It may be fun to perceive illusions, but the understanding of how they work is even more stimulating and sustainable: They can tell us where the limits and capacity of our perceptual apparatus are found—they can specify how the constraints of perception are set. Furthermore, they let us analyze the cognitive sub-processes underlying our perception. Illusions in a scientific context are not mainly created to reveal the failures of our perception or the dysfunctions of our apparatus, but instead point to the specific power of human perception. The main task of human perception is to amplify and strengthen sensory inputs to be able to perceive, orientate and act very quickly, specifically and efficiently. The present paper strengthens this line of argument, strongly put forth by perceptual pioneer Richard L. Gregory (e.g., Gregory, 2009), by discussing specific visual illusions and how they can help us to understand the magic of perception.
Keywords: optical illusion, delusion, deception, reality, perception, representation, validity, truth
About the veridicality of perception
The relationship between reality and object
Sensory perception is often the most striking proof of something factual—when we perceive something, we interpret it and take it as “objective”, “real”. Most obviously, you can experience this with eyewitness testimonies: If an eyewitness has “seen it with the naked eye”, judges, jury members and attendees take the reports of these percepts not only as strong evidence, but usually as fact—despite the active and biasing processes on basis of perception and memory. Indeed, it seems that there is no better, no more “proof” of something being factual knowledge than having perceived it. The assumed link between perception and physical reality is particularly strong for the visual sense—in fact, we scrutinize it only when sight conditions have been unfortunate, when people have bad vision or when we know that the eyewitness was under stress or was lacking in cognitive faculties. When people need even more proof of reality than via the naked eye, they intuitively try to touch the to-be-analyzed entity (if at all possible) in order to investigate it haptically. Feeling something by touch seems to be the ultimate perceptual experience in order for humans to speak of physical proof (Carbon and Jakesch, 2013).
We can analyze the quality of our perceptual experiences by standard methodological criteria. By doing so we can regularly find out that our perception is indeed mostly very reliable and also objective (Gregory and Gombrich, 1973)—but only if we employ standard definitions of “objective” as being consensual among different beholders. Still, even by meeting these methodological criteria, we cannot give something in evidence about physical reality. It seems that knowledge about the physical properties of objects cannot be gained by perception, so perception is neither “veridical” nor “valid” in the strict sense of the words—the properties of the “thing in itself” remain indeterminate in any empirical sense (Kant, 1787/1998). We “reliably” and “objectively” might perceive the sun going up in the morning and down in the evening; the physical relations are definitely different, as we have known at least since Nicolaus Copernicus’s proposed heliocentricism—it might also be common sense that the Earth is a spheroid for most people, still the majority of people have neither perceived the Earth as spherical nor represented it like that; one reason for this is that in everyday life contexts the illusion of a plane works perfectly well to guide us in the planning and execution of our actions (Carbon, 2010b).
Limitations of the possibility of objective perception
The limitations of perception are even more far reaching: our perception is not only limited when we do not have access to the thing in itself, it is very practically limited to the quality of processing and the general specifications of our perceptual system. For instance, our acoustic sense can only register and process a very narrow band of frequencies ranging from about 16 Hz–20 kHz as a young adult—this band gets narrower and narrower with increasing age. Typically, infrasonic and ultrasonic bands are just not perceivable despite being essential for other species such as elephants and bats, respectively. The perception of the environment and, consequently, the perception and representation of the world as such, is different for these species—what would be the favorite music of an elephant, which preference would a bat indicate if “honestly asked”? What does infrasonic acoustics sound and feel like? Note: infrasonic frequencies can also be perceived by humans; not acoustically in a strict sense but via vibrations—still, the resulting experiences are very different (cf. Nagel, 1974). To make such information accessible we need transformation techniques; for instance, a Geiger-Müller tube for making ionizing radiation perceivable as we have not developed any sensory system for detecting and feeling this band of extremely high frequency electromagnetic radiation.
But even if we have access to given information from the environmental world, it would be an illusion to think of “objective perception” of it—differences in perception across different individuals seem to be obvious: this is one reason for different persons having different tastes, but it is even more extreme: even within a lifetime of one person, the perceptual qualities and quantities which we can process change. Elderly people, for instance, often have yellowish corneas yielding biased color perception reducing the ability to detect and differentiate bluish color spectra. So even objectivity of perceptions in the sense of consensual experience is hardly achievable, even within one species, even within one individual—just think of fashion phenomena (Carbon, 2011a), of changes in taste (Martindale, 1990) or the so-called cycle of preferences (Carbon, 2010a)! Clearly, so-called objective perception is impossible, it is an illusion.
