Perception of Tangibles and Intangibles via Affordances and the
of the Natural
Dallas F. Bell, Jr.
Edward B. Titchener (1867-1929)
might describe perception as being a sensation(s) for an experience(s)
to which meaning is ascribed. Perception is commonly treated by
psychologists as a variable dependent upon stimulus factors, learning,
moods and emotions, and motivational factors. Systematic political
science would say that perception occurs dependent upon how the chosen
theology dictates input and is epistemologically processed cognitively
to affect both individual and societal behavior. Each view agrees
that human perception of an object(s) or event(s) is determined by stimulus
conditions and by human factors.
The interdisciplinary branch
of neuroscience called neuroethology attempts to understand how humans
translate stimuli into behavior. Thus, the focus is on discovering
the neurological function of innate behavior. Ethology (derived
from ethos; Greek for moral nature, guiding beliefs) is the study
of the human ethos. Ethologists often employ the terms umwelt,
eigenwelt and mitwelt. Umwelt (German, um means around;
welt means world) refers to the environment of perceptual abilities
and priorities across species, especially man's relationship to the
environment. Eigenwelt (German, eigen means one's own)
looks at man's relationship with himself. Man's relationship
with other people is mitwelt (German, mit means with).
Umwelt can be seen as encompassing
Physical Natural Laws (NLP). Eigenwelt and mitwelt would involve
Natural Laws of Freewill (NLF), especially Lb. A glaring omission
from those areas is the relationship of man to the God of the first
cause of all effects--Schöpfergott (German, Schöpfer means
Creator of all; Gott means God). Gottwelt would be a necessary
concept to describe the La category of NLF. Jakob von Uexk¨ll
(1864-1944) noted that humans can have the same environment but behave
with different umwelt (plural, umwelten). This difference, of
course, would extend to the eigenwelt and mitwelt due to the difference
in the Gottwelt.
2. Visual Perception
Though perception is beyond
seeing and all senses are used to understand, a chief human ability
is visual perception. This is the ability to input and interpret
visible light through the eyes. The mechanics of the visual system
begins when the lens of the eye receives light that is reflected from
an image. The retina is the light sensitive part of the back of
the eye. The retina converts the pattern of light into neuronal
signals. The neural impulses are processed from the retina to
the lateral geniculate
nucleus and then
to the brain's primary and secondary visual cortex. Gestalt Laws show how visual patterns are perceived
as a whole.
The ability to 'see' objects
allows information to be obtained without the physical proximately needed
by the senses of touch and taste, etc. In 1976 experiments, R.J.
Herrnstein, D.H. Loveland and C. Cable observed that animals learned
to discriminate among realistic photographs of different classes of
objects, such as trees, fish, water and humans. The pigeons'
discrimination between categories of objects seemed to also imply that
the birds perceived the objects on the photos which suggested conceptual
ability. In a sense, they were demonstrating the bounds of tangibles
3. Tangibles and
It is becoming evident that
tangible things are real entities capable of being perceived by the
mind and may include touch but are not necessarily subject to the sensation
of touch. J.J. Gibson (1904-1979) pointed out that the perception
of things by vision is as self-evident as the perception of things by
touch. Gibson used the ecological approach which is concerned
with the interrelationship between organism and their environment.
He coined the term 'affordance.' Gibson defined affordances
as what the environment offers, provides or furnishes, either for good
or not for good. P. Dourish, in 2001, defined affordance as the
relationship between the environment, the organism and an activity.
Dourish also coupled the notions of physical and mental phenomena.
Coupling addressed how the users access abstract phenomena and act upon
them based on their goals and mental state.
In 1999, Donald Norman categorized
affordance into real and perceived affordances. (In an email
exchange February, 2008, between Donald Norman and Dallas F. Bell Jr.,
Norman explained that he deliberately does not touch on concerns involving
the theological or eschatological because they are not within his sphere
of expertise.) Gibson and Norman, for practical purposes,
would lean toward a restricted view of tangibles that would require
some degree of touch. This would mean that such things as rainbows,
the sun and stars would be considered intangible. We know by many
means that those examples might not be subject to physical human touch,
due to proximity constraints, but are no less real entities.
In the condition of schizophrenia,
it is observed that the mind is capable of perceiving things audibly,
visually and by touch that do not exist due to involuntary hallucinations
and delusions. Hallucinations are false perceptions and acceptance
for behavior of phenomena as real. Delusions are false beliefs
which cannot be modified by reason demonstrated by facts. Arnold
Lunn's 1931 humorous quote is widely used to demonstrate voluntary
delusion of Darwinian evolutionists, "Faith is the substance of fossils
hoped for, the evidence of links unseen." This is a play on
the Hebrew 11:1 quote, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped
for, the evidence of things not seen."
Illusions are not delusions.
An illusion is a distorted perception or hallucination which is a false
perception. For example, a magician is said to perform an illusion
where it seems that a tiger is turned into a woman. The audience
may temporarily voluntarily perceive the illusion but would not really
believe the tiger has become a woman. The tangible and intangible
would exclude examples of involuntarily perceptions that break with
4. Natural Laws
The scientific method is seen
as having four basic steps. First, the phenomena is observed and
described. Second, a hypothesis is formulated to describe the
phenomena. This statement is limited to cause and effect and may
refer to the prior state of knowledge. Third, the hypothesis is
used to predict new observations or other phenomena. Fourth, independent
tests and predictions can be performed by other testers. If those
testers validate the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory
or a law of nature.
It is often theorized that
theories can never be proved but can only be disproved. There
is always the possibility that a new observation will conflict with
a previous theory. This is much like trying to prove a negative
which may be empirically impossible. However, a threshold of possibility
may otherwise be attained. Most people will not jump off a high
cliff based on the hope that they may not fall to the ground because
gravity is 'only' a theory.
