Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On the Transfer function of sensory organs

Our knowledge of the physical universe is completely based on our sensory perceptions. What I mean by knowledge remains to be defined. Well, let me clear it up for once and for all, knowledge is the set of all deductions, decisions and calculations which are enforced upon any information gathered by one’s sensory organs. Sense organs are central to knowledge formation. It forms the first and formative step of knowledge assimilation.
The statement that our knowledge of the universe is correct, assumes that our perception of the universe is exactly as it is in reality. To be very ‘scientific’, the assumption made here is that, the transfer function of our sensory organs is unity. Put in layman’s terms, it simply means that the input to any of the sensory organs gives an output that exactly equal to the input at any instant of time.
If however the transfer function of any of the sensory organs is not unity, then the output of that sense organ would not exactly reflect the input to the system. Let us take the example of the eye. Suppose the transfer function of the human eye is such that it is wired to perceive RED light as BLUE, BLUE light as GREEN and GREEN as RED. So, leaves would look like roses, roses like blue bells and blue bells like leaves. We would possibly still be able to recognize roses, leaves and blue bells from their shape, size, odour, texture etc, but nevertheless the world would seem a tad strange.
Now, let us extend this argument to all our sensory organs. If we were to find out (which I shall prove we cannot), that none of our sense organs have unity transfer function, then we might run into trouble with roses and blue bells. It will not be possible to identify roses at all, or worse, we might take blue bells to be roses and roses to be leaves, because our sensory organs, no longer having unity transfer function, have made roses feel like leaves and blue bells feel like roses.
So, the question is how to verify whether our sense organs have unity transfer function or not. Well, to be frank, it is absurd even to talk about verifying senses. Information gathered from sense organs is a pre-requisite for our knowledge (deductions, decisions and calculations. So any information pertaining to sense organs must be gathered by one or many sense organs, which in turn is to be verified for unity transfer function criterion. And the loop continues. The noticeable feature of this loop, is that even if there exists one or many sensory organs which fit the criterion of unity transfer function, there is absolutely no way of verifying that it actually fits the bill.

Therefore, it can be concluded that knowledge formed with information gathered from sense organs is unverifiable. The implications of this realization are far reaching. It might well be true, that nothing exists or all that we call universe is a unity transfer function system, viewed through the complexities of the human mind as an infinite order transfer function.