Illusory construction of the world
The problem with the idea of veridical perception of the world is further intensified when taking additional perceptual phenomena, which demonstrate highly constructive qualities of our perceptual system, into account. A very prominent example of this kind is the perceptual effect which arises when any visual information which we want to process falls on the area of the retina where the so-called blind spot is located (see Figure 1).
Demonstration of the blind spot, the area on the retina where visual information cannot be processed due to a lack of photoreceptors. The demonstration works as follows: Fixate at a distance of approx. 40 cm the X on the left side with your right eye...
Interestingly, visual information that is mapped on the blind spot is not just dropped—this would be the easiest solution for the visual apparatus. It is also not rigidly interpolated, for instance, by just doubling neighbor information, but intelligently complemented by analysing the meaning and Gestalt of the context. If we, for example, are exposed to a couple of lines, the perceptual system would complement the physically non-existing information of the blind spot by a best guess heuristic how the lines are interconnected in each case, mostly yielding a very close approximation to “reality” as it uses most probable solutions. Finally, we experience clear visual information, seemingly in the same quality as the one which mirrors physical perception—in the end, the “physical perception” and the “constructed perception”, are of the same quality, also because the “physical perception” is neither a depiction of physical reality, but is also constructed by top-down processes based on best guess heuristic as a kind of hypothesis testing or problem solving (Gregory, 1970).
Beside this prominent example which has become common knowledge up to now, a series of further phenomena exist where we can speak of full perceptual constructions of the world outside without any direct link to the physical realities. A very intriguing example of this kind will be described in more detail in the following: When we make fast eye movements (so-called saccades) our perceptual system is suppressed, with the result that we are functionally blind during such saccades. Actually, we do not perceive these blind moments of life although they are highly frequent and relatively long as such—actually, Rayner et al. estimated that typical fixations last about 200–250 ms and saccades last about 20–40 ms (Rayner et al., 2001), so about 10% of our time when we are awake is susceptible to such suppression effects. In accordance with other filling-in phenomena, missing data is filled up with the most plausible information: Such a process needs hypotheses about what is going on in the current situation and how the situation will evolve (Gregory, 1970, 1990). If the hypotheses are misleading because the underlying mental model of the situation and its further genesis is incorrect, we face an essential problem: what we then perceive (or fail to perceive) is incompatible with the current situation, and so will mislead our upcoming action. In most extreme cases, this could lead to fatal decisions: for instance: if the model does not construct a specific interfering object in our movement axis, we might miss information essential to changing our current trajectory resulting in a collision course. In such a constellation, we would be totally startled by the crash, as we would not have perceived the target object at all—this is not about missing an object but about entirely overlooking it due to a non-existing trace of perception.
Despite the knowledge about these characteristics of the visual system, we might doubt such processes as the mechanisms are working to so great an extent in most everyday life situations that it provides the perfect illusion of continuous, correct and super-detailed visual input. We can, however, illustrate this mechanism very easily by just observing our eye movements in a mirror: when executing fast eye movements, we cannot observe them by directly inspecting our face in the mirror—we can only perceive our fixations and the slow movements of the eyes. If we, however, film the same scene with a video camera, the whole procedure looks totally different: Now we clearly also see the fast movements; so we can directly experience the specific operation of the visual system in this respect by comparing the same scene captured by two differently working visual systems: our own, very cognitively operating, visual system and the rigidly filming video system which just catches the scene frame by frame without further processing, interpreting and tuning it.1 We call this moment of temporary functional blindness phenomenon “saccade blindness” or “saccade suppression”, which again illustrates the illusionary aspects of human perception “saccadic suppression”, Bridgeman et al., 1975; “tactile suppression”, Ziat et al., 2010). We can utilize this phenomena for testing interesting hypotheses on the mental representation of the visual environment: if we change details of a visual display during such functional blind phases of saccadic movements, people usually do not become aware of such changes, even if very important details, e.g., the expression of the mouth, are changed (Bohrn et al., 2010).
