Science Reveals the World Beyond Our Senses

Microscopes, X-Rays, Telescopes, and other instruments reveal the hidden world we cannot see with our five senses. Science increases what we can know beyond our physical limitations.


Folksonomies: cognition senses prosthesis

Memes

24 DEC 2013

 Umwelt

In 1909, the biologist Jakob von Uexküll introduced the concept of the umwelt. He wanted a word to express a simple (but often overlooked) observation: Different animals in the same ecosystem pick up on different environmental signals. In the blind and deaf world of the tick, the important signals are temperature and the odor of butyric acid. For the black ghost knifefish, it’s electrical fields. For the echolocating bat, it’s air-compression waves. The small subset of the world that an ...
Folksonomies: perception senses
Folksonomies: perception senses
  1  notes

David Eagleman on how each species of animal senses only a small portion of the world, and assumes that small fraction is the entire world.

06 JUN 2012

 Passive and Active Observation

It is usual to say that the two sources of experience are Observation and Experiment. When we merely note and record the phenomena which occur around us in the ordinary course of nature we are said to observe. When we change the course of nature by the intervention of our will and muscular powers, and thus produce unusual combinations and conditions of phenomena, we are said to experiment. [Sir John] Herschel has justly remarked that we might properly call these two modes of experience passiv...
 1  1  notes

The difference between noting phenomena and experimenting with them.

05 JUN 2012

 Lenses Supplement the Infirmities of the Senses

The next care to be taken, in respect of the Senses, is a supplying of their infirmities with Instruments, and, as it were, the adding of artificial Organs to the natural; this in one of them has been of late years accomplisht with prodigious benefit to all sorts of useful knowledge, by the invention of Optical Glasses. By the means of Telescopes, there is nothing so far distant but may be represented to our view; and by the help of Microscopes, there is nothing so small, as to escape our inq...
Folksonomies: perception senses
Folksonomies: perception senses
  1  notes

Telescopes and Microscopes allow us to see what our eyes cannot.

07 MAY 2012

 Optical Illusions are "Brain Failures"

Human perception is rife with ways of getting things wrong. We don't like to admit it, because we have a high opinion of our biology, but it's true. Here's an example: We've all seen drawings that create optical illusions. They're lots of fun, but they should actually be called "brain failures." That's what's happening—a failure of human perception. Show us a few clever drawings, and our brains can't figure out what's going on. We're poor data-taking devices. That's why we have science; tha...
  1  notes

They demonstrate how imperfect our senses are and why we need science and scientific instruments to show us the way.

03 JAN 2012

 There is No "Smell Pixel"

There is no way to interpolate between two smell molecules. True, odors can be mixed together to form millions of scents. But the world’s smells can’t be broken down into just a few numbers on a gradient; there is no “smell pixel.” Think of it this way: colors and sounds can be measured with rulers, but odors must be looked up in a dictionary.
Folksonomies: senses odor
Folksonomies: senses odor
 1  1  notes

Odors are not analog, they must be looked up in a dictionary.

02 JAN 2012

 Consciousness of the Fallibility of Our Senses is a Resul...

A consciousness of the fallacy of our senses is one of the most important consequences of the study of nature. This study teaches us that no object is seen by us in its true place, owing to aberration; that the colours of substances are solely the effects of the action of matter upon light; and that light itself, as well as heat and sound, are not real beings, but modes of action communicated to our perceptions by the nerves. The human frame may therefore be regarded as an elastic system, the...
  2  notes

When you understand the underlying reality of what we see in the world around us, you understand that our perceptions deceive us. Sounds vaguely post-modern.

01 JAN 2012

 Mysteries are Served by Science

Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars - mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination - stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one - million - year - old light. A vast pattern - of which I am a part... What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth tha...
Folksonomies: wonder poetry mysteries
Folksonomies: wonder poetry mysteries
  1  notes

A poet who cannot write about the wonders of science because they understand how it works is a poor bard.

