You plug your ears and watch a sparrow sing. You are sure that your watching a sparrow. Now, you close your eyes and listen to a sparrow sing. You can't be sure it's a sparrow, or a bird even. Your mind tells you to wait until you see it with your own eyes.

You would believe it was a sparrow if your eyes are open and your ears unplugged. You would believe it was a sparrow if your eyes are open and your ears plugged. You wouldn't believe it was a sparrow if your eyes are closed and your ears are open.

You can never be sure until you see it with your own eyes. Yet, what makes us so sure that our eyes are more accurate than our other senses, or our other perceptions such as emotions? We seem to think that our eyes assure us that something is material, that it exists as more than simply an idea, or a possibility. Who are we to think that any of our senses or perceptions can assure us of material things?

We cannot be sure. Devices of infared imaging, nightvision goggles, cybernetic implants, etc. cannot assure us either, for they are simply interfaces to our senses. Question everything.

To an individual trained in bird songs, it is easy to identify the screech of a Blue Jay or the four note call of the red-wing blackbird. Bird songs are often as unique as plumage.

For the vast majority of people, the sense of sight is trained and honed. Large portions of our brain are dedicated to processing visual images. The processing of faces has been pinpointed in the brain - it is something that is important to social animals. It should come as no surprise that we want to see something to believe it, after all - "seeing is believing".

For someone who was born blind they wonder how people choose to use such a limiting sense as sight that only gives an image of a select area of the world around them. A person born deaf often learns how to read lips and pick up on visual cues that are much more subtle than those that someone with all five senses pick up upon. An individual I knew who was deaf and blind had an amazing sense of touch.

There are people in the perfume business who are known as noses who can pick out individual scents in the smell - think of the movie Scent of a Woman. Some who taste various foods can pick out individual flavor components. A philosophy teaching assistant who was also a bartender (one of the few professions where a PhD in Philosophy is worth something) knew his whiskey. There are people who can identify the particular vineyard of a winery and its year that a wine came from.

The only advantage that vision has is that we use it so much in our everyday lives. Listen. Feel. Taste. Smell. Enjoy all the senses. None of them is more accurate than another, but rather some that we depend upon and others that we tend to ignore.

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