Illusions by top-down-processes
Gregory proposed that perception shows the quality of hypothesis testing and that illusions make us clear how these hypotheses are formulated and on which data they are based (Gregory, 1970). One of the key assumptions for hypothesis testing is that perception is a constructive process depending on top-down processing. Such top-down processes can be guided through knowledge gained over the years, but perception can also be guided by pre-formed capabilities of binding and interpreting specific forms as certain Gestalts. The strong reliance of perception on top-down processing is the essential key for assuring reliable perceptual abilities in a world full of ambiguity and incompleteness. If we read a text from an old facsimile where some of the letters have vanished or bleached out over the years, where coffee stains have covered partial information and where decay processes have turned the originally white paper into a yellowish crumbly substance, we might be very successful in reading the fragments of the text, because our perceptual system interpolates and (re-)constructs (see Figure 2). If we know or understand the general meaning of the target text, we will even read over some passages that do not exist at all: we fill the gaps through our knowledge—we change the meaning towards what we expect.
Demonstration of top-down processing when reading the statement “The Grand Illussion” under highly challenging conditions (at least challenging for automatic character recognition).
A famous example which is often cited and shown in this realm is the so-called man-rat-illusion where an ambiguous sketch drawing is presented whose content is not clearly decipherable, but switches from showing a man to showing a rat—another popular example of this kind is the bistable picture where the interpretation flips from an old woman to a young woman an v.v. (see Figure 3)—most people interpret this example as a fascinating illusion demonstrating humans’ capability of switching from one meaning to another, but the example also demonstrates an even more intriguing process: what we will perceive at first glance is mainly guided through the specific activation of our semantic network. If we have been exposed to a picture of a man before, or if we think of a man or have heard the word “man”, the chance is strongly increased that our perceptual system interprets the ambiguous pattern towards a depiction of a man—if the prior experiences were more associated with a rat, a mouse or another animal of such a kind, we will, in contrast, tend to interpret the ambiguous pattern more as a rat.
The young-old-woman illusion (also known as the My Wife and My Mother-In-Law illusion) already popular in Germany in the 19th century when having been frequently depicted on postcards. Boring (1930) was the first who presented this illusion in a scientific...
So, we can literally say that we perceive what we know—if we have no prior knowledge of certain things we can even overlook important details in a pattern because we have no strong association with something meaningful. The intimate processing between sensory inputs and our semantic networks enables us to recognize familiar objects within a few milliseconds, even if they show the complexity of human faces (Locher et al., 1993; Willis and Todorov, 2006; Carbon, 2011b).
Top-down processes are powerful in schematizing and easing-up perceptual processes in the sense of compressing the “big data” of the sensory inputs towards tiny data packages with pre-categorized labels on such schematized “icons” (Carbon, 2008). Top-down processes, however, are also susceptible to characteristic fallacies or illusions due to their guided, model-based nature: When we have only a brief time slot for a snapshot of a complex scene, the scene is (if we have associations with the general meaning of the inspected scene at all) so simplified that specific details get lost in favor of the processing and interpretation of the general meaning of the whole scene.
Biederman (1981) impressively demonstrated this by exposing participants to a sketch drawing of a typical street scene where typical objects are placed in a prototypical setting, with the exception that a visible hydrant in the foreground was not positioned on the pavement besides a car but unusually directly on the car. When people were exposed to such a scene for only 150 ms, followed by a scrambled backward mask, they “re-arranged” the setting by top-down processes based on their knowledge of hydrants and their typical positions on pavements. In this specific case, people have indeed been deceived, because they report a scene which was in accordance with their knowledge but not with the assessment of the presented scene—but for everyday actions this seems unproblematic. Although you might indeed lose the link to the fine-detailed structure of a specific entity when strongly relying on top-down processes, such an endeavor works quite brilliantly in most cases as it is a best guess estimation or approximation—it works particularly well when we are running out of resources, e.g., when we are in a specific mode of being pressed for time and/or you are engaged in a series of other cognitive processes. Actually, such a mode is the standard mode in everyday life. However, even if we had the time and no other processes needed to be executed, we would not be able to adequately process the big data of the sensory input.
The whole idea of this top-down processing with schematized perception stems from F. C. Bartlett’s pioneering series of experiments in a variety of domains (Bartlett, 1932). Bartlett already showed that we do not read the full information from a visual display or a narrative, but that we rely on schemata reflecting the essence of things, stories, and situations being strongly shaped by prior knowledge and its specific activation (see for a critical reflection of Bartlett’s method Carbon and Albrecht, 2012).
