://www.iunive...95379907 ) and "Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now" (blogging avidly since 2006: http://www2.blogg...50569778 ).
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Jul 11, 2009
RE: Why reductionist-sophists will not realize their arguments are circular or scientific or ad hominem!?




Could it be because they aren't. There was NOTHING ad hominem. Heck I could even point out that you had to self-publish and that wouldn't be ad hominem. It would just be true.



Sorry, Ethelred, that's because your statement was quoted by someone else, who used it as a step stone to attack someone else ad hominem -- whereas, at least, in my rebuttal to that attack, I didn't mention your name at all; but you responded it with a circular argument (more discussions below)!




Or rather you took me on without doing it directly. So why pretend otherwise?



In fact, FYI, in my professional science and philosophy writings, I don't and won't do any argumentum ad hominem at all;




That wouldn't be professional. I don't here either except occassionaly AFTER someone did it to me which is more self-defense than ad hominem.



And why are you going on about it anyway?



I sure didn't do it. So even using it in the same sentence as Ethelred makes me wonder if your are trying to pretend that I did.



Meanwhile, back to your case at hand:




You do go on about nothing don't you. All these paragraphs about things that don't relate to anything I said. I call that evasion.



You

vs. your circular rebuttal:




Not an actual quote of me but your attempt to evade:

Sorry but my response about the eye was accurate. [ID] covers it quite well. If you have a problem with that statement you really need to read more on [ID].




Which isn't circular either so why are you still pretending. And ID covers nothing. Its just claiming that God did it with no evidence to support it unlike Natural Selection which has megatons of evidence.



I have read on ID. And it just says god did it. What have you read about evolution from actual scientists? Nothing so far, at least that you have admitted too.



These are very dubious, sophist, reductionist, creationist, circular proclamation-arguments; or what else can they be, from the trained scientific and philosophical perspectives!?




Again with you NOT showing any errors. Show circularity. I dare you. You are evading the question yet again.



And why are you pretending that there is something wrong with reductionism? How the heck did you learn ANYTHING about cancer without using reductionism. You didn't.



And I asked what your problem was with reductionism and you evaded. Could it be that you don't understand that little about science even though you were a researcher and must have used reductionism.



As such, your circular statements are




Nonexistent. You have yet to show a single sign of my doing so.



1) arguing in repetition, with no new information added;




Quit evading and then there might be something new for me to say. If you just keep pretending there is circularity I have little choice to keep pointing it out that you didn't show it.



2) (intentionally or unconsciously) attempting to redirect and/or misdirect your focus of argument to somewhere else (almost ad hominem); and




Well you sure into that anyway. Cease evading and show any sign of my doing any of those things.



Did you actually get away this crap in academia?



) further providing 2 irrelevant book references, that I analyzed with you before above




They are neither irrelevant nor did you analyze them since you have clearly read neither you have no way to analyze them.



(RE: Quantum mechanics or biochemical basis of human eye evolution)!




Do you even have a clue to what QM is or how evolution works? You sure don't show any signs of it.



Besides, you've had a habit of misreading and misquoting other people's writings, like this one:




Nonsense. But you sure do evade.



Can you see the contextual difference by your habitual misquoting and misreading?




Its not a misquote. It is and exact copy and paste. I just cut to the relevant part. The whole thing is there in the original just a bit up the page. These posts get long enough as it is.



Hint: the misquoted becomes Darwinism vs. the originally intended Dawkinsism!




The misreading is yours. I was talking about your bogus claims that DAWKINS is stuck in the 19th century.



Obviously, you didn't even differentiate your misreading of Darwinism to those of Dawkinsism in my writings: whether as a philosophy or science or sophism or NS reductionism!?




Obviously your are pretending that I wasn't talking about YOU abusing both of them. Clearly for the purposes of continued evasion.



Consequently, let's just refocus (once and for all)




That will be the day that you quite evading.



the 2 nice Darwin's quotes that you provided are his 19th-century "philosophical" insights (or speculations) on the eye development "possibly" by NS reductionism; and not his any actual "scientific" descriptions of the eye or ear developments, at all!
]



There are three more pages in Origins AND I was pointing that YOU were taking DARWIN out of context. And the I pointed to two books that have a LOT about how eyes evolved.



Can you "differentiate" when or which Darwinian quotes could be read as a "philosophy;" and which quotes as "science"?




Neither are philosophy. Can you read what I write? There is a lot of evidence for the evolution of eyes. Almost all of it came after Darwin.



Although we acknowledge that Darwin's NS "hunches" were pretty good --




Hunches? They were strong theories and they fit the evidence exceedingly well. Still.



we must also realize that he had had absolutely "no ideas" on "how" and "why" the life organisms (including the eye or ear or genes, etc) got "originally started" on this unique planet Earth at all!




