• Question: What is reality through the eyes of a scientist? (in your opinion) and why?

    Asked by monkey24 to laurenceharwood, Jack, Akram on 19 Mar 2012. This question was also asked by callumross.
    • Photo: Laurence Harwood

      Laurence Harwood answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      When you train as a scientist you learn to observe and to note what you see without prejudice – to see what is actually there, not what you want to see.

      Conversly, I think this makes scientists very bad at detecting magic tricks as we tend to approach the world as if what we see is true; whereas magicians and people like that want to catch you out.

    • Photo: Akram Alomainy

      Akram Alomainy answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      I really like this question 😉

      As a scientist it is very hard for me to believe anything said or told without a proof or without showing me that it happens for this reason or because of this logical steps … we are trained to think logically and as an engineer I would like to see the proof of theory in experiments so reality for me is in testing, evaluating and proving that this phenomena occurred because of well defined steps 🙂

    • Photo: Jack Snape

      Jack Snape answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      This is a really good question 🙂

      I sometimes like to think of eyes as measuring devices … we are looking at things by gathering light that has bounced of them. This is the same as when you measure something with radar, or sonar – you bounce radiation at something and interpret the reflected radiation with a computer. For your eyes, your brain is the computer, it turns that radiation into information you can understand, like shapes and colours.

      The same is true for things you can’t really ‘see’ like atoms… we can measure them with ‘electron microscopes’ which use electrons instead of light .. but they work in a similar way to your eyes.

      What I’m trying to say is, I don’t think the reality we ‘see’ with our eyes is that different to the reality we ‘measure’ with experiments… it’s just that seeing is our most commonly used kind of measuring 🙂