Perception as a grand illusion
Reconstructing human psychological reality
There is clearly an enormous gap between the big data provided by the external world and our strictly limited capacity to process them. The gap widens even further when taking into account that we not only have to process the data but ultimately have to make clear sense of the core of the given situation. The goal is to make one (and only one) decision based on the unambiguous interpretation of this situation in order to execute an appropriate action. This very teleological way of processing needs inhibitory capabilities for competing interpretations to strictly favor one single interpretation which enables fast action without quarrelling about alternatives. In order to realize such a clear interpretation of a situation, we need a mental model of the external world which is very clear and without ambiguities and indeterminacies. Ideally, such a model is a kind of caricature of physical reality: If there is an object to be quickly detected, the figure-ground contrast, e.g., should be intensified. If we need to identify the borders of an object under unfavorable viewing conditions, it is helpful to enhance the transitions from one border to another, for instance. If we want to easily diagnose the ripeness of a fruit desired for eating, it is most helpful when color saturation is amplified for familiar kinds of fruits. Our perceptual system has exactly such capabilities of intensifying, enhancing and amplifying—the result is the generation of schematic, prototypical, sketch-like perceptions and representations. Any metaphor for perception as a kind of tool which makes photos is fully misleading because perception is much more than blueprinting: it is a cognitive process aiming at reconstructing any scene at its core.
All these “intelligent perceptual processes” can most easily be demonstrated by perceptual illusions: For instance, when we look at the inner horizontal bar of Figure 4, we observe a continuous shift from light to dark gray and from left to right, although there is no physical change in the gray value—in fact only one gray value is used for creating this region. The illusion is induced by the distribution of the peripheral gray values which indeed show a continuous shift of gray levels, although in a reverse direction. The phenomenon of simultaneous contrast helps us to make the contrast clearer; helping us to identify figure-ground relations more easily, more quickly and more securely.
Demonstration of the simultaneous contrast, an optical illusion already described as phenomenon 200 years ago by Johan Wolfgang von Goethe and provided in high quality and with an intense effect by McCourt (1982): the inner horizontal bar isphysically...
A similar principle of intensifying given physical relations by the perceptual system is now known as the Chevreul-Mach bands (see Figure 5), independently introduced by chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul (see Chevreul, 1839) and by physicist and philosopher Ernst Waldfried Josef Wenzel Mach (Mach, 1865). Via the process of lateral inhibition, luminance changes from one bar to another are exaggerated, specifically at the edges of the bars. This helps to differentiate between the different areas and to trigger edge-detection of the bars.
Chevreul-Mach bands. Demonstration of contrast exaggeration by lateral inhibition: although every bar is filled with one solid level of gray, we perceive narrow bands at the edges with increased contrast which does not reflect the physical reality of...
Constructing human psychological reality
This reconstructive capability is impressive and helps us to get rid of ambiguous or indeterminate percepts. However, the power of perception is even more intriguing when we look at a related phenomenon. When we analyze perceptual illusions where entities or relations are not only enhanced in their recognizability but even entirely constructed without a physical correspondence, then we can quite rightly speak of the “active construction” of human psychological reality. A very prominent example is the Kanizsa triangle (Figure 6) where we clearly perceive illusory contours and related Gestalts—actually, none of them exists at all in a physical sense. The illusion is so strong that we have the feeling of being able to grasp even the whole configuration.
Demonstration of illusory contours which create the clear perception of Gestalts. The so-called Kanizsa triangle named after Gaetano Kanizsa (see Kanizsa, 1955), a very famous example of the long tradition of such figures displayed over centuries in architecture,...
To detect and recognize such Gestalts is very important for us. Fortunately, we are not only equipped with a cognitive mechanism helping us to perceive such Gestalts, but we also feel rewarded when having recognized them as Gestalts despite indeterminate patterns (Muth et al., 2013): in the moment of the insight for a Gestalt the now determinate pattern gains liking (the so-called “Aesthetic-Aha-effect”, Muth and Carbon, 2013). The detection and recognition process adds affective value to the pattern which leads to the activation of even more cognitive energy to deal with it as it now means something to us.
