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March 4, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Science – What’s It Up To?

Open Your Eyes

I see miracles every day, magnets man, how do they work? But seriously, understanding how the universe works is the coolest shit ever. 

Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. These explanations are based on the available evidence, and it is common for them to be overturned as the boundaries of our understanding are expanded. These continual breakthroughs are (usually) welcome kitchen extensions to the house of knowledge. Today there are many lecturers teaching theories which are unanimously accepted across the scientific community, theories which were labeled outlandish and unproven back when our esteemed teachers had long hair and dreams.

This week, we at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Bonesology thought we would investigate the inner workings of the eye, a tool often used in such exercises as looking and seeing. You may take seeing shit for granted, but it is the result of quite the complex process, brought about by some badass evolution. When you are absently staring at that nice pair of personalities over there, a whole mess of stuff is going on.

Firstly, your cornea (convex transparent external part of your eye) receives light from whatever you’re looking at and that light is bent as it enters your eye.

The iris (coloured bit of your eye) adjusts to the appropriate size to let the right amount of light in through the pupil (black center part of your eye).

The light then hits the lens (transparent bi-convex disc) and is focused onto the retina.

The retina is the lining at the back of your eye which contains light receptors, and receives the focused image.

The optic nerve (a bundle of sensory neurons at the back of the eye) transforms this image into electrical impulses and sends them to the brain.

This complex system had a grassroots beginning millions of years ago as a flat patch of photosensitive cells, only capable of detecting the presence of ambient light.

Pretty sneaky sis! But your brain is even sneakier! The images projected onto your retina are actually upside down, and your brain turns them over to make sure the world is the right way up just for you.

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