25 JUL 2011

 Man's Sense is Not the Measure of All Things

For it is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And the human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.
Folksonomies: nature perception senses
Folksonomies: nature perception senses
  1  notes

...human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.

10 JUN 2011

 Naturalism Improves Perception

Nature study also heightens our perceptive abilities: we see, hear and smell more, and more keenly, because of them. In the cities, our senses tend to atrophy. The relentless commercial badgering of signs, and the general dullness and ugliness of city landscapes, push the urban walker into the safe cocoon of his mind and further out of his senses. Simply spending time out in pastoral or wild landscapes counteracts this tendency. Spend a day in the woods and you will begin to hear a bit more a...
Folksonomies: nature virtue perception
Folksonomies: nature virtue perception
  1  notes

Being attentive to nature heightens our senses because of the enjoyment we get from listening, seeing, smelling, and feeling it.

19 MAY 2011

 The Empty Space in an Atom

A favourite analogy portrays the nucleus as a fly in the middle of a sports stadium. The nearest neighbouring nucleus is another fly, in the middle of an adjacent stadium. The electrons of each atom are buzzing about in orbit around their respective flies, smaller than the tiniest gnats, too small to be seen on the same scale as the flies. When we look at a solid lump of iron or rock, we are 'really' looking at what is almost entirely empty space. It looks and feels solid and opaque because o...
Folksonomies: wonder atom analogy model
Folksonomies: wonder atom analogy model
 1  1  notes

Our senses are not adapted to experience the empty space between atoms.



References

19 DEC 2013

 This Will Make You Smarter

Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Brockman , John (2012-02-14), This Will Make You Smarter, HarperCollins, Retrieved on 2013-12-19
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: science
    Folksonomies: science
     52  
    06 JUN 2012

     Principles of Science: A Treatise on Logic and Scientific...

    Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Jevons , William Stanley (1913), Principles of Science: A Treatise on Logic and Scientific Method, Retrieved on 2012-06-06
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  •  3  
    05 JUN 2012

     Micrographia: or, some physiological descriptions of minu...

    Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Hooke , Robert (1667), Micrographia: or, some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses. With observations and inquiries thereupon, Retrieved on 2012-06-05
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  • Folksonomies: nature
    Folksonomies: nature
     1  
    07 MAY 2012

     Space Chronicles

    Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Tyson, Neil deGrasse (2012-02-27), Space Chronicles, W. W. Norton & Company, Retrieved on 2012-05-07
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     7  
    03 JAN 2012

     You Are Not A Gadget

    Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Lanier, Jaron (2010-01-28), You Are Not A Gadget, Penguin, Retrieved on 2012-01-03
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    Folksonomies:
     15  
    01 JAN 2012

     The Feynman Lectures on Physics

    Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Feynman , Leighton , Sands (1989-01-01), The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, Retrieved on 2012-01-01
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  • Folksonomies: science
    Folksonomies: science
     3  
    10 JUN 2011

     The Naturalist’s Virtues

    Periodicals>Journal Article:  Cafaro, Philip , The Naturalist’s Virtues, Philosophy in the Contemporary World, Volume 8 Number 2 Fall-Winter 2001, Department of Philosophy, Colorado State Univ, Retrieved on 2011-06-10
     7  
    19 MAY 2011

     The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

    Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Dawkins, Richard (2010-08-24), The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, Free Press, Retrieved on 2011-05-19
    Folksonomies: evolution science
    Folksonomies: evolution science
     46  
    17 MAY 2011

     The Novum Organon, or a True Guide to the Interpretation ...

    Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Bacon , Francis (2005-11-30), The Novum Organon, or a True Guide to the Interpretation of Nature, Adamant Media Corporation, Retrieved on 2011-05-17
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    18 APR 2011

     The Connexion of the Physical Sciences

    Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Somerville , Mary (2010-01-11), The Connexion of the Physical Sciences, Nabu Press, Retrieved on 2011-04-18
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  • Folksonomies: enlightenment science
    Folksonomies: enlightenment science
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