Perceptual illusions can be seen, interpreted and used in two very different aspects: on the one hand, and this is the common property assigned to illusions, they are used to entertain people. They are a part of our everyday culture, they can kill time. On the other hand, they are often the starting point for creating insights. And insights, especially if they are based on personal experiences through elaborative processes actively, are perfect pre-conditions to increase understanding and to improve and optimize mental models (Carbon, 2010b). We can even combine both aspects to create an attractive learning context: by drawing people’s attention via arousing and playful illusions, we generate attraction towards the phenomena underlying the illusions. If people get really interested, they will also invest sufficient time and cognitive energy to be able to solve an illusion or to get an idea of how the illusion works. If they arrive at a higher state of insight, they will benefit from understanding what kind of perceptual mechanism is underlying the phenomenon.
We can of course interpret perceptual illusions as malfunctions indicating the typical limits of our perceptual or cognitive system—this is probably the standard perspective on the whole area of illusions. In this view, our systems are fallible, slow, malfunctioning, and imperfect. We can, however, also interpret illusory perceptions as a sign of our incredible, highly complex and efficient capabilities of transforming sensory inputs into understanding and interpreting the current situation in a very fast way in order to generate adequate and goal-leading actions in good time (see Gregory, 2009)—this view is not yet the standard one to be found in beginners’ text books and typical descriptions or non-scientific papers on illusions. By taking into account how perfectly we act in most everyday situations, we can experience the high “intelligence” of the perceptual system quite easily and intuitively. We might not own the most perfect system when we aim to reproduce the very details of a scene, but we can assess the core meaning of a complex scene.
Typical perceptual processes work so brilliantly that we can mostly act appropriately, and, very important for a biological system, we can act in response to the sensory inputs very fast—this has to be challenged by any technical, man-made system, and will always be the most important benchmark for artificial perceptual systems. Following the research and engineering program of bionics (Xie, 2012),where systems and processes of nature are transferred to technical products, we might be well-advised to orient our developments in the field of perception to the characteristic processing of biological perceptual systems, and their typical behavior when perceptual illusions are encountered.
Conflict of interest statement
The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
This paper was strongly inspired by Richard L. Gregory’s talks, texts and theories which I particularly enjoyed during the first years of my research career. The outcome of these “perceptions” changed my “perception on reality” and so on “reality” as such. I would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers who put much effort in assisting me to improve a previous version of this paper. Last but not least I want to express my gratitude to Baingio Pinna, University of Sassari, who edited the whole Research Topic together with Adam Reeves, Northeastern University, USA.
1There is an interesting update in technology for demonstrating this effect putting forward by one of the reviewers. If you use the 2nd camera of your smartphone (the one for shooting “selfies”) or your notebook camera and you look at your depicted eyes very closely, then the delay of building up the film sequence is seemingly a bit longer than the saccadic suppression yielding the interesting effect of perceiving your own eye movements directly. Note: I have tried it out and it worked, by the way best when using older models which might take longer for building up the images. You will perceive your eye movements particular clearly when executing relatively large saccades, e.g., from the left periphery to the right and back.
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February 11, 2018 | David F. Coppedge
With dispassionate nonchalance, Darwinists continue to describe us as glorified apes, and justify every vice. The consequences are not only disastrous, but illogical.
Teach children and young people they are evolved apes, and they will act like them. Doesn’t that seem intuitively obvious? Even if one believes it to be true, it would seem good policy to avoid saying it just for the societal consequences involved. But there’s an underlying fallacy to the belief: logically, it brings Darwin’s House of Cards crashing down. We begin by showing some of the things evolutionists have been saying recently about human origins and behavior.
Go ahead; swear like a chimpanzee. There are no taboos in Darwinism, because anything goes. Should we teach this to young people? Without shock, outrage or shame, National Geographiccalmly endorses swearing openly in an article, “Science Says Swearing Is Good For You.” Notice that it doesn’t say evolution says, or Darwin thought, or leftist materialism says this. It says “Science Says” swearing is good for you. And why is it good for you? Because apes do it. Just ask an evolutionary expert who wrote a book about the ‘science’ of bad language:
Swearing is usually regarded as simply lazy language or an abusive lapse in civility. But as Emma Byrne shows in her book, Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language, new research reveals that profanity has many positive virtues, from promoting trust and teamwork in the office to increasing our tolerance to pain.
When National Geographic caught up with Byrne at her home in London, she explained why humans aren’t the only primates that can curse and why, though women are swearing more today than before, it is still regarded by many as “unfeminine.”