Laws of nature have a central
role in scientific practice. They are also important to many philosophical
issues. Inductive inference suggests that there is a connection
between law and confirming ability. Distinction between generalizations
and law may be made. If everyone in a classroom in China has black
hair, it is true that those in the room have black hair. That
generalization cannot be applied to all classrooms in the world.
On the other hand, Einstein's observation that nothing travels faster
than light is also a true generalization but it is also considered universally
constant. Therefore, that constant is postulated to be a law.
Laws of Science are often considered
approximations of truth with limited application. The Laws of
Nature are considered literally true with no contradictory observations.
They are universal in that they apply everywhere. Nothing seems
to affect their absoluteness. All things must comply with them.
They are stable and unchanging.
There are two views of Laws
of Nature. One is the denial that laws are physically necessary
in nature itself. The other view argues that laws are of physical
necessity. Therefore, there would also be disagreement as to what
conditions are necessary to state a law.
When merging the ideas of many
academic disciplines it becomes impossible to accommodate esoteric opposing
definitions in efficient communication venues. For example, systematic
political science has a specific understanding of NL, NLP and NLF.
Natural law, to some people, may not equate the term as relating to
the Laws of Nature. To them it may refer to moral law and legal
theory. Furthermore, those areas may be considered independent.
They may define moral law as propositions having objective truth and
untruth. Often this is related to moral realism and not without
controversy. Other people claim standards for morality are derived
from both the nature of the world and the nature of humans. Some
scholars combine both the views of objective truth and nature.
For these reasons, natural law theories of law are wrongly separated
from the natural law theory of morality.
5. Light and Natural
The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum
is the range of all possible EM radiation. EM radiation is generally
classified by the largest wavelength of AM radio (about 3 football fields
long) to the smallest wavelength of x-rays and gamma rays (about 30
x diameter of a hydrogen atom). The spectrum includes AM radio,
short-wave radio, television/FM radio, microwave/radar, millimeter waves/telemetry,
infrared, visible light (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet),
ultraviolet, x-rays and gamma rays. EM radiation with around 400nm
to around 700nm wavelengths are perceived as light to the human eye.
The infrared (longer than 700nm) and ultraviolet (shorter than 400nm)
ranges are often referred to as light.
When radiation with a frequency
in the visible region of the EM spectrum reflects off an object(s),
such as a vase of flowers, the eyes send the information to the brain
and the flowers are perceived. The multitude of shades and hues
of reflected frequencies are processed and understood. At most
wavelengths the EM radiation is not directly detected by the human senses
and maybe thought of as intangible or as in the past as not existing.
But we know now, through experimentation and technological instrumentation,
that they do exist.
We now understand that if we
see a red apple, we are not seeing the apple but the reflected EM spectrum
of red. The same is true with NL. The physical NL spectrum
of NLP begins after the Schöpfergott singularity with the smallest
object of mass and proceeds to the largest anthropocentric category
of human life. The NLP spectrum is mass (Gen. 1:1-2), light (EM
spectrum)/motion/velocity/time/heat (Gen. 1:3-4), solid/liquid/gas/plasma
(Gen. 1:5-10), plant life (Gen. 1:11-13), solar systems (Gen. 1:14-19),
fish and fowl life (Gen. 1:20-23), other animal life (Gen. 1:24-25),
and human life (Gen. 1:26-31). The NLF spectrum of NL begins after
the Schöpfergott singularity with the core of La (1, 2, 3, 4 and their
subsets), to Lb (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and their subsets), then individual
behavior (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), institutions (Fa, Ch, Bu, Go), that lead to
societal behavior (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and ending with eschatology (1, 2,
If while walking down a mountain
trail, the reflection of light indicated the precipice of a cliff most
people would not ignore the input and will accept the reality and not
walk off the cliff. If the reality is rejected the appropriate
consequences (effects) of the behavior (cause) for violating the NLP
concerning gravity will be realized. NLF are as evident from their
reflections as NLP. We innately know as youngsters that we do
not want to be murdered, stolen from or lied to. If we see those
behaviors, we also know that such boundaries or laws regarding human
behavior exist, do not change, are not contradictory, are applied everywhere,
nothing affects them, and people must comply with them or suffer the
consequences. Though we may not be able to touch them they are
no less real than a red apple on the table across the room that we cannot
People that would violate NLF,
such as abortion murders of small innocent children, should not create
surprise when they want to murder you for whatever reason they may concoct.
They would not want to be murdered themselves but should not be expected
to have any compunction in harming you. In 2008, Jonah Goldberg
cataloged in his book, Liberal Fascism, many historical examples
of behavior regarding liberal views of not complying with NLF and the
subsequent fascist societal behavior. "The bloodthirsty hate
the upright: but the just seek his soul."(Prov. 29:10) Those
realities reflect the objects of NLF and their Creator God--Schöpfergott.
God can be seen cosmologically, teleologically, and morally--Gottwelt.
Comparative religion studies, explained in the Encyclopedia of Christianity
pages 637-638, can make objective value judgments of what is true or
false based on empirical data.
Understanding that living the
NLF is humanly efficient and ( face="David" >ו) also brings God's kingdom into the
realm of this world can be seen in the closing biblical passages.
"No man is justified by the law in the sight God. The just shall
live by faith. The law is not of faith, but the man that does
them shall live in them."(Gal. 3:11-12) "The invisible things
of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood
by the things that are made, even His eternal power in the Godhead;
so that they are without excuse."(Rom. 29:10) There need not
be any excuse because Jesus said that He came as light into the world
so that whoever believed on Him should not abide in darkness.(John 12:46)
RIGHTS RESERVED © 2008 DALLAS F. BELL, JR.------------