So you want to see science.
NOT SEEING
IS
NOT BELIEVING
not necessarily!              
wrong!

We see very little of what's there...only fuzzy shadows.
but
We see more and more as we mature
because we learn new ways to take those
Second Glances.


Normal

Protanopic 
We are not born with our perceptions complete.  We are born with very few perceptions.  Color vision gets wired up in our brains soon after we are born.  Stereopsis—the sense of "depth" we get from the fact that our two eyes see from a slightly different viewpoint—comes along (usually) at about age 10-19 weeks.

Our perceptions are not simply genetic; they require input from our environment, too.  Stereopsis, for example,  requires images from our two eyes, images that are slightly different—if they are too different, as they will be if we are cross-eyed or have lazy-eye, then the stereopsis won't develop.  The older we get the more sophisticated our brain becomes in how it processes all that complex and varied "information" that comes to us through our many senses.  A child understands much that an infant misses—language, for example, takes a while to reveal it's many subtleties.  A human adult "sees" things to which a child is "blind."  Children don't see the simple but subtle concepts of science.

Furthermore, "color" is more subtle than we might think.  It's not that a "red-green colorblind" person can't distingish between red and green.  It's simpler than that...and it's subtler than that.  Protanopia is merely the absence of one of the three different kinds of light-sensing "cones" in our eye.  "Normal" human eyes have three kinds: one is most sensitive to bluish light; one to greenish light; and one to redish light.  Protanopia is the absence of the third one, the "red-sensitive" cones.  The difference between "normal color" and protanopic color lies abstractly deep in the structure of the eye and the brain.  Although the difference is very simple, it's not something we "see" through the perception: we must think it out.  We must abstract it.  (And in ways that children do not.)

Rather than abstract it, we tend to feel that what we see is exactly what's there.  Red is red.  Green is green.  Black is black.  White is white.  We learn that someone (it was Isaac Newton) discovered that white light is composed of all the other colors.  But odds are that we didn't understand much of what that really means; we did not see where that great insight might lead.  And indeed has: quantum mechanics arose out of the abstraction that is the electromagnetic spectrum.
 

Each of us sees with the perceptions that developed as we matured.  The language that developed (at many months of age to a few years of age), developed as we communicated with other people around us. To each of us, words like "red" and "green" and "orange" meant something we see.  Through our eyes.  What a protanopic eye sees is different from what a "normal" eye sees, but seeing the abstract meaning of that difference is...???

So how would we ever know there is a difference?

It takes a lot of careful observation, a lot of careful experimentation, a lot of careful reasoning, to discover just what the differences are.  The reasoning is the key.  Just as someone who developed language in a German speaking family can hear the ümlaut loud and clear, but not the stick-your-tongue-out-at-'em "th" sound of English, different people develop different senses of critical reasoning insights.  Human insight has a wonderful capability to develop, especially in adulthood, many senses of the abstract relationships that are needed to understand, for example, the wondrous—and somewhat mysterious—mechanisms of human color vision.

Perhaps to understand color at the abstract level which is dimensionality.
...And then to "see" that what we see is only a narrow slice of the electromagnetic spectrum, and to grasp the implications of our color being only a two or three dimensional projection from a wave-length space of infinite dimensions.  Our minds can develop "perceptions of the abstract" that let us "see," and effectively respond to, things in the world around us that were not seen in the earlier millennia of "primitive" man.

That is science.

Science is not "just an alternative" way of knowing;
it is an extended way of knowing, 
like a telescope is an extended way of seeing.

Infants
can
see
(soon)
 
 
 
 
 
 

Todlers
can
speak
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Children
can
classify
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Some
adolescents
can
systematically
experiment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Adults
can
see
science
...sometimes

Navigating Second Glances
Science is...
We can develop information processing insights, like stereopsis—and we can learn ways to use our insights to do interesting things, like communicate hidden messages to other people...and enhance our perception.
Stereopsis  is  simply  one  out  of  many  cues  we  have  that  gives  us "depth perception"  when  we  look  at  things.     A  person  who  is  "stereopsis  blind"  is  not  necessarily  "blind"  to  depth.   He,  or  she,  has  about  two  dozen  other  depth  perceptions.    The  way  one  object  hides  another  object  farther  back  is  a  depth  perception.    So  is  the  haze   that  obscures  distant  objects.   These   are the   perceptions  that  give  us  a  sense  of space   and  dimensions.  Perhaps  the most  interesting  depth  perception  is  the  relative  motions  of  images  in our  eyes  as  we  move.    Some  birds  lack overlapping  vision  and  use   this  kind  of  "motion"  depth  perception  to  see  what's  above  and  what's  below  among  the  prey  they  fly  over.    This  explanation  of  depth  is  especially  interesting  because  the  same  part  of  our  brain  that  interprets  stereopsis  also  interprets  these  relative  motions   as  depth.    At  some  point  in  the  processing,   motion-depth  and  stereopsis-depth  become  the  same  thing  in  our  brains.

Evolution  develops  many  interesting  "perceptions" for   helping  us  interact  with  things  in  the  space  about  us.    Sound  is  yet  another  link  we  have  with  our  environment.    Mother  Nature  has  taken  this  route  for  the  depth  perception  of  some  animals.    We  cannot  perceive  depth  the  sonic  way  a  bat  or  cetacean  does;  nor  can  we  accurately  imagine  it.    OR TWO

Stereopsis  is  simply  one  out  of  many  cues  we  have  that  gives  us "depth perception"  when  we   look  at things.     A  person  who  is  "stereopsis  blind"  is  not  necessarily  "blind"  to  depth.   He,  or  she,  has  about  two  dozen  other  depth  perceptions.    The  way  one  object  hides  another  object  farther  back  is  a  depth  perception.    So  is  the  haze   that  obscures  distant  objects.   These   are  the  perceptions  that  give  us  a  sense  of  space  and  dimensions.  Perhaps  the most  interesting  depth  perception  is  the  relative  motions  of  images  in our  eyes  as  we  move.    Some  birds  lack overlapping  vision  and  use   this  kind  of  "motion"  depth  perception  to  see  what's  above  and  what's   below among  the  prey  they  fly  over.     This  explanation of  depth  is  especially  interesting  because  the  same  part  of  our  brain  that  interprets  stereopsis  also  interprets  these  relative  motions   as  depth.    At  some  point  in  the  processing,   motion-depth  and  stereopsis-depth  become  the  same  thing  in  our  brains.

Evolution  develops  many  interesting  "perceptions"  for  helping  us  interact  with  things  in  the  space  about  us.    Sound  is  yet   another  link we  have  with  our  environment.    Mother  Nature  has  taken  this  route  for  the  depth  perception  of  some  animals.    We  cannot  perceive  depth  the  sonic  way  a  bat  or  cetacean  does;  nor  can  we  accurately  imagine  it.       OR TWO

Click here!
Click here!!