Needless to say, human swearing often blasphemes the names of God and Jesus Christ. Byrne thinks nothing of that, comparing it to dung signalling in chimps that indicates ‘dirty’.
Go ahead, cheat on your spouse, because jealousy evolved. The breakup of the family, spousal abuse, sexual harassment and unfaithfulness are some of the biggest problems facing society today. Well, here come the Darwinists to pour fuel on the fire. In “What the evolution of jealousy tells us about online infidelity” on The Conversation, Michael Dunn not only justifies it, but glorifies it, all on the basis of evolution:
But is jealousy such a bad thing? Psychology professor David Buss compellingly argued that jealousy is a crucial emotion which evolved to help protect against relationship termination. According to Buss, jealousy motivates behaviour to either ensure sexual exclusivity, or to protect offspring against the loss of vital requirements, such as food, and against inclement weather and predators. These would have been critical prerequisites for the survival of our children during our evolutionary past.
He calls jealousy “the green eyed monster” in the end, but no amount of backtracking can undo what he said. Readers might actually feel more prone to be unfaithful and cheat, if evolution invented jealousy for good.
Image credit: Illustra Media
Self-control is a chimpy thing. To have self-control, one must first have a sense of self. Two Darwin Party hacks at Georgia State, according to Phys.org, studied experiments on chimpanzees testing the ability to delay gratification. Some chimps can “learn” to hold off for a bigger reward. That’s interesting, but the Darwin guys apply this to all animal life, making self-control merely an evolved behavior and a function of animal intelligence:
“The fact that this link between self-control and intelligence exists in species other than humans may demonstrate an evolutionary basis for the role that willpower plays in general intelligence,” said Beran, lead author of the study. “Future research could clarify whether the relationship also exists in other primates and even non-primate species.”
The Apostle Paul called self-control a fruit of the [Holy] Spirit (Galatians 5:22). That indicates something exceptional about the human ability (and need) to control impulses by acts of the will. It also indicates that humans need divine help to bear that kind of good fruit. Darwinians obliterate the distinction between human choice and the behavior of a chimpanzee learning to choose two marshmallows instead of one. This reduces self-control to nothing more than a form of moderated self-gratification that evolved in ape brains long, long ago.
Climate change made you what you are. Evolutionary shamans at Columbia University weave a tale of how our ape-like ancestors came out of the trees due to climate change, making us what we are today. They call it “The path to our evolution” at Phys.org. No one dares call this a stupid idea, because Darwinism is sacrosanct to the ‘intelligentsia’ of our culture: the scientists, who alone have the right to explain where we came from. In order to put up an appearance of science, every Darwin Party shaman needs to present some relics. These two used mammal teeth in Africa as divination tools. “The study gives substantial evidence that many human characteristics—such as free-ranging diets, large brains, and running on two legs—emerged due to the spread of open grasslands, which was influenced by climate change.”
Modern racist phrenology. If you thought phrenology and skull measurements to determine which races were superior went out of style at the turn of the 20th century, look at Mark Aldenderfer’s article in Science Magazine, America’s premiere science journal. In “Shaping of human brains and behavior,” he preaches that the mere shape of skulls led to what we are.
Although brain size at 300,000 years ago falls within the range of that of modern humans, more globular brains only emerged around 40,000 years ago. Combined with evidence from ancient DNA that indicates the fixing of genes critical to early brain development at the origin of the H. sapiens lineage, these findings support models of a more gradual appearance of behavioral modernity.
Dr Bergman’s book explains the rise of eugenics from Britain to America to Nazi Germany
What does this imply about the humans with less globular brains? Even if they had just as much brain matter, they just were out of it, dude. They weren’t “in” like white Europeans. For a truly disturbing account of the history of Darwinian racism all the way up to the present, including the racist views of David Duke, who turned from religion to Darwinian evolution based on what leading scientists said about differing intelligence in the so-called races, read Jerry Bergman’s well-documented and jarring book, The Darwin Effect.
Another recent book, Contested Bones by Rupe and Sanford, debunks the notion that skull shape or brain capacity have anything to do with intelligence or race. The capacity for fitting normal human intelligence and behavior into skulls of different shapes and sizes can be seen in many modern examples. According to Scientific American, the great French writer Anatole France had a brain capacity only 2/3 normal—right in the midrange for so-called ‘Homo erectus‘ (a hodgepodge grouping if there ever was one, as Rupe and Sanford document). Miniature humans can be just as smart as giants, despite having tiny skulls proportional to their short bodies. And some people do just fine with whole sections of their brains missing from developmental disorders or accidents. Only evolutionists are passionately consumed with linking intelligence to brain size and shape, and they’ve been doing it ever since Darwin.
