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Aditya's picture

Equipped for Survival

A very important notion that we talked about in class is that we are only able to perceive what we have receptors for. We are only able to percieve a very small piece of everything that is occuring in our environment. However I don't think this is a bad thing because we are equipped with the senses we need for survival, nothing more nothing less.

In class we summed up some of the senses some other animals have that we don't: birds: magnetic field, dogs: high pitches, sharks: heat, butterflies: ultraviolet light, rattlesnakes: infrared light receptors, fish: electric fields. 

So is it bad that we dont have receptors to percieve these other environmental characteristics? Absolutely not. If at the same time we were perceiving the senses we are already able to perceive including all these others we would have too much input all the time, our environment would be a jumbled up picture to us, and our bodies much more complicated. Our body has evolved to be the most parsimonious in order for survival. It is a balance being simplistic (using the same A.P. currency for transportation of information from all senses) as well as having just the right amount of senses optimal for survival.

For example, birds use magnetic fields to fly to warmer climates. We are equipped with the intelligence and manueverability to create technology to keep ourselves warm in warm weather. We don't need to sense magnetic fields.

It is important to be conscious of the senses we don't have and the reality we arent sensing. We are able to create technology that allows us to perceive the pieces of reality our bodies cannot, which leads to further understanding of the universe.


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