Friday, February 24, 2006

Thoughts from "The Blind Watchmaker"

If bat's use sound waves in much the same way that humans and other animals use light rays; in order to project a three-dimensional map of their surroundings in their mind allowing them to interact with their environment as "sighted" animals do, then is it really correct to refer to them as "blind"? Since echolocation is their primary means of gathering information and they can sample data as much as hundreds of times a second, it seems likely that they may "see" the world as richly using sound as other animals do with light. In fact, it may be more accurate to say that they are "deaf" in that their processing of sound may be so different from ours that they do not "hear" in the sense that sounds which are actually part of their echolocation mechanism may simply be ignored or filtered out.

1 comment:

joyisonesfuel said...

Just noticed this, but how come it says "Aristote's" and not "Aristotle's"?

Re the bats...agree and blindness--but they can definitely hear, they are just able to discern with so much more clarity the landscape that their hearing is far more advanced than ours; perhaps it is we who are deaf?