Language, just another ape behavior. The habit of Darwinians to claim that language evolved by natural selection from ape gestures is old news. For a recent example, see “Speech, stone tool-making and the evolution of language” by three Darwin Party primates writing in PLoS One. Same theme, new variation:
For example, gestural language may haveevolved to enable tool-making in earlier hominins, while speech may have later emerged as a response to increased trade and more complex inter- and intra-group interactions in Middle Pleistocene ancestors of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens; or gesture and speech may have evolved in parallel rather than in sequence.
This gesture may be a carry-over from the old ape sign language, ‘On the one hand this, on the other hand that, and on the one foot something else.’ Notice that evolved and emerged are used as synonyms in the storytelling game.
IQ Test: Why This Is All Bunk
The great Christian apologist C. S. Lewis often used the “argument from reason” to pull the rug out from evolution and expose its irrationality. One of the clearest, most incontrovertible explications of this argument can be found in his essay, “The Funeral of a Great Myth” (Christian Reflections, p. 111), written around 1945. The “myth” to which he refers is scientism, the picture of reality assumed by modernists who ascribe everything to natural causes. Basically, he’s talking about evolutionists like those writing in the above articles. What Lewis said over 70 years ago is still pertinent today, because reason is still pertinent to all humans, at all times and places. Here’s Lewis:
To reach the positions held by the real scientists — which are then taken over by the Myth —you must — in fact, treat reason as an absolute. But at the same time the Myth asks me to believe that reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of a mindless process at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. The content of the Myth thus knocks from under me the only ground on which I could possibly believe the Myth to be true. If my own mind is a product of the irrational — if what seem my clearest reasonings are only the way in which a creature conditioned as I am is bound to feel — how shall I trust my mind when it tells me about Evolution? They say in effect ‘I will prove that what you call a proof is only the result of mental habits which result from heredity which results from bio-chemistry which results from physics.’ But this is the same as saying: ‘I will prove that proofs are irrational’: more succinctly, ‘I will prove that there are no proofs’. The fact that some people of scientific education cannot by any effort be taught to see the difficulty, confirms one’s suspicion that we here touch a radical disease in their whole style of thought. But the man who does see it, is compelled to reject as mythical the cosmology in which most of us were brought up. That it has embedded in it many true particulars I do not doubt: but in its entirety, it simply will not do. Whatever the real universe may turn out to be, it can’t be like that.
You may now ignore everything the evolutionists said in the above articles and scientific papers about the origins of human mental powers and behaviors. The IQ Test is understanding why.
This quote by Lewis (which, by the way, demonstrates that he was an anti-Darwinist) is worth reading, re-reading, memorizing, and printing out on slips of paper to give to evolutionists and the angry atheists on Twitter and Facebook who spread their vile hatred against God and creationists. Chances are, like Lewis said, and from my own experience, they won’t ‘get’ it. No matter how many times I try to get atheists to see this fundamental flaw in their worldview, they either cannot, or will not, understand the argument. Their minds have constructed an impenetrable shell around their belief in evolution that deflects every cruise missile capable of blowing it to bits. They won’t listen to the argument or even try to understand it. Instead, they sidestep it and do what they prefer doing: shouting out a blast of hot air that responds automatically, “Evolution is a fact!” and “God didn’t do it!” Still, it’s worth a try. It has worked to soften the hardpan in some atheist brains who do see the problem, including Thomas Nagel and others. For the wise and humble, once you ‘get’ Lewis’s argument from reason, it acts like a strong vaccine to forever inoculate you against the tricks of the Darwinian Mythmakers. “Whatever the real universe may turn out to be, it can’t be like that.” And once that realization is internalized, the whole origins debate changes. One must then construct a worldview that starts with absolute reason. Atheistic evolution isn’t one of the contenders.
Exercise: Write Lewis’s argument in your own words. Make it your own that you can explain to your peers in ordinary speech. Try it on various people to see if they understand it. Evaluate the comeback arguments of evolutionists, if any, and practice your responses. Hint: if they try to use reason against you, they undermine their own belief that reason evolved, because any argument against the argument from reason is necessarily self-refuting.
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