Oh he had ideas, just a shortage of evidence, which is why I posted the two books you clearly have not read.



can only be explained and postulated by the 20th-century QM of life organic elemental electrochemistry and biochemical genetics




QM is still not needed to understand it. QM can barely handle the hydrogen bond. So it has nothing to do with the details of biochemistry, except for the hydrogen bond. QM isn't even used in the protein folding project.



n my seminal book "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (linked below)!





So seminal you had to self-publish and label it seminal yourself. I am so impressed. OK you did actually write a book. That took a lot of effort. Now get an editor to fix it. The first chapter that I read on Amazon is well, poorly constructed, and I note that elsewhere you complain about Dawkins TRANSGRESSING on areas you think he shouldn't be. Yet you were doing it far more than him and that was just one chapter.



herefore, yours and Dawkins' NS reductionism proclamation that "Evolution explains it all" is no better, nor scientific, nor accurate than Behe's sophist, creationist claim that "ID (or God) explains it all" -- at all!




ID explains nothing, it just says god did it. Natural Selection along with mutation DOES explain things. Neither I nor Dawkins are making that claim without actual evidence. Quite unlike Behe who didn't even know that his hemoglobin cascade was NOT irreducibly complex because some whales are missing ONE part of the cascade and they are reproducing nicely.



They both are bipolar opposites of sophism, NS reductionism vs. ID creationism!




Go ahead. Show how reductionism is sophism.



That is exactly how Dawkins has had been consistently misreading and abusing Darwinism and science, since the publication of his first armchair, neo-Darwinist, NS reductionism book "The Selfish Gene" in 1976!





Have you read it? He didn't misread Darwinism he extended it to the genes. What you are doing is EXACTLY like claiming:



'Eistein misread Newton when he published his paper on General Relativity.'



Last, but not least, thanks for your nice references on the eye development above --




Did you read them? Or Dawkins or Darwin for that matter?



- but my analyses herein are all based on what you had had said or misread above;




I misread nothing so any analysis that claims otherwise isn't much to write home about.



and not on what references may say elsewhere: with which you've had often tried to misquote and present irrelevantly,




Haven't misquoted you yet. Contol C Control V makes it easy. It has ALL been relevant.



so as to bolster your (unconsciously) circular sophism and reductionism, in science and Darwinism, as I analyzed, for your convenience, above!




Yet again with fairy tales. SHOW CIRCULARITY. I DARE YOU.



Gosh I feel like I am arguing with a twelve year old that recently discovered a new word that he doesn't understand.



SHOW CIRCULARITY. If I did it, you could show it.



Hints: Sound arguments require accurate reading and writing --




Agreed, now how about your trying to use a sound argument instead of evading and making claims of circularity without showing any. And lets see your argument against reductionism.



but not misdirecting and/or misquoting so as to bolster sophism in science and/or philosophy matters! Caveat lector!




Well that showed me. Not.

Pretending I misquoting will not avail you.

Evading will not avail you.

Misunderstanding Darwin and Dawkins will not make you right.

Thank you all for your kind attention and cooperation in this matter.


The day I cooperate with such poorly constructed bilge will be day I forget how to hit submit.

Show circularity. If you can't then quit pretending.

Ethelred
gopher65
not rated yet Jul 11, 2009
MongHTanPhD: FFS man look up the meaning of "ad hominem" already! You are *NOT* using the word correctly.

It's difficult to take someone seriously when they are misusing many of the non-standard words in their posts.
MongHTanPhD
1 / 5 (2) Aug 22, 2009
RE: Neo-Darwinist reductionism vs. Intelligent Design (ID) creationism!?

This reductionism of Darwinian NS has indeed emboldened neo-creationists -- or ID theorists since the 1990s -- to challenge neo-Darwinists -- like Richard Dawkins -- on their both (mutual) misreading and abusing science and Darwinism of the 19th century (more discussions below)!

Recently, I expanded this neo-Darwinist vs. ID creationist argument in more details here: http://www.physfo...pic=6365&view=findpost&p=423953 "Let's begin the Dialogue and Reconciliation of Science and Religion Now! -- RE: What's mind (or never mind)!? -- Deciphering idiosyncrasies of scientific/religious rationalism vs. neo-Darwinist/ID-creationist irrationalism, in science and philosophy today!?" (PhysForumEU; August 2) -- [in case this URL link doesn%u2019t lead to the exact post, this August 2 article can be found on page 153 of the %u201CDialogue and Reconciliation%u201D thread therein].

Best wishes, Mong 8/22/9usct2:23p; practical science-philosophy critic; author "Decoding Scientism" and "Consciousness & the Subconscious" (works in progress since July 2007), "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (2006: http://www.iunive...95379907 ) and "Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now" (blogging avidly since 2006: http://www2.blogg...